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Tue Nov 15, 2016, 08:18 PM

One of Hillary Clintons top aides nailed exactly why she lost

Last edited Tue Nov 15, 2016, 11:33 PM - Edit history (2)

One of Hillary Clinton’s top aides nailed exactly why she lost
By Chris Cillizza November 14 at 1:42 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/14/one-of-hillary-clintons-top-aides-nailed-exactly-why-she-lost/

"In The Washington Post's terrific oral history of the 2016 presidential campaign, there's a quote from Hillary Clinton media consultant Mandy Grunwald that is remarkably prescient. Responding to a question about how Clinton could lose despite being ahead in every traditional measure of the campaign, Grunwald said: "How it will happen would be that the desire for change was greater than the fear of [Donald Trump], the fear of the risk. . . . That’s something we talked about very early on — how do we make sure that people aren’t comfortable making that leap because they’d like to go for change. . . . The question is what’s the more salient question when they go vote."

That's it. That's the election in a nutshell: change vs. risk......
....
Why did Clinton lose, then? Because no one understood just how much people wanted change and how big a risk they were willing to take to put someone way outside of the political system into the White House.

....
[summarizing: only 38 percent of voters vs 52% for Clinton said that Trump was "qualified" to be president;
only 35% said that Trump had a presidential temperament vs Hillary at 55%. Voters knew that Trump was dishonest 66% said he was dishonest vs 64% for Clinton.]

BUT,
* One in three voters said Trump was honest and trustworthy (36 percent said the same of Clinton).
But, the desire for change last Tuesday was bigger than any worries Clinton was able to raise about Trump. Four in 10 voters said the most important character trait in deciding their vote was a candidate who "can bring needed change" to Washington. Of that group, Trump won 83 percent to Clinton's 14 percent — 83 to 14!!!!"
____________________________________________________
Since this came from a top Clinton campaign consultant, it's clear that the campaign knew what they were up against. There is little doubt that Comey was the difference maker, but if Trump hadn't captured the mantra of change, then there is good chance that Hillary would have still won. Unfortunately, her team knew that they couldn't use that theme, since she has a long political history in Washington coming in.

postscript: there are many stories similar to this one, ascribing the desire for change as a critical factor. Apparently even President Obama agrees that this theme played a key role:

from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/16/world/europe/obama-trump-nationalism-europe.html
Visiting Europe, Obama Warns Against Rise of ‘Crude Sort of Nationalism’
GARDINER HARRIS NOV. 15, 2016:

"Mr. Obama was unapologetic and unequivocal on his record of inclusiveness.

“So my vision’s right on that issue,” he said. “And it may not always win the day in the short term in any particular political circumstance, but I’m confident it will win the day over the long term.”

Mr. Obama said that the desire for change was a huge factor in Mr. Trump’s victory.

“Sometimes people just feel as if we want to try something to see if we can shake things up, and that I suspect was a significant phenomenon,” he said.

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply One of Hillary Clintons top aides nailed exactly why she lost (Original post)
andym Nov 2016 OP
LisaM Nov 2016 #1
andym Nov 2016 #2
LisaM Nov 2016 #3
MelissaB Nov 2016 #6
LisaM Nov 2016 #12
Ken Burch Nov 2016 #11
bettyellen Nov 2016 #13
Ken Burch Nov 2016 #16
Cobalt Violet Nov 2016 #33
bettyellen Nov 2016 #35
WhiteTara Nov 2016 #4
boston bean Nov 2016 #5
KT2000 Nov 2016 #10
JI7 Nov 2016 #19
splat Nov 2016 #7
tavernier Nov 2016 #8
Dakotacrat Nov 2016 #9
Bucky Nov 2016 #14
duffyduff Nov 2016 #18
Bucky Nov 2016 #25
BainsBane Nov 2016 #15
Kaleva Nov 2016 #20
BainsBane Nov 2016 #23
Eleanors38 Nov 2016 #32
duffyduff Nov 2016 #17
Fast Walker 52 Nov 2016 #26
Hekate Nov 2016 #21
andym Nov 2016 #22
DemonGoddess Nov 2016 #24
MoonRiver Nov 2016 #28
Coyotl Nov 2016 #27
Auggie Nov 2016 #29
Still Sensible Nov 2016 #36
Auggie Nov 2016 #38
jmg257 Nov 2016 #30
Eleanors38 Nov 2016 #31
Fla Dem Nov 2016 #34
BeyondGeography Nov 2016 #37
TrekLuver Nov 2016 #39
Raastan Nov 2016 #40
ErikJ Nov 2016 #41
Danascot Nov 2016 #42

