During the 2016 presidential campaign Hillary Clinton told us what a Trump presidency would look like. People who had the insight to look beyond the fact that Hillary is a woman and that people in the USA might not be sophisticated enough to elect a woman to lead our government, also saw what a Trump presidency would look like. Some people to this day still say Hillary lost the election because she was a terrible candidate. Well, maybe she lost the election because WE are a terrible electorate.
WE made a big deal about Hillary using a private server to conduct some, not all, official State Department business, rather than using the government’s server. Not one bit of nefarious intention was ever found or even suggested as to why she used a private server, other than convenience and at worst to keep her private life from being publicized. The email scandal and the FBI investigation around it was probably more detrimental to Hillary campaign than even the Russian misinformation campaign. After all, Republicans had done the same thing the Russians did for over two decades. Even among those who thought Hillary’s use of a private server could have compromised national security should be more concerned about Trump revealing sources and methods of intelligence gathering with his recent tweet of the Iranian missile site. Yes, Trump as president has the authority to declassify information, but doing because of his ignorance reveals how dangerous he is as a president, and this man has access to our nuclear codes.
In addition to the USA electorate being misogynistic , there is always the matter of a large segment of our electorate being racist and bigoted. However, although these character traits of the electorate effected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, probably the most detrimental thing was that a very large segment of eligible voters thought that Hillary was going to win anyway, so they had the option of a protest vote for Jill Stein or not voting at all. Maybe the greatest thing the Trump presidency did for our democracy is to make Americans aware of the fact that if they don’t participate in the democracy, we could end up with a government like the one we have today.
In an interview Joy Reid did of Hillary Clinton when she released “What Happened”, Hillary talks about some of the things she warned us of with a Trump presidency as well things we as a society are challenged by related to our collective character.
To those who legitimately voted for Trump because they thought he would help them financially, they might recall that Hillary promised people in Kentucky that she would put coal miners out of business, AND replace it with green jobs. Kentuckians were offended by Hillary’s vision of a new economy for Kentucky. I wonder how that is working out for Mitch McConnell’s and Donald Trump’s supporters in Kentucky?
Although the number of Americans employed in the coal industry nationwide has remained relatively steady since Trump took office, analysts say the industry faces a rocky future as energy suppliers continue to shift toward renewable sources and relatively low-cost natural gas. Annual U.S. coal production is expected to drop from 711 million tons to less than 600 million tons during the next five years, said Gregory Marmon, a principal coal analyst at global consulting firm Wood Mackenzie.
TOCB – Well said indeed. I hope we have learned our lesson and will turn out and vote in the largest numbers ever. We didn’t listen to HRC, but now we must listen to our minds and our hearts.
I would think that nearly all sentient human beings (which excludes the lizard-brained Trump cultists) wish intensely that Hillary Clinton had become president instead of Trump.
Also, I don’t think it’s ideal for Democrats to be in conflict over the issue of support for Hillary at a time when all Democrats should be working for unity in 2019 and getting behind the current candidates to defeat Trump in 2020.
As you point out, in light of Trump’s actual betrayal of top secret information to Russia, Israel and the rest of the world, the hysterical and cynical attacks on Hillary during the 2016 election over her email server have clearly proven to be the dishonest political ploy that they were.
I have heard the sentiment that Hillary warned us about Trump and I do find it a little off putting because it infers that we didn’t have the same awareness about Trump at the time and needed to be told these things. I fully agreed with her portrayals back then of the madness a Trump presidency represented though I think most voters worried on their own about many of the same threats that Trump represented. Many articles and comments were written here at PlanetPOV and of course all over the internet, warning about the dangers Trump could (and has) caused and how imperative it was to elect Hillary instead.
So yes, she was right, as were many of the plurality of Americans who opposed Trump and voted for Hillary.
At the same time, I do think that rationalizing away any politician’s poor decisions, because it was our candidate, isn’t respecting what really happened.
I do think it was a poor decision by Hillary to have setup and used a private email server for government-related emails…even though it never compromised U.S. security.
Without making that decision, which was not respecting the rules of preserving communications, Hillary would have been president. Because it was ethically improper, she handed her adversaries a molehill to build into a mountain. So it is hard to see how that was not a poor decision for multiple reasons.
I was upset when it became public knowledge that Dick Cheney, as VP, had used private emails to conduct government business, including his secret dealings with the heads of energy companies. All to prevent transparency and the public from knowing what he was doing.
