Hillary Clinton's big problem - Macleans.ca

Hillary Clinton’s big problem

It had less to do with gender and more with the fact that Clinton was a terrifically flawed candidate who failed to inspire voters.

Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets supporters after voting at Douglas Grafflin Elementary School on November 8, 2016 in Chappaqua, New York. Hillary Clinton cast her ballot in the presidential election as the rest of America goes to the polls to decide between her and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets supporters after voting at Douglas Grafflin Elementary School on November 8, 2016 in Chappaqua, New York. Hillary Clinton cast her ballot in the presidential election as the rest of America goes to the polls to decide between her and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

On Tuesday night I wrote a column in preparation for Hillary Clinton’s inevitable win. “As a presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton is terrifically flawed. Her penchant for secrecy is a conspiracy theorist’s dream. Her weathervane-like shifts on key policies are exceeded only by her tendency to say one thing in public and quite another when speechifying to Wall Street types. Her more than 40 years in the public eye is catnip for opposition researchers and conservative pundits alike,” I wrote.

You know how the rest of the column was supposed to go. Clinton’s flush, formidable campaign had the ground game and the surrogates, not to mention the sheer mother-loving virtue, to counter her own flaws and prevail over Donald Trump. At least 300 electoral college votes, probably more. A run of the mill drubbing of the nouveau riche monster from Queens. I’ll be in bed by 10.

Spun from polls and amplified in the echo chamber of the Twittersphere, the narcotic mix of accepted wisdom and wishful thinking was addictive indeed. And the hangover has been painful.

In the wake of Trump’s win, large segments of the Twittersphere and the even larger orbit of Facebook remain repositories of accepted wisdom. The message is this: Americans voted for a sexist, racist, misogynist because America itself is sexist, racist and misogynist. Forget her email server; Hillary’s biggest mistake was thinking that a woman could even dream of being president of such a cesspool.

A man with her credentials would have been a shoo-in, so the theory goes. As a woman, her myriad accomplishments became millstones around her neck, because ultimately America can’t accept her gender in the Oval Office.

It’s yet more wishful thinking, and it’s why the reasons behind Clinton’s loss lie well beyond the mouths of pundits and the cheap invective of social media. Clinton didn’t lose because she’s a woman, any more than Trump won because he’s a man. She lost because many voters—be they white, black, female, male, young, old—saw what most of us in the media didn’t: she was a terrible candidate, and they voted (or didn’t vote) accordingly.

FROM ANNE KINGSTON: Clinton’s qualifications were no match for sexism

Women, especially, seemed to have realized as much. The accepted wisdom had female voters flocking to Clinton because of Trump’s many sexist transgressions over the years. But according to exit poll data collected by Edison Research for the National Election Pool, Clinton’s support from women in 2016 was roughly the same as it was for Barack Obama in 2012. Trump has targeted white women almost exclusively throughout his years as a privileged sexual predator. Despite this, 52 per cent of white women voted for him—about the same percentage that voted for John McCain in 2008.

The accepted wisdom had a mass migration of Hispanics and blacks into Clinton’s camp. Yet Trump had roughly the same support amongst both demographics as in 2012—when, it should be noted, Republican candidate Mitt Romney didn’t refer to Mexicans as rapists and black neighbourhoods as being more dangerous than Afghanistan.

Until Tuesday night, the state of Pennsylvania had been a Democratic bedrock since 1992. Neighbouring Wisconsin, meanwhile, has gone Democratic for 24 years. In 2008 and 2012, both states voted overwhelmingly for a black man, the central casting boogeyman in the nightmares of so many Trumpian trolls. Yet both shunned Clinton this time around. The left would have you believe it’s because she is a she. Maybe voters in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania simply realized that she’s just a terrible candidate.

Certainly, the warning signs were there. In 2007, Clinton had the Democratic nomination all lined up, only to lose to a certain junior senator from Illinois. In 2016, she needed much of the Democratic National Congress in her pantsuit pocket so as to stave off a similar upset by Bernie Sanders. In between, she spearheaded further rapprochement between Wall Street and the Democratic Party. She gave dozens of $250,000 speeches. She became, in other words, a caricature of the political establishment waiting to happen. Gender had a lot less to do with Clinton’s loss than the accepted wisdom would suggest.