Response to andym (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2016, 08:24 PM

1. Face it, she walked a fine line on a number of fronts.

I'm not sure why she had to run on a platform of change when she wanted to continue (mostly) the policies of a popular administration, but there you go. She had to do her best to keep primary voters happy (and she bent over backwards, with almost zero thanks). She had to deal with the constant ridiculousness of the email thing, yet try to keep on message.

Frankly, HRC did a hell of a job and at least a million more people thought so than not. But Americans are fickle, they don't pay attention, they really do believe life is reality TV, and there are a lot of misogynists out there.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 15, 2016, 08:29 PM

2. Change was the theme that was needed in the midwest especially

The rust belt states have had a weaker recovery than say the Silicon Valley. Much of the country was content about the direction things have been going.

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Response to andym (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 15, 2016, 08:33 PM

3. Well, if they think Trump is going to bring back their jobs....

I'll sell them the Mackinac Bridge.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 15, 2016, 08:55 PM

6. Hey! Not that bridge.

Can't you choose another one?

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Response to MelissaB (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 15, 2016, 11:21 PM

12. Okay!

Matt Maroun's new bridge!!

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Response to LisaM (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 15, 2016, 10:52 PM

11. Obviously Trump is bullshitting them on the jobs thing.

 

But we lost because we couldn't say "yes, you folks have it rough, but WE'RE the ones who really care, and here's what we'll do that will actually make a difference".

We were unable to believeably say that.

And running further to the right wouldn't have helped us there. We wouldn't have gained votes running a tax cuts/stick it even more to "welfare mothers" campaign.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #11)

Tue Nov 15, 2016, 11:22 PM

13. "Believably" say it.... cough cough.

 

She said it, but the media never covered it- and complained she didn't say it. Fuck this fake narrative.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 12:11 AM

16. I don't let the media off the hook at all.

 

What do you want, here? We can't run the exact same campaign again in 2020.



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Response to bettyellen (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 01:26 PM

33. she never said it in her own paid for ads.

She is the reason she lost. Not the voters.

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Response to Cobalt Violet (Reply #33)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 01:34 PM

35. I saw ads about jobs- assumed they were for the Midwest .

 

She had dozens of different ads. And she talked about it in 9/10 of her speeches. The media decided not to do policy this year.

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Response to andym (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2016, 08:50 PM

4. Yes, when in doubt, go for the man who grabs pussy

not the woman who has one. That was a risk too great to imagine for white men.

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Response to andym (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2016, 08:54 PM

5. And they overlooked his racism sexism homophobia xenophobia.

They own that. They own the impact of their vote no matter the reason they say voted for him.

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Response to boston bean (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 15, 2016, 10:44 PM

10. I hear it was for jobs

but the internet was busy with shared racist posts originating with the white supremacy movement and passed on by white working class men - not jobs.
Then it became - only wimps would vote for Hillary.

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Response to boston bean (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 02:11 AM

19. i wouldn't say they overlooked it. i would say it's a big part of WHy they voted FOR him

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Response to andym (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2016, 09:07 PM

7. Bullsh*t. Cilizza's their Republican analyst. n/t

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Response to andym (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2016, 09:18 PM

8. Next time I need surgery I'll go to my bartender,

because I've been thinking about making a change, and my bartender seems to know a lot about everything.

