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Solomon writes: "Twenty-five years ago - when I wrote a book titled 'False Hope: The Politics of Illusion in the Clinton Era' - I didn’t expect that the Democratic Party would still be mired in Clintonism two and a half decades later. But such approaches to politics continue to haunt the party and the country."

Hillary Clinton. (photo: AP)
Hillary Clinton. (photo: AP)

What It Means That Hillary Clinton Might Run for President in 2020

By Norman Solomon, Reader Supported News

04 December 18


wenty-five years ago – when I wrote a book titled “False Hope: The Politics of Illusion in the Clinton Era” – I didn’t expect that the Democratic Party would still be mired in Clintonism two and a half decades later. But such approaches to politics continue to haunt the party and the country.

The last two Democratic presidencies largely involved talking progressive while serving Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. The obvious differences in the personalities and behavior of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama diverted attention from their underlying political similarities. In office, both men rarely fought for progressive principles – and routinely undermined them.

Clinton, for example, brought the country NAFTA, welfare “reform” that was an assault on low-income women and families, telecommunications “reform” that turned far more airwaves over to media conglomerates, repeal of Glass-Steagall regulation of banks that led to the 2007-2008 financial meltdown, and huge increases in mass incarceration.

Obama, for instance, bailed out big banks while letting underwater homeowners sink, oversaw the launching of more missiles and bombs than his predecessor George W. Bush, ramped up a war on whistleblowers, turned mass surveillance and the shredding of the Fourth Amendment into bipartisan precedent, and boosted corporate privatization of public education.

It wasn’t only a Congressional majority that Democrats quickly lost under President Obama and never regained. By the time he left the White House (immediately flying on a billionaire’s jet to his private island and then within months starting to collect giant speaking fees from Wall Street), nearly 1,000 seats in state legislatures had been lost to Democrats during the Obama years.

Thanks to grassroots activism and revulsion toward President Trump, Democrats not only won back the House last month but also recaptured one-third of the state legislative seats that had been lost while Obama led the party and the nation.

During the last two years, progressive momentum has exerted major pressure against the kind of corporatist policies that Bill Clinton set into cement atop the Democratic Party. But today, the party’s Congressional leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are still in a mode loosely replicating Clinton’s sleight-of-tongue formulas that have proved so useful – and extremely profitable – for corporate America, while economic inequality has skyrocketed.

As 2018 nears its end, the top of the Democratic Party is looking to continue Clintonism without the Clintons.

Or maybe Clintonism with the Clintons.

A real possibility is now emerging that Hillary Clinton will run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. On Sunday, The New York Times printed a Maureen Dowd column that reported: “Some in Clintonworld say Hillary fully intends to be the nominee…. And Bill has given monologues to old friends about how Hillary knows how she’d have to run in 2020, that she couldn’t have a big staff and would just speak her mind and not focus-group everything. (That already sounds focus-grouped.)”

Dowd provided a helpful recap: “After the White House, the money-grubbing raged on, with the Clintons making over 700 speeches in a 15-year period, blithely unconcerned with any appearance of avarice or of shady special interests and foreign countries buying influence. They stockpiled a whopping $240 million. Even leading up to her 2016 presidential run, Hillary was packing in the speeches, talking to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the American Camp Association, eBay, and there was that infamous trifecta of speeches for Goldman Sachs worth $675,000.”

A cogent sum-up in the column came from former Washington Monthly editor Charles Peters: “What scares me the most is Hillary’s smug certainty of her own virtue as she has become greedy and how typical that is of so many chic liberals who seem unaware of their own greed. They don’t really face the complicity of what’s happened to the world, how selfish we’ve become and the horrible damage of screwing the workers and causing this resentment that the Republicans found a way of tapping into.”

That’s where we are now – not only with the grim prospect that Hillary Clinton might run for president again, but more fundamentally with corporate allegiances still dominating the Democratic Party leadership.

The only way to overcome such corporatism is for social movements to fight more resolutely and effectively for progressive change, including in the Democratic Party. If you don’t think that’s a path to real breakthroughs, consider Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley, winners of Democratic primaries this year who’ll be sworn in as members of Congress next month. (Compare those successes to two decades of Green Party candidates running for Congress and never coming close.)

