Earlier this week, Hillary Clinton was spotted alone at breakfast in upstate New York, clutching her phone with two hands and gazing at its screen. Within minutes of the photo being tweeted, every armchair psychologist in the country had figured out how she was feeling (forlorn, obviously). After all, anyone who’s seen a friend go through a bad breakup knows the look well.
It’s not just Clinton. America’s jilted candidates have resorted to any number of coping mechanisms after being rejected by their greatest love: America. And thanks to social media users who make it impossible for these former candidates to hide, we know what those coping mechanisms are. Here’s how other losing presidential contenders have muddled through the worst breakup of their lives.
1. Retreating to the woods
In addition to bathing in the blue light of her cellphone screen, Hillary has soothed her spirit through a more wholesome, time-honored practice: a nice walk in the woods. What better way to forget recent disappointments than hiking alongside eager picture-posting fans and a husband who happened to occupy the very position you were spurned for?
2. Growing a beard
Al Gore wisely went clean-shaven while campaigning in 2000—the U.S. hasn’t elected a bearded president for over a century. (Some suspect it’s because our nation’s greatest enemies all sport facial hair, so it’s a look we associate with scoundrels.) But after a few hanging chads put a stake in his heart, Gore went full Rumspringa: He ran off on a six-week Euro trip and grew a beard.
3. Making a big show of how much more fun you’re having now
The day he handed the presidency over to Bill Clinton in 1993, George H.W. Bush showed up at his home in Houston like a walking Cher gif. The only thing missing was a glass of white wine for him to lean over while confiding, “Getting out was the best thing that could’ve happened to me.”
4. Retail therapy
Following his loss in the 2016 Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders embraced a decidedly capitalist method of dulling the pain: Shopping at Costco.
5. More retail therapy
In 2012, Mitt Romney also headed to the bulk-goods mothership, sporting the tried-and-true (hangover) recovery combo of a hat and sunglasses. He filled his cart with V8, bottled water, and a new puffer jacket like he was stockpiling for the apocalypse. Which is evidently how he viewed his loss to Barack Obama, since his post-election malaise also saw him…
6. Going on solo drives
Romney, If the face doesn’t tell you he’s hurting, the hair sure does.
7. Indulging in guilty pleasures
A trip to Disneyland? Date night to go see Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2? Romney is a man who clearly understands self-care. Still, he had a little healing left to do, which brings us to…
8. Eating the pain away
Romney headed to McDonald’s for a McFlurry just hours after he visited Obama in the White House on November 29. The day after that, he stopped for a slice in Salt Lake City. In transit between the two, he got to mellow out the best way he knew how…
9. Taking to the skies
Yes, Romney usually flies coach.
10. NOT wandering the streets
Let’s make one thing clear. Jeb Bush is a complete stranger to the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Jeb Bush doesn’t roam the streets of Boston from dusk to dawn, shrouding himself in the dark night and wallowing in utter solitude. Jeb Bush is just a man getting from point A to point B. Nothing to see here.
11. Spending time in the great outdoors
Nothing puts a loss in perspective like a long walk on the beach in crisp new resort-wear. Walter Mondale retreated to the familial embrace (and the Virgin Islands) after Ronald Reagan bested him in 1984, and he’s never been happier.
12. Stockholm syndrome a.k.a. “Let’s stay friends”
Ted Cruz headed straight into the arms of the ones who hurt him, phone-banking for Donald Trump after losing to him in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. But we all know what “Let’s stay friends” turns into after a few drinks.
13. Pursuing new hobbies
George Bush and the presidency parted amicably—sort of—but he still used his newfound freedom to reinvent himself. His new chapter showed he was more than capable of, ahem, self-reflection.