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Response to andym (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2016, 09:30 PM

9. Hmmmm ...

The Republicans have been laying the ground to steal this election since Obama won the White House --Redistricting, purging voter roles, buying up the MSM -- In my mind, they didn't win the election, they manipulated, plotted and stole it.


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Response to andym (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2016, 11:43 PM

14. She didn't lose !!!

Look, I feel bad about Trump taking office. But Clinton won the vote.

Let's quit self-defeating. Clinton is who the populace voted for. Donald Trump is both an autocrat and a fluke. Let's not legitimize him by saying Clinton lost when, in fact, she won a plurality of the vote.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #14)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 12:23 AM

18. Absolutely. The level of denial around here is disturbing WRT the election

 

They don't realize that to the media powerbrokers, this was nothing but a reality show for ratings.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 12:38 PM

25. I don't think it's denial

I think we, as Democrats, have a cultural habit of mind geared toward accepting defeat. Too many of us already have bought into the corrupt narrative that "Trump Won". He didn't. His election is a mathematical fluke created by a system designed before modern elections.

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Response to andym (Original post)

Tue Nov 15, 2016, 11:55 PM

15. I am so fucking sick of that contentless mantra of change

I think you're probably right. I just wish voters would give some thought about what kind of change.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #15)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 02:22 AM

20. Most of the people I talked to who voted for Trump wanted change.

I had thought that Hillary might do okay in the region of Michigan where I live but had I paid more attention to what folks were saying at the barber shop, in the stores, at the coffee shop and what friends and family were posting on Facebook, I should have predicated that Trump was going to win big here in Upper Michigan.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 03:41 AM

23. I live in an area with very few Republicans

so I can't get a sense of the mood of the country more generally. Yeah, the polls were messed up. That's part of what makes the loss such a shock.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 01:23 PM

32. Yep. My read as well. In fact, for the last 10 - 15 yrs. The Democratic Party...

 

must learn now that the tens of millions of people facing less certain futures than my generation faced are not our SNL enemies. They once were out allies.

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Response to andym (Original post)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 12:22 AM

17. Cillizza is an asshole. Blame everybody but his own profession who created this mess. n/t

 

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #17)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 12:41 PM

26. seriously-- he sucks ass

 

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Response to andym (Original post)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 02:24 AM

21. Hillary Clinton WON by a million votes and counting.The Electoral College ultimately caused the loss

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Response to Hekate (Reply #21)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 02:47 AM

22. she will win the popular vote by about 2 million votes

But Hillary herself knows she lost in the electoral college where it counts and from what she said during the campaign, I'm sure she realizes what it means for the USA.

From Hillary's email I received on November 9:

"Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans.

This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and I'm sorry we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country.

But I feel pride and gratitude for this wonderful campaign that we built together -- this vast, diverse, creative, unruly, energized campaign. You represent the best of America, and being your candidate has been one of the greatest honors of my life.

I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it too. And so do tens of millions of Americans who invested their hopes and dreams in this effort. This is painful, and it will be for a long time. But I want you to remember this: Our campaign was never about one person or even one election. It was about the country we love -- and about building an America that's hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted...."

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Response to andym (Reply #22)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 05:07 AM

24. that email made me cry :(

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Response to andym (Reply #22)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 12:46 PM

28. I hope she will find peace through her family, particularly those precious grandkids.

Secretary Clinton!

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Response to andym (Original post)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 12:45 PM

27. Hillary lost because the system is rigged.

 

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #27)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 12:54 PM

29. Don't agree ... her campaign didn't play the system correctly ...

I don't blame Hillary Clinton. I blame her campaign staff.

The message was off target.

They misread the rust belt.

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Response to Auggie (Reply #29)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 01:39 PM

36. Your statement somewhat supports the OP position, actually

What you say is indeed correct and staff has to shoulder some blame. But what those rust belt voters wanted was change because they have not seen much benefit in the economic recovery of the last eight years.