Whether or not Hillary Clinton runs for president again, Clintonism is a political blight with huge staying power. It can be overcome only if and when people at the grassroots effectively insist on moving the Democratic Party in a genuinely progressive direction.

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Norman Solomon is co-founder and national coordinator of He is the author of a dozen books, including War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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+55 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-12-04 14:03
Wow. Great analysis by Solomon. He's always good. I sort of feel sorry for Hillary. She simply never had the stuff to be president and she cannot see that about herself. Another run will be humiliating for her. She will lose state after state in the primaries. The Clinton's day is over. Everyone knows it except for them.

I agree about the greed. After Nov. 2016, they had to shut down the Clinton Global Initiatives because funding simply evaporated. Now gifts to the Clinton Foundation are down by 90% and it may close. These operations were always about bribery and money laundering. Without the power an office gives the Clintons, they really don't have anything to sell.

I wish they'd just retire and move on. Let the Demo party develop on its own. Let is return to its progressive base. I hope they don't go through the humiliation of another presidential campaign.
+11 # Porfiry 2018-12-05 10:26
Rodion fiddled while the USA burned up. The problem is not the Clintons. It is the oligarchic plutocracy (everything controlled by the very rich and big corporations). That needs to be the main point of attack.
+3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-12-05 17:09
Porf -- you are definitely correct. The oligarchs found the Clintons useful for a while and now they will find someone else.

We need a good strategy for dealing with the American oligarchs. Soros is a huge problem. He's also getting his time in the barrel. He's been rejected in eastern Europe. But he's still somewhat of a hero over here.
+4 # RLF 2018-12-07 07:57
Clintons are worth $200 million! Their going to fight the Plutocracy? They ARE the plutocracy!
+57 # Moxa 2018-12-04 15:03
I think the only people who REALLY wanted Clinton to win were the ones who wanted a woman president and didn't much care who that woman was. Call me sexist, but I think that is a terrible reason to support someone for the highest office in the land. (Temper your "male chauvinist" accusations with the knowledge I had signed a petition to get Elizabeth Warren to run, before enthusiasticall y supporting Bernie Sanders. I ended up voting for Jill Stein.) Most of Clinton's other supporters were people who, against the wisdom of virtually every poll, were terrified of Trump winning and felt that Bernie wouldn't be able to beat him. Then there were those who fell for the "experience" factor. I'll grant she had experience. And what a mess she made with that!

What she has most, actually, is an amalgam of entitlement, chutzpah, and an extraordinary lack of self-awareness.

Now that she has already lost to Trump; has approval ratings lower than his; and no super-delegates to artificially inflate her election outcomes, it seems really hard to believe she will get much support, especially because there are other women running to absorb the desire to have a female president.

Watching Hillary is like watching a soap opera. It's all quite painful, but you can't wait to see what will happen next. I hope what comes next is she drops out of the race.
+1 # margpark 2018-12-04 20:58
Actually she might have made a good president with all her experience in the world. As for being female, I felt she would have to prove she was as warlike as a man. I didn't want her ever get to the point of being a candidate but I voted for her as she would have been way better than Trump.
+9 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-12-06 07:46
I think her experience in the world was exactly the wrong type. She was connected with the terrorists in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Nazis in Ukraine.

We will have a woman president soon. It may be Eliz. Warren. Hillary was just the wrong person for the job. Times have changed. She's still set in the Bush II era -- a true neo-con and neo-lib.
+5 # indian weaving 2018-12-05 11:11
I pretty much followed your path in voting, finally settling on Jill Stein mostly because she was the most "normal" person running. I knew she couldn't win. Bernie had a great chance, ONOH. Others who ran all suck except Bernie. I can't believe anyone in the Democrat Party would be so stupid to run Hillary, but then again ...
+1 # Robbee 2018-12-05 18:57
Quoting Moxa 2018-12-04 15:03:
I think the only people who REALLY wanted Clinton to win were the ones who wanted a woman president and didn't much care who that woman was.

