Clinton never did articulate much of a reason why she wanted to be president

September 10, 2017

Don't know, probably not, but it's fun to wonder if Hillary Clinton will come by Browseabout Books to tout her latest: "What Happened."

Mrs. Clinton must be the only woman or man in North America who doesn't know what happened. Note that her title isn't a question.

Rather, it is her rationale for why she lost the 2016 presidential election despite monstrous odds and nearly unanimous belief that she would win easily. Probably a landslide. She might win 40 states and 400 electoral votes. Right?

Actually, Mrs. Clinton is not the only person in North America - see above. Mo Elleithee of Georgetown University's Institute on Politics and Public Service indicated on Fox News Sunday that he doesn't understand, either. He opined that since Mrs. Clinton only lost Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin by 70,000 votes, that the Russia interference, Jim Comey's actions and Donald Trump's stalking her might have made all the difference.

That's kind of what Mrs. Clinton thinks, too. So if you're a Republican or a Trump voter, you have to hope that most Democrats agree because it means they will be re-litigating the past rather than moving forward.

It's easy to disagree with then-FBI Director James Comey's decisions about conducting the criminal investigation into Mrs. Clinton's email. Or even his usurpation of Attorney General Loretta Lynch's responsibility and authority for deciding whether to prosecute. But it's unclear at best that this influenced many voters.

Further, it's clear that the Russians worked hard to influence the election. As it turns out, it was a mistake on Vladimir Putin's part, but he apparently believed he'd be better off with Trump than Mrs. Clinton. But it's hard to believe that many Americans would take the advice of the Russians or buy much of the disinformation they put out on blogs or the internet.

Then there's the stalking and the debates. Mrs. Clinton says, in her book, that she was creeped out by Trump stalking her across the stage. But if you looked at the photo from a different angle than straight-on, you see that he is really five or six feet behind her, not exactly breathing down her neck as she asserts. A zoom lens on a TV camera tends to compress the view and make the two look much closer together than they actually were.

Perhaps this is her repeat of what happened when she ran for the U.S. Senate in 2000, when she recoiled when her Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Rick Lasio, R-N.Y., tried to hand her a piece of paper during a debate. Recoiled as if he were about to hit her. Now that's really likely, right?

But back to the real point here. Mrs. Clinton and more Democrats than you'd expect don't seem to get it. Mrs. Clinton lost not because of the Russians or Jim Comey or any one of the three debates. She lost because she was a bad candidate.

For starters, she never did articulate much of a reason why she wanted to be president, other than she and her husband thought it was her turn. She was so sure she would be elected this time that her campaign hired the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan for the victory party and bought fireworks to shoot off over the Hudson River that night.

The Clintons also bought the house next door to their place in Chappaqua, N.Y. for the White House staff to stay when she was in residence there.

Normally, on election night when it becomes clear who has won and who has lost, the loser comes out and thanks his/her supporters and wishes the winner well. Not Mrs. Clinton. She sent her campaign chairman, John Podesta, out to say there would be nothing further tonight.

This, of course, after it was clear Trump had won Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and was on the way to winning Michigan. Doubtless, a lot of progressives will want to read this book. And they should. A lot of other people will read "Shattered" by Jonathan Allen. Either way, many progressives still can't get their head around the idea that Donald J. Trump actually won the presidential election, and Mrs. Clinton lost.

She lost, and the Democrats have lost thousands of elected seats, because they have lost touch with the working class in middle America. The Clinton campaign couldn't even bear to take the advice of none other than Bill Clinton himself when he urged her to campaign in Wisconsin and Michigan.

No need, her staff said. The "blue wall" was solid, they said. No way Wisconsin, Michigan or Pennsylvania would ever vote Republican.

Right? The metrics, which proved so wrong so many places, told them not to worry. So they didn't.

Reid Beveridge has covered politics in Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Delaware and Washington, D.C. He is now retired at Broadkill



  • Accomplished writers appear in the Politics column every Tuesday on a rotating basis to explore the dynamic world of politics at the local, county, state, national and world levels.

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