So as a principle, I think that public officials using private emails (as Trump, Don Jr., Ivanka and Jared are doing right now) is wrong. So I can’t see that Hillary’s doing so can be rationalized away because it didn’t end up compromising U.S. intelligence. No public official should do it whether or not they are later hacked, the potential compromise of security and evasion of transparency just shouldn’t happen in the first place.
I also don’t think it’s fair to deem the entire USA electorate as misogynist. Hillary did get the most votes, that would seem to me to prove that most voters were fine with a woman as president.
As for the Kentucky coal miners, the struggling midwest farmers, the fired factory workers and the 99% of Americans who have paid out more of their income thanks to Trump’s tariffs than the minimal savings the Taxcut for the Wealthy provided, most Trump voters should realize that his con man act was just that. And that they would have prospered so much more under Hillary and an expansion of green jobs to employ coal workers and others.
Unfortunately, as I have said often, you can’t reason people out of a choice they didn’t use reason to make. Many of these Trump voters whose lives are being damaged by him, rationalize away his responsibility for the harm to them, they NEED to believe he is their “chosen one” because they feel such validation in his hating the people they hate.
The email scandal and investigation was a farce. There was no law against using a private server. It was only a policy. In fact, the sever Hilary used, was the same one her former president husband used. Hillary, like every other employed of the federal government had the authority to destroy personal emails, and she turned over emails that she and her attorneys deemed as pertaining to government business.
If using a private server was such a bad thing, others who had done the same thing would have gone through the same thing Hillary went through. So would those in the trump administration who have done that and worse. It was comparable to jaywalking. Should Hillary have used a private server? Probably not if she thought she would run for president again. She should have known that the press and her political opponents would use anything they could use in order to demonize her. Should it have been investigated as a possible crime? Not no, but HELL NO! At best, it should have been reviewed and strict adherence to the policy of using a government server should have been emphasized. End of story.
The point I was attempting to convey is the so-called binary choice that those who voted for trump made, as well as the protest vote and the choice to not vote at all put us in the place where we are today. It wasn’t because Hillary used a private server, or that she didn’t go to Wisconsin or that she told people in West Virginia and Kentucky that she would put coal companies out of business.
Hillary Clinton is not and never was a perfect person, but she did not lose the election in 2016. American voters lost the election because they chose the wrong person. Could Hillary have run a better campaign? Well, she ran a better campaign than trump ran, and he is POTUS.
I so agree with you! It bears repeating and was something I used to say during the runup to the election: “If using a private server was such a bad thing, others who had done the same thing would have gone through the same thing Hillary went through.” But of course they didn’t (and haven’t) because she was Hillary Clinton and had been trashed for decades by the radical right who glommed onto anything they could to try to dissuade people from voting for her.
I have to say, however, that in addition to blaming the electorate, we also have to blame James Comey who broke FBI rules and put out a statement about supposedly reopening Hillary’s email investigation when he had no evidence that there was anything else to say on the matter, the emails in question having all been looked through before (in fact, he never should have said anything about her during the campaign—ever). She points out that she was ahead at the time Comey did that in October. In fact, she was farther ahead than President Obama had been at the same time during his second campaign. She would have won the election if Comey hadn’t thrown that monkey wrench into the works. Now, you’re still right, that maybe we’re just a terrible electorate, especially those who paid attention to Comey’s letter, but at least we can take some small comfort in the fact that more people voted for Hillary than for any white presidential candidate in our history, and she would be our president now if it weren’t for Comey, along with the Russians, Republican voter suppression efforts, and lest we forget, the Electoral College.
I know my position is not a popular one, but I think the American people can learn a lot by examining “what happened” so to speak, related to the 2016 presidential election. Were we actually influenced by Russia’s misinformation campaign? Were we fooled into thinking that the email scandal was a legitimate issue? Even though the majority of us voted for a woman, did the fact that a woman could be president hurt Hillary in PA, WI and MI, IF she actually lost in those states?
Even today, Democrats promote a negative attitude toward Clinton. Why? NONE of the lies republicans promoted about her for over 25 years proved to be true. No, not ONE! Why do DEMOCRATS continue to disrespect this woman?
I have no idea. When I watched the Democratic National Convention, I was nothing but impressed with her. Her history is so exemplary, it’s hard to imagine a better candidate, which President Obama pointed out. So go figure that anyone would deny this country of her expertise. It’s nuts, and now we have a total nutjob in the White House. Lovely.
Absolutely, Americans can only benefit from knowing the full story of how the Russians invaded, manipulated and attacked our election in 2016 (and will try again in 2020 and beyond).
Having a commission as we had after 9/11 would have been ideal but Trump and the Repubs, who benefited from the Russian attack made sure that didn’t happen. It could be done and should be done after a Dem retakes the WH in 2020.
