seven years later and people still can't accept it
Did sexism hurt Hillary? Probably. But also... did women who might have voted against her had she been a man with more or less the same political profile vote for her, simply because she was a woman? No women did that? Their numbers weren't significant? Hard to believe. Hard to measure too, at this late date.
But as Freddie says, what hurt Hillary most, what hurt her fatally, is that too many people of both sexes really don't like or trust her. And it wasn't a secret. Somebody needs to write one of those alternate-history novels, one where the Democratic party isn't run by morons.
It reminds me of the great joke about the dog food. Board meeting of a dog food company: the CEO says, "Gentlemen, we make the finest dog food money can buy. We use the best ingredients, we have the most innovative marketing, we have the most attractive packaging. And yet we're still losing market share. Why?" Silence... until, from down at the end of the conference table, a squeaky, junior executive voice says, "Dogs don't like it."
I dunno, man. I feel like I read a different Yglesias piece than you did. The whole point of his article is that H. Clinton lost because her unique personal characteristics made her unpopular to the electorate and the Democrats ignored that to their (and the country's) peril. You get pretty hung up on his cheeky comment about O'Malley, but my reading of his piece is that he actually thinks Bernie would have won because H. Clinton was a poor candidate across multiple dimensions. I think you have legitimate gripes with "the media" and how they covered H. Clinton as a candidate, but Yglesias is a strange target at which to direct those legitimate gripes. Really, the only dispute between the two of you on this issue--you BOTH think the democrats chose the wrong nominee in '16--is that your preferred counterfactual involves a socialist getting elected president and his involves a centrist democrat. Either could have happened. You have no dispute with Yglesisas here other than that you like socialism and he doesn't. But you and Yglesias (and the rest of us who know how to read) are right that Dave Roberts is a buffoon whose writing is embarrassing when it strays away from climate issues.
HRC had pretty much all the institutional advantages that it is possible to have in an election not conducted in a full-on banana republic.
Still, she lost. To Donald Trump, a twice divorced glorified carnival barker.
I have read that in Michigan, enough voters voted a straight Team D ticket but either.voted Trump as president or left president blank as to be greater than Trump’s margin of victory.
People went out of their way not to vote for her, she is that unlikeable.
Of course, like most politicians, HRC exhibits behaviors indistinguishable from those of a sociopath. However, unlike most politicians, her detestable husband for instance, HRC either isn't good at hiding this, or can't be bothered to try.
Well said, especially the part about trust issues. I remember watching Inside the NBA one night after Trump won, and one of the hosts (Ernie Johnson) said he had both "trust issues" with Hillary and also found Trump reprehensible. So he wrote in John Kasich.
My best friend, who had voted mostly Republican until that point, did the exact same thing with a Kasich write-in. This friend registered as a Democrat in 2018 and hasn't looked back.
So yeah, the "ugh, Giant Meteor 2016" effect was very real among many, many normal people who aren't hyperpartisans. Hillary was very polarizing among them, and they hated both choices available.
And her "If we break up the banks, will that end racism and sexism?" moment might still, even today, be the most cynical ploy of identity politics I've ever seen in my life.
The Acela Corridor Punditocracy is every bit as willfully clueless about all this as Clinton herself. "We're the best and brightest, and it's our turn! It wasn't our fault! It was the voters! The Russians! TeH SeXiSm!" etc. etc. Trump didn't win because of MuH RaCiSm or Vladimir Putin or any of that nonsense, it was Hillary's negatives, and the fact that only Trump and Bernie even put issues that resonated with working class voters into their platforms in the first place.
I highly recommend "Shattered" by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes for the fascinating story of just how bad the Clinton campaign actually was, and how the interests of the party's elite have erased even the pretense of pretending to care about actual issues.
I think you’re dead right about Hillary, which is why me and my friends all thought she was the wrong candidate. Kamala is exactly like her which is why Biden doesn’t dare step down.
It always felt very clear that a significant chunk of the MSNBC viewer/Democratic Party insider/upper middle class politics hobbyist demographic identified with Hillary so intensely because they personally identified with her particular kind of unlikeability. Her losing even though she was so qualified and was an honors student and worked hard and went to a good school and was so smart and accomplished really short circuited the brain of a certain kind of meritocrat. Putler must have hacked the election!
But also, I hate even having to think about this. It’s coming up on a decade later and people still want to argue about it! But I guess a lot of those folks are still in charge.
I feel like Trump’s success in 2016 can largely be attributed to playing against two perfect foils for him: Jeb Bush in the GOP primary, and HRC in the general. They both entered the race acting like they were entitled to the nomination, voters-be-damned, and it was plain to many ordinary people that they both got to where they were through nepotism. They were also both very dubious choices for where the voting bases of their respective parties were, but were very much in line with what party elites and the wealthy donor bases wanted. The fact that the nomination processes seemed so corrupt made it easier for disgruntled voters to vote for someone who was proudly corrupt and not sanctimonious about it.
