Finally…the moment has arrived. The moment that political prognosticators, pundits, and commentators have been awaiting for months. The delightful exercise in political circumspection, condensing the hustle and bustle, the ecstasy and the agony of a hard-fought campaign that resulted in the greatest political upset in modern American history.
Hillary Clinton‘s “What Happened” is an inside look at the unprecedented and heart-breaking defeat endured by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party in November 2016: it was a night when even Trump and Pence and their campaign team were under the impression that they had no chance to win. What did happen, then?
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CNN‘s Jake Tapper told a prescient tale about “leaners” in Pennsylvania. What is a “leaner” you may ask? Tapper noted that in working class, blue-collar areas of Pennsylvania, “Reagan Democrat” country, if you will, he met leaners who, when queried as to their political preference, would scan the room, lean into you, and then confess that they were thinking about voting for Trump: presumably to the chagrin of friends, family, and coworkers.
Given the abuse and hysteria that Trump supporters endured on social media and from the social justice warrior bullies, Tapper’s “leaners” theory appears to make a lot of sense. Certainly there has never been such an election, in which many mainstream establishment figures in the Republican Party publicly announced their support for Clinton: long-time GOP arch-nemesis.
In “What Happened” Clinton has plenty of blame to pass around. In an effort to be fair to Secretary Clinton, she does at least assign some blame to herself for the “deplorables” comment and the private server/email fiasco. However, as succintly summarized in the New York Daily News‘ run-down, Hillary appears to have plenty of fire to direct at everyone: even surprises like Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
In her mind, Obama failed to do her a solid by using the bully pulpit of the presidency to explicitly denounce the alleged Russian meddling. Biden’s grave sin? He disparaged her outreach efforts to white working class voters: a group she feels that she made considerable effort to connect with.
And then, there is her barely disguised contempt for Bernie Sanders and loathing for his “Bernie Bros”: enthusiastic young liberal blue state men, with a pernicious and ubiquitous presence on social media, who Clinton accuses of sexism and misogyny. She remains deeply offended that Sanders was able to claim the moral high ground, softening her up for even harsher attacks from the likes of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump further down the road.
Ultimately, Clinton wonders why many people just don’t seem to like her? A look at the fashion in which she plays the blame game in her new retrospective might shed some light on that topic.