Many Democrats had reasons other than Republican lies to see Hillary in a less positive light, going back to her campaign in 2008 and through 2016. But I don’t see it as productive to rehash any of that. In the end, it was Hillary or Trump in 2016 and I enthusiastically supported Hillary.
At this point of time, I don’t see the value of criticizing fellow Dems for not viewing Hillary Clinton as highly as one may feel about her.
We have 20 candidates running now to become president in 2020, a Dem’s opinion of Hillary has absolutely no bearing on this very important election in front of us. Instead, I think it feeds into an unnecessary current of division and resentment that I don’t think we can afford with what’s at stake.
Many Democrats don’t favor the candidates I favor for 2020. I don’t see those Dems as unfair or unquestionably wrong because they may be critical of the candidates I support. Other people have their opinion of a candidate, I have mine. That’s why we’re Dems and not Repubs. The Repubs have that kind of mass allegiance to Trump, Dems shouldn’t expect that unanimity for any Dem politician. Good people can have different sensibilities and that’s okay in a democracy.
I am more concerned with critiquing those who chose trump over Hillary or did not vote at all, than criticizing them. People who are old enough to vote make their own choices. We are all responsible for our choices as well. It is not about Hillary Clinton. It is about participating in the democratic process and choosing leaders who represent us in our democracy.
I accept that there are racists and bigots in our society and I acknowledge that they have as much right to be here as you and I. Democracy is “hard work”, as Bush 43 said. My admiration for Hillary has much less to do with the piece I wrote than my concern for our democracy. The same things that were done to Hillary can be done to anyone. We agree that no candidate is perfect. Hillary CERTAINLY made some mistakes. The fact that those mistakes resulted in a trump presidency should not, IMHO, be borne solely by Hillary Clinton.
I fully agree with your primary points.
There was nothing illegal about Hillary having the private email server. It had been done before her and was never attacked so viciously. It was not an issue worthy of the hysteria and manufactured industry of outrage built around it but that’s how Repubs work.
Remember, Obama was savagely attacked for wearing a tan suit and having Common visit the WH. Repubs don’t need any legitimacy for their attacks, just a reference to build their lies and faux outrage on.
As to who was responsible for Hillary losing, it doesn’t make sense to me to claim that what she did and said that rubbed people the wrong way had nothing to do with why they voted for or against her. Yes, Repubs and the FBI said and did things that unfairly affected voters but that doesn’t erase the things she said and did.
You mentioned the issues of her choosing not to campaign in swing states (while Dem organizers on the ground desperately begged her to come out because they saw the Trump wave building). And her frank words to coal miners that she would support policies that ended their current jobs but wanted to train them for new green jobs. Then you suggest that none of that had to do with voters supporting or opposing her and that view baffles me.
Trump campaigned in those swing states and he promised coal miners that their jobs would be safe and coal jobs would grow if he was elected.
Even though it was BS, it is unquestionable that many swing state voters and coal miners chose to support Trump because they thought he cared about them and Hillary didn’t. Enough to swing the election? Maybe so, we don’t really know for sure.
As for the email server attacks, the Repubs would have exaggerated another topic had Hillary not used a private server for government emails. So that wouldn’t have changed no matter the decisions Hillary could have made.
However, the FBI investigation into Hillary’s email server and Comey’s last minute sandbagging of Hillary just before the election, would not have happened if she never had the server in the first place. Hillary herself has publicly stated that she believes she lost the election because Comey came out to reopen the investigation just before the election. That’s Hillary saying that.
So if she hadn’t made the choice to use a private email server to keep government emails, Hillary is saying that she would have won the election.
There were no other issues the FBI was investigating on her so without that, there is no FBI or Comey factor.
I suppose we will just have to agree to disagree on this issue. I don’t think it is justified for any government employee to shield their government emails from the public or from the National Archives. Whether a Republican or Democrat, even though it isn’t violating the law up to this point, IMO, it is unethical and shouldn’t be done by any public official.
I don’t know of any previous Secretary of State who did this prior to Hillary. If one of them had, I would’ve thought she might have offered that as being a standard practice as a defense.
She made a lot of mistakes in her 2016 campaign (and before) in my opinion but they were superficial compared to the horrible things Trump said and did.
However, to keep placing the blame for a politician’s loss solely on the voters and absolving the candidate as innocent in their own loss is trying to rationalize away their personal responsibility.
My concern is that I have seen on Twitter and social media lately, a kind of whitewashing of Hillary and even a purist aggressiveness (not from you of course but others) which is being used to attack anyone (including many Dem candidates) viewed as not being sufficiently reverent to Hillary.
