a term coined after the 19th century ne'er-do-well political figure known for making compromises that made things worse and running for president and losing. four times. in a modern context, this term is used to express a degree of extreme failure, especially pertaining to schoolwork.
that test was so hard, i think i just pulled a henry clay.
the essay i just wrote lost more elections than henry clay.
she studied for hours only to get an f on her APUSH test. what a henry clay.
good luck with that president thing, henry clay.