Yes, having to write this post makes me feel like Michael Corleone in “Godfather III.”
I considered giving Hillary her well-earned Worst Presidential Election Loser award after her embarrassing Commencement speech at Wellesley, but the wag who wrote “Why did Hillary dress up like Monica Lewinsky at Wellesley? to accompany this photo…
…made me laugh, and in my lightened state decided, “Nah! Why bother? Leave the poor woman alone.”
For I do feel sorry for Hillary Clinton. I feel sorry for anyone who loses the Presidency despite winning the popular vote. I would think it could drive someone crazy. In the play “Inherit the Wind,” there is a scene in which the wife of Matthew Harrison Brady (a thinly-disguised fictional avatar for three time Presidential loser William Jennings Bryan) begs for sympathy for her blow-hard husband, asking a critic to imagine what it must be like to have a Presidential election victory speech written and in his pocket three separate times and to never get to deliver it. Well, knowing you received the most votes and still can’t give the speech has to be much, much worse.
Then came yesterday’s orgy of excuses and recriminations as Clinton, looking and sounding angry and bitter, was interviewed at a tech conference hosted by Recode’s Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. And she puuuulled me back!
So now I have to review Hillary’s revolting and self-indicting Blame Everyone tour. Let’s begin by stating that no defeated Presidential candidate has ever done anything like this before, not even Richard Nixon. Nixon’s poor loser meltdown was after he lost the California Governor’s race in 1962. When he lost to Kennedy in 1960, his conduct was exemplary, refusing to demand a recount even when there was evidence, as there frequently was with the Kennedys, of shady operations. For a loser to engage in repeated recriminations and bitter pronouncements less than a year after losing is unprecedented. It is also —and forgive me for repeating myself from prior posts–disgusting, despicable and shameful for a defeated candidate to join a “resistance” against the lawfully elected winner. This is especially true in Clinton’s case, when she furiously condemned candidate Trump for suggesting that he might not accept his defeat.
In an interview in New York Magazine last month, Hillary repeatedly claimed that she “won.” As an amused Donald Rumsfeld countered the ladies of “The View” last week when they made the same claim, “What counts?” Uh, well, the Electoral votes count, Whoopie and Friends admitted. “That’s what I thought,” Rumsfeld smiled. Hillary, who at Wellesley claimed to be the herald of truth in an age of lies, keeps saying she won. It’s a Big Lie. Worse, it’s a Big Lie designed to keep alive the narrative that Donald Trump is not a “legitimate President.” He is exactly as legitimate a President as John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison and George W. Bush, and indeed all the rest. He won. Hillary lost, and is now lying about it.
Incredibly, she also told the magazine that the news media was biased against her. “Look, we have an advocacy press on the right that has done a really good job for the last 25 years,” Clinton said. “They have a mission. They use the rights given to them under the First Amendment to advocate a set of policies that are in their interests, their commercial, corporate, religious interests. Because the advocacy media occupies the right, and the center needs to be focused on providing as accurate information as possible. Not both-sides-ism and not false equivalency.”
That’s right, she really called The New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS, ABC, CNN and NBC “the center.” She really has the chutzpah to argue that the media didn’t work hard enough to elect her and stop Trump, when its unethical efforts to do just that have triggered a catastrophic diminished in the public’s regard for journalism.
Then Hillary endorsed a fantasy conspiracy theory that “voter suppression” had stolen her victory. Clinton claimed that “what I was doing was working. I would have won had I not been subjected to the unprecedented attacks by Comey and the Russians, aided and abetted by the suppression of the vote, particularly in Wisconsin.”
Never mind that Clinton didn’t deign to campaign in Wisconsin once during her general election campaign, and ran almost no campaign ads until shortly before the election. It was those racist Republicans that stopped loyal Democrats from stepping up. Hillary was channeling the largest pro-Clinton super PAC during the 2016 election, Priorities USA, which had recently released an analysis of voter turnout that claimed voter suppression had a “significant impact” on the electoral outcome. Even reliable Hillary boosters as Snopes to and Vox rejected the claim. Vox:
Clinton lost in must-win states that had no new voting restrictions. And she lost by such big margins in a few states with new voting restrictions that it’s unlikely that voter suppression alone can explain the results…
Okay, but what about the states that did pass new voting restrictions — like Ohio, North Carolina, and Wisconsin? To evaluate that, we have to look at the research on voting restrictions, which suggests that these don’t have as big of an effect as you might think.
Wisconsin, which was the closest contest of these three states on Election Day, has the most compelling case. As Ari Berman wrote for the Nation, “27,000 votes currently separate Trump and Clinton in Wisconsin, where 300,000 registered voters, according to a federal court, lacked strict forms of voter ID.”