Obama was flawed. Bill Clinton was flawed. Jimmy Carter was flawed. Hillary Clinton was flawed too. It doesn’t make her a bad person but it is the truth and one thing I think Dems can’t afford to do is play into the same willful denial that Trump supporters bask in about him when it comes to our views of our representatives and candidates.
They are responsible for their own actions, choices, successes and failures just as Republicans are. No one is perfect and sometimes they do hurt themselves politically and lose even though they should have won an election. And they are indeed sabotaged by the lies and mudslinging of their opponents, which is not something they are responsible for.
All of these can be true at the same time, she made mistakes and others did the wrong things, ignorantly or on purpose, which combined, led to her not winning the Electoral College.
A plurality of voters in the US chose Hillary to be President. Condemning them as failing her and holding up Hillary as wholly innocent of any reason some voters may have had to vote against her, is not seeing things fairly IMO.
Extremely well said, AdLib.
When I see how Hillary Clinton is idolized to the point
some people believe she is without fault and is not
responsible for any of the political misfortunes others
of us think she may be, possibly, just might in some
extremely small way have had the slightest personal
responsibility for bringing on herself, I must confess
it’s hard for me to believe her most ardent acolytes
and we live in the same world.
Personally, I don’t relate to idolizing celebrities, politicians, etc. They’re all just people like ourselves, with strengths and flaws. Some are brilliant, some are destructive, what I’ve learned about life is that there isn’t simple duality to people. They’re not all good or all evil (though Trump is challenging that view), they’re a combination of pluses and minuses to one degree or another.
Hillary was not perfection. No one is including me. She surely would have taken responsibility for being successful in her campaign and winning the WH, as she should have. By the same rights, she has to take her share of responsibility for not winning the presidency.
That doesn’t mean there weren’t other factors but the choices she made in her life and campaign contributed in their way.
I see the same idolizing of Trump, Bernie, etc. Someone idolizing Trump would definitively declare how wrong it was to idolize Bernie or Hillary and justify the perfection of who they’ve chosen to idolize.
It is not objective to hold up any political figure as being above such human aspects such as making mistakes and having a degree of responsibility for the outcome of their endeavors.
And I really don’t understand why, in 2019, it is a timely issue to challenge Democrats on their degree of reverence for Hillary Clinton. What is hoped to be gained by this? How does it move the ball forward on uniting Dems and defeating Trump.
It seems self-destructive to me, whether it’s Hillary or Bernie or Biden or Warren, attacking fellow Dems for not having the same high opinion of a candidate, especially one who is no longer running for office, has no constructive aspect to it.
Like you, I don’t consider idolizing any politician, including an exceptional one like Elizabeth Warren,
a worthwhile exercise.
It certainly is self-destructive for some of Hillary Clinton’s supporters to even inject her into the 2020 campaign, much less raise the irrelevant issue of fellow democrats not worshipping her as much as they do!
For some inexplicable motive, are they trying
to sabotage the campaign of whichever Democratic candidate is going to be nominated?
Other than trump supporters idolizing him, where do you get the notion that anyone is idolizing Warren, Clinton or anyone else? Hillary Clinton is/was a real person. What she and the country experienced in her not becoming president is real. If we don’t honestly examine WHY the most unqualified and unprepared person possible became president over someone with her qualifications and preparedness, we do a disservice to our democracy. IMHO. You obviously disagree and I am ok with that and I cannot do anything about that.
I never had, nor got, the notion
that anyone is idolizing Warren. I only mentioned her as an example of a person and politician I admire
greatly but wouldn’t think of idolizing.
Of course Hillary Clinton “is/was
a real person.” I can’t imagine
even her worst enemies — of which I’m not one, in case you may think
otherwise — would deny she is real.
I also agree with you about the importance of an honest examination
of “…WHY the most unqualified and unprepared person possible became president over someone with her qualifications and preparedness….” And if it’s truly “a disservice to our democracy” not to make such an examination, how is it a service to our democracy to also examine how Hillary Clinton’s conduct in her campaign may have contributed to her own defeat?
Are you willing to examine this, too, and if not, why?
And by the way, in my opinion at least as important as examining
how Trump could be elected at all
is to make sure no other clinically and legally insane person can even be allowed to run for president, let
alone be elected!
Of course Hillary likely made some mistakes. Who has not made mistakes? Hillary, as do most candidates, did the best she could based on her knowledge, experience and counsel with her team. Is Hillary the first or only candidate who was better for the office than her opponent, but was not chosen by the people?
