Clinton suggested in an interview at a “Women for Women” event in New York that her forthcoming book would include plenty about how misogyny contributed to her loss, adding it to the blame she has assigned to FBI Director James B. Comey and Russian hacking. And by the end of the interview, she also blamed the debate questions she was asked.
The total picture was of a candidate only adding to the things she blames for her loss rather than truly looking inward. She acknowledged her own flaws, yes, but she also seemed to suggest they were rather inconsequential and at one point appeared to sarcastically dismiss the magnitude of them.
Asked whether misogyny played a role, Clinton said with a wry smile: “The book’s coming out in the fall.”
“Yes, I do think it played a role,” she said. “I think other things played a role, too.” She would go on to name Russia and Comey’s letter about discovering more Clinton emails with 11 days left in the campaign. She said she was on her way to winning without them and would have won if the election were held Oct. 27.
She’s offered similar — if less pointed — comments about those things before. She even briefly mentioned misogyny last month at another event last month (our Amber Phillips details research suggesting she's got a point). But she seemed to suggest even more strongly Tuesday that her book would focus plenty on the m-word.
“It is real. It is very much a part of the landscape politically and socially and economically,” she added. “It a role in this election, and I will have a lot to say about it.”
Later in the same conversation, Clinton also suggested that debate questions were to blame, saying moderators didn't ask about how the candidates planned to created jobs.
“I’ve watched a million presidential debates in my life, and I was waiting for the moment when one of the people asking the questions would have said, 'Well, so, exactly how are you going to create more jobs?'" Clinton said. “Right? I mean, I thought that, you know, at some moment that would happen.”
As The Fix’s Callum Borchers notes, it turns out NBC moderator Lester Holt actually led off the very first debate with this question: “Beginning with you, Secretary Clinton, why are you a better choice than your opponent to create the kinds of jobs that will put more money into the pockets of American workers?”
One of the criticisms of Clinton since her loss is that she has blamed everyone and everything but herself. She did offer some thoughts on her own shortcomings, but not really in any detail. And six months on, she’s clearly much more than eager to chew over the other reasons she lost.
Even when Clinton acknowledged her own problems, she seemed to merely be checking a box and conceding the point. “Did I make mistakes? Oh my gosh, yes,” she said, before adding, apparently somewhat sarcastically: “You’ll read my confession and my request for absolution.”
The “request for absolution” line was delivered pretty thickly. The takeaway: Clinton may believe in her own personal failures, but she believes they’re overblown next to everything else. Something tells me she’ll focus more on those things in her book.
Look, it’s fine to blame outside factors; Clinton lost by less than 1 point each in three blue-leaning swing states that made President Trump the winner. It’s completely plausible that Comey or Russia or misogyny made the difference.
But “absolute personal responsibility” suggests you are taking total accountability for the outcome. Clinton simply isn’t doing that. In fact, she’s suggesting her own flaws were pretty minimal.
|Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton takes part in the Women for Women International Luncheon in New York. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)|
Hillary Clinton says election loss caused by misogyny, FBI, Russian hacking
Hillary Clinton says she believes misogyny, Russian interference and questionable decisions by the FBI prevented her from beating Donald Trump and becoming United States president.
Hillary Clinton going through the "painful" process of writing a book about campaign
Vladimir Putin held grudge over her 2012 Russian election allegation, she says
Misogyny "very much a part of the landscape politically, socially and economically", Mrs Clinton says
The former Democratic presidential nominee said she took responsibility for the loss and had been going through the "painful" process of reliving the 2016 contest while writing a book.
She said while her campaign overcame an "enormous barrage of negativity, of false equivalency" but was fatally wounded by Russian leaks and the FBI's eleventh-hour disclosures about her use of a private email server.
"It wasn't a perfect campaign. There is no such thing," Mrs Clinton said at the annual Women for Women International's luncheon in New York.
"But I was on the way to winning until a combination of [FBI director] Jim Comey's letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off."
She reminded the enthusiastic audience packed with women that she ultimately earned 3 million more votes than Mr Trump.
"If the election were on October 27, I would be your president," Mrs Clinton said.
She also highlighted Russia's role in hacking into her campaign's internal emails and subsequently coordinating their release on WikiLeaks, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin as "that leader who shall remain nameless".
US intelligence agencies are investigating whether Russia coordinated with Mr Trump associates to influence the election.
"[Mr Putin] certainly interfered in our election," the former secretary of state said.
"And it's clear he interfered to hurt me and help his opponent."
Mrs Clinton linked Mr Putin's alleged decision to support Mr Trump's campaign to her accusing the Russian leader of rigging his election victory in 2012, when she was secretary of state.
Misogyny 'part of the political, social, economic landscape'
In a question-and-answer-session with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Mrs Clinton said she thought misogyny was also a factor.
"I do think it played a role," she said, adding that misogyny is "very much a part of the landscape politically, socially and economically".
After two unsuccessful presidential campaigns, Mrs Clinton is not expected to run for public office again.
"I'm now back to being an active citizen," she said.
Clinton blames self, Russia, misogyny for election loss
Hillary Clinton has said that she is taking responsibility for her 2016 election loss but believes misogyny, Russian interference and questionable decisions by the FBI influenced the outcome.
The former Democratic presidential nominee offered extensive comments about the election during the Women for Women International's annual luncheon in New York on Tuesday.
She said she has been going through the "painful" process of reliving the 2016 contest while writing a book.
"It wasn't a perfect campaign. There is no such thing," Clinton said in a question-and-answer session with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
"But I was on the way to winning, until a combination of [FBI Director] Jim Comey's letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off."
On October 28, Comey sent a letter to Congress saying new emails had turned up in the investigation looking into her use of a private server while she was secretary of state - emails that later proved to be irrelevant.
"If the election were on October 27, I would be your president," Clinton said.
Forecaster FiveThirtyEight said that just before Comey's announcement, she had an 81 percent chance of winning the election. Two days before the November 8 election, her chances were 65 percent, according to the same forecast.
Clinton reminded the enthusiastic audience packed with women that she earned 3 million more votes than Republican Donald Trump, who won more Electoral College votes and won the election.
She also said Russia hacked into her campaign's internal emails and subsequently coordinated their release on WikiLeaks.
US intelligence agencies are investigating whether Russia coordinated with Trump associates to influence the election, something Russia has denied.
"He [Russian President Vladimir Putin] certainly interfered in our election," Clinton said. "And it's clear he interfered to hurt me and help my opponent."
Political analyst Bill Schneider said that more than anything, Clinton herself was the reason the Democrats lost the election.
"She's been around for over 25 years, that was her biggest problem in the election," he told Al Jazeera.
"She is a charter member of the establishment, and 2016 was a very anti-establishment year."
Amanpour also asked Clinton whether she was a victim of misogyny.
"Yes, I do think it played a role," she said, adding that misogyny is "very much a part of the landscape politically, socially and economically".
After two unsuccessful presidential campaigns, Clinton is not expected to run for public office again.
"I'm now back to being an activist citizen and part of the resistance," she said.