If I had a dollar for every time over almost eight years that I have heard Hillary Clinton explain, in so many countries as well as here at home, that we have regular, peaceful transitions of power in this country, I would give every dollar to Hillary for America.
Most recently, she made what has become a boilerplate remark of hers about our democracy when she appeared with President Obama in Charlotte.
Some of you might remember, that he and I competed against each other as hard as we could back in 2008. But when it was over, I was proud to endorse him and campaign for him.
And I’ll never forget when he called me the Sunday after the election, asking me to come to Chicago. It turned out he wanted me to be Secretary of State, and I don’t think anybody saw that coming – especially me.
And as I travelled on behalf of our country, a lot of people around the world asked how President Obama and I could work so well together after being such fierce competitors. In some places, the person who loses an election gets exiled or executed, not asked to be Secretary of State.
But President Obama asked me to serve, and I accepted. You know why? We both love our country.
That is how democracy is supposed to work. We just celebrated 240 years of independence. In America, we put common interest before self-interest. We stand together because we know we’re stronger together.
So it it especially jarring and disconcerting to hear crowds at the Republican Convention in Cleveland chanting “Lock her up.!” Really?
CLEVELAND — It’s pretty disturbing to hear a large crowd at a major party convention repeatedly call for the jailing of the leader of the other major party.
And I’ve heard that happen again and again at the Republican convention so far, as the clear favorite chant of the attendees is: “Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!”
It’s not just the crowd. Three speakers at the podium on the first day of the convention called for Hillary Clinton to be jailed.
And Chris Christie’s speech on day two, while nominally a critique of Clinton’s foreign policy judgment, was framed as a “prosecution” of Clinton in which he repeatedly asked the crowd whether she was “guilty” or “not guilty.”
Naturally, the crowd interrupted Christie four times with the “lock her up” chant. Indeed, the idea of sentencing Clinton to prison has been the only thing that’s really excited the crowd so far on this listless second day.
To me, all this seemed like a new crossing of a line and an ugly degradation of a norm in American politics.
We stand as the role model of bloodless transition for all the world. It is beyond not normal. Steve Schmidt, on MSNBC tonight, called it “Banana Republican” right after I remarked that I had never seen anything like this in this country.