It's difficult to imagine what could have been, had the 2016 presidential election gone in favor of Hillary Clinton. But I can't think of anyone better equipped to artfully imagine that world than Samantha Bee. At the Women in the World Summit on Thursday, Bee introduced Clinton by likening her to Hermione Granger, according to Huffington Post. That comparison feels pretty apt, doesn't it? In the words of Bee,
It might be nice to imagine an alternate timeline exists where Clinton secured the presidency and was able to return to the White House to fight the evils of the world and right the wrongs in our lives. Like a good Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, she could have simultaneously protected us, guided us, and maybe imparted some invaluable wisdom on us. Plus, if Bee's metaphor held up, that would make Clinton Hermione Granger, and who doesn't want that to happen?
While Bee's opening remarks were characteristically effusive of Clinton, she really the nail on the head with this Harry Potter comparison. In a way, Clinton may be the closest thing to Hermione Granger that we can get in real life — smart, capable, kind, and, above all else, ready to defend the well-being of others. The parallels between the two women are strong, and with Bee connecting the dots, they're also good for a bit of comic relief.
"I'm only going to say this once," Bee continued, addressing Clinton, "but you deserve to hear it 100 times: It should've been you. Yes, you would have made mistakes and you would have been attacked for doing things that now seem so inconsequential ... I thought, and feared, that you being elected would unleash a wave of misogyny in the U.S., but we've seen that that happened anyway."
Bee's comments paint a picture of a world that could have been emulated (that's the Harry Potter world), the world that should have been (that's Clinton clinching the presidency), and the world that actually came to be (the election preventing the first two things from happening). I imagine that Bee didn't mean to make people sadder with her opening remarks, but it certainly feels a little melancholy at least, to see Clinton and know we cannot call her "Madam President."
On the other hand, in a totally Hermione move, Clinton is still out in these streets, fighting for the people. Simply appearing at the Women in the World Summit is a big win. It's good to know that she is staying a public figure, that she is speaking out when she can, and that she continues to do the work she loves. Hell, Clinton is speaking up for women right now, proving that she's the feminist hero we need.
Of course, it's always nice to imagine what could have been, but between having Clinton appear as a non-president at various events and not having her around at all, I'll take the first option any day of the week