We are still waiting for a serious post-election interview of Clinton. Amanpour did not ask about any of the scandals that plagued Clinton or the fact that she was one of the least popular politicians in the country or that she magnified these problems by refusing to turn over her Wall Street speeches. She also did not ask why Clinton remained so close in the polls against someone so polarizing as Trump. Finally, when Clinton refers to her controversies as causing the loss, she is never asked about the fact that Trump faced endless such controversies at the same time but still prevailed against her. Trump faced unrelentingly bad press and, in comparison, Clinton had overwhelmingly positive (and at times openly supportive) coverage. Yet Trump prevailed against her. As David Axelrod said this week, “it took a lot of work to lose to Donald Trump.”
We are still waiting for that interview.
Clinton insisted that
“I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off. The evidence for that intervening event is, I think, compelling, persuasive, and so we overcame a lot in the campaign.”
She also added again that she lost in part because she is a women and said “Yes, I do think [misogyny] played a role. I think other things did as well. Every day that goes by, we find out more about the unprecedented inference, including from a foreign power whose leader is not a member of my fan club.” There is a remarkable degree of contempt for female voters in this claim that misogyny had to be in play for any woman to vote against Clinton. It is a bizarre notion that women have to vote for a woman or they are self-hating women. It sounds a bit too much like “they couldn’t hate me so they must hate themselves.”
A recent poll showed that, despite Trump being the least popular modern president at this point in his Administration, he would still beat Clinton
. Clinton still remains radioactive with many voters. Before the establishment all but anointed Clinton as their candidate in the primary, polls clearly showed that the voters did not want an establishment figure so the DNC worked to guarantee the nomination to the ultimate establishment figure. However, it clearly goes deeper than that. Even against one of the most unpopular figures in history (Trump was even worse at 63 percent unfavorability), Clinton struggled even to maintain a majority of women with favorability ratings. I believe that voters are willing to elect a woman and I do not believe that the last election was decided by self-hating women. There was ample reason to vote against Clinton who was not just the ultimate establishment figure but was dragging a long chain of controversies (as well as polls showing that voters heavily viewed her as dishonest).
The New York Times study
found that Trump won by “persuasion” and not turn out. In other words, they rejected Clinton as a candidate as they did when she ran against Obama. It came down to the candidates: “The voter file data makes it impossible to avoid this conclusion. It’s not just that the electorate looks far too Democratic. In many cases, turnout cannot explain Mrs. Clinton’s losses.”
In these speeches, Clinton is rarely asked about her refusal to turn over her Wall Street speeches or her massive speaking fees from corporate and banking interests or support for virtually every war that came around. Clinton remained so unpopular that she faced a serious challenge from an elderly Socialist. She was widely viewed as inauthentic and evasive. In the general election against one of the most unpopular figures in U.S. political history, she was not trusted by many voters, including many women. The new spin is that these women are just self-haters lacking self-esteem rather than the obvious problems with the candidate virtually anointed by the establishment as the Democratic nominee.
Democratic insiders recognized the danger in the loss to Trump immediately. After many people ridiculed the selection of Clinton as perhaps the worst possible candidate for this election cycle, they engineered an election tailor-made for Trump. Many concluded that Clinton was the most likely candidate to lose to Trump, including some saying that she was the only major candidate who would lose that fight for voters. With the rising unpopularity of Trump, that creates both an opportunity and a liability for Democrats. Some voters may not just blame Trump but blame the Democratic establishment for bringing him to power with their blind support for Clinton as the nominee.
What was particularly notable in the most recent interview was Clinton’s parting words on her plans for the future: “I’m now back to being an activist citizen and part of the resistance.” For someone who is widely viewed as the ultimate establishment candidate, it may take a great deal more to persuade people that she is back to being an activist, let alone “part of the resistance.” Indeed, the resistance fighters might want a showing of “bona fides” like the release of those Wall Street speeches to confirm that Clinton was not saying one thing to the public and an entirely different thing to Wall Street influence seekers.
The New York Times study counters the concerted effort of Democratic insiders to create a new narrative for the election where Clinton and Democratic leaders are not the cause for the loss. It was the failure of voters to turn out or Comey or Putin. They continue to point to the emails even though the content was not altered. In essence, they are complaining about the public reading the conflicting comments made by Democratic aides and leaders, including the DNC working behind the scenes for Clinton against Sanders. That point was made in response to Clinton by Julian Assange this week
. There is no acknowledgment that the emails (which clearly misappropriated) revealed troubling levels of duplicity and dishonesty. They magnified the huge problem that Clinton already had with polls showing that voters viewed her as dishonest.
Again the plain fact is that, at a time when voters showed that they were fed up with the Washington establishment, the Democratic leadership ignored every poll to push through Clinton. They still have not come to grips with that decision or the control of the party by the Clintons. The current spin effort by Clinton and her allies in both the media and politics represents a serious obstacle to reforming the party and presenting a stronger challenge in two and four years.
What do you think?