Since losing the most winnable presidential election in modern American history, Hillary Clinton has, among other things: given a series of high-profile speeches, joined Gov. Cuomo at his public unveiling of tuition-free college, refused to rule out a run for mayor of New York and issued an online video message exhorting fellow Democrats to fight on in her name.
“The challenges we face,” she said, “as a country and a party, are real.”
Clearly, Hillary still sees herself as the leader of the Democratic Party. And why shouldn’t she? Democrats have been locked in an abusive relationship with the Clintons for decades, enabling, explaining, convincing themselves that next time will be different. Party faithful hew to Hillary’s excuses for losing to Donald Trump: It’s James Comey’s fault, plus the Russians, white supremacists, misogynists, the deplorables and immobilized millennials, among other things.
Her losses in 2008 and 2016 have been framed as things that happened to Hillary — not one, but two Black Swan events that stymied her historic destiny.
How is it that Democrats have fealty here, let alone sympathy? How is it that Hillary routinely walks into standing ovations at Broadway theaters? Where is the realization that Hillary is to blame or the rational rejection of a two-time loser?
Any debate about what happened last November ends with Tuesday’s publication of “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.” Journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes spent the past two years talking to Hillary’s most trusted advisers, and what emerges is damning.
Every mistake made in her 2008 run was compounded in 2016: the paranoia, the staff infighting, the underestimation of the intra-party wild card, the self-righteousness, the failure to connect with average voters, the belief that because it was her turn the presidency would be hers. It’s “Groundhog Day” with global consequences.
According to “Shattered,” after a year spent crisscrossing the country, “Hillary still couldn’t figure out why Americans were so angry.” Jon Favreau, Obama’s favorite speechwriter, lasted with Hillary mere weeks, quitting before she even formally announced.
She has no clear reason for running, Favreau told her staff. She has no clear vision for the country and can’t answer two simple questions: Why her, and why now?
By late 2015, Hillary told an aide she still had no idea what voters needed. “I’m really trying to put my finger on what the electorate, the Democratic primary electorate, the broader electorate is thinking and feeling right now.”
By then, the US economy had been decimated for seven years. Unemployment was stagnant, with 7.5 million Americans without work. One of every 122 homes had been foreclosed. More than 33,000 Americans died as a result of the opioid epidemic. An average of 20 veterans committed suicide per day. There was no shortage of issues.
Where is the realization that Hillary is to…