Hillary Clinton most responsible for what happened in '16 election
AT one point in her new book out this week, titled “What Happened,” Hillary Clinton wonders why it is she has triggered such strong negative reactions from some people since the beginning of her public career. “What makes me such a lightning rod for fury?” Clinton writes. “I’m really asking. I’m at a loss.”
There are any number of reasons, of course, but two chief ones are her long history of finding it difficult to tell the truth, and her unwillingness to accept it.
Her large cattle futures paydays as first lady of Arkansas? All on the up and up. Her handling of the Benghazi attack as secretary of state? Right on point. Her use of a personal email server while in that highly sensitive job? “It was allowed,” she famously said at the time. Of course, it wasn’t allowed.
Clinton asserted in 2015 that she used the private email because she could then use just one digital device. Yet her attorneys turned over two BlackBerrys to FBI investigators, and the agency identified 13 other mobile devices and five iPads that might have processed classified material.
When the FBI asked Clinton about important events and details related to her time as secretary of state, she said — 27 times — that she “could not recall” or “did not remember specifically.”
These episodes and others contributed mightily to Clinton’s loss last November, although she remains convinced much of the blame falls to others. Vladimir Putin is among those at the top of her list.
In an interview with USA Today, Clinton said there “certainly was an understanding of some sort” between Putin and associates of Donald Trump. She said she’s “convinced” there was collusion by Trump associates. However, “I happen to believe in the rule of law and believe in evidence, so I’m not going to go off and make all kinds of outrageous claims.”
Reviews of the book note that she takes some responsibility for her loss, including misunderstanding the electorate and underestimating Trump. But she also spends considerable time pointing fingers.
She’s mildly critical of former President Obama for not saying more about Russian meddling in the run-up to the election. She takes to task females who chose to stay home on Election Day. Former FBI Director James Comey comes in for the most criticism, with Clinton saying she was “shivved” by Comey, particularly his announcement of a new batch of emails just 11 days before the election.
Bernie Sanders is a Clinton target. Sanders didn’t enter the race to put a Democrat in the White House, Clinton writes, but instead “he got in to disrupt the Democratic Party.” Sanders’ attacks on her during the campaign, she contends, helped set the stage for Trump’s strategy during the general election campaign.
Brianna Keilar, CNN’s senior Washington correspondent, noted recently on the network that the criticism of Sanders “speaks to an issue that Hillary Clinton has had, where she struggles sometimes to take responsibility.”
“She came in with weaknesses that were completely self-created,” Keilar said. “And for an opponent to ignore those things, to not really capitalize on them, would have been political negligence.”
Simply put, Hillary has only herself to blame for what happened.