How did Democrats lose the 2016 election? “The candidates, campaigns, and conditions that led to America’s worst person becoming president.”
Common wisdom is that the Democrats lost because they ran a flawed candidate. But Hillary Clinton was hugely popular before the election began. She was the most admired woman in the world.
She was reported as calling for closing borders to immigrants, which is a gross distortion of what she actually said. And now I remember why I enthusiastically supported her campaign.
Oh, Hillary. No. Just, no. These refugees are fleeing wars that profit the West, supported by the West, but now the West wants to wash its hands of responsibility for those wars.
Month by month, I am becoming more and more baffled by why I enthusiastically supported the Clintons.
Sure, there’s a lot of bigotry and hate among Donald Trump supporters.
But there are also a lot of people seeing their way of life dying out — the only way of life they’ve known — with no welcoming future ahead. These people are quite reasonably desperate. You would be too in their position. It is our responsibility to help these people find their way forward, because they are our fellow Americans and it is our duty of care.
That’s in the long run, over the next few years.
In the short run, I’m seeing it as increasingly likely we’re going to see rioting by Trump supporters after the election, which might involve some parts of the military and police. It might even rise to the level of insurrection. It won’t lead anywhere, but it’ll take bullets and blood to put down.
Trump himself has the power to stop all this by simply following the tradition of losing Presidential candidates: He gives a gracious concession speech, wishes President Clinton well, and then leaves the public eye for a few months to a year at least. I don’t see that as likely.
The Intercept: New Email Leak Reveals Clinton Campaign’s Cozy Press Relationship
This isn’t unique to Clinton. As the authors of this article — Glenn Greenwald and Lee Fang — note, it’s common to all political campaigns.
More than that, it’s common to all media relations.
And just because a political campaign (or company) considers a particular journalist as friendly doesn’t mean the journalist reciprocates.
Sara Nović writes about her aunt, a lovely person and likely Trump supporter
My aunt is not a bigot. Kind-hearted and welcoming to everyone, (to a fault, my younger self thought when she once invited the UPS guy to a family barbeque) she works as a hospice nurse, collects and distributes winter coats to the homeless, and helps lead an emergency medical care team that deploys annually to the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
My aunt is not disenfranchised. Her community did not suffer total financial destruction as many across America did in the wake of the recession. Her suburban Pennsylvania town, though scenic, is not much like “the middle” at all — still an easy drive to Philadelphia, New York, or the Jersey shore, with anything she might need available at a spread of big box stores a twenty minute-drive away. Spared from foreclosure and unemployment, she and my uncle both have jobs and live in a good house and neighborhood. They exist in an assumed state of safety.
Trump appeals to comfortable white people who aren’t bigots, but don’t interact significantly with the groups Trump demonizes. They see Clinton as threatening their lifestyle — taking their rights away from them.
Trump’s attacks on Alicia Machado demonstrate he’s easily controlled – Ezra Klein, Vox
When you’re up against someone with a short temper who brags about never backing down from a fight, you can make that person dance like your little pet monkey. Which is exactly what the Clinton campaign has done.
… imagine that this wasn’t a presidential campaign. Imagine it was the Trump presidency. And imagine it wasn’t Hillary Clinton trying to bait Trump into attacking Alicia Machado, but ISIS trying to bait Trump into attacking Iraq, or Vladimir Putin trying to bait Trump into breaking with NATO, or Angela Merkel trying to bait Trump into isolating the United States before a key vote at the United Nations, or China trying to bait Trump into giving them an excuse to assert their claim over Taiwan.
Hacked Audio Reveals Hillary Clinton Sees Herself Occupying “Center-Left to Center-Right”
Bloggers (example) are reading this quote in particular as Clinton mocking millennial Sanders supporters:
CLINTON: Some are new to politics completely. They’re children of the Great Recession. And they are living in their parents’ basement. They feel they got their education and the jobs that are available to them are not at all what they envisioned for themselves. And they don’t see much of a future. I met with a group of young black millennials today and you know one of the young women said, “You know, none of us feel that we have the job that we should have gotten out of college. And we don’t believe the job market is going to give us much of a chance.” So that is a mindset that is really affecting their politics. And so if you’re feeling like you’re consigned to, you know, being a barista, or you know, some other job that doesn’t pay a lot, and doesn’t have some other ladder of opportunity attached to it, then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing. So I think we should all be really understanding of that and should try to do the best we can not to be, you know, a wet blanket on idealism. We want people to be idealistic. We want them to set big goals. But to take what we can achieve now and try to present them as bigger goals.
But that’s not what Clinton is doing here. The people she’s describing aren’t living in their parents’ basements because they’re losers. They’re doing it because they have no choice.
