The never-ending saga of Hillary Clinton’s demise resumed this week with a bizarre and troubling new chapter. This latest chapter confirms what many already suspected: Clinton is incapable of publicly expressing why she really lost last year’s election.
On Wednesday, in a sit-down interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, Clinton gave her take on technology, politics and, of course, President Trump.
Sadly, within minutes, Clinton made the conscious decision to steer the conversation away from current affairs and began rehashing a laundry list of excuses for why she believes she lost the 2016 presidential election.
Ranting on about the Russians, the Democratic National Committee, the New York Times, her email server, James Comey and Donald Trump, Clinton attributed blame to everyone and everything — except herself.
“I take responsibility for every decision I make — but that’s not why I lost,” Clinton said.
That’s like saying you were pulled over for speeding and then arguing that wasn’t why the policeman gave you a speeding ticket.
Hillary lost because she had an abysmal ground game in Wisconsin and Michigan. She lost because she abandoned working-class voters in the Rust Belt. She lost because she was unwilling to deal with her homebrew email server in an honest and expeditious way.
Most importantly, though, she lost because she dared to go head-to-head with Matt Drudge.
If you don’t know who Matt Drudge is, allow me to acquaint you with him.
Drudge is the founder and editor of the influential DrudgeReport.com — an online news aggregation website through which millions of avid news readers travel to major news outlets, such as The Washington Post, The New York Times and Breitbart News.
Drudge gained national notoriety when he published the reporting of then-Newsweek reporter Michael Issikoff, becoming the first to break the news that later became the Monica Lewinsky-Bill Clinton scandal.
Like the party bosses of the 19th century, Drudge has proven time and time again that he holds significant sway over the outcome of U.S. elections. He achieves this by consistently identifying the individuals who most closely align with the conservative base of the Republican Party and then galvanizing that base to get out and vote for those candidates.
And his influence was never more evident than in this past presidential election.
Drudge propelled then-candidate Donald Trump from the lobby of Trump Tower to the White House Oval Office — and he accomplished this feat by highlighting a number of favorable polls, writing a string of sensational headlines and linking to live feeds of Trump’s rallies.
But it was the damage that Drudge inflicted on Hillary Clinton that truly put Trump over the top. Yet, Hillary Clinton refuses to acknowledge that in her excuse-ridden diatribes.
Vocativ’s Ethan Harfenist and Tal Reznik laid it out best in a Nov. 16 article entitled “‘$HRILLARY:’ How Matt Drudge Won The 2016 Election”:
Drudge had an almost singular focus: eviscerating Hillary Clinton. Along with linking to coverage of well-reported scandals, including Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state, Drudge also spotlighted some very controversial stories.
Long before Hillary Clinton stumbled at a 9/11 memorial event (she later turned out to have pneumonia), Drudge obsessed over the idea that she was in poor health. In August, he published a photo of a staffer holding Clinton’s elbow as she climbed up some stairs, concluding the candidate was too ill to walk unaided. The photo, which was shared thousands of times by right-wing pro-Trump social media accounts at the time, was several months old and taken out of context — and Clinton, of course, was repeatedly shown to be in excellent health by doctors. Yet, many credit Drudge with making Clinton’s health an issue on the far right.
Last year, from July 1 to November 2, Vocativ collected data from the Drudge Report’s archive related to the 2016 election. Pulling searches for “Hillary” or “Clinton” and a set of election buzzwords from headlines and URLs, they were able to calculate how often Clinton’s name was mentioned along with a specific scandal.
These were their results:
Millions of pro-Trump Americans visited Drudge’s website during last year’s election. The stories he put front and center on his page, undoubtedly, helped reinforce the confirmation bias they already had about Hillary Clinton.
If Clinton’s own myriad scandals were a series of fuses, Drudge supplied the matches to light them. Eventually, the fuses ran out.
Clinton’s perpetual bad luck in last year’s election was reminiscent of the story of Job, a biblical character who experienced extreme affliction at the hands of Satan.
While Hillary is far from being “blameless and upright,” as Job is described, she did experience her own share of significant, albeit self-inflicted, tribulations in 2016.
Job’s health and his relationships suffered, due to the afflictions inflicted by Satan. But he never made excuses, he never blamed others and he never succumbed to the temptation to curse God.
It was in Job’s greatest hour of pain and distress that his wife urged him to “curse God and die.”
Job rebuked his wife, saying, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?”
Hillary Clinton was the beneficiary of many good things from God.
She served as First Lady of the United States of America. She served under President Obama as secretary of state. She became the first female presidential nominee of a major political party.
But she didn’t win the presidency.
Was it due to misogyny? Russian interference? Only God knows.
At the end of the day, irrespective of Russia, Trump or “fake news,” God determined the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. As a “person of faith,” Hillary should be well-versed on God’s authority.
It’s been said that “Matt Drudge rules our world.” I disagree.
God rules the world; Drudge just exposed Clinton’s shortcomings.
Hillary can either accept this and move forward, or she can take the advice of Job’s wife and “curse” Matt Drudge and “die.” Whatever she decides, my hope is that one day she will be able to come to grips with why she lost in November.
For the good of the country, she must.