Former 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has expanded the list of scapegoats she believes are responsible for her loss to include several leading figures in her own party, according to new excerpts from her upcoming book, “What Happened.”
Although Clinton has repeatedly blamed misogyny, former FBI Director James Comey, Russia, and WikiLeaks for her stunning loss, she outlined some new targets in her book, according to an advance copy obtained by CNN. The new targets include former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Clinton’s former Democratic primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Clinton apparently felt that if her candidacy failed to resonate with middle-class Americans, it must be Biden’s fault for failing to take her case to those voters.
“Joe Biden said the Democratic Party in 2016 ‘did not talk about what it always stood for — and that was how to maintain a burgeoning middle class,'” Clinton wrote. “I find this fairly remarkable, considering that Joe himself campaigned for me all over the Midwest and talked plenty about the middle class.”
Clinton apparently was referring to critical comments Biden made about the race in May 2016, when he said at a campaign rally, “Because of the negative campaign that [Donald] Trump ran, how much did we hear about that guy making 50,000 bucks on an assembly line, the woman — his wife — making $28,000 as a hostess?”
“They have $78,000, two kids, living in a metropolitan area, and they can hardly make it,” Biden said, adding, “When was the last time you heard us talk about those people?”
Clinton apparently also felt peeved about the level of public support she received from Obama. In particular, she faulted the former president for failing to address Russia’s U.S. election interference adequately enough in early 2016.
“I do wonder sometimes about what would have happened if President Obama had made a televised address to the nation in the fall of 2016 warning that our democracy was under attack. Maybe more Americans would have woken up to the threat in time. We’ll never know,” Clinton wrote.
The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee also lambasted Sanders for the “lasting damage” he caused her campaign and for paving the way for “[Donald] Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ campaign.”
“Some of his supporters, the so-called Bernie Bros, took to harassing my supporters online. It got ugly and more than a little sexist,” she complained. “When I finally challenged Bernie during a debate to name a single time I changed a position or a vote because of a financial contribution, he couldn’t come up with anything.”
“Nonetheless, his attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ campaign,” Clinton added.
Clinton’s criticism of Sanders angered his supporters as well as some lawmakers. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) tweeted late Tuesday night, “Please Hillary, don’t go there. I supported you. Bernie showed restraint & class & ran aspirational campaign. Politics is rough sometimes.”
Eddie Zipperer, an assistant professor of political science at Georgia Military College, told LifeZette in an email that Clinton “is desperately searching for an excuse that will stick, but it’s never going to happen.”
“American voters don’t need to read ‘What Happened,’ because we remember what happened. We remember the polls. Unfavorable rating, off the charts,” he said. “We remember when she called Trump supporters ‘a basket of deplorables.’ We remember the media bias exposed by [John] Podesta’s emails. We remember how the Democratic party tipped the scales in her favor. We remember how she flip-flopped on the [Trans-Pacific Partnership].”
“We remember her vote on Iraq. We remember the endless scandals that date back to the last millennium,” Zipperer added. “We remember how she neglected the Rust Belt. We remember the email server, and the lies about it. We remember her lawyers unilaterally deciding which emails to erase from existence. We remember Benghazi and the phony YouTube video.”
Clinton, however, claims that she has taken responsibility for her Election Day loss.
“I go back over my own shortcomings and the mistakes we made. I take responsibility for all of them,” Clinton wrote. “You can blame the data, blame the message, blame anything you want — but I was the candidate. It was my campaign. Those were my decisions.”
Zipperer said Clinton’s nod to her own culpability rings hollow.
“[Clinton] wants to create a story where none of that matters. She wants to ignore all that and make it somebody else’s fault,” he said. “But it won’t work. We know what happened. So she can try to push the blame on someone else, but she’s the one who lost. Trump is president, and she never will be. So, the answer to ‘What Happened’ isn’t Obama, Bernie, or Trump. The answer is what difference — at this point — does it make?”
(photo credit, homepage image: Michael Vadon, Flickr; photo credit, article image: Marc Nozell, Flickr)