- really? hey! if that truly were the case, then carly fiorina would be prez and you would not have needed to state the rest of your fine comment -

the real reason hill should not run again, sum of your comment, is that she is not one of the better candidates - she couldn't even beat dickhead, a racist, sexist, reactionary psychopath, fchrissakes - what should that tell all?

if hill announces another candidacy ever, please lets all lead the chorus, national groan that shakes the dem party forever free of clintons!

same goes for humphrey! dukakis! gore! and kerry! - thanks! but no thanks!
+28 # jsluka 2018-12-04 18:26
This will happen. Clinton will be the Democratic Party candidate again, and she will lose again. And we will all suffer for it. Are there really people who still believe that the current Democratic Party leadership is at all 'progressive' and not neoliberal and pro-corporate? I despair.
+15 # Moxa 2018-12-04 21:51
I think she will not become the nominee. People clung to her in 2016 because she seemed to be anointed and invincible. Now that that theory is blown, she can no longer benefit from the illusion. There was never much real enthusiasm for her campaign, and I think that that will become really clear, really fast this time around.
+12 # IAMMe 2018-12-05 10:31
Quoting jsluka:
This will happen. Clinton will be the Democratic Party candidate again, and she will lose again. And we will all suffer for it. Are there really people who still believe that the current Democratic Party leadership is at all 'progressive' and not neoliberal and pro-corporate? I despair.

I do not agree that it is a given. I think Dems have seen a new day after the Bernie movement. Most of us have hope again and that has given many of those who run, balls again.
+37 # margpark 2018-12-04 18:49
Hillary Clinton simply has too much baggage to win an election. Doesn't matter whether she deserves the baggage or not. I have always hoped she would not be the Democratic candidate for President but I did think she could beat Trump. She didn't.
+4 # DongiC 2018-12-05 19:38
Actually, she did. She got more popular votes and Trump, apparently, had help from his Russian friends and, most assuredly, Comey's reopening of the e-mail controversy cost her momentum at a very critical time. But, I hope she is done. The times have slipped by and we need a progressive, active candidate willing to fight for the environment, for the health of all our citizens, for education and for the infrastructure.

Move on, Hillary, time to let others fight the political battles. Your day is over. Rest in your retirement.
+36 # jwb110 2018-12-04 19:26
If they run Hillary, and this doesn't matter whether I like her or not, she will be the wrong candidate once again. I grew older in the Clinton era and she did not resonate with me. By 2020, there is a whole new generation of voters for who Sanders was the resonant candidate. If the Democrats shoot themselves in the foot yet again then it is time for a third party that will gut the Democrats.
Bill and Hilary spent too much time in Davos with the likes of Cheney and the rest of the Republican Cadre and left out greater America in their plan. Obama was at best a Moderate Republican who managed to hold the country together for a given amount of time while he gave the Republicans in Congress everything they ask for and they still blamed him for anything and everything and treated him like the n*^##*r that they thought of him as. This is the sort of social engineering that sets nations up for Marxists Revolutions and short of killing an entire nation, the Marxist might very well win. Then nobody wins.
+42 # Jim Rocket 2018-12-04 19:35
Holy moly! If Hillary runs again she's crazier than Trump.
-13 # mblockhart 2018-12-04 19:38
Solomon's recipe is scant a few facts and full of typical emotional buzzwords. So, the Clinton's are responsible for the Republican misbehavior? Nonsense.
+19 # elizabethblock 2018-12-04 21:33
The Clintons are responsible for a good deal of Democratic misbehaviour. They are also partly responsible for Trump's victory. They, and their supporters, thought they could just appeal to the "creative class" and dump the working class and the unions. They'd have to vote Democratic anyway. Where could they go? Well, they found somewhere to go.
0 # moreover 2018-12-04 19:48
Depressing. I heard John Kerry speak recently and admit he's an admirable politician - but he's been swiftboated once and still thinks he'll have a shot? Maybe those legions of Dem candidates want to initially run to invigorate many sectors of people who would vote Democrat and then yield to a front runner?
+10 # economagic 2018-12-04 19:56
Yes, where do I click to "LIKE" the entire article? Much more cogent than one Solomon wrote just a week or so ago.
-13 # sriskin 2018-12-04 21:00
Hillary did not lose to Trump; Hillary got 3 million more votes. The Russian interference, the Comey intervention, the Russian backed 'Green' Stein, the tech targeting done by Cambridge Analytica with population data Wikeleaks stole from the DNC, the super self victimization of the Bernie Bros when Schultz slightly tainted the supposed 'equalities' between Democratic factions, Facebook teaching Putin how to misuse that unethical and naive system, etc., etc... that's what 'lost' that election. This left wing infantilism is so destructive. If Hillary did not 'do speeches' she'd be doing a kind of empty naive 'purity'. Those speeches were anodyne cat-lap; the money is just the way that nonsense works. If she hadn't she'd be called hopelessly naive. Here we go again, with a bunch of new agents provocateurs. God save us every one. The progress you want takes step by step politics, not slogans and marches and banners. 95% of government is run through the agencies; besides, the court and the legal system is irredeemably corrupt. Hillary may be the only person who, knowing how to work the agencies, be able to bring this nation toward the realizable socialism that can reasonably attained: health care, education, voting rights, etc...
-6 # HenryS1 2018-12-04 21:21
Hilary could be a good manager in the White House. I doubt she can get there. She isn't perfect, and the Right has succeeded in raking muck on top of her so long that she is crippled in public perception. What she has is a LOT of influence within the Democratic party, and that may indeed be enough to get her to the nomination again.

