By Kevin Knox
When I first heard that Hillary Clinton was writing a memoir about the 2016 elections, my initial response was “For God’s sake, why?”
It doesn’t seem like something worth dwelling on, especially considering that 2016’s election results have been endlessly dissected and analyzed day after day since that fateful night in Nov. I have been amongst such analyzers. Thus it appeared to me that there was no reason for yet another book on 2016 to exist, especially one written by the loser.
But alas, Clinton just cannot help herself. From the many excerpts that have leaked so far, it’s obvious that this book is just as out of touch and tone deaf as her campaign was. So it should come as no surprise that “What Happened” completely and utterly fails to answer that very question, and serves only to further divide a party desperately trying to reunify after a very divisive period.
It doesn’t help that Clinton herself appears incapable of accepting any modicum of real blame for her devastating defeat. In her book, it seems as though it’s everyone else’s fault that she lost.
For example, at one point she makes a strange analogy between Bernie Sanders and a film in which a hitchhiker describes his plan to make his own version of the popular “8 Minute Abs” series of videos, which he will call 7 Minute Abs. “That’s what it was like in policy debates with Bernie,” says Clinton. “We would propose (a policy), and then Bernie would announce basically the same thing, but bigger. On issue after issue, it was like he kept proposing four-minute abs, or no minute abs. Magic abs!”
It’s an interesting accusation to throw at Sanders because, at least from where I was sitting.
More surprising was her criticism of Barack Obama, who rightly warned her against alienating the large section of her own base that supported Sanders’ positions, which Clinton describes in her book as “pipe dreams.”
“President Obama urged me to grit my teeth and lay off Bernie as much as I could. I felt like I was in a straightjacket,” writes Clinton.
Hopelessly unaware of the fact that it was her staunch opposition to such supposed “pipe dreams” that contributed greatly to her defeat, not the fact that she was criticized for running an incredibly milquetoast, uninspiring campaign.
I’ve written this before, but it apparently needs to be reiterated. HillarySpeeches.com, a database of all the campaign stops Clinton made in 2016 tells us that after each respective primary, Clinton did not set foot in the crucial state of Wisconsin, visited Michigan three times – each time visiting a major city – and rarely ventured outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh when visiting Pennsylvania.
All three of those states have gone to the Democratic candidate in every Presidential election since the 1980s, and yet Clinton lost all three of those states.
The Washington Post’s electoral map shows us that the overwhelming majority of counties in those three states went to Trump, with Clinton only taking a few metropolitan areas. Had this not occurred, she would be our current president.
This did not happen because mean old Sanders grilled her for not being as “left wing” as him, or because President Obama told her to not attack the left or even because the scary Russian government “hacked” her emails. She lost because she routinely ignored a very crucial swath of the country whose support she desperately needed, with whom Sanders’ ideas and proposals resonated with greatly.
When it came to those ideas, Clinton would oppose and belittle them as “pipe dreams” and promises of “ponies” or proposed watered down versions of those ideas, which nobody on earth believed she would ever follow through on.
This book has done nothing but expose how bitter and out of touch Clinton is, and serves only to reopen old wounds. It should never have been published because it’s obvious that on the question of “What Happened,” Clinton has no idea.