By Luciana Lopez and Ginger Gibson | Saturday, November 12, 2016
Hillary Clinton blamed FBI director James Comey for her stunning defeat in Tuesday’s presidential election in a conference call with her top campaign funders on Saturday, according to two participants on the call.
Clinton was projected by nearly every national public opinion poll as the heavy favorite going into Tuesday’s race. Instead, Republican Donald Trump won the election, shocking many throughout the nation and prompting widespread protests.
Clinton has kept a low profile since her defeat after delivering her concession speech on Wednesday morning.
On the phone call with supporters on Saturday, Clinton said her campaign and the national party had raised $900 million from more than 3 million individual donors, according to the two participants who spoke to Reuters.
Clinton said Comey was at fault for her loss after he decided to send a letter to Congress only days before the election announcing that he was reinstating an investigation into whether she mishandled classified information when she used a private email server while secretary of state from 2009 to 2012.
There’s more at the original.
Allow me to break out an image from sixteen years ago, when then-Vice President Al Gore whined about losing the presidential election to then-Governor George Bush (R-TX). At least Hillary Clinton isn’t contesting the results of the 2016 election, because the electoral vote isn’t close — despite the fact that it looks like she won the popular vote — and there is no combination of states in which the vote was close enough that recounts could overturn the election results. In 2000, it all hinged on Florida, which was extremely close, Governor Bush winning by 537 votes out of 5,825,043 votes properly cast. Mr Gore and his partisans were attempting to get votes from, among other things, hanging chads, dimpled chads and anything and everything which could conceivably indicate the intent of the voter, and it still didn’t work. In the end, although by one method Vice President Gore might have won, Governor Bush prevailed.
Sixteen years later, Mrs Clinton trotted out Mr Gore to campaign with her in Florida, though Politico said of the two that to “describe their past relationship as frosty would be kind.”
The Washington Post noted that “Cracks, and not the ceiling kind, were evident on Clinton’s last day on the trail.” The evidence that Mrs Clinton was losing support, and Mr Trump gaining it, was there, but the professional media were not reporting it, and probably never believed that Mrs Clinton could lose. Watching CNN (mostly) as the election returns rolled in was watching the media exhibiting a growing sense of disbelief; how could this be happening. CNN was very slow in making projections as to which candidate carried a state — notably: Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — even when the other media were making projections, and while such could be put down as professional caution,1 it had at least the appearance of trying to avoid the obvious conclusion, that Mr Trump had won the election.
But, in the end, Mrs Clinton is blaming the wrong person: the person to blame for her electoral defeat is Hillary Rodham Clinton. Had she been an honest person, she would never have created the private server, in violation of regulations, in an attempt to get around federal records keeping laws, in the first place. If sh had just done the easier thing, the less expensive thing, the legal thing in the first place, she wouldn’t have had those legal problems, and there would have been no FBI investigation. The problem isn’t that a law enforcement agency is investigating the breaking of the law; the problem is that the law was broken in the first place.2
Would she have won had she been an honest person? No one can say: she was also a crappy candidate, with zero charisma, and support that seemed a mile wide but an inch deep.3 She was old and tired, and even though Mr Trump is a year older than her, he always appeared energetic on the campaign trail, while Mrs Clinton had to take days off. But the election was close enough that, had she not been an obviously dishonest person, she might have won. As it was, even though the final numbers aren’t in yet, the past election appears to have had the lowest voter turnout since 1996, when President Bill Clinton was such an obvious winner over Senator Robert Dole (R-KS) that a lot of people found better things to do than bother with going to the polls, and this year, with several states allowing ‘early voting,’ it was easier and more convenient to vote than ever before.
But, in the end, Mrs Clinton has done what the Clintons always do, and that’s to blame someone else. It’s never their fault, someone else — The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy™ I suppose — who is to blame. I am not a fan of Donald Trump, did not vote for him, but while I’m not particularly glad that he won, I am absotively, posilutely overjoyed that Hillary Clinton lost.
- In 2000, the media called Florida for Vice President Gore, based on exit polls, before the polls were even closed in the western part of the Panhandle, part of which (West of the Apalachicola River) is in the Central Time Zone. ↩
- A major contributor to the problem: apparently no one in the State Department had the balls to step up and tell Secretary Clinton that she was doing the wrong thing. What kind of climate of fear had to have been created at State that none of the Department professionals, from Foreign Service Officers to security personnel, could muster the courage to talk to her about this? ↩
- I have to admit it: I was convinced that Mrs Clinton was going to win, and have said, many times, that Republicans had sixteen candidates who could have beaten Mrs Clinton, and we decided to nominate the seventeenth. Clearly, I was wrong about that. ↩