In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday, she insisted she takes “absolute personal responsibility” for losing. “I was the candidate,” she said. “I was the person who was on the ballot, and I am very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had.” But this turned out to be an obligatory disclaimer.
The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee cited statistician Nate Silver to make this confident assertion: “If the election had been on October 27, I’d be your president.” (Back in December, Silver tweeted, “Clinton would almost certainly be President-elect if the election had been held on Oct. 27.”) “I was on the way to winning,” she added, “until the combination of [FBI Director] Jim Comey’s letter on October 28th and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off.”
Clinton’s blame of Comey and Russia misses the bigger picture—that a confluence of factors contributed to Clinton’s loss. Some of even her closest confidantes believe she “bears the blame for her defeat,” according to Shattered, Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes’s book about her campaign. As The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent recently argued, “Yes, Comey mattered—a lot,” but Clinton, her campaign, and Democratic officials failed in myriad ways, too. Yahoo News’ Garance Franke-Ruta has a more comprehensive list of reasons for Clinton’s loss:
We’ll never know which of these factors proved to be the most decisive. That’s surely frustrating for Clinton, but also a good argument for letting the subject go. She told Amanpour she’s now “part of the resistance,” so perhaps her focus now should be making sure the Democrats don’t blow it again in 2020.