To say that Hillary’s new book, “What Went Wrong” is ill-timed, and unwanted would be an understatement. This is the election that just won’t go away…much like Hillary.
But, what is even more troubling, is that someone who has been a lifelong politician (and yes…being Bill’s wife counts, as that was part of her political aspiration to reach the top, from her earliest career goals), doesn’t seem to understand the REAL reasons that she lost.
Even worse than being a “lifer” in an age when people clearly want “change to the status quo,” is not being able to recognize the real problems she faced, the real warning signs that were flashing in front of her face, and her inability to adapt to a shifting landscape that was in part her own making.
There are THREE Primary reasons she lost the election. Two of them are not her fault directly, but the last one is ALL Hillary…and should be a cautionary tale for the next candidate of either gender, who decides to run.
Let’s break this down…
1. Her Luddite Tendencies Destroyed Her
Hillary is a research/analysis junkie, in the age of Social Media. The difference between those who cling to the “old school, Luddite ways” of gathering massive loads of data to formulate an opinion, or a position paper, or a strategy, is that the majority of the electorate don’t read anything that is longer than a couple of paragraphs. I’m certainly not saying that this is a good thing. But as someone who works in media, you need to understand culture as it changes. If you don’t, you are left behind, or worse if you are a politician, simply out of touch.
What’s more…the Achilles heal of her campaign, the thorn that wouldn’t go away, was due completely to her inability to use and understand modern media and media tools.
In short, as has been revealed now over the course of the past 18 months, that “Email-Gate” was brought on because neither she, nor her staff, knew how to set up and maintain proper email tools. And Hillary, unable to master anything but a very-retro Blackberry model (which didn’t allow her to read or respond to email easily) reverted to having EVERY email she received or sent, forwarded to an assistant, so they could be printed out. When the campaign tried to comply with the FBI warrants to turn over the email, they literally lost the thumb drive that had the emails on it. Lost it. And it was on the thumb drive in the first place, because they didn’t know how to back up their hard drives. This made the recovery process linger FAR longer than necessary. After the data was finally recovered, the emails were revealed to be almost all duplicates, or “important” redundant messages like, “Print This.” Which was reported to the media and her campaign, as soon as the FBI was able to do so. The entire thing COULD have been resolved months before it was actually completed.
So…when it appeared to Comey and the FBI that nobody who was at one of the top posts in government could be this stupid…and MUST be hiding something...they were forced to keep the investigation open. The timing was admittedly awful…but absolutely of Hillary and her merry team of Luddite’s making.
But even worse, was her inability to understand the power of Trump’s “Breitbart-Bot-Powered” Twitter Machine. She could not join the conversation that kept her on her heels…because she and her staff simply underestimated the power of social media to move voters quickly. She was counting on reaching young voters, young women, housewives, and young female executives…without understanding their choices of communications. Anything she sent by social media had the same sterile, homogenized, “safe” feeling that felt like “Grandma is playing on Facebook again.” It was ineffective, impersonal, and never responsive in a “fight fire with fire” way. Trump simply understands the ability for social media to create an “alternative reality” on almost every issue. If it goes unchallenged, it becomes some form of reality, if repeated enough. That is “page one” out of Steve Bannon’s playbook. Hillary and her staff were caught flat-footed, staring at the “send button” long after the twitter-bots had changed the conversation.
2, She and the DNC Took “Being Crowned” for Granted
There is no more telling reality of “why she lost,” than looking at where she campaigned, and more important, where she chose NOT to campaign, in the final weeks of the election cycle. That was covered in THIS POST about the numbers, and how close the election was, when it didn’t need to be, at all. To recap from that post, she simply took the “rust belt/blue wall” in the Midwest states for granted. And, rather than campaigning there in the final weeks, chose instead to have a couple of huge, celebrity-filled rallies, with pop stars galore, while Trump and Pence did the “State Fair Circuit” and “Barnstorm Network” where the heartland of disenfranchised fence sitters were waiting to feel that they were important to someone. Obama won all of the states that Hillary lost in this area…and she did so by replacing common sense with hubris.
Guess what? These are the SAME STATES that Sanders had either beaten her handily, or come very close to upsetting her. What campaign leader, or candidate doesn’t see a huge flashing warning sign, that THESE STATES ARE UP FOR GRABS??? And then…respond by ignoring them. As I mentioned in another post, on our drive through these states at the height of the post-primary season…when things matter for the general election…we didn’t see a single Hillary campaign sign in Iowa…Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. She won a couple of these states…barely…but lost most by a small percentage. The post election polls said clearly that the “real folks” in those states, simply felt that she didn’t care about them…and the people in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio said so with their ballots.
But, when all was said and done…it was the Hillary’s mismanagement, combined with the unscrupulous behavior of the DNC (with whom she colluded), that was her final undoing for many (myself included). As has been revealed over time, the “fix was in” for Hillary by the DNC, perhaps before the primaries even began. There are countless stories of bad data being fed to the Sanders campaign, the now documented secret emails of debate questions by Donna Brazile (who ironically was STILL the acting head of the DNC until February), and the revelation that most of the “Super Candidates” that tilted the primaries, had essentially cast their votes before the primaries had even begun.