The prospect is depressing but far less than reality under Trump. I just wish that the Democrats had a better candidate that they could run. I would prefer Warren or Sanders, but I'm not sure they could be nominated or win.
+15 # Moxa 2018-12-05 16:12
I will say this for about the millionth time. It is Hillary that has little chance of beating Trump. And Bernie who has the best chance. Among other things, compare their approval ratings:

Trump: 41.4%
Hillary: 36%
Sanders: 53%

Who do you think can beat Trump? Don't listen to the corporate (mainstream) media. They will try to convince you Bernie is yesterday's news. In the last election they tried to tell you he was no news at all. He is the one politician who actually can beat Trump. You are right about gaining the nomination, though. How many people will not vote for Sanders in the primary because they have been brainwashed into thinking he can't win in the general? So much rubbish!
+16 # neis 2018-12-04 21:43
Not too long ago, there were gloaters, mostly Dems talking with glee about the Republican Party self-destructing.
Well, not to be outdone, if the Dems choose her in 2020, it most certainly will destroy the Party. The Progressive wing will finally have suffered the proverbial straw that will get them to see they have no future "in" the Party, and so will have to leave and form their own wing, whatever that may be. Too many are getting too pissed to go through this crap again and again.
--Charlie Brown--
+10 # Salus Populi 2018-12-04 21:44
If they do nominate her in 2020, and then demand that we all support her as the lesser of two evils, as the "only alternative" to four more years of Trumpist pseudo-fascism, the Democrats, or at least the Shumers and Pelosis and the like, will deserve to lose so badly that the Democrats will become, as the Republicans looked to at the end of the Bush era, a rump party. The Republican Party rose in the 1850s on the ashes of the Whigs and the Know-Nothings. It will be time for a new party to rise on the stinking garbage heap of Clintonocracy.
+15 # 47scooter 2018-12-04 21:45
Wow - Solomon NAILED the banksters and bailouts that both Clinton and Obama facilitated. Hillary's campaign manager - John Podesta - was one of President Bill's three senior advisers who pushed for repeal of Glass-Steagall. . giving Bill three days to decide - classic scam technique.