The more valid concern that will be raised by Clinton’s opponents is that here she is in February saying she’s a proud moderate and that the economy has failed an entire generation, and in late September she’s saying she’s a proud liberal and the economy is doing great. And Clinton’s critics will be right to hit her on that — but even there, Clinton has a reasonable response, which is that she’s a liberal who believes in incremental, achievable change, and that while the economy is improving it has a long way to go.
Commentary: The curious case of Alicia Machado
Will Rahn at CBSNews chastises the mainstream media for failing to cover Alicia Machado’s lurid past and making her look like a saint.
Alleged lurid past. None of this stuff has been proven, although the accusations are on the record.
Axelrod on former Miss Universe dustup: Trump took the bait – Louis Nelson, Politico
When you’re going up against someone who never backs down from a fight, you get to pick the time and place of the conflict. That’s a big advantage for Clinton.
Trump is going after Alicia Machado now. That’s helps Clinton for all kinds of reasons, one of them being that Machado isn’t Trump’s opponent — Clinton is.
Trump is sending a message to women, and it’s the wrong one. Trump is sending the message that Machado is a bad girl, and bad girls deserve to be called fat pigs. And Trump gets to decide who’s a good girl and a bad girl.
Trump’s campaign has decided the most important thing it can be doing a month before the Presidential election is go after a model because she said mean things about him. That’s the kind of priority-setting he will use as President.
Fat-shaming is a really bad idea for anybody looking to win friends in America. Consider the number of Americans who are overweight, worry they’re overweight even if they’re not, were once overweight, or love someone who’s overweight. That’s pretty much the entire country.
Trump Allies Keen To Discuss Bill Clinton Infidelities Despite Debate ‘Restraint’ – Allegra Kirkland, Talking Points Memo
Hope they do! The American people don’t care. It just makes Trump looks petty and reenforces concerns about his temperament.
The American public has known since the Gennifer Flowers revelation in 1992 that Bill is a horndog and frankly a douche when it comes to women. Or was. And that Hillary looked the other way. The American people elected him to the Presidency twice since then, elected her to the Senate, and gave her the Democratic nomination.
So yeah by all means keep hitting on that infidelity thing, Republicans. It’s been working well for you so far.
If you’re going into battle with someone who never backs down from a fight, you start with a strong advantage: You get to pick the time and place of the conflict.
Each candidate has to exceed expectations. The low expectation for Trump is that he’ll look ignorant. He can exceed that by simply pouring on the bullshit. He’s good at that.
The low expectation for Clinton is that she’s a cold, manipulative bitch. She has to look warm. She’s actually good at that. But she also has to look like an expert — like the grownup in the room. It’s hard to do both, particularly if you’re an older woman.
Will Clinton goad Trump into losing control? If I were her, that’s what I’d try to do. However, Trump seems like the kind of guy who’s an expert at SEEMING like he’s in control (like his pal Chris Christie). I’d love to see Trump go bananas and swarm over the podium, fists flailing, only to be restrained by the Secret Service while Clinton calmly sips water. But that’s not going to happen.
Another low expectation for Clinton is that her opponents expect her to come off like senile, palsied old lady. That’ll be a cinch for her to exceed. But how healthy will she look overall? And don’t point me to videos where she seems to be losing her mind. I guarantee you that if I videotape anyone for every waking minute — which is what happens when you run for President — I can produce great swathes of video that make the person look like they’ve completely lost it. Everybody occasionally gets caught in a stammer vortex, loses track of what they’re saying, puts their foot in their mouth, and comes off angry.
I don’t expect to see a decisive moment — something like Romney’s 47% remark, or Kerry’s “for it before I was against it,” or the elder Bush’s encounter with a supermarket price-scanner — only on live TV. I’d love it if it happened to Trump, but I don’t expect it.
Only 20 minutes to go, so I don’t expect much discussion. I just wanted to get these thoughts written down before the actual debate begins.
We’ll be watching late. No spoilers!
FiveThirtyEight – Clinton’s biggest worry is that the electorate views the race as being between two equally unacceptable choices, rather than Trump being uniquely unacceptable, Silver says.
Trump’s biggest worry is no matter how great things go for him and badly for Clinton — and most of September so far has been great for Trump and lousy for Clinton — he can’t seem to pull ahead, Silver says.
That’s what people say they’ve “read, seen, or heard” about Clinton, according to pollsters. (Philip Bump, The Washington Post)
The elder Bush supposedly said so at a gathering of about 40 supporters. (Eric Bradner and Jamie Gangel, CNN)
Widely disliked but hardly anybody actually hates them. (Ariel Edwards-Levy, The Huffington Post)(
Trump is “a national disgrace and an international pariah” and everything Clinton touches she “kind of screws up with hubris.” (Aaron Blake, The Washington Post)