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An open letter to Hillary Clinton

Dear Sen. Clinton,

I figured today will probably not go down in history as the one you’ll remember most fondly, so I thought I’d drop you a line and offer some words of comfort.

Let me start off by saying that losing is never easy. I misplaced my favorite nail file in March and I still feel the pangs of loss every day (but really only when I chip a nail, which is maybe once a month). Losing the Democratic presidential nomination? Much tougher, obviously.



While I hold out some hope that my old file will turn up eventually ” and even if it doesn’t, it’s just a nail file ” your defeat is something from which you’ll likely never recover and even if you manage to put it behind you for a minute, someone will inevitably remind you within moments that you just couldn’t pull it off. That must smart.

Not that it matters now, but if I were you, I might have admitted defeat before today. Sure, in some ways I respect that you waited until the primaries officially ended, plus three and a half more days, to put your campaign out of its misery. Hanging in there until the last possible second and then some ” even though in the process you might have very possibly destroyed the next four to eight years for the rest of the Democratic party ” was your right. And, frankly, I say good for you for not letting the polls, pundits, columnists, newspaper editorials, party elders, and pretty much every living, thinking person tell you otherwise.



At the very least, your actions were entirely consistent with the mangling of the last two presidential elections by the Democrats and the Democrats are nothing if not consistent in their dysfunction. Besides, you probably figured another few days couldn’t do that much more harm, right?

I’m just thinking out loud here, but do you suppose if you had conceded, say, when everyone else knew that you didn’t have a mathematical prayer of being nominated a few months ago, that Barack Obama might not have fist-bumped his wife on Tuesday night? Their display was about as hip as that moment in April when you knocked back that shot of Canadian whiskey in Bronko’s Bar in Crown Point, Ind. In hindsight, that might have been the perfect time for you to bow out gracefully, no?

Moving forward, though, try to hope for the best and focus your efforts on the vice presidency. If you get it, you should have a lot of free time on your hands, and that’ll be a nice change. And if you don’t, you’ll still have a lot of down time. (That is, after you earn back your campaign’s $30 million debt ” including $11 million of your own dough ” before the August convention. Ouch, by the way. )

But let’s assume for whatever reason that you don’t get the gig. Maybe you can write another book, “It Takes 2,118 Delegates (Which is 199 More Than I Was Able to Get).” Or if you don’t have it in you to write another book, why not spend a little time reading those written by your peers? There’s Scott McClellan’s new memoir, “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” which seems to be making him more reviled amongst Republicans than, well, you.

There’s also the New York Times bestseller, “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea.” Comedian Chelsea Handler may not be your peer, but you probably feel a little connection to everyone with that name, right?

Or maybe you might consider ghostwriting someone else’s book. I bet President Bush will want to record some of his White House memories when he leaves office in January. Since that’ll undoubtedly be an emotional month for you, why not distract yourself and help him with the big words? I imagine he’ll write about how he sacrificed his golf game out of respect for the Iraq war, but at the same time discovered that miniature golf is way easier and a ton more fun anyway, especially when the courses have those little windmills. It would be a book about spiritual awakenings, n’est-ce pas?

No matter what though, always remember that there’s no shame in second place. Look at “American Idol” season two runner-up Clay Aiken. He had his own television Christmas special in 2004 and just last week it was revealed that he’s donated his sperm to a woman old enough to be his mother. I think his story is an inspiration to losers everywhere. After all, if he can still eke out a headline; imagine the possibilities for you.

Anyway, I really am sorry you’re having such a rough day. Maybe you should go see the “Sex and the City” movie. It’s all about second, third and nineteenth chances. A topic close to your heart, now in more ways than one.

Sincerely,

Meredith


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