So were 300,000 Clinton supporters really turned off from voting by the state’s voter ID law? Not quite. As Nate Cohn previously explained for the New York Times, chances are most of these people weren’t going to vote in the first place:
To begin with, the true number of registered voters without photo identification is usually much lower than the statistics on registered voters without identification suggest. The number of voters without photo identification is calculated by matching voter registration files with state ID databases. But perfect matching is impossible, and the effect is to overestimate the number of voters without identification. …
People without ID are less likely to vote than other registered voters. The North Carolina study found that 43 percent of the unmatched voters — registered voters who could not be matched with a driver’s license — participated in 2012, compared with more than 70 percent of matched voters.
Essentially, the number of voters who don’t actually have an eligible ID is very inflated by estimates like Wisconsin’s. And assuming that these people will vote in the first place is a big mistake — they’re less likely to vote, with or without a voter ID law.
There’s no question that voter ID has a disparate impact on Democratic-leaning groups — those young, nonwhite, poor, immobile or elderly voters. The unmatched North Carolina voters were registered as Democrats by a 37-point margin, compared with the 12-point Democratic margin statewide. They were 46 percent nonwhite, compared with 29 percent of all registered voters.
But 22 percent of these voters were registered Republicans. The voters without an identification might be breaking something more like 70/30 for Democrats than 95/5.
As Cohn writes, a 70-30 skew is still a big loss for Democrats. But when taking into account that many of these people are unlikely to vote in the first place, the total count of lost voters is much smaller than one would think.
Studies looking into voter ID laws’ effect on voter turnout back this up. The research, including multiple studies conducted over several years, has generally found that voter ID laws have a small to no impact on voter turnout.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO), for example, concluded that a majority of studies it reviewed found no or even increased turnout after voter ID measures passed:
Of the 10 studies we reviewed, 5 found that state voter ID requirements had no statistically significant effects on voter turnout nationwide, and 5 studies found that changes in voter ID requirements had statistically significant effects on voter turnout. Among the 5 studies that showed statistically significant effects, 1 of the studies found an increase in voter turnout nationwide of 1.8 percentage points. The other 4 studies that showed statistically significant effects found that voter ID requirements decreased voter turnout, and the estimated decreases ranged from 1.5 to 3.9 percentage points.
If you average the results from these studies, it appears that voter ID reduced turnout by around 0 to 1 percentage points. And not all of this reduced turnout is Democrats — as Cohn noted, it’s probably safe to assume around 70 percent were.
In fact, none of the other voting restrictions enacted by states seem to have much of an effect on voting either. Researchers have found, for example, mixed effects on whether more early voting increases turnout, with one recent study finding that early voting actually decreased turnout on net if voters couldn’t register to vote and cast their ballot on the same day. And in terms of long lines due to polling place closures, other studies estimated that previous experiences with long lines decreased turnout by only a fraction of a percentage point in 2014 compared to 2012.
Keeping that in mind, let’s look at the swing states that had new voting restrictions in time for 2016: Ohio, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.
In Ohio, lawmakers cut one week of early voting, keeping about four weeks of early voting in place. Clinton lost that state to Trump by 8.6 points — way more than one would expect a 0 to 1 percentage point decrease in turnout to cause.
In North Carolina, lawmakers cut voting sites for early voting and Election Day, but they never managed to implement broader restrictions they passed (including voter ID and early voting cuts) after a court struck those measures down. Clinton lost the state by 3.8 points — again, more than a 0 to 1 percentage point decrease in voter turnout would likely cause.
In Wisconsin, Clinton supporters again have the most compelling case. Clinton lost Wisconsin by 1 percentage point, which could definitely fall in the realm of reduced turnout from voting restrictions. But that’s only if you assume the maximum effect that voter suppression can have.
Plus, Clinton could have won Wisconsin and still lost the election. Once she lost Florida, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, it was over. There was no way she could make up for the Electoral College deficit.
These facts matter: If Clinton didn’t lose because of voter suppression, she obviously lost for other reasons. Figuring out those other reasons will be necessary if Democrats hope to prevent another shocking loss like Clinton’s in the future.
Sources: Heat Street, New York Magazine, Vox, The Hill
23 thoughts on “Ethics Verdict: Hillary Clinton Is The Worst Loser In US Presidential History (PART I)”
For the Clintons it’s always been about framing the narrative in a way that’s positive for them and repeat that narrative until “everyone” either believes it or the non-believers get shut out.
That is really funny, because the we have an idea of why Trump was discussed so much in the media. It is right in the Wikileaks emails:
But now, she is complaining that the media went along with her strategy?
Thank you, I was just coming to post this. Three things to add:
1. It was not a proposal, it memorialized an ongoing plan: “Clearly most of what is contained in this memo is work the DNC is already doing. This exercise is intended to put those ideas to paper;”
2. It was not a rogue operation: this is the Clinton campaign including campaign chairman Podesta and campaign manager Mook coordinating plans with the Democratic National Committee; and,
3. Trump would not announce his candidacy for another ten weeks.
There are a lot of just plain crazy people in the Left right now, but there are also very cool-headed people who are manipulating things. One of the things the cool heads are doing is diverting attention from things like this.