If the best candidate is not elected, is it the candidate’s fault? Candidates have ONE vote. Candidates do not elect themselves. You may say that I don’t place the blame for her losing on Hillary because I “idolize” her, but I don’t put the blame of ANY candidate for losing an election. That might make me different from 99.9% of Americans, but that is what I believe.
Thank you for quoting my “you may say that I don’t place the blame for her losing on Hillary because I “idolize” her….”
A little while after I posted my
first response to you this morning,
I wanted to edit it to deal with the paragraph of mine which led you
to write the words above, but I
wasn’t able to do it because the
time had already passed to change
it. Now I can. What I wrote in full was this:
“When I see how Hillary Clinton is idolized to the point some people believe she is without fault and is not responsible for any of
the political misfortunes others of
us think she may be, possibly,
just might in some extremely small
way have had the slightest
personal responsibility for bringing on herself, I must confess it’s hard for me to believe her most ardent acolytes and we live in the same world.”
I readily own to having written this in a satirical spirit, but I decidedly did NOT say you idolize Hillary Clinton. It referred only to the most opinionated of her supporters.
I’ve read several of your articles here on other subjects in the last month or so and upvoted them and left a positive comment on at least one, which you may or may not have seen.
I don’t even know you and
wouldn’t think of presuming to
know where you stand in the spectrum of Hillary Clinton’s backers. Nonetheless, I regret that
you inferred a meaning I didn’t imply. I can assure you if I
wanted someone to know how I
feel about him or her, I’d do it
directly and not by implication.
I don’t know when you joined PlanetPOV, but I was here for
several years some time ago and came back after a hiatus of a few
years. Neither here nor on other
websites have I ever made an ad hominem attack or derogatory comment about another member.
Finally, in regard to “I don’t put
the blame of [sic] ANY candidate
for losing an election. That might make me different from 99.9%
of Americans, but that is what I believe.”
While no one could explain this belief better than you have, I
must admit it’s somewhat
perplexing to me, and I while I
think I understand at least something of why you feel this
way, I don’t agree with most
of it. But at least we can agree
“That (belief) might make me different from 99.9% of Americans.”
TOCB, I see it on social media and other sites. It’s primarily extreme Hillary and Bernie supporters praising their candidate like the Second Coming, describing them as immaculate and all those who disagree (including other candidates) as either “the enemy” or “traitors” to the Dem party and/or Progressivism.
I’ve learned that the only absolute that is true is that all absolutism is wrong.
Whether it’s Hillary, Bernie, Elizabeth, Joe, every American should be free to support whoever they think deserves their support but those who see flaws in the candidate one favors are not “the enemy” or a “traitor”.
I know you are not saying this in any way, you had asked where this was being seen so just sharing where I see it daily.
Folks here on The Planet are a bit more thoughtful than that, folks here don’t hesitate to disagree but no one is seen as an “enemy” just because they have a different opinion on a particular candidate or issue.
I do disagree with your proposition on Hillary and the 2016 election but we’ll agree on something else that follows so that’s cool with me.
I see no evidence of ANYONE idolizing Hillary Clinton. On the contrary, most of her most ardent acolytes acquiesce to those who berate her because that is the popular thing to do.
I accept that you see “no evidence of ANYONE
idolizing Hillary Clinton” but I know people who
do and have read what others have written that
has given me that impression.
But that said, I’m curious to know what you would
call the feeling some of her supporters have for her
when they still don’t think she made any mistakes
in her campaign in the 2016 election. What word
would you consider appropriate for them?
And incidentally, the fact alone were it not for the
continued and deplorable existence of the Electoral
College, Hillary Clinton would and should have been
elected president is no way material to her actions
and decisions in her campaign which cost her the
electoral majority that would otherwise have been
well within her reach.
I disagree with your premise, which is consistent that of most professional pundits, that Hillary’s “mistakes” resulted in trump’s presidency. Trump, in fact, made FAR MORE “mistakes” than Hillary made, yet he is president.
The most critical mistakes were made by American voters IF they allowed misinformation by Russia or republicans to turn them against the person who was better qualified and prepared for the job. Or if they did not vote. Or if they cast a protest vote for someone who was not likely to win.
Our government is not of, by and for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump or any other politician. It is rather of, by and for the PEOPLE. If the PEOPLE don’t show up, or if they don’t show up in a manner that results in the best government for the PEOPLE, THEY are the ones who made the critical mistakes. IF this experiment in democracy is to work, the PEOPLE must take ownership of it, and stop blaming our short-comings on politicians who work for US.
