For millions of Americans, the night of November 8th, 2016 is one we will remember for the rest of our lives. We recall looking on in horror as the most unqualified, stupidest, most hateful man to ever run for office was handed the keys to the most powerful country in the world.
We watched as a hard-working, experienced, principled woman was defeated by the ascendant forces of misogyny, racism, and xenophobia. The country was stunned, and every prediction going into the election was turned on its head. Almost every major publication expected Hillary Clinton to win, and many of them had pre-prepared covers ready to print the next day.
Now, The New Yorker has revealed the cover they would have run the day after the election had the United States been smart and moral enough to elect its first female president.
The cover depicts President Clinton alone, gazing out through a window of the Oval Office into the night. In light of what actually happened, it has a melancholy air to it. Had she won, it would certainly have had different connotations.
The image would have evoked Clinton’s strength of character, epitomizing a life of service culminating in a single breath: her election to the presidency. The picture would have felt like it depicted her taking a moment to reflect on the incredible life that led her to that office, as well as showing her looking forward to the future she wished to build for all Americans. It’s a deeply moving tableau.
The image was shared on The New Yorker’s Instagram page with a caption:
“This would have been our post-election cover if Hillary Clinton had won the Presidency. On Election Night, she expected to give a victory speech. Instead, the next morning, before hundreds of shocked, weeping staﬀers, she made her way through a hastily drafted message of endurance and gratitude. As she and Bill Clinton were driven away in their car, she was hollowed out, unable to speak, struggling to breathe: “At every step I felt that I had let everyone down. Because I had.” Click the link in our bio to read David Remnick’s interview with the former Presidential candidate. Cover by @malikafavre.”
One need only cursory knowledge of the Trump presidency so far to realize how vastly superior Clinton would have been as president. Trump is the worst thing to ever happen to the presidency, Clinton would have led us towards a better future.
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.