Op-Ed: If Trump quits, then what, Hillary?

  • By Bob Franken
  • Saturday, August 6, 2016 1:00pm
  • Opinion

Here’s a tough question, but first, you have to presume you’re Hillary Clinton, except that you have to give a straight answer. So, if you were Hillary Clinton, would you prefer to run against Donald Trump, or watch him implode along with the Republican Party to the point that he would decide to pull out of the race? Obviously, if he decided to pack it in, he’d leave the Republicans in tatters, struggling to come up with a candidate and a strategy to take Hillary on, to say nothing of building from the ruins he left behind (which would be particularly weird since Trump claims to build structures, not demolish them). One can certainly argue that Hillary could benefit from taking on an opposition party that had been left in tatters.

Ah, but she’d suddenly have to run against someone she presumably couldn’t portray as such a bigoted, cruel, ignorant man who had no impulse control. In other words, she might have to rely on her own merits, to ask the voters to accept her as president, as opposed to rejecting that crazy guy. Poll after poll shows that majorities or pluralities of respondents have serious reservations about her, with her unfavorables second only to Trump’s.

So IF Trump decided to bail or was somehow forced out and led away babbling his stream-of-consciousness hatred, and IF the GOP managed to accomplish that in time to get on all the states’ ballots, which is to say, quickly, and IF they came up with someone who was credible or at least not so bizarre, someone who also could placate the millions in the party who rallied around Trump’s toxic-waste dump, would you, you pretend Hillaries, prefer to take on a devastated party, or continue with the current guy, who might still beat you even though so many consider him to be so scarily unfit?

Obviously, it’s out of your control. It would be entirely up to the other side. Furthermore, the question is grossly premature. It’s only a few of us pundits and other useless people who are even raising this scenario. But it’s not just speculation that Republicans are horrified because every time their presidential candidate speaks, he buries himself more deeply in garbage: His attacks on the Khans, the parents of the Muslim soldier killed in Iraq combat, who dared criticize him; his lack of comprehension of policy, even nuclear policy; the accumulation of all the tasteless comments he’s made against nearly everyone except the poorly educated white men, and some women, who are his adoring fans. In spite of his many promises to rein in his behavior, he’s just not been able to. The polls now show that since his party’s convention, he’s had a precipitous drop. Even worse, from the party’s point of view, he’s slammed some of the Republican icons who have inexplicably chosen to endorse him, like John McCain and Paul Ryan. So now there is talk of an “intervention” (such a silly word). Among those whose names come up to administer his talking-to are the likes of Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani.

Now some might find it ludicrous that these two were the ones who’d be instructing him on common decency, wondering whether Gingrich and Giuliani should be the interveners or intervenees, but that has fed the rumors that Donald Trump is experiencing an emotional meltdown that could lead to him bailing out. His campaign leaders deny it, but given their own track record for honesty, that only feeds the frenzy of conjecture.

To use Donald Trump’s favorite expression, “believe me,” Hillary Clinton and her advisers are carefully weighing the possibilities, no matter how remote. They carefully weigh everything. It comes down to “the devil you know versus the devil you don’t know.” Oh wait, Hillary is the devil. Trump said so.

More in Opinion

This image available under the Creative Commons license shows the outline of the state of Alaska filled with the pattern of the state flag.
Opinion: Bringing broadband to all Alaskans

Too many Alaskans face barriers accessing the internet.

This photo shows a stack of pocket constitutions at the Alaska State Capitol. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Join us in voting against a constitutional convention

Voting no on a constitutional convention is vital to the well-being and stability of our state.

Michael O’Meara.
Point of View: Tell BOEM how you feel

It seems like BOEM should prioritize input from people most likely to be affected if leases are sold

The State of Alaska, Department of Administration, Office of Information Technology webpage. (Screenshot/oit.alaska.gov)
Cloud migration now underway will strengthen, enhance State IT systems

At the most basic level, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services remotely

Jessica Cook, left, and Les Gara stand in The Peninsula Clarion’s offices on Thursday, June 30, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Voices: Better schools for a better economy

We need leaders who care about our children’s futures

A resident casts their vote in the regular municipal election Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Voices of the Peninsula: This is our borough and city

By Therese Lewandowski Another election already? Yes! This is our local elections… Continue reading

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation building is seen in Juneau, Alaska, in March 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
Opinion: APFC keeps steady keel during turbulent year

FY2022 was a challenging year for all investors

Homer Foundation
Point of View: Nonprofits provide essential services not provided by cities

By our count, nonprofits provide more than 100 jobs to our communities

Opinion: Don’t get scammed like I nearly did

I should have just turned off the computer.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce campaigns for governor as he walks in the 65th annual Soldotna Progress Days Parade on Saturday, July 23, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. Pierce resigned as borough mayor effective Sept. 30, 2022, to focus on his gubernatorial campaign. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: ‘It has been an honor to serve’

Borough mayor gives send-off ahead of departure

Gov. Mike Dunleavy announces Friday, July 15, 2022, that 2022 most PFD payments will be distributed on Sept. 20, 2022. (Screenshot)
Opinion: A historic PFD still leaves work to be done

It is important to remember the dividend is not, and has never been, a welfare payment