Yep, in a speech the Code Conference, Hillary Clinton went the Joseph McCarthy route, and claimed that there were a thousand Russian agents sabotaging her campaign.
Let’s be clear on this: There were any number reasons that Hillary Clinton lost, and if more than a few of them had been different, the outcome would have been different.
That being said, Clinton snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the 2008 primaries and in the 2012 general election, and it’s fairly clear that she was much, if not most, of the problem:
- She employed people on the basis of loyalty and not competence. (See Penn, Mark)
- Her campaigns, even more than most, were snake pits of people fighting for power because of a lack of clear lines of authority.
- Her response to problems was to stonewall, which made it worse.
- The concept of a simple honest apology is beyond her. (See her refusal to apologize for her Iraq war vote until it was way too late)
- There was absolutely no learning curve from 2008 to 2016, and she had been working on the 2nd race for pretty much the whole 8 years.
So, in her talk, she finds herself blameless
Hillary Clinton doesn’t believe she or her campaign made any significant mistakes in the 2016 election. But speaking at the Code Conference on Wednesday, she had a long list of others she blames for her defeat.
She points the finger at Russia, fake news, the sorry state of the Democratic Party, sexism, and the media that covered the email scandal “like Pearl Harbor,” among others.
“If you look at Facebook, the vast majority of the news items posted were fake,” Clinton told Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, editors of the Vox Media site Recode, which sponsors the conference. “They were connected to — as we now know — the 1,000 Russian agents who were involved in delivering those messages. They were connected to the bots that are just out of control.”
It’s not actually clear that “we now know” any of this. There was a lot of fake news swirling around Facebook in the closing weeks of the campaign, but I haven’t seen any evidence that it was the “vast majority.” The claim that there were 1,000 Russian agents spreading fake news comes from a March statement by Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), but he described these as unconfirmed reports, not proven facts.
The similarities between what she said, and what Joe McCarthy said are striking.
BTW, at that same speech, she threw the DNC’s data operations under the bus, despite her campaign ignoring advice to campaign in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan:
Irritated Democrats say Hillary Clinton is wrong to cast blame on the national party for her loss to Donald Trump.
Allies of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in particular were incensed by Clinton’s criticism of the party apparatus, saying she mischaracterized the committee’s work while needlessly stoking internal divisions.
Clinton surprised Democrats on Wednesday when she complained that she inherited “nothing” from a “bankrupt” DNC after becoming the nominee.
She faulted the committee, which some saw as favoring her during the tough primary fight against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), as having “mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong” data operation. The remarks were also seen as a rebuke of President Obama, who chose the leaders of the DNC during his tenure.
Andrew Therriault, who served as the DNC’s director of data science until last June, said Clinton’s claims were “f—ing bulls—” in a series of tweets that have since been deleted.
Therriault accused Clinton’s team of ignoring DNC data that warned of a close race in the three states that, by narrow margins, ultimately handed Trump his Electoral College victory: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
“All that said, irony of her bashing DNC data: *our* models never had mi/wi/pa looking even close to safe. Her team thought they knew better,” Therriault wrote.
Paraphrasing what Tallyrand probably didn’t originally say of the Bourbon kings Napoleon,† “She has learned nothing, and she has forgotten nothing.”
I think that she honestly believes that she can win if she runs again in 2020.
Maybe she should ask herself if she deserves to win if she runs again in 2020.
*This is a reference to the following infamous Joseph McCarthy Quote:
The State Department is infested with communists. I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department.
†It really is remarkable just how many quotes attributed to Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord that appear to have originated elsewhere.