Am reminded of Nomiki Konst at the DNC "unity" reform commission on how the DNC spent over a billion dollars and managed to squander between $600 and $800 million on FIVE consultants while state Democratic Parties were not being funded. Here's a link to her speaking (C-SPAN, 4:27 minutes)

Is it too late to petition the League of Women Voters to once again sponsor the Presidential Debates? They pulled out in 1988 and issued a press release condemning the demands of the major candidates' campaigns, saying that the debate format would "perpetrate a fraud on the American voter" and that the organization did not intend to "become an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public."
+18 # dotlady 2018-12-04 22:32
Good lord, Hillary, no, Please spare us and spare yourself. We can't become a nation of retreads and rehashers. Another election with Trump and Hillary would deaden the soul forever. For that matter, we need a new version of Bernie, despite the fantastic consciousness-r aising he has done. Is there no such thing as moving to a new vision?
+11 # PABLO DIABLO 2018-12-04 22:57
So sad, an Empire in decline.
-11 # BKnowswhitt 2018-12-05 02:28
Bill Clinton did a great job .. you have to view what he was up against .. and he had a good economy .. she tried to fix healthcare .. they have both been demonized right and here by the LEFT .. she is not Bill .. he is brilliant and could explain things to everyone .. he was big doing the same for Obama second term .. Obama was not good at it .. but Hillary running again .. i seriously doubt it ...
+2 # lorenbliss 2018-12-05 03:26
What this means -- and anyone who thinks otherwise is either clinically deluded or a fool -- is that there is no longer ANY possibility of rescuing the United States from Neoliberal tyranny.

The Clintons' criminal billions will buy her the Democratic (sic) nomination, then the Hillary-uber-al les white bourgeois feminists will flock to the polls and vote her into office, precisely as commanded by their identity-politi cs fuehrer.

All the true progressives will either stay home or cast meaningless protest votes. Soon afterward, when Goldwater Girl Hillary -- who intends to be the first-ever conqueror of Russia -- starts World War III, our species will be rendered extinct and our Mother Earth reduced to a bug planet

Though I was among the first to point out the indications of Hillary's 2020 candidacy, I nevertheless fervently hoped I had read the evidence incorrectly.

I had therefore also hoped, until now, we might yet save our species and our planet.

But now – because the U.S. is far too cowardly for revolution – there is absolutely no hope at all. We are all truly doomed. End of story.
+11 # mashiguo 2018-12-05 09:48
So -

1)The Democrat party has argued in open court that it doesn't need to pay attention to the voters, it can choose its candidates in a smoke filled room if it wants to.

2) Superdelegates are still in place so long as no candidate gains a majority on the first round of delegate voting.

3) The first round can be deadlocked easily by running enough candidates in the primaries to split the vote and ensure a second round.

Hillary has no purpose to be alive except to see herself elected as the first female president. She doesn't care how she gets the position. She is universally loathed. She doesn't care. She will lie cheat and steal (and maybe even murder if you believe some of the stories) in order to get there. She cannot be embarrassed or humiliated. She will just continue playing "whack-a-pol". Political philosophy, as exhibited in this article, is true but irrelevant.

If she is not aggressively defeated now, she will be the nominee again.

If Trump doesn't run again and wipe the floor with her again, President Nikki Haley will trump her on all counts: Female, More Hawkish, More culturally Diverse.

The farther the democrat party is allowed to drift to the right, the more outrageous Republican candidates will become.

Hillary must be defeated now.
+14 # Dale 2018-12-05 10:04
The Lesser Evil or the Evil of Two Lessors
When one votes the lesser of two evils Evil is the only winner. This is especially so when the evil is of two lessors.
In 2008 it did not seem such a choice. The downtrodden and decent folk clamored for real change. An end to Bush’s war. Stop the war on the poor, an end to cuts to social programs. The new President was awarded a Peace Prize that came with a vague hope and no price. Henry Kissenger the only precedent. Yet monies for the social good went to drones and missiles.