I did vote for HRC, for the record, and never regretted doing so in the four years of the Trump shitshow. One thing that continues to amaze me, though, is how little tolerance there continues to be among some democrats for criticism of HRC. If you criticize her or her campaign at all, then it’s YOUR fault that she lost, even if you held your breath and voted for her.
I think this is an uncharitable read of Yglesias's piece, which by the way was published a couple of years ago -- he republished it for no particular reason, I surmise.
I think he could agree with you about most things you say here, particularly how Clinton ran a bad campaign and how flawed she was as a candidate, but the piece was not about that. Insofar it was about alternative candidates, he very clearly points out that his bit about O'Malley is more about a what-if for Biden running in 2016. You could say one of the reasons Biden didn't run was the notion it was Clinton's turn, and I would agree with that, but again, he is clearly not saying O'Malley was a better candidate than Bernie Sanders!
I 100% agree with you that Hillary lost primarily because of Hillary, but I think you're handwaving away the clear issues with a Bernie general election campaign. Just as there's years and years to demonstrate that Hillary is unpopular, there's years and years of evidence that socialism is still an unpopular word to the median voter, that persuasion works a lot better than turning out the base, and that spoiler candidates that poll well in a primary generally see their poll numbers drop once they become the main target of the opposition.
Something that I think is not brought up nearly enough is that 2016 voters thought Trump was more moderate than Hillary. I think that goes a long ways towards explaining part of his win over her. The idea that Bernie would be seen as more moderate than Trump is to me unlikely. None of this is to shit on Bernie (who I generally like even if he's to my left on a lot of issues) or to excuse Hillary (who ran an incompetent campaign, which would be obvious to anyone who'd ever seen her do anything for about 30 years). I think the Martin O'Mally argument is basically what you said above- Obama is popular, the economy wasn't in recession, things seemed mildly normal. All democrats needed to do was nominate someone who wouldn't give voters an excuse to vote for Trump.
Again, you don't have to like it you just have to play the game as it is and I'm not convinced Bernie would have resulted in anything different than Hillary.
The biggest necessary step for true Acela Corridor Consensus Shitlib self-correction and self-awareness will not simply be acknowledging why Hillary was terrible in 20-16, but why their own insane overreactions to Trump's victory and presidency was profoundly damaging to the country, both politically and socially.
That's a level of introspection the people who are just coming to grips with Hillary's deficiencies don't quite seem ready to grapple with right now. It may take another decade or so.
She lost me with that Iraq war vote. How the proud Wellesley valedictorian who crowed about her anti-war bona fides when she was ‘First Lady’ could flip that way showed her true colors. She never did much to change the impression that her top priority was political expediency, the more short-sighted the better. After her electoral humiliation she showed a different ugly side to her profile by maligning Gabbard, an actual war vet, as a Russian influencer. She truly resembles Angela Lansbury in the OG “Manchurian Candidate”. Not a great look. Funny her old cheerleaders still don’t get it, which doesn’t speak well for them. How did they get to their lofty perches anyway?
I think you're misreading Yglesias a little but HRC's candidacy should have disgusted feminists because she garnered her spot via nepotism. Like either Bush son. Unearned.
As far as the sexism angle goes...
A guy at NYU put on a play that re-enacted the debates, with a woman playing Trump and a man playing Hillary, and found the audience actually reacted more positively to Trump’s words coming from a woman and more negatively to Hilary’s words coming from a man (I had a similar reaction when I watched the video, I found). It’s obviously not a scientific study, for a number of reasons, and I’m not sure it proves anything, but at the very least it complicates things a bit.
Hillary's supporters can't accept her loss because they can't accept that anyone would find her unpalatable AND that they could in any way determine the outcome of 2016 (misogynists, all of them).
Hillary embodied the idea that only the neoliberal, Ivy League-credentialed should take their rightful place within the aristocracy sitting atop all power centers -- federal government, think tanks, non-profits. She embodied their hopes that a woman -- the right kind of aristocratic woman -- would ascend to the presidency.
Everything they believed in, they invested in her as a vessel carrying their hopes and dreams. She wouldn't just give voice to their agendas and concerns. She'd give them the power to do something about it. Hence the tears late on election night.
I don't know if they'll ever see 2016 as anything other than a glitch in the system that was the fault of the users rather than the programmers.
The “it’s her turn” sloganeering was nauseating. One of the biggest turn offs for me. I can’t believe she actually embraced that (well, I guess I can absolutely believe it).
And what the fuck is that NYT Word Salad pre-ChatGP4 but clearly as bad as AI drivel? My god. Paywall bypass for those who need a sad Saturday afternoon laugh. https://archive.li/2015.04.08-073019/http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/magazine/what-it-really-means-to-call-hillary-clinton-polarizing.html?_r=0