Opinion: Does Hillary Clinton have a political death wish?

Is Hillary Clinton actually trying to lose this election?

Does she really want the White House? Or is she trying, consciously or subconsciously, to sabotage her own campaign?

It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

Even Clinton’s deepest enemies concede that she’s smart. And she has over 20 years of political experience. So how come she has spent the entire campaign — and the years before it — making one incredibly stupid mistake after another?

Instead of giving a master class in “How to Run for President,” she’s been giving a great lesson in “How Not to Run for President.”

Consider the evidence.

• Her absolutely insane decision to offend liberals and Bernie Sanders supporters by appointing Debbie Wasserman Schultz as “honorary chair” of her presidential campaign. This tops the almost-as-crazy decision to try to keep Wasserman Schultz as the DNC chair during this week’s national convention. Anyone running a competent campaign would have ousted the tainted politician on July 23, straight after the email affair broke, and shunted her off into obscurity until after the election.

• Her staggeringly bone-headed decision to go on “60 Minutes” and complain about a “Hillary standard” that is supposedly tilted against her — weeks after getting a remarkable pass from the head of the FBI over her private email server. Really?

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• Her bizarre refusal to do the one thing that was most likely to disarm moderates and opponents alike, and criticize her own mistakes early and fully. Her concessions, when they have come, have been delayed and grudging: the worst of all worlds. As any smart spin doctor will tell you, only two things work: not apologizing at all, if you can get away with it, or apologizing so quickly and fulsomely that anyone who keeps attacking you sounds churlish.

• That absolutely barking-mad decision to use a private email server while at the State Department. This woman is an experienced, Yale-educated lawyer. Even the most cynical, conspiracy-theorist explanation doesn’t make any sense. As she admitted on “60 Minutes,” the obvious thing to do if she wanted to keep some of her communications private was to have used two smartphones. It took an FBI investigation to show her something that everybody else knew 10 years ago?

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• Tacking to the left during the primaries to fight Bernie Sanders. That was absolutely the worst thing she could have done. Her biggest problem wasn’t that people thought she was too conservative, but that they thought she’d say anything to get elected. Why didn’t she just say she respected Sanders for sticking to his principles, then add: “But unlike him, I’m not a socialist”? It’s a winning line. How difficult would that have been?

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• Giving those Wall Street speeches. What was she thinking? Bill and Hillary already had more money than they, or their grandchildren, could ever need. Why didn’t she spend a couple of years getting tons of great and free publicity as a roving “goodwill ambassador”? It’s not even difficult. You fly first class to exotic places around the world, give a vanilla speech about equality rights — or democracy, or peace — get free airtime on all the TV networks and then fly home. Piece of cake. She couldn’t work that out?

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• Floundering around when she was challenged about the speeches, accusing her opponent of “smearing” her, and complaining about a “double standard.” Nuts. All she had to do was point out that she and Bill are 50% taxpayers, so every time she gave a speech, she raised a lot of money for schools, roads, Medicare and so on. And the more she got paid, the more she raised. If Sanders doesn’t like top-rate taxpayers earning lots of money, how does he plan to pay for all of his new programs? He wouldn’t have a cogent response, because there isn’t one.

• Oh, and finally, if Hillary really wanted to win, would she really have worn a golden “Mao” jacket to the debates? It was surreal. I know it sounds trivial, but TV is a visual medium, and it was just as easy to wear something classy. (Oh, and lest anyone accuse me of sexism: Bernie Sanders’ cheap, ill-fitting suits were inspired — they perfectly fit his message. If he had turned up to a debate wearing a golden Mao jacket, you can bet we’d all talk about it.)

None of these things make any sense for an intelligent, experienced woman campaigning for the White House. Does Hillary Clinton have some sort of political death wish? Tell me I’m wrong.

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View more information: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/does-hillary-clinton-have-a-political-death-wish-2016-07-25

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