Speaking at the Women of the World Summit on Thursday, Hillary Clinton blamed hatred for women for her signal defeat by Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. When asked to reflect on the debacle, Clinton said, "Certainly, misogyny played a role," Clinton said in New York City. "I mean, that just has to be admitted. And why and what the underlying reasons were is what I'm trying to parse out myself."
 
It was a rare moment of self-reflection by the former senator and secretary of state about an election that pollsters, pundits, partisans, and her campaigners thought was a certain victory. In a question and answer period at the event, Clinton said the past election was one of extraordinary change. It was the possibility of seeing a woman elected to the highest office in the land that gave many voters pause.
 
"I think in this election there was a very real struggle between what is viewed as change that is welcomed and exciting to so many Americans, and change which is worrisome and threatening to so many others," Clinton said. "And you layer on the first woman president over that and I think some people, women included, had real problems."
 
Despite being the first woman ever nominated to the presidency by a major political party, and favorable polls, Clinton was not able to out-manoeuvre Donald Trump or side-step strategic errors such as foregoing appearances in Wisconsin after the primary season. She also earned opprobrium for labeling Trump’s supporter as “deplorables” and asserting that unborn children have no rights.
 
Since her shocking loss to Trump, Clint has been mostly quiet about the defeat. When asked how she is feeling now, Clinton replied, “I’m doing fine.”
 
Progressives are also focusing on why Clinton lost. In an article at the leftist DailyKos website, writer and Democratic Party precinct chair Andy Ternay asserts that Clinton did not focus enough on the party’s “key constituencies”: blacks, Latinos, Muslims, and women.
 
Clinton, Ternay wrote, lost because they did not follow through with these key constituencies. “Clinton did not need a magical infusion of white working class voters to win.”  They could have won the election, he wrote, by doing the following:
 
“Paying attention to lessons from the primaries such as visiting the states they expected to win and did not win.
 
“Listening to feedback from their own volunteers on the ground and allied organizations.
 
“Turning out her key constituencies to vote: women, African Americans, Latinos, Muslims.
 
“Trump’s margins in key states were tiny enough that this would have made the difference.”
 
While Ternay wrote that Democrats should learn from their mistakes in order to win future elections, he did not appear to offer any change of course for the Democratic Party.
 
“Yes, let’s investigate the Russian connections from here to hell and back and use that to harm this administration in any way possible up to and including impeachment and treason trials.
 
“Sexism and misogyny are never acceptable and need to be combatted even when it comes from candidates we like and admire (I’m lookin’ at you Bernie, I love you but that wagging finger was so offensive to so many women).
 
“We should NEVER back away from supporting LGBTQ, POC, Native Americans, Muslims in any way. NOT one step backward, only forward. If that means alienating the white working class, fine, I’m down with it. Whites who are threatened by any of the above people need to a) get out more and b) grow up.
 
“BUT none of the above negates the fact that Hillary Clinton lost a campaign that was winnable.”


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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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