As we noted days ago, Hillary Clinton has been trying to explain her electoral loss in 2016 by pointing to several outside factors that may have hurt her chances. Some within the Democratic Party have taken notice and appear to be growing tired of listening to the explanations.
Doug Schoen, a prominent Democratic strategist, went so far as to pen an op-ed in which he encouraged Hillary Clinton to retire off into the sunset and stop distracting from the debate:
Clinton continues to take the focus away from the party and its elected leaders, weakening those who could actually make a difference in 2018, and eventually 2020. The tension she is causing only exacerbates divisions within the Democratic Party. Clinton continues to focus on the debate and other excuses for her loss.
Recently, Clinton was quoted saying that she felt that Trump “was literally breathing down my neck” during a debate, and that she felt “incredibly uncomfortable.” While this generates lots of coverage for her, these anecdotes only distract from the real reasons she lost and the changes the Democratic Party needs to make going forward.
In the wake of an unpopular president, usually the candidate who lost has a surge in approval ratings. Not only has Clinton not had this increase, her approvals are below those of President Trump. In the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last month, only 30 percent of voters reported having either a very or somewhat positive feeling about Clinton, while 6 percent more, or 36 percent, viewed Trump positively.
These numbers underscore just how unpopular Clinton is and how weak of a candidate she was.
There are a lot of rising stars in the Democratic Party, none of them have the name “Clinton” attached to them. That era has ended and it doesn’t appear that either the Bush or Clinton dynasty will once again hold the executive branch anytime soon.
The conservative Washington Times also quotes various Democratic Party members who all seem to be finished with hearing any further explanation of “what happened” in 2016:
“The best thing she could do is disappear,” a former fundraiser and surrogate told the newspaper. “She’s doing harm to all of us because of her own selfishness. Honestly, I wish she’d just shut the f– up and go away.”
“None of this is good for the party,” added one of Mr. Obama’s former aides. “It’s the Hillary Show, 100 percent. A lot of us are scratching our heads and wondering what she’s trying to do. It’s certainly not helpful.”
As also noted in the story, these quotes were obtained anonymously because the Clintons are still a powerful force within the Democratic Party establishment. Even if you’re a Democrat who’d like to see less Hillary, you might want to keep that to yourself.
Politicians are usually very concerned with the “legacy” they will be left with in the history books. One can surmise that with her book release attempting to explain the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton is trying to ensure that she is not labeled as a two-time electoral loser without some serious caveats and side-notes explaining the various factors. It’s debatable whether Hillary was a good candidate, but it’s not debatable that the root cause of the issue probably has a lot to do with not taking Donald Trump seriously enough, especially when it came to blue-collar appeal.