I agree with trump to an extent when he said the people are responsible for vetting government representatives, of course not the ones who are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, but those who are elected by the people. If they don’t measure up to our job requirements, we should not hire them, and if they don’t perform the job as we require, we should fire them.
The bottom line, is that the people, according to our system of elections, i.e., the electoral college, chose to hire trump rather than Hillary. That is something the people have to own and live with.
Of course while Trump made not only “FAR MORE ‘mistakes’ than Hillary made,” it’s very likely he
also made far more mistakes than all other Republican candidates together in our history.
And if it were only a matter of
the candidate making the fewest mistakes winning and nothing else,
Hillary would have won in an
electoral landslide and with an
ever greater majority of the
popular vote than her plurality
of 2.8 million votes!
But in my view, more often
than not, the general apathy
and ignorance of the American
electorate as a whole results in
the less qualified candidate
winning. And in 2016, for the
first time ever, an incurably psychotic individual — and even worse, a known malignant
narcissist and sociopath to boot —
won more electoral votes than a moderate Democrat who would
have been infinitely superior to
Trump in every conceivable way.
But despite the fact Donald
Trump – even in his narcissistic delusions – had no hope of
winning, he did. I think Hillary Clinton bears a degree of
responsibility in her electoral loss,
and I’ve NEVER said or written voters don’t bear an equally great – and perhaps even a greater share.
It’s your constitutional right to assign the lackluster American electorate 100% of the
responsibility for Hillary
Clinton’s loss and Hillary Clinton 0%. If you really believe that, there’s nothing I nor anyone else
I know or have even heard of could convince you otherwise, and you may feel the same about me and
I think it is reaching far too much to try and completely blame American voters for not voting for Hillary.
Human beings have reasons for doing what they do. Sometimes good, sometimes poor but they have reasons.
Trying to deify Hillary as being above influencing any voters by her actions, that it’s all the fault of ignorant voters that didn’t see Hillary should be president is intentionally blinding oneself to truths one may not want to accept.
I have no negative feelings towards Hillary at this point and have no desire to whip them up in anyone else.
I will have to insist that Hillary is a human being, with her strengths and faults and to be frank, one of her faults was that she was not the most effective campaigner and politician. She said and did things that discouraged and turned off voters she needed. The Trump/Russian propaganda against her also accomplished this but had Hillary been universally seen as trustworthy and inspiring, she could have prevailed through all of that.
Look at Obama. He was hammered in the primary then the GE against McCain as not being American, being a Muslim and supporting terrorism, a pothead, a phony who faked his attendance and grades in college, an anti-white racist, an elitist for wrongly saying rural voters “clutch their guns and bibles”, a socialist, a radical, etc.
Yet he prevailed. Why? Because he inspired voters and their perception of him was that he was genuine and honest. He projected an image of himself to the public that helped deflect the nasty propaganda.
Hillary didn’t have that shield. She had done and said things along the way that had left some voters with doubts about her trustworthiness and character.
That is part of why the email server crap was more effective, because it fed into the existing perception of some voters that Hillary might not be trustworthy. She didn’t have the same defense against that with voters that Obama had.
And frankly, the FBI investigating this lent authority to the charge that Hillary was untrustworthy. The truth is that nothing bad happened because she used the private email server…aside from it being used to deny her the presidency.
I rather doubt it will come as a complete shock to you we’re in complete agreement American voters aren’t solely
to blame for not voting for Hillary; and there are significant reasons well beyond the ones you listed why more people didn’t support her — most critically
in the decisive states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
As you say, despite everything
that was thrown at Obama in the primaries –- including by Hillary
and Bill Clinton themselves –- and then in the general election where the Republicans threw everything they could at him, probably including the kitchen sink — he won.
Hillary had a lot thrown at her, too. But whether her still very staunch supporters recognize it or not, she didn’t inspire the depth and breadth of enthusiastic support Obama did. And as you indicated, Obama was an inspiring figure – and Hillary Clinton simply was not.
So many excellent and relevant point made by both you, NoManIsAnIsland and by AdLib.
I wonder if I might add one more thought as well.
Although this was a factor almost entirely beyond Hillary’s control, I believe the widespread perception that she was physically too frail to stand up under the pressures of the presidency played into some voters’ decision not to opt for her as well.
She’s had several falls over the last decade or so — two of them (that we know of) caused injuries: one to the head and the other, I believe, to one arm/wrist.
In the process of campaigning, she was video recorded being virtually carried out to a vehicle after one or more episodes of syncope (fainting) or near syncope.
Of course then the right had to pile on with reports that she had Parkinson’s or some other serious condition (very likely not the case).
