Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Clinton and the 2016 Election Redux

Clearly former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton hasn't gotten over losing the election to Donald Trump. There's nothing wrong with that I guess. I'd be pretty freaking upset as well if I lost something I had been lusting after the better part of two decades to someone who apparently capriciously decided he wanted it after a dressing down at a dinner. That loss would burn any of us. Despite what her detractors might say Clinton is all too human, just like everyone else. No the worry for Democrats ought to be that the next Democratic Presidential candidate, whoever that might be, will spend too much time inhaling Clinton's sense of entitlement and grievance, and not enough time recognizing that people outside of the coastal areas, even white ones, get to cast their votes along with the rest of the nation. 

And no matter what you might see on MSNBC the Electoral College wasn't a Trump conspiracy cooked up just in time for the 2016 election. Clinton gives lip service to the idea that she could and should have done some things differently but what obviously still grinds her gears is alleged Russian influence in DNC hacking and the resulting investigation of her private server by FBI director James Comey.

Hillary Clinton delivered her most forceful critique of President Donald Trump's 2016 victory on Tuesday, taking personal responsibility for her failed campaign but also pointed to the timing of a letter from FBI Director James Comey and Russian interference as factors.
"If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president," she told CNN's Christiane Amanpour at a Women for Women International event in New York.

"I take absolute personal responsibility. I was the candidate, I was the person who was on the ballot. I am very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had," Clinton said, before adding that she 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." 

Clinton, who is currently writing a book that partly reflects on her 2016 loss, added, "The reason I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days."
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Well, woulda, coulda, shoulda. If my aunt were a man she'd be my uncle. It's important to point out that right up until election night almost NONE of the likely voter polls had Trump winning. None. Everyone thought that even with the Podesta emails and the DNC hacking and the Wikileaks releases and the Comey announcements that Clinton would still win the election.Trump was that bad of a candidate, according to the polls.  People laughed at those who predicted a Trump victory. Even Trump thought he'd lose the election. My point is that the polls were wrong. And when Clinton says that she would have won had the election been on October 27th, I can only imagine Baby Jane peevishly telling Clinton that the election was on November 8th, not October 27th. Despite what Clinton says now it's possible that the polls would have been wrong on October 27th just like they were wrong on November 8th. 

Clinton is just not a particularly likable candidate. In fact she was historically unlikable. Well her time is over. The Democratic Party should let her fade into the background. Or maybe she might need to be shoved into the background. Either way she's done. To quote Oliver Cromwell : You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go! 

What the Democratic Party does need to do now is review the Clinton candidacy to understand why any Democrat in her right mind ever thought it was a good idea to ignore Michigan or Wisconsin. The Democratic Party needs to find out why, above all else, voters who supported Obama switched over to vote for Trump. Those voter choices are the primary reason Clinton lost.

Many Democrats have a shorthand explanation for Clinton’s defeat: Her base didn’t turn out, Donald Trump’s did and the difference was too much to overcome. But new information shows that Clinton had a much bigger problem with voters who had supported President Barack Obama in 2012 but backed Trump four years later.

Those Obama-Trump voters, in fact, effectively accounted for more than two-thirds of the reason Clinton lost, according to Matt Canter, a senior vice president of the Democratic political firm Global Strategy Group. In his group’s analysis, about 70 percent of Clinton’s failure to reach Obama’s vote total in 2012 was because she lost these voters.

“We have to make sure we learn the right lesson from 2016, that we don’t just draw the lesson that makes us feel good at night, make us sleep well at night,” Canter said. His firm’s conclusion is shared broadly by other Democrats who have examined the data, including senior members of Clinton’s campaign and officials at the Democratic data and analytics firm Catalist. (The New York Times, doing its own analysis, reached a similar conclusion.)


None of this means that racism or sexism or misogyny or homophobia or the hot new "ist" of the day never plays a part. Those things always do. But it does suggest that the Democratic party, which has been getting slaughtered across the nation, needs to reconnect with voters and do so without insulting them as backwards or deplorable or resentful,even when they are. Or they could just keep losing elections. The choice is theirs. 
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