She will never break the glass ceiling.
She arrived at the East Front of the Capitol at not quite 20 minutes past 10 a.m. in a pantsuit of the softest cream, smiling gamely and waving to onlookers. She ignored a reporter’s shouted question about how it felt to be there, but off camera, some among the panelists and anchors on CNN could be heard chuckling at the excruciating obviousness of the query.
And just a half hour later, Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared at the top of the passageway leading to the inaugural platform, a mute witness to a moment of history she had prayed would never happen. As she and her husband made their way through the VIP crowd to their seats, still smiling, someone called out, “We’re here for you!”
If it was Clinton’s unhappy task to sit just behind and to the left of Donald Trump as he took the oath of office as the 45th president, she bore it with her usual stoicism and cast-iron discipline, despite a smattering of boos when her name was announced. “I am here today to honor our democracy and its enduring values,” her Twitter account declared. “I will never stop believing in our country & its future.”[…]
As rain spattered the platform, Hillary Clinton joined the comparatively small and sad ranks of vanquished candidates in open presidential races in modern times who have been compelled to stand by as their rivals took power: Richard Nixon in 1961, Hubert Humphrey in 1969, Al Gore in 2001. Nixon alone had experienced both sides of the equation, watching John F. Kennedy take the oath in 1961, and taking the job that Humphrey wanted eight years later.
“I think maybe you should deliver my address today, Hubert,” Nixon told Humphrey as he arrived at the White House for the ceremonial ride to Capitol Hill with Lyndon Johnson, trying to “keep the mood light,” he remembered.