Commentary: Hillary Clinton, The Taylor Swift of Politics

Look What They Made Her Do

By: Steven Morris

Hillary Clinton just can’t seem to “shake it off” when it comes to the 2016 election where she suffered possibly, the biggest upset in American politics.

What Happened, released on September 12, is Clinton’s latest book that details, from her standpoint, what went wrong on the night of November 7, 2016 and her experience of being the first woman presidential candidate.

Clinton is quoted in the introduction saying, “In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I’m letting my guard down.”

Based on what’s been said about the book, it appears she did let her guard down. Especially, when she went into detail about the “bad blood” she has from her experience as the democratic candidate.

In What Happened, Clinton seems to put blame on everyone and their mother.

Anthony Zurcher, a North American reporter for BBC News, compiled a list of everyone she blamed in her book.

That list includes former FBI Director James Comey, Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Obama, the media, Senator and former democratic primary opponent Bernie Sanders and his supporters, Jill Stein, sexism, white resentment, and even herself.

Clinton details in her book how she lost the election but her blame and reasoning seems to be a bit off.

It’s almost been a year since election night and yet, we are still discussing what caused the results of Election night 2016.

How did Clinton, who was projected to win the election by almost every news outlet, lose to Donald Trump?  

With this amount of time and analyzation, we now know more of what happened.

In the election of 2012, there was a historically low turn-out of white voters without a degree, which accounted for one-third of the electorate that year.

Because of this, news outlets built projections for 2016 based on this data. This caused the surprise of Trump winning that night because of the unexpected turnout of white voters without a degree.

Let us also not forget, both Clinton and Trump were historically unpopular as well.

Usually, it would either be that both candidates are popular, or one or the other was unpopular, but not in this election.

Matthew Yglesias of Vox summarized the data from Harry Enten’s articleAmericans’ Distaste For Both Trump and Clinton is Record-Breaking and came up with this conclusion:

Trump and Clinton were the No. 1 and No. 2 least-popular nominees on record, and it wasn’t particularly close. It seems very likely that if Clinton had been as well-liked as John Kerry, Al Gore, or Michael Dukakis that she would be president today, and that if Trump had been as well-liked as Mitt Romney, John McCain, or Bob Dole he’d have won the popular vote.”

What Happened was a “blank space” for Hillary Clinton to let out what she was holding in since that night.

When something goes wrong, it is understandable when people want to place blame. It’s a common occurrence and it’s common human behavior.

What’s harder though, is to accept defeat in the case of the election, learn from it and move on.

Moving on is something that is proving difficult for both Hillary Clinton and Taylor Swift.

Instead of moving on, we’re constantly revisiting events in time through two people’s eyes where we already have knowledge of the events that took place.

Even though What Happened isn’t as subtle as “Hey Stephen”, “Dear John”, “Style”, “Mine”, “Forever and Always”, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and a countless number of Taylor Swift songs.

What Happened is a book where blame is handed out, jabs are made, but acceptance and moving forward is not present.

It almost looks as if Clinton is not “out of the woods” just yet.

1 reply »

  1. Reading the book has certainly been emotionally painful…all the pain and anger of the election came right back. I guess much like Hillary and Taylor, I’m having trouble moving on too.

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