While in the White House, the Clintons were accused of “renting out the Lincoln Bedroom” for campaign donations, and when they left the White House in 2001 they took along with them a lot of furnishings they had not brought with them and, though both soon were making millions of dollars, set up a gift registry to relieve them of the burden of paying to furnish the two new estates—just off Embassy Row in D.C. and in New York’s Westchester County—that they were buying or bought.In the window between the time she #HRC2016 left the State Department in 2013 and formally announced her candidacy almost two years later, she racked up a staggering $22 million in lectures, charging the people she spoke to around $250,000, and which she did up until the very last minute, though well-wishers around her were urging restraint. The move to State also opened up new problems concerning the Clinton Foundation and donations to it, as the benefits of buying the goodwill of the husband of a United States senator paled in comparison to having the ear of the spouse of someone making decisions affecting every part of the world. Bill Clinton’s speech fees exploded exponentially with his wife in the cabinet, sometimes reaching $750,000 and assuring that the aura of greed would permanently envelop the pair of them, making it hard to run a positive campaign based on character or exploit similar weaknesses in the character and career of the man who she was running against.
The Clintons’ character failings, together and separately, would cancel out those of Trump and make the two sides seem equal—Bill’s female accusers vs. Trump’s female accusers, Trump’s greed vs. Hillary’s, and the lies of all three about practically everything would deprive her attacks upon Trump much of their force. After she lost, Hillary would blame FBI head James Comey for cutting short her momentum with his letter to Congress before the election about the possibility of new information that had surfaced reviving the email investigation. But without her behavior, there would have been no case at all and no emails to the surface. And if her aide, friend, and protégée hadn’t married a man whose favorite pastime was sending pictures of his genitals over the Internet to very young women, investigators wouldn’t have seized his laptop, a complication one cannot imagine these mothers who write for the Post and for Fortune having tried to explain to their girls.
Clinton’s loss means that the First Woman President when we do get one will be a much better deal for the world. Hillary’s rise was both derivative and celebrity driven. And one way or another, her career always happened because she was Bill Clinton’s wife. It was as Bill Clinton’s wife that she burst on the world as a “new kind of First Lady,” as Bill Clinton’s wife that she lost both houses of Congress for her husband and party in 1994, as Bill Clinton’s wife that she emerged as the woman wronged in the epic impeachment-and-Monica scandal, and it was as Bill Clinton’s wife that she ran for the Senate with all of the force of the White House behind her and won election in a state she had never lived in, as compensation for all she’d been through.