Bad politicians aren’t gender-specific. David Cameron spent years ascending the ranks of Britain’s Conservative Party to become prime minister in 2010—only to let his hubris and Brexit get the better of him. As Canada’s finance minister, Paul Martin was astoundingly effective. As prime minister, he was haughty, hapless and flailing. Clinton is one of the rare female politicians to join their ranks.

Clinton was a bad candidate, above all else. It’s an early silver lining in a disastrous election that enough women figured this out and weren’t compelled into solidarity by their gender.


Hillary Clinton’s big problem

  1. Bunk

    There have been about a dozen other women who ran for president

    The same was said of all of them. Flawed

    The ‘flaw’ was that they were female.

    • Nah. She was a flawed human being.

      • Kind of like that story The Emperor’s New Clothes. Most people on the left were afraid of pointing out how terrible a candidate she was for fear of being called sexist.

    • Congratulations. Your ignorance and denial won you the ultimate prize: a misogynistic pig for president.

      • No, that was Bill Clinton.

    • I guess you didn’t bother to read the article.

  2. When she never took responsibility for Benghazi I lost all respect for her. Just because she is women does not qualify her for anything. The people of America have spoken and it appears they are tired of politicians that are tied to big money

    • Are you really going to pretend that Trump isn’t tied to Big Money? Really? Have you lost your grip with reality?

      Trump is going into the White House with the most extensive ties to Big Money than any president in history. That includes ties to his biggest shareholder, the Government of China.


      • You don’t get it do you? Everyone knows Trump is terrible. For many voters that was his strength. He’s terrible, but he owns it. Hillary in contrast is terrible – arguably even more terrible, but she puts on a fake smile and lies to your face, and then declares that it’s her gender, not her politics that is prejudicing people. Hillary is the person who smiles and hugs you as she shoves a knife in your back.
        When the Democrats rigged the nomination and screwed Bernie they sealed their fate.

  3. Wouldn’t have mattered if she was the Virgin Mary, you guys would have found some excuse, ANY excuse, not to vote for her.

    • Sure, there were some people who voted against her simply because she is a woman. But the issues were far more complex than that. To try to pin her loss on her being a woman is every bit as sexist.

      America is angry with the political class. Hillary represents, for many, everything that’s wrong with it. And they are not wrong.

      I wanted Hillary to win – not because she is a woman; not because I thought she was a vert good candidate; but because the alternative was Trump. That’s not a ringing endorsement. But it’s how a good many felt. And in the end, it wasn’t enough.

      I can’t speak for everyone, but I would never vote for – or against – someone on the basis of their gender. Hillary was the wrong choice, for reasons that had nothing to do with her gender; in fact, it could even be argued that she only did as well as she did because of her gender; a male with the same qualifications may not have attracted as many women voters.

      So please – enough of the nonsense, Emily. The world isn’t that binary.

      • EVERY election involves important issues, and angry voters

        There was nothing different about this one.

        Except that one of the candidates was female.

        Face reality guys….no excuse will cover the result.

        • Except that one of the candidates spoke to the key votes in their own language; the other spoke to voters in her own language. He let them take off their muzzles and leashes, their balls and chains, anything that had shackles, and gave them the soapbox they wanted.

          Oh, and he was Bigger Money taking on the stuffy suits that lined the Beltway’s pockets for decades. This despite having spend some 5 percent what she did to get the coveted position.

          • LOL puleeze. Take responsibility ,guys. Stop with the fiction.

        • Hillary claimed to be the voice of all women.
          What is the factual basis for this claim? The true answer is there is no basis for the claim.
          She may indeed represent liberal thinking women who condone partial birth abortion even into the end of the ninth month of pregnancy.
          But the election result proved that she is not voice of a sizable percentage of American women.
          The claim is just another one of Hillary Clinton’s vast collection of lies.

          • No actually she didn’t.

