Amidst the talk of Russian collusion, most have forgotten the real lessons of 2016 – Hillary was a terrible candidate.
She lost a winnable race because she was horrific on the campaign trail and decided not to go visit the midwest, convinced by her arrogance that she had the rust belt in the bag.
The media may not report it, preferring to run with the Russia story, but the Democrats are well aware of what happened.
From CNN: On Sunday, after announcing for president, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar took questions from reporters about her 2020 plans.
She was asked about her travel plans for the early days of the campaign, and said this:
“We’re going to be in Iowa and Wisconsin. We’re starting in Wisconsin because, as you remember, there wasn’t a lot of campaigning in Wisconsin in 2016. With me, that changes. … I’m going to be there a lot.”
If you don’t get the reference, it’s to this: Hillary Clinton lost Wisconsin to Donald Trump in 2016, the first Democrat to lose the Badger State since 1984. Clinton believed the state was in the bag, and didn’t campaign there during the general election race. Not once.
As Clinton explained in her campaign memoir “What Happened”:
“If there’s one place where we were caught by surprise, it was Wisconsin. Polls showed us comfortably ahead, right up until the end. They also looked good for the Democrat running for Senate, Russ Feingold.
We had 133 staff on the ground and spent nearly $3 million on TV, but if our data (or anyone else’s) had shown we were in danger, of course we would have invested even more,” she writes.
“I would have torn up my schedule, which was designed based on the best information we had, and camped out there.”
The failure to visit Wisconsin became, for many Democrats, symbolic of the fatal flaw of Clinton’s campaign: She simply took the industrial Midwest for granted — and watched as Trump won Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and with those states, the White House.
While a few voices have emerged since Clinton’s stunning loss questioning her campaign’s strategy in the Midwest, most Democratic politicians — particularly those with an eye on being the party’s 2020 presidential nominee — have avoided directly criticizing the way the former secretary of state ran her campaign.
That reticence is usually explained in two ways: 1) Talking about what Democrats did wrong in the past isn’t any way to solve beating Donald Trump in the future and 2) Clinton — and her husband — remain major figures within the Democratic Party, and crossing them isn’t a very good idea.