Hillary Clinton, donkey, Democrats
It is hard letting go of the reins. Photo credit: DonkeyHotey / WhoWhatWhy (CC BY-SA 2.0) See complete attribution below.

As first lady, senator, secretary of state and failed presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton has been one of the defining Democrats of her time. But she now has to do one last thing for the party she has dedicated most of her adult life to. Clinton has to step back and let others take over.

The urge to explain how she could possibly have lost to Donald Trump must be overwhelming. After all, she was defeated by somebody who could hardly be less equipped to serve as president, while Barack Obama called her the “most qualified” candidate ever.

Clinton and her team have offered a lot of explanations for what happened. Some of them point to factors that were beyond her campaign’s influence. Others were self-inflicted wounds — either by Clinton herself or her team.

In the end, none of it matters — not the ill-fated decision to have a private email server, or Russian election interference, or criminal email hacks, or the Comey letter, or the fact that Clinton got millions more votes than Trump. To quote Clinton: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

What does matter now is that every time Clinton speaks out about her loss, she prevents the Democrats from healing and moving forward. She is not — and should not be — the face of the resistance. Instead, every time she makes news, she reminds millions of voters that they also didn’t like the alternative to Trump.

And she helps unite Republicans in a way Trump never could.

What the Democrats need ahead of what is surely the most crucial midterm election in recent memory is to start fresh, present a bold platform and draw distinctions to the GOP. That will never happen if Clinton’s shadow looms over the party.

So the best thing she can do now is stop trying to assign blame for why she lost. This is no longer about her. Instead, it is about winning elections at every level of government. If she must speak in public, it should be in an effort to heal the rift between the progressive and moderate wings of the party.

To some, that might not seem fair. After all, while Trump claims to be the victim of a witch hunt, no other American has been more maligned — sometimes rightly and sometimes wrongly — or investigated more than Clinton.

On the other hand, she has made tens of millions in the few short years she was out of government, which ultimately was one of the reasons she failed as a candidate. Now, that money can help ease the pain of a stinging defeat.

Clinton is going to be just fine. Whether the Democrats will be depends in part on her ability to stay out of the headlines.

The cartoon above was created by DonkeyHotey for WhoWhatWhy from these images: Hillary Clinton caricature (DonkeyHotey / Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0), Hillary body (US Air Force), sign (Kristopher Harris / Flickr – CC BY 2.0) and donkey caricature (DonkeyHotey / Flickr – CC BY 2.0).


  • Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, and former congressional reporter. DonkeyHotey creates caricatures and cartoons used by many writers and websites to illustrate news articles and opinion pieces. His current work is a combination of caricature, photo collage, and photo manipulation.

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Is this article an op-ed piece or is Who What Why a pro-Democrat political site? I’m asking because this article talks about the Democratic party “healing and moving forward” and that Hillary “should not be — the face of the resistance”. It’s possible I’m misinterpreting, but the word “resistance” to me gives the impression of “fighting the good fight” (which is why I asking about “pro-Democrat”).

John Stich

The Democratic party is cursed if it clings to Clinton. She needs to make her exit now.


Your comment is somewhat confusing. The article states that no, she should NOT be the face of resistance, and if the Dems don’t “heal” and “move forward” they will face more defeats (and rightfully so in my opinion). I read your comment as arguing against exactly what the article said, when I think your intent is to disparage. Personally, I think the Dems are mortally wounded, and HRC was the reason. Funny how we all thought the Republican party was in disarray and on the way out, but now the opposite is happening. Whether Trump stays or not, the GOP picks for important posts, where much damage can be done, will stay. This is the victory they have been planning for for decades, and the damn Dims just handed it to them by running a candidate many could not bring themselves to vote for – Hillary Clinton, who needs to shut up and go away for good.


I’m not exactly sure where the confusion lies but I’ll try to elaborate. Essentially I’m wondering if Who What Why is a pro-Democrat site. The reason I asked was because this article talks about the Democratic party as “the resistance”, which I interpret to mean “the good guys” (and gals). I posted my comment to try to confirm whether or not my interpretation was correct.

You wrote: “I read your comment as arguing against exactly what the article said, when I think your intent is to disparage.”

Personally, I’m not for any of these parties or any of these candidates. I’m not convinced politics is necessarily the solution. I think if we had an educated public, that would go a long way toward solving society’s problems (because at least people would be able to accurately assess the issues). I read sites like this to try to educate myself because they say “be the change you wish to see”. I will add a disclaimer though that i don’t always agree with what I read on here. In general, I like the investigative reporting but I’m not a big fan of the the political op-eds.

Hopefully that answers your question but let me know if not.

Jeff Clyburn

Every Sunday cartoon is an op-ed …


Yes, and she should take her coterie of MSM spin doctors and propagandists with her. When Mr Obomber acclaimed her “the most qualified candidate” he also proved himself the most artful liar American politics has ever produced.

George Washington

Why isn’t she on trial in The Hague alongside Obama for war crimes against Libya?


Clinton is not the problem – it’s the entire neoliberal corporate Democratic Party power structure that is the real problem. Changing Clinton for another face simply will not help in the least.

John Stich

Clinton IS the problem. She epitomizes corporate neo-liberalism.

Ken Kelley

I agree, we have a great party and great leaders ! I voted for Hillary twice, and must use a few brain cells not to think it would work a third time ! As a life long Democrat I see our quest in several steps, first to try and resist and keep the damage as small as possible, oust as many conservatives as we can, then push forward several good candidates……..It could take some time, but hey, I have been voting since 1972…lol


A great party and great leaders. LOL indeed.


Could not agree more. Mrs. Clinton is old news and full of ancient ideas. Get off my screens and stay out of my newspapers and magazines. Go away and stay away.

Had the Democrats nominated a legitimate candidate, Donald Trump would have been nothing but an orange stain on the floor.


I’m not as nice as the author. Personally, I just wish she’d STFU.

And the Democratic Party needs to accept responsibility for what happened as well. It was their lousy superdelegates that caused this mess. I’ll never give another nickel to the party until the superdelegates are gone.

Geoff Botting

What happened to my first fair comment?