A prominent question in the wake of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s upset loss in last November’s presidential election was what would become of the former Secretary of State. The fate of failed presidential candidates has been varied: Some incumbents return quietly to Congress or state capitals, others retire permanently, and some head off into the wild yonder, planning a comeback. After losing a close race to John F. Kennedy, Republican vice president Richard Nixon headed back to California where, humiliatingly, he lost the 1962 governor’s race. Despite the embarrassment, Nixon turned himself into an elder statesman of the GOP, headed the party itself, and won its presidential nomination, and the White House, in 1968.
As a non-incumbent, Hillary Clinton could not quietly return to work like John McCain in 2008. This left her the option of retiring quietly… or trying to become a political figure from outside the government. Apparently, the former U.S. Senator (D-NY) has chosen the latter, becoming more outspoken about her unexpected loss. She views Donald Trump’s presidency as too controversial and incendiary to remain quiet. Like many liberals, she has vowed to oppose his pro-privatization and anti-environmental reforms.
Many liberals are all for Hillary Clinton remaining active in the political game, but she may have lost some support for her latest episode of the blame game. Previously, Clinton had blamed then-FBI Director James Comey for her election loss, insisting that his October announcement that the FBI was re-opening its email server investigation torpedoed her guaranteed win. The former diplomat also blamed Russian interference, declaring that Russian-generated fake news hurt her candidacy.
But now Clinton is blaming the Democratic National Committee as well, claiming that the organization was ineffective and incompetent.
For Clinton to blame the DNC for her loss is laughable, since the leadership of the Democratic Party did nothing but help Clinton, at the expense of challenger Bernie Sanders, from day one. Instead of running a fair contest as promised, the DNC went out of its way to ensure that Hillary Clinton clinched the nomination. When hacked DNC emails were released just before the Democratic National Convention, the public saw that DNC members had gone so far as to suggest tactics Team Clinton could use to hurt Bernie Sanders.
In the midst of the scandal, did Hillary Clinton condemn the DNC for its unethical behavior? During the primaries, did she repudiate its clear favoritism of her? No. The DNC put its thumbs on the scales for Clinton, and she appreciated the help. Now she has the audacity to assert that the DNC actually held her back in the general election!
Clinton’s accusation of ineffective support from her party is also in poor form given that her foe, Donald Trump, almost certainly received even less assistance from his own party. While Hillary Clinton was the clear favorite of the Democratic Party elite, Donald Trump was viewed as an abomination by many Republican leaders. If anyone can complain about ineffective party support, it is Trump. Heck, Trump won the election even as every previous Republican presidential nominee still living kept his distance and rumors floated that some would vote for Clinton!
The media also took more blame from Hillary Clinton as she complained that they publicized her email scandal “like it was Pearl Harbor.”
Blaming the media, which clearly favored her over both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, for her upset loss makes Clinton look especially petty. If anyone took a beating in the press, it was Clinton’s rivals. While the media did not ignore Clinton’s email scandal, they went out of their way to declare that both Sanders and Trump were unsuitable for the Oval Office. Sanders, despite his soaring popularity and political views in line with our closest Western allies, was mocked by mainstream journalists as a fringe candidate. Trump, meanwhile, was constantly berated as a racist, sexist, xenophobic buffoon.
While the media did seize upon the Clinton email scandal, it is ludicrous to suggest that the press hurt the former First Lady any worse than her rivals. Despite their interest in her inappropriate email server, the media never made any suggestion that Hillary Clinton should not, or even would not, become the next president. If anything, Clinton’s path was made easier by the media insisting, from day one, that she would be Barack Obama’s replacement.
Ironically, Clinton also takes issue with this media insistence. She is blaming her loss on the sense of inevitability that the media built around her. Apparently, she lost because everyone assumed that she would win, resulting in lower voter turnout. While that may have indeed been an issue, it is ridiculous to blame the media for being both too tough on you…and being too nice to you and building you up into the frontrunner. Well, which is it?
Anger and bitterness are understandable in Clinton’s case, where she won the popular vote by a record margin while still losing the Electoral College. But she is hurting the liberal cause by sowing dissent and blaming the very party leaders who put her on a pedestal.