In September 2017, Hillary Clinton released her book “What Happened” where she blamed her loss to Donald Trump on a variety of factors, including former FBI director James Comey, the Russians and the media.
That the Russians interfered in the 2016 presidential election is beyond contestation. Every US intelligence agency has confirmed Russian meddling. Whether or not Russian interference affected the outcome of the election is still an open question and perhaps will never be known.
What is not open to debate is that this election should have never been a close call to begin with. Only the Democratic Party could have nominated a candidate with negative ratings as high as, if not worse, than Donald Trump, and this still boggles the mind to this date.
When Hillary formally announced her presidential candidacy, Democratic Party leaders immediately coalesced around her and suggested that it was her turn to be president. They were aware of the deleted emails, her use of personal electronic servers, her penchant for secrecy, etc. They were also aware that she was under investigation by the FBI. Democratic Party leaders who quickly lined up behind her knowingly backed a flawed candidate with lots of real and imagined political baggage.
It was no surprise that party leaders were not warm to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; after all, he was not a registered Democrat and only caucuses with the Democratic Party. But the leaders’ anointing of Hillary as the Democratic Party nominee heir apparent certainly dissuaded strong, articulate alternatives to Hillary from entering the Democratic primaries, such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vice President Joe Biden, neither of whom were burdened by the sort of political baggage carried by Hillary.
And now, Donna Brazile, an one-time Clinton adviser and former interim chairwoman of the DNC, has disclosed that she discovered evidence that the DNC rigged the primary election in favor of Hillary and against her rival Bernie Sanders, confirming the suspicions of Bernie’s supporters. Exhibit “A” was an agreement between the DNC and Hillary signed in August 2015. The agreement allegedly gave the Clinton campaign direct influence over the DNC’s finances, budget, strategy, staff decisions, analytics and other factors that stacked the deck against Bernie’s insurgent outsider campaign.
For the record, I supported Bernie for president over Hillary. I thought his platform was direct and positive: Medicare for all, tuition free college and trade school education, tax incentives to keep jobs in America, and tax penalties for jobs outsourced from the USA. For the record, I supported Hillary once she secured the nomination. But I supported her mainly because she wasn’t Donald Trump just like many Trump voters voted for him because he wasn’t Hillary.
I hope the Democratic Party has learned its lesson. The nomination for presidency is not some coronation to be bestowed on the presumed next in line. It must be cultivated from the ground up, that is, from the voters, and not trickled down from above by party leaders.