So in 2016 what did the corporate Dem Establishment do, nominated a war monger, favorite of Goldman Sachs, Killary Flintlock to run for Pres!
+6 # 2018-12-05 10:51
It's tempting to dismiss another Hillary Clinton candidacy as pure lunacy, but lets not under-estimate the money and power of the Democratic establishment. If she runs for the nomination again,she will be formidable. It will be divisive in the worst way. In all likelihood her campaign and the DNC will again blatantly collude with the corporate media to limit televised debates and exposure to other candidates. They will once again attempt to ridicule and smear Sanders and/or other progressive candidates who pose a threat to their rule. The only difference from 2016 will be that Sanders (if he runs) begins the race with better name recognition and a ready-made fundraising machine. That's significant, but we'll still have to overcome the voter suppression, the denial of open primaries that allow independents to vote, the blatant corruption and under-counting we witnessed in New York and California in 2016. Our only hope is for progressives to unite firmly behind one strong candidate, as early as possible, so we don't split the vote, providing Clinton with a plurality leading to a brokered convention that will once again allow super-delegates to determine the winner on the second ballot. At this point it's hard to envision anyone other than Bernie Sanders who could fulfill that role. But, regardless, we can't stay divided too far into the process or we'll end up with Hillary Clinton opposing Trump, again. How did that work out for us last time?
+13 # Citizen Mike 2018-12-05 11:36
She is yesterday's candidate and she represents the Republicanish wing of the Democratic party which is now being rejected by voters. Time for her to step aside for new fresh candidates who have a genuinely liberal agenda.
+9 # dawill4 2018-12-05 12:38
Couldn't agree more. We all need to be cognizant that Corporatists still run the party and are already cornering the newly elected Progressive house members and whipping them into line. If they succeed I fear the activism will give up (which is EXACTLY what they want) and our country will only fall more.
The worst thing that ever happened to this country wasn't Republicans it was the sell out of the Democrat party by money grubbing Boomers like the Clinton's. (I'm a Boomer so I've seen it from the 70's). The foot hold that big money and corporations got in the party and the following 30yrs of brainwashing that ensued put us where we are now.
We have to keep the pressure on newly elected Progressives to not cave. We have to fight the press and idiot pundits too who keep spreading the brainwashing that if we are not Corporatists like the accepted norm of the last 30+ years we are somehow not center. We are too far on the fringe and to be feared when it's really the exact opposite we are the center like we were for most of the 20th century until the likes of the Clinton's came along and sold us out for greed.
-1 # sriskin 2018-12-05 12:53
Completely unfounded, Russian bot, expense of spirit in a waste of shame, misogynistic, masturbatory, grow a spine vote for Stein, hatred of Hillary - First time brought us Trump; Second time it belongs in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
+8 # bdeja 2018-12-05 13:02
This would be so wrong of her. She would be putting herself ahead of the Country. We need to move forward, and fast. She is about a Democratic Party that is resistant to true change. She is about maintaining the establishment. She is about a carnivorous form of capitalism that needs to be vanquished by truly Progressive visions and policies. We need to be fully pledged to the environment as we have no time to f_ck around. Her candidacy will continue to break the Party.
-6 # DongiC 2018-12-06 05:01
Hillary: I think you should be president. I think your plurality margin demonstrated what the majority of voters thought about you and that cheating, insensitive, bullying, narcissistic cretin who now occupies the White House. I don't think you would have caused World War III and I admire you for trying to bring health reform to everyone back in the early nineties.

But, I question the status of your health. I saw how the secret service tried to block your collapse from the view of tv cameras at that 9/11 site in NYC. I noticed how you failed to campaign in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania at the very end even though rumor has it that your husband strongly recommended that you go to those critical states.

You have served your country well. Serve it even better by staying on the sidelines refusing to split the Democratic Party. I think the whole earth will be grateful because only a Green New Deal can save us now.
The Republicans only offer death and destruction in their mad drive for money and power. We Democrats are infinitely better than that. United, we can not fail to win.
0 # McGeorge Govern 2018-12-06 19:12
I fear Dems love affair with the super-spook Mueller will not end well. The 90s GOP hitched their wagon to the spooky Ken Starr. Clinton was reelected but in today's jaded form that only an oligarch could love. Mueller could do the same for Trump-- but along the way poison US-Russian relations for a generation. A war-like policy only an oligarch could love.
0 # Caliban 2018-12-07 16:12
The above is always a possibility, #McGeorge Govern, but my instincts suggest that Mueller enjoys considerably more respect both in the political community and with the public at large than Ken Starr ever did in his day.

I hope my own political preferences are not leading me astray on this matter.
+2 # NAVYVET 2018-12-07 21:15
God forbid that she should run again even for Dogcatcher! She's never succeeded at anything in public service.

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