Near the end of "Meet The Press Daily" on April 20, in the part of the panel discussion about the book "Shattered," host and moderator Chuck Todd had a breakthrough perception: that the real story of the presidential election in 2016 was not about how and why Donald Trump managed to win it, but the epic achievement of Hillary Clinton, who, having been blessed with an opponent whom many of his own voters thought was unfit to hold office, nonetheless managed to lose. Democrats lost in 2016 for a whole lot of reasons, as "Shattered" will tell you, but also because they picked the one candidate in the world who (along with her husband ) was unable to pick at the Republicans' weakness, without also indicting herself.
It is obvious now that Trump and the truth have what one might call an erratic relationship, which might have been seen as a chink in his armor, but not with the Clintons around. Let us remember who lied to his wife, lied to the country, lied under oath when before a grand jury; lost his law license as a fairly brief punishment, and opined on the meaning of "is." Hillary's connection to the truth has always been optional, and the fact remains that she cannot be trusted on anything, from cattle futures on down.
Trump seems to lie off the top of his head, or when what he says is laughably cockeyed, but the Clintons' lies have self-interest or malice aforethought, which makes them more sinister. Round One, by a whisker, to Trump.
"Greed is good," as Gordon Gekko once told us, and some who believed him were Trump and the Clintons, whose good taste, self-restraint, and generous instincts have never been praised quite enough. Trump has the edge when it comes to the dimension of gold-plated everything; but the Clintons stand for the kind of systemic corruption in which the establishment shovels cash in the direction of those who already have millions, as long as a payoff seems somewhere in sight. In the interregnum between Clinton I and Clinton II (which has since been aborted), Bill and Hillary went from a value of zilch in 2001 to something close to $100,000 million, got between $225,000 to $750,000 apiece for one speech, and their daughter Chelsea once got $600,000 a year from the NBC News network for, in essence, no work at all. Once again, the stench of corruption is tipping the balance. Trump gets Round Two.
Many people expected the Access Hollywood tape, along with "Miss Piggy," to finish Trump off, and they might well have done so, if the case against him hadn't been carried by Hillary Clinton, the veteran of many such "bimbo eruptions," the wife of the man who told Paula Jones to "kiss it," the wife of the man who groped Kathleen Willey on the day she was widowed, and as for the intern — don't ask. There has always been a huge gap between the daintiness of the Hillary backers and the exceptions they are willing to make for Bill Clinton, into which Trump drove a truck when he asked to the second debate some of the women who claimed to have been manhandled, raped, propositioned, or otherwise groped by the man married to the putative First Woman President.
Trump was a very rich target for a plausible candidate who could have managed to bring a real case against him. But they managed to pick the one soul in the country who could have shot nothing but blanks.
Noemie Emery, a Washington Examiner columnist, is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and author of "Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families."