          • And there’s no such thing as a partial birth abortion.

          • Your colossal ignorance is exceeded by your colossal arrogance.
            Your denial of the reality of partial birth abortion is the most ridiculous of the many, many prior nonsensical statements.

          • There is no such thing as a ‘partial birth abortion.’ That’s a political term, and is meant to imply that the woman forgot to get one earlier or changed her mind at the last moment, or does this for fun.

            The medical procedure is actually called a Dilation and Extraction..or a D&X.

            It is used if the baby is already dead..stillborn, and either can’t be birthed thru labor, or it would be a long hard labor to produce an already dead child.

            Sometimes the baby is alive, but there is another problem. A major medical one. Either with the baby, or with the mother.

            If you’re old enough you’ll remember [or you might have seen it in a movie] a doctor telling a husband…’I’m sorry. We can save either the baby or your wife, but we can’t save both. You’ll have to choose.’

            They don’t usually get to ask the wife, as she might well be unconscious at the time. Years ago, those decisions were made by the man no matter what state she was in.

            If the doctor does nothing…they both die. If the doctor resues the child, the woman dies. If he rescues the woman, the baby dies.

            Sometimes in life, there are no good choices, but a decision still has to be made.

            This is what gets done.

            It is very rare these days with better medical technology…less than 1% of terminations require it..but it’s never pleasant, and no one does it for fun.

          • Emilyone, as usual, is delusional.

        • The anger has been building for some time – esp. since the recession in 2008/09. It gave us the Occupy movement, that got no appreciable result. It got a lopsided recovery, where the rich not only escaped unscathed, but pocketed the bailout money. Politicians not only failed to get big money out of politics – they cozied up even more.

          So the result was Bernie and Trump. The Dems found a way to stop Bernie, but at a cost; the Republicans got stuck with Trump.

          So now we had Hilary – poster child for the “bought” politicians – versus Trump the outsider. So many people were sick and tired of the “insider” pols that Hillary had a hard time sparking interest. Not to mention a number of other flaws (her being a woman being a bit of a wash; there were those who were opposed to a woman president, yes – but most of those were voting Republican, anyway – and were balanced by those voting for her because she’s a woman).

          So you’re wrong, Em – this time it was different. This time, the anger played a much bigger role. This time the message was “stop being money slaves to big business.” (And yes, I’m aware they chose a big business guy as their “outsider” – I didn’t say they thought this through very carefully.)

          So – like I said before: her being a woman may have been a factor – but a best, it was but one (small) one among many.

          • Nah…there is always anger…..and ignorance

            And of course, sexism.

        • The day she called The Donald’s voters “Deplorables” was a huge mistake that showed a hubris that no candidate can afford. Ultimately when running for the position of President, a voter has to imagine that the candidate is flexible enough to be an equally giving and compassionate leader to all her or his constiuents. The “Deplorables” from that day forth never bought the idea that she could treat them well. It would be like us Albertans believing that you Em you treat us well. It isn’t in you to do so. Now Bill, they would have voted him in if he could have run again because he has a charisma that is so disarming and likeable that he truly is the come back kid. Hiliary, while brilliant, just doesn’t have that but then Bill never would have talked down to Trump’s voters. He would have been schmoozing them.

  4. Trump lured the tiger off the mountain and covered it in hay and kerosene. Then he had it blowtorched. And finally, he put her in tar and feathers so that if she ever tried to run back, Clinton would be burned to a crisp.

    • Fear not. Chelsea Clinton is already being groomed to run for public office. The Clinton Machine will rise again from the ashes like the Phoenix. There’s so many millions of dollars out there ready to be easily plucked, it’s just too irresistible to pass up.

  5. Here’s the $64,000.00 question:
    How does an influence-peddling operation such as Clinton Inc. continue to make money when it no longer has influence to peddle?
    This is indeed a big (huge) problem for the mafia-like Clinton Family

    • Do you ask a similar question about Bush.Inc?

  6. All stuff that was clearly visible and available way before the election. Instead the MSM including Macleans decided to ignore it in their quest to have the ‘first’ POTUS.

    In the process, