Hillary Clinton ‘Presidency,’ Circa 2018

Member Group : Jerry Shenk

On January 19, 2018, a day before the first anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, my Google home page screen listed three “Trending searches” that included “hillary clinton president,” all lower case, above “def leppard journey.”

The juxtaposition was amusing. Def Leppard, a British heavy-metal rock band, was formed in 1977 – further back even than Hillary Clinton has been in the public eye. But, while Def Leppard is still selling concert tickets, Hillary is finished, although some of her fans haven’t abandoned hope of a Clinton presidency.

At the one-year anniversary of Hillary Clinton not being sworn in as president, some diehards are still struggling to come to grips with her Electoral College shellacking. If the scandal sheet formerly known as Newsweek is to be taken seriously – apparently, some still do — theories have emerged in which Hillary could be awarded the presidency. Presumably Newsweek’s online hopefulness and/or public scorn for it drove Google’s search traffic.

On January 18, Newsweek’s Maya Rajamani posted an article entitled, in caps, “HILLARY CLINTON COULD STILL BECOME PRESIDENT IF RUSSIA PROBE FINDS CONSPIRACY EVIDENCE.” The lead: “Nearly a year after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, a Harvard University professor says 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton could still become commander in chief.

“Lawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman professor of law…at Harvard Law School, penned an essay…in October outlining a series of hypothetical scenarios that could take place should the ongoing probe find that the Trump campaign actually conspired with Russia to influence the results of the election.”

Newsweek was once and, usually, Harvard University is respectable, but, together, hypothetically, at least, fabulist scenarios become possibilities.

It would be astonishing if a Harvard Law School professor were ignorant of the United States Constitution, the foundation of American law, or of Presidential Succession legislation passed in 1792, most recently in 2006, allowing for the addition to or removal of cabinet secretaries from the constitutional line of succession. It’s not astonishing that a failing progressive publication’s naïve writer might fall for so specious a premise as Presidential-Pinch-Hitter Hillary, “specious” meaning any argument that overlooks legal presidential succession:

If the president dies or is removed, the legal line of succession is, first, Vice President, then the House Speaker, the Senate President Pro Tem, the Secretary of State, Treasury Secretary, Defense Secretary and Attorney General, followed by a succession of agency heads, none of whom are named Hillary Clinton.

Lessig’s fantastic outcome could only work if President Trump dies, is removed or steps down; then, after V.P. Mike Pence is sworn in, he appoints Hillary Vice-President; Congress confirms her; after which Pence steps down himself. Clearly, the odds don’t favor such a scenario.

C’mon, people! It’s been a year! The Russia probe is a dead end. President Trump is staying. No matter where you are in the Kubler Ross/Kessler Stages of Grief, Hillary will not replace him. It’s w-a-a-y past time to deal with reality.

Clinton faithful show no signs of reconciliation, though. Perhaps they’ll run Hillary again…one hopes…