Reprinted from Media Matters
That distant rumble you're hearing from the Beltway is the sounds of pundits eagerly excavating as they dig up the campaign goal posts established for Hillary Clinton's presidential run and reset them during the middle of the race.
After months of suggesting her White House push was possibly doomed, that she couldn't connect with voters, pundits are now conceding she will be her party's nominee and that polling data and demographics currently give her a November advantage. But instead of admitting they misread her run (how do you accumulate 13 million primary votes and not connect with people?), some have decided to change the rules -- to move the goal posts midway through the game -- and suggest that even if she wins the presidency, Clinton will have won it the wrong way, and that in some bizarre way her victory won't be legitimate.
Penning a campaign memo to Clinton with the subject line, "Winning Right," Ron Fournier in The Atlantic insisted that winning isn't enough for her (emphasis added):
"Congratulations! You are now the presumptive Democratic nominee. Considering the demographic obstacles piled against Donald J. Trump, you're this close to the presidency. The nation's first woman president. Heir to President Obama's legacy.- Advertisement -
"It's not enough. Is your goal to win the presidency or to win and transform the presidency? Are you a caretaker or a change agent? Do you seize power for the love of power or for higher purposes: to modernize the institutions of politics and governance; to restore the public's faith in Washington; to break the cycle of polarization and solve big problems; to galvanize the youth vote (like Obama) and translate millennials' passion and power into governmental reforms (unlike Obama)?"
According to Fournier, Clinton's victory and her presidency will only matter if she completely transforms American politics. And if she accomplishes that without any help from Republicans, of course.
For context, note that Fournier's column scolded Clinton's campaign for not being "honest and authentic" the way Donald Trump's campaign has been honest and authentic. So that tells you a bit about the writer's worldview.