The reason we have primaries, is to choose the BEST candidate…and to get a feeling for how the front-runner is being received, in order to gather steam for the general election. She never had the momentum or approval from most of those in her OWN PARTY, outside of the party elites who had their collective thumbs on the scales.
So…when a nation of people who already didn’t trust government (approval ratings for congress have never been lower), and were feeling that the “same old, same old” was going to get the same non-results, saw that the DNC and their “Candidate of Choice” were behaving in ways that said, “Same as it ever was…” (to quote Talking Heads), they either voted against her, or simply stayed home. Not loads and loads…but enough to cost her the .067% difference in the votes she needed to win the electoral college.
The people made it clear, that the same old slippery, slick, over-processed politician just wasn’t what they were asking for. It wasn’t Bernie’s fault for being “hard on her” as she has now said in many book-tour interviews. It was that she made it so easy to point out that she wasn’t the right candidate for a large number of her own party. He was the messenger, not the the creator of the message.
And to continue to say that “Bernie didn’t support me after the Convention” is disgusting. For all of the reasons I mentioned above, she is lucky that he conceded, and that people weren’t convicted for malfeasance and tampering. You, my dear Hillary, were allowed to steal the primary in clear view of the electorate. It was a fierce battle…and you were lucky to get the Bernie supporters you got. Period.
And finally…to blame Joe Biden in any way, while he was mourning the loss of his son, is simply disingenuous at best, and heartless at worst. Had it been Biden running against her, instead of “Crazy Old Bernie,” she wouldn’t have even made it through the primaries. He would have clobbered her. Period.
Sorry Hillary…Joe was not required to polish your crown.
By playing the “Misogyny” Card. She Ended Up Alienating Women
Let’s make something very clear at this point; misogyny played a part in her undoing…no doubt about it. But ironically, this is where Hillary needs to take full responsibility for how this worked against her, and what she could have done to eliminate doubt in anyone’s mind, that Donald Trump is a scum-sucking, woman-hater, who should be relegated to the same place where Roger Ailes and any number of current and past FOX talking heads belong in history.
As I have recounted…I am a father of five daughters, and married to a very successful, strong-willed, and patient wife. I have raised my daughters to respect themselves, and not take any sort of abuse or disrespect from anyone, much less a brainless man-child like Donald Trump.
I have now heard repeatedly how Hillary felt “stalked” on the debate stage, and how it made her feel disrespected as “her skin crawled.” But, in the debate that followed the now legendary “Billy Bush/Grab Their Pussy” video, Hillary missed a perfect opportunity to show that she is the “fighter” and “symbol of strong womanhood” that her followers purported her to be. In that moment, she not only could have, but NEEDED to make it clear to America that Donald Trump was the lowest form of malignant narcissistic, scum to slither across the political landscape, by calling him out, vehemently, and without quarter, to regain her OWN self respect.
That’s right. As I have heard from countless women who call themselves supporters of Hillary Clinton…there is the clear question as to “why doesn’t she show more RAGE at her own husband’s decades-long disrespect, through serial philandering?” In fact…allowing Trump to play that card in plain view, by trotting out laundry list of “scorned victims” like a Cosby rogues gallery (although Cosby would need a far larger room), and NOT addressing it with anger, disgust and outrage against ANY man who belittles women as a sport…LOST HER THE ELECTION.
Yep. All Caps on that last line. It was, and continued to be, the single-most damning reality of Hillary’s career. By allowing the slimy, cloying, creepy-smiled, bubba of a husband, to stand and look at her with a “look at my smart girl” grin fixed to his face…while she is trying to take down the same kind of psychopath, is ambiguous at best…and damning at worst. And it has haunted her entire political career, like an asterix next to Barry Bond’s home run record. Good…but tainted.
Until Hillary admits that her primary failing is in her own inability to go after ALL misogynists with the anger and vitriol they deserve, for reasons that are both personal and perpetually scarring, she was/is doomed.
She allows the system to be twisted, and broken to her advantage, when it came to a fair playing field in the primaries…just like her husband did. She stood at his side when all of the bombshells of serial-philandering were bursting around her husband, including the “back hall cigar work” with Monica, LONG after he had already been elected, twice. She saw how this completely undermined his ability to control the Gingrich clan, which lead to massive deregulation and paved the way for the “Bush years.” And she allowed Bill to skate away…and come back to haunt us all, with Hillary promising a “two for one” if we elected her.
Come on, Hillary…
Seriously?? What went wrong??
You were the wrong candidate…twice…and didn’t have the decency or intestinal fortitude to do anything different…when it really mattered.
You lost this. You and the DNC are the primary reason that we have Trump.
And in the end…those who voted for Trump, hoping for the bale-out or at least a chance for hope for the lives they have lost over the past two decades…cast their votes for “the other one,” while you did your “Grandma Dance” with Beyonce at a bloated rock festival, masquerading as a political rally, which made it clear to everyone watching, that “you didn’t get it.”
Go away. Please.
For the good of all of us who want real solutions…to real problems…and are now left with the damage you created by helping the unthinkable happen…Please, just, go, away.