Still, a fair number of voters were left asking themselves: “If the campaign is too much for her, how is she ever going to make it through four (or even eight) years of the most stressful job in the world?”
Meanwhile Mr. Oblivious (The Donald) was sailing through day after day of multiple appearances, seemingly feeding off the negative energy of the crowds he was whipping up with his dog whistle racist language and his insult comedy routine when it came to his primary opponents. The higher the anger level he inspired, the more energized he became.
Hillary’s (real or perceived) health issues were only one of many, many factors involved in her defeat. But I do feel that they were a part of it.
Thank you, Kesmarn. You made
a good point, as the widespread perception Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be able to stand up to the physical demands of the presidency surely worked against her. And while I saw
those perceptions as medically unfounded, I have no doubt some people – we can never know how many – thought of them and didn’t vote for her as a consequence.
Yet “Hillary’s (real or perceived) health issues” — as you write so tellingly, I must add– “were only one of many, many factors
involved in her defeat.”
We can recall Trump and the RW/Russian propaganda trying to paint her as having severe physical ailments. That was truly evil. Just what a sociopath like Trump would love.
Trump must have felt as if he were in seventh heaven — or in his case as an apprentice devil, seventh hell!
She did catch pneumonia too, didn’t she? That was not doing anything wrong and as you say, through no fault of her own, all of the health matters could have fed into the misogynist view that women are too weak to be president.
I surely don’t hold her responsible for that BS.
“You mentioned the issues of her choosing not to campaign in swing states (while Dem organizers on the ground desperately begged her to come out because they saw the Trump wave building). And her frank words to coal miners that she would support policies that ended their current jobs but wanted to train them for new green jobs. Then you suggest that none of that had to do with voters supporting or opposing her and that view baffles me.”
(I forgot to put this in quotes initially)
My basic premise, that admittedly most people disagree with, is that candidates don’t lose elections, but rather voters do. I take that position because from my perspective candidates present their cases when they essentially apply for a job. Voters are the employers and it is their job to hire the best employee. Are you suggesting that the people in Wisconsin who had voted for Democrats for president for the past thirty years did not know who Hillary Clinton was and what she stood for, as opposed to who trump was and what he stood for? If that was the case, those voters screwed up. They selected the wrong employee. I don’t know why Hillary did not go to Wisconsin. I do not attempt to make excuses for her. We know that candidates generally attempt to direct their resources in the most cost effective manner. Maybe Hillary miscalculated the allocation of her resources related to which states to visit. Having said that, I STILL believe the primary responsibility for selecting leaders rest with the voters. Hillary is just one person who has to experience the trump presidency, but she is far less affected by his and the republicans racist, bigoted, misogynist policies than the average American is.
I was a strong supporter of Hillary. You were apparently less strong but you may have held your nose and voted for her over a person like trump. Others, for whatever reason, chose trump or they chose not to vote at all. My concern is that we as an electorate must do a better job in selecting our leaders, rather than place the responsibility on politicians to convince us they are the best person for the job. They ALL think they are the best person for the job. At the end of the day, it is not the politician who suffers when the electorate makes the wrong choice. It is the electorate who suffers.
Hillary is done with running for public office, but it is far more important that the electorate learns “What Happened” than it is for Hillary to learn that. The only value, if any, in a discussion about what happened is to prevent it from happening again, regardless of who the candidate is. With all due respect, it is not about idolizing anyone. I admire Hillary. I do not idolize her or anyone else.
I’ll go along this far with you, voters ultimately decide an election but they do it based upon the information they receive from candidates and the media.
A candidate is inextricably linked to their words and actions in a campaign that influences voters. They are tied together. Candidates can’t be shielded from responsibility for what they do.
Yes, I am saying that Hillary was not as liked by Obama voters as Obama was, the numbers are absolutely clear about that. In Wisconsin and other swing states, some Obama voters voted for Trump because they preferred him over Hillary. And many minority and youth voters didn’t come out to vote for her in the numbers that they came out for Obama. She had very high negatives, much higher than Obama when he ran and many voters who had voted for Obama felt Hillary lacked his genuine and honest nature, wrongly perceiving Trump instead as “telling it like it is”.
What was widely felt among those Obama voters who didn’t come out to vote and those who voted for Trump was that she was not an agent of change, which she wasn’t, and she represented a continuation of the status quo that was already making them unhappy. So many of those who didn’t vote felt, “What’s the point?” and some who voted for Trump were voting against the status quo and wanted to shake it up.
