Hillary Clinton rides a carousel of excuses

It must be increasingly tough for the left nowadays. Hillary Clinton — apparently channeling a crazy old cat lady — is busy ricocheting from one talking head to another, peddling her new book and making sure everybody knows just how incredibly lucky we are she was not elected president.

The woman whose campaign left behind a Democratic Party in shambles still does not get why so many in the nation's "basket of deplorables" voted for Donald Trump. Her book, "What happened," more accurately should be titled, "What happened?" In the book and in interviews she blames herself a little; she blames everybody and everything else a lot.

Her list of supposed transgressors is lengthy and certain to pound additional wedges into an already fractured Democratic Party – not a bad thing from some perspectives.

Let's start with Barack Obama: He did not warn the nation of Russian election interference, that "our democracy was under attack," she says. "Maybe more Americans would have woken up to the threat in time." She also blames him for his war on coal that cost her votes.

Bernie Sanders did "lasting damage" when he resorted "to innuendo and impugning on my character," setting the stage for Donald Trump's "Crooked Hillary" campaign, she says in the book. Former FBI Director James Comey's reopening the investigation of her emails made her appear "scandal-plagued," and turned her campaign "upside down," she says. She is certain she would have won if he had kept his mouth shut.

[Clinton, in book, says Trump's debate stalking made her skin crawl]

Clinton blames The New York Times for its coverage of her email scandal; its reporting "affected the outcome of the election," and, oh, she also blames the media in general for, among other things, providing Trump free air time. Never mind that it was overwhelmingly negative, even damning.


Then, there was, she says, the sexism and misogyny directed at her that led to the election of a "flagrantly sexist candidate." She blames dumb Americans who fell for Trump's reality TV campaign while ignoring her "traditional presidential campaign with carefully thought-out policies and painstakingly built coalitions …."

Vladimir Putin gets slammed for his personal vendetta against her. She blames hackers who installed a "friendly puppet." She blames Joe Biden for his weak support of her campaign.

And, she told Jane Pauley on "CBS Sunday Morning," she blames herself for not addressing the "resentment" of white voters.

To tie it in a bow, she blames the "godforsaken" Electoral College and the Democratic Party. "I'm now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party. It was bankrupt … I had to inject money into it — the DNC — to keep it going."

Her serial list of excuses grows almost daily. In truth, she lost largely because she is a terrible candidate, devoid of warmth or empathy. On television she appears a wooden, unlikeable, out-of-touch bureaucrat. Clinton lost because many voters who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 did not vote for her because they viewed her and her party as no longer interested in working Americans. They voted, instead, for Donald Trump — for change.

Clinton is a policy wonk, a Big Picture, process-driven politician who during the campaign failed to provide Americans with the nuts and bolts of what she would do if elected.

"Policies coursed through her body like blood cells," columnist Richard Cohen aptly wrote of her in The Washington Post. "She knew everything. She was, in the famous formulation of Isaiah Berlin, a fox. Trump was a hedgehog. He knew just one thing: why he wanted to be president."

Sanders' message was crystal clear: I'm going to gut Wall Street. Trump had one, too: Make America great again. And Clinton's? I'm more of the same: more government, more debt, more economic malaise, more lousy race relations and more class warfare.

She did not help her cause by serving up softballs for Trump. The "basket of deplorables" remark was one. Another was telling a Democratic town hall meeting in West Virginia that by bringing clean, renewable energy to the region, "We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business." Guess what part of that was used in Trump ads. Then there was the Benghazi cover-up hearing in which, when pressed, she blurted out: "What difference at this point does it make?" That was out of context, too, but it was political dynamite.

In short, she blew it. She did it to herself. Now, many, including prominent Democrats such as New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, are growing increasingly weary of her whining. Go away, they say, seeing her incessant carping as divisive and bad for their already reeling party and its prospects in next year's midterms and in 2020.

For now, she is sucking up all the Democrats' air, showing America the left's face.

You go girl.

Paul Jenkins is editor of the AnchorageDailyPlanet.com, a division of Porcaro Communications.

The views expressed here are the writer's and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary@alaskadispatch.com. Send submissions shorter than 200 words to letters@alaskadispatch.com. 

Paul Jenkins

Paul Jenkins is a former Associated Press reporter, managing editor of the Anchorage Times, an editor of the Voice of the Times and former editor of the Anchorage Daily Planet.