Hillary Clinton continues to blame James Comey and the Russians for her loss saying, “If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president.”
In an election this close, it is certainly possible that changing anything which hurt Clinton could have changed the outcome, but that misses the point that Clinton put herself in this situation. She made many mistakes, which Nate Silver acknowledged when he said that the Comey letter probably cost her the election. More importantly, the letter and Wikileaks only harmed Clinton because of her actions.
James Comey would not have been investigating Clinton in the first place if she had not grossly violated the rules regarding email and hadn’t handled classified information in a careless manner. The investigation further hurt Clinton as Comey’s report demonstrated that she had repeatedly lied in her public statements about the manner. This gave further credence to her reputation of both seeing herself above the law and of being dishonest. She further hurt herself when she repeatedly lied about what James Comey had reported.
The Wikileaks releases of hacked email hurt because it verified criticism that the DNC had violated its own rules in rigging the nomination for Clinton, and in showing Clinton’s dishonesty. There has been absolutely no evidence that anything released by Wikileaks was not accurate information.
Hillary Clinton should never had been nominated by a major political party considering the scandal she was involved in, and her refusal to answer questions about it honestly. If the scandal exploded shortly before the election, which could have happened in a number of other ways if not for the Comey letter, don’t blame the messenger. The fault belongs to Hillary Clinton and those who supported her for the nomination.
David Axelrod responded to Clinton’s excuses:
“It takes a lot of work to lose to Donald Trump,” Axelrod told CNN on Wednesday. “Let me tell you, he was the least popular presidential candidate to win in the history of polling.”
…Axelrod called the 2016 race a “miserable slog” and said nobody in America wants to relive it “except the combatants who keep going back to it.”
“She has a legitimate beef because Comey’s letter was instrumental I think in her defeat, so in a narrow sense she is right about it,” Axelrod said.
“But Jim Comey didn’t tell her not to campaign in Wisconsin after the convention. Jim Comey didn’t say don’t put any resources into Michigan until the final week of the campaign,” he continued.
“And one of the things that hindered her in the campaign was a sense that she never fully was willing to take responsibility for her mistakes, particularly that server.”
Axelrod then offered a piece of advice for Clinton.
“If I were her, if I were advising her, I would say, ‘Don’t do this. Don’t go back and appear as if you’re shifting responsibility.’ … She said the words ‘I’m responsible,’ but the — everything else suggested that she doesn’t really feel that way,” he said.
“And I don’t think that helps her in the long run, so if I were her I would move on.”
Even if Comey did cause a drop for Clinton in the polls, she is responsible for how she campaigned, including in the final days of the campaign. For example, Clinton made serious mistakes in Michigan, as I have previously discussed. Plus, in the final days, when both candidates advertised heavily, Clinton was outsmarted yet again by Trump. I saw ads from Trump with promises (regardless of how dishonest) that he could create jobs. The ads I saw from Clinton were based on personal attacks against Trump, but gave no reason to vote for her. Her negative campaign against Trump, even if generally factually true, backfired against her. Hillary Clinton very well could have blown the election in the final days without Comey’s letter or Wikileaks.
Clinton has also received a lot of criticism over this interview on social media. Williams Rivers Pitt mocked Clinton’s assertion on Facebook:
“If the election was on October 27th, I would be your president.”
— Hillary Clinton, today.
And if we had ham, we could have ham and eggs, if we had eggs. Apologies for the pesky constitutional Tuesday-in-November requirement, or that your own glaring weaknesses as a candidate came forcefully to bear in their most effective moment. Worked out great for all of us.
I subsequently responded to another statement made by Clinton in the same interview:
“I am now back to being an activist citizen and part of the resistance.” –Hillary Clinton
No Hillary, 2016 was all about Americans forming a resistance to you. This includes the economic issues which dominated the campaign, and the Bush/Clinton policies which have put this country into a state of perpetual warfare and accelerated the growth of the surveillance state.
Donald Trump was elected because the two party duopoly only gave him as an alternative to you. While defeating the Bushes and Clintons was important, Trump was the wrong answer. Now we need a resistance to both Trump and Clinton.