After suffering a monumental loss on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton had to face the music this weekend in a half-hour conference call with some of her biggest donors, many of whom blamed her for losing what appeared to be a very winnable race. But if those donors expected to hear apologies and self-reflection from the former Secretary of State, they got neither.
Instead, Hillary believes that FBI Director James Comey is solely to blame for election night’s stunning outcome.
From the NY Times:
In her most extensive remarks since she conceded the race to Donald J. Trump early Wednesday, Mrs. Clinton told donors on a 30-minute conference call that Mr. Comey’s decision to send a letter to Congress about the inquiry 11 days before Election Day had thrust the controversy back into the news and had prevented her from ending the campaign with an optimistic closing argument.
Hillary claims to be basing this analysis on the campaign’s internal polling numbers, which had them winning only a week before the election.
“There are lots of reasons why an election like this is not successful,” Hillary reportedly told the donors. But, she said, “Our analysis is that Comey’s letter raising doubts that were groundless, baseless, proven to be, stopped our momentum.”
According to the Clinton team, they were forced to go back on the attack in the last week of the campaign instead of giving the American people a reason to vote FOR Hillary Clinton. Thus, turnout was depressed and voters on the fence at the last minute broke hard for Trump.
There’s only one problem with that story: It begs the question of, “Why didn’t you run a more positive, Hillary-based campaign the whole way through?”
The Clinton strategy, at times, seemed to be one where the candidate could quietly hide out beyond the glare of the media spotlight and let Trump implode and self-destruct. They spent their money on ads meant solely to disqualify Trump. They put all of their eggs in one basket and then lost – big league – when that basket blew up in their faces.
Trump ran a strongly anti-Clinton campaign as well, but he saved plenty of room for his vision going forward. His supporters knew what they were voting for, not just what they were voting against.
At the end of the day, it may be that Hillary could have done everything right and still lost; she was an obviously weak candidate from the get go, and it’s not easy to convince the American people of your trustworthiness when you are under FBI investigation.
But if the best she can do in a post-mortem is blame Jim Comey, we can all be relieved that she will not be in charge of the country for the next four years.