What I believe is a major flaw in your proposition is the argument that people aren’t responsible for their actions or the perceptions they create. Asserting that the public doesn’t judge a public figure based on what they say or do. I really don’t understand that. With respect, it seems like a way of trying to indemnify Hillary for all of her unfortunate choices and blaming those who reacted to them by voting for Trump or not voting for not ignoring them.
Your argument also contradicts the established concept of cause and effect.
How do voters decide who they want to elect? Is it not based upon watching and listening to candidates and deciding whether or not they like one over another? How else do you think people discern things? How do people choose to vote for one candidate over another if not by the perceptions they have of them?
Bottom line, it seems to me that you have constructed a scenario designed to insulate Hillary from any responsibility for her words and actions because you think of her so highly. That is not a terrible thing, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion but if we are going to debate that proposition on its merits of logic and human behavior, I don’t think it stands up.
The flip side of having this perspective is blinding oneself to what actually happened. There is a reason that from this perspective, it is a mystery as to why voters in swing states voted for Trump over Hillary and why Hillary didn’t campaign in those states to prevent that.
If one sees Hillary as incapable of making mistakes that affected her election, one will never be able to identify what actually happened. IMO, she made a number of unfortunate decisions, she put resources into Repub states including TX instead of shoring up the swing states. It was a strategic decision that was not a good one, a gamble that assumed the swing states as a given.
From my perspective, it is no mystery that needs to be unraveled as to why Hillary lost in those states and the electoral college.
Hillary was a complex figure in the Dem party and the country. There was a segment of the Dem Party and Indies that had a negative perception of her when it came to being authentic, honest and genuinely Progressive. Granted, some of that may have been driven by Republican/Russian propaganda but some was also generated by her words and actions.
The theory you present leaves many blindspots, such as why turnout by minorities and youth was depressed. Putting your theory aside for a moment and accepting that Hillary was not the kind of inspirational and widely revered candidate that Obama was, answers that question simply and intuitively.
I think the lesson to learn from Hillary’s loss is very clear and it’s one I’ve been making for a while. Democrats need to nominate an inspirational candidate who will energize turnout as Obama did. Nominating Biden will be going down that same uninspiring moderate road that Dems went down with Hillary so I think that would be taking a bigger risk.
Secondly, nominating a candidate who does not carry an enormous amount of baggage with him/her avoids the other central issue that cost Hillary the election. Without everything in her past that was exploited by Republicans (and Russians) from her decades in politics, I think she would have won.
Simply put, Hillary made mistakes and was not the inspiring and “change” candidate that many voters wanted in 2016 and that opened her up to losing to a con man whose negatives rivaled hers. So, to boil down the lessons learned from 2016:
WHAT DEMS NEED IN A CANDIDATE TO WIN IN 2020:
A candidate who
1. Has real vision and charisma that will excite voters.
2. Little political baggage.
3. Is relatable and comes off as genuine and honest.
4. Is a fresher face, representing change.
5. Can stand up strongly to attacks and Trump.
6. Takes no state for granted, will wage a 50 state campaign.
7. Is not beholden or allied with corporate interests.
8. Is positive and inspires hope.
9. Shuns elitism and division, promotes unity.
10. Is unyielding in a commitment to core American principles
Yep, it’s a demanding list but the candidate who can check most, if not all of these boxes is the candidate who has learned from 2016 and is more likely to win in 2020. Candidates who have to cross out any of these are, IMO, more likely to lose for some of the same reasons Hillary did (though I still agree with her that the Comey intrusion into the election just before it took place may have been what threw the election to Trump).
Unfortunately, I believe your last paragraph sums up what is wrong with our electorate. That is, our tendency to place much too much responsibility for our democracy on one person, i.e., the candidate. I know you realize that we are not likely to ever have a perfect candidate. Our charge is to choose the best person from the available pool. Obama was not a perfect candidate, and he won. Trump was not a perfect candidate, and he won. Hillary was not a perfect candidate, and she lost.
Approximately 130 million people were involved in choosing between Obama and McCain, Obama and Romney and Clinton and Trump. I could have found reasons not to vote for either of the five candidates in those elections. Collectively we made a choice each time. What troubles me about our ability to keep our democratic republic, or not, is if we collectively have the intellectual capacity to keep it. Today, we are teetering on the collapse of our democracy. The trump presidency looks more like a dictatorship than a democracy, and the checks and balances in our system have not proven to be capable of doing anything about it, so far. I am very reluctant to blame the trump presidency on one person, be it Hillary Clinton or even Donald Trump or Comey. IMHO, at the end of the day, it is the peoples’ responsibility to maintain the government we want and deserve.