Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's aides aren't willing to take the blame for their candidate's surprising loss in the 2016 presidential election.
In a conference call between reporters and top Clinton advisers John Podesta and Jennifer Palmieri, questions about whether Clinton should have paid more attention to the economy of working-class Americans instead of president-elect Donald Trump's personal flaws were dismissed.
“They are saying they did nothing wrong, which is ridiculous,” one Clinton surrogate told Politico. “She was the wrong messenger and everyone misjudged how pissed working class people were.”
But ignoring the needs of working-class Americans -- especially white working-class Americans in the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, which are all states that Clinton lost by 1 percent or less, according to The New York Times election results -- is likely what cemented her loss.
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Clinton had high unfavorable ratings throughout the election and a lack of enthusiasm among voters, which also contributed to her loss. But by losing economically-depressed states that have long been Democratic strongholds, lack of attention to the needs of the working-class appears to have been a fatal oversight for the Clinton campaign in a race she lost to a controversial figure known more for his fiery tweets than his fine-tuned policy ideas.
“She got this gift of this complete idiot who says bizarre things and hates women and she still lost,” said a Clinton ally. “They lost in a race they obviously should have won. They need to take some blame.”
Politico reported that former President Bill Clinton urged the campaign to appeal more to working-class voters, but campaign manager Robby Mook brushed aside the idea.
Instead, the campaign not only ignored working-class voters, but went against the idea that a desire for change was strong and sought to sell Clinton as a reliable and well-known entity people can trust, as opposed to the volatility and unpredictability a President Trump would bring.
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“Make a virtue of her longevity,” Palmieri wrote to Podesta in an email released by WikiLeaks. “Embrace all the Clinton-ness — the forty years in politics, the decades on the national stage...Maybe folks had Clinton fatigue at one point, now they are just seen as part of the fabric of America. (Hillary won’t go away, she is indefatigable, she just keeps at it, and you can trust her to get the job done.)”