It is certainly possible that she could have eked enough support from that group with a coordinated effort that emphasized the rust belt plight and highlighted her plan to focus on boosting their recovery, but it may not have worked in those states anyway. It would still have been a hard sell to a large constituency that wanted real change.

It is frustrating as hell that the Trump campaign was able to benefit so clearly from an economic situation that was created by the GOP, who steadfastly worked to kill any and all efforts to deal with it (infrastructure spending, job creation initiatives, etc.). That, however, is the GOP playbook... makes things terrible for groups of voters and then convince them it is the democrats' fault.

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Response to Still Sensible (Reply #36)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 02:04 PM

38. If you're implying the GOP rigged the system via obstruction and propaganda then I misread it

Because, of course, they did. They've been working on it since Reagan, more or less.

Apologies. And peace.

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Response to andym (Original post)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 12:57 PM

30. Well that would explain a campaign built around your opponent instead of the issues.

Worked for Trump, not so good for Hillary.

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Response to andym (Original post)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 01:18 PM

31. Andym. "How do we make sure that people aren't comfortable..." Did I get that right?

 

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Response to andym (Original post)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 01:30 PM

34. What is hypocritical to me is they wanted a change in the presidency and "drain the swamp",

Last edited Wed Nov 16, 2016, 02:19 PM - Edit history (1)

yet they voted to keep all the legislators in place who have caused so much derision and gridlock. Not to mention Republican governors and state legislators of those red states who have sold out to corporate entities and done nothing for their own states.

To me this was nothing more than fear and hate of the others and a nostalgia for the "good old days". They fear the integration of Blacks, Latinos and Muslims into our society. They wanted a country circa 1955 when White people ruled, where there were Jim Crow laws and Muslims did not exist in our society and Gays were in the closet. They wanted to go back to a time when factories belched emissions harmful to our environment, but unskilled factory jobs were plentiful. Where coal mining towns were producing and men were dying from black lung disease, if they weren't killed in a mining accident. But jobs were generational and their small towns were prosperous.

Trump offered them all this in his "way back machine". They aren't looking forward, but backward.

They can all say they aren't racist, sexist, homophobic, but they elected a man who embodies all of that and more. So yes they are.

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Response to Fla Dem (Reply #34)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 01:42 PM

37. That's a great point and I think part of the blame is on D's

Starting with the President, who should have lost the noun "Congress," and substituted it with "Republicans" years ago. They need to be confronted aggressively and directly. Non-stop. We'll make the same mistake if we make Trump the exclusive focus of our next four years. Republicans are wrecking this country; Trump is just a symptom.

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Response to andym (Original post)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 02:29 PM

39. Clinton lost because of a conglomerate of issues...it wasn't just one thing...but

 

considering all that and all that she was up against...I think she still did an amazing job and came very very close to winning the electoral college. Sooooo good job Hillary!!! I wish you would of won in 2008 and then we'd be electing Obama NOW.

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Response to andym (Original post)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 02:46 PM

40. But what did so many conciser to be "change"?

Change can mean many things to many people, and Trumps message for change was for more bigotry, to make America Hate again. Unlike Hillary, he has no policy proposals at all.

Sorry, but talk of wanting change just sounds like an attempt to assuage the pain and explain the explainable.

Instead of making excuses or finding reasons to justify the numbers we see, we should be looking more deeply at the numbers and exit poll data. They don't jive.

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Response to andym (Original post)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 03:03 PM

41. Yup, Hillary should have run her ads on what she wants to CHANGE rather than bashing Trump

 

ALL her TV ads were negative ads against Trump. But she didnt run many ads on what the people WANTED.
She had tons of material to bash him on but that didnt inspire people enough to get off their butts to vote for her.

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Response to andym (Original post)

Wed Nov 16, 2016, 03:42 PM

42. From reading some of the postmortems

of the vote, it looks to me like a significant number of trump voters weren't interested in change in any kind of positive sense. What they wanted was to destroy Washington, to blow up the existing system as they saw it. They may have succeeded.

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