Point of order: no one won the popular vote. As winning requires a majority of voters not a plurality, she failed in this regard as well.
Go ahead, take even that away from her, you misogynist.
This also means that Bill never won the popular vote either.
Yep. It’s a good measure for seeing when both main candidates are awful options.
I am not a misogynist! I’m very happy for Hillary because now she has the time to really focus on tidying up the house and having a warm cooked meal prepared for Bill so he can come home from work to a stress free environment.
Don’t forget the cookies!
This is from the wikipedia entry “Richard Nixon’s November 1962 Press Conference.” So, why are you giving Pres. Nixon a pass on this behavior, but condemning Sec Clinton for similar comments about the press? You can go either way, but how about some consistency?
“… He spent most of the talk criticizing the press, his remarks interrupted only by brief interjections from reporters, though he acknowledged well into his remarks that the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 did not allow his campaign to get his message across during the final two weeks in his election bid. Nixon began his remarks stating that “now that all the members of the press are so delighted that I have lost, I’d like to make a statement of my own.” Nixon insisted that the press had attacked him since 1948 following the Alger Hiss case. He accused the press of printing articles supporting their favored candidates, stating that they should “give… the shaft” to future candidates, but should have “one lonely reporter on the campaign who will report what the candidate says now and then”. ….”
I hate to say this, but CAN YOU READ???? From the post:
“Let’s begin by stating that no defeated Presidential candidate has ever done anything like this before, not even Richard Nixon. Nixon’s poor loser meltdown was after he lost the California Governor’s race in 1962. When he lost to Kennedy in 1960, his conduct was exemplary, refusing to demand a recount even when there was evidence, as there frequently was with the Kennedys, of shady operations.”
So you write to say I’m giving Nixon a pass on his GOVERNORS RACE loss after I pointed it out myself. See, we’re talking about PRESIDENTIAL RACE losers. I was clear about that. Yet you cite a 1962 (we elect Presidents ever four years, not two, trust me) election in California, and treat it as a “gotcha!” even though I already explained why it wasn’t relevant. Good work, there, Skippy!
Your apology will be graciously accepted.
But don’t pull that crap here.
You are correct. I do apologize.
Through no fault but my own, I misread & misunderstood your rather clearly worded sentence. My response was based on my own self-inflicted wrong view. I retract and regret my earlier comment. I would be humbled if you would accept my apology.
Of course. Don’t give it another thought.
Yes, it is perhaps understandable that HRC is disappointed and depressed. But it appears that bitterness and anger has overridden her instincts to protect her own best interests to act with a certain degree of decorum. This post-election “acting out” is only causing her legacy harm.
It seems that some political personalities become so self absorbed that they no longer care about the people they pretend to serve and willingly throw everybody and everything under the bus in sacrifice to their own inflated egos. I think HRC is one of those politicians who has lost sight of serving her nation or the American people. It has become all about her and making excuses in the deluded dream of reclaiming power and getting revenge at some future date. It does not appear that she really cares about the serious damage she is doing the American political process and the public perception of its fairness and legitimacy.
Curiously, Mao (of China) acted out in similar ways. He created the PRC in 1949 and probably did some good things in the early days. And then pursued very unwise (impossible) policies to achieve rapid modernization (Great Leap Forward). This ended in disaster, massive failure, and the deaths of millions of innocent people. But worse yet in Mao’s eyes was his own loss of political credibility and power. Selfishly, Mao orchestrated his great “come back” through the similarly disastrous “Cultural Revolution” and caused the destruction of many important public institutions and the ruination of many more innocent lives. In “the ends justifies the means” eyes of Mao…the righteous one… it was all worth while. He regained some political power and credibility when he eventually stopped the disastrous mess he himself had created. Such is the thinking of such egoist… they don’t care what damage they may do. It is all about them.
Do we really want a new “Cultural Revolution” in America to restore political power to the the true rightful owner… HRC? (Not saying HRC is Mao, but I do see some personality similarities especially the blindness of ego.)
Great comment, and spot on.
“I think HRC is one of those politicians who has lost sight of serving her nation or the American people.”
I assert, after a life long observation of the Clintons, that Hillary NEVER had sight of ‘serving her nation or the American people.’ They have been about their personal power from day one, and the politics of personal destruction gained traction during their tenure. Bill was about the money and dames, and Hillary was about the power and fame.
Slickwilly has been a hobby of mine since before he was first elected.
The press was biased against her in 2008, although not in favor of the Republicans. If that was her beef, I’d give her that one.
Is it just me or is there irony in Hillary Clinton speaking at a tech convention?
maybe she gave them server cleaning tips…’like, with a cloth?’
Or password strength.
The very definition of it…
Hillary said: “They use the rights given to them under the First Amendment”. This could only be said by someone who believes our rights are given to us by the government. It is what you would expect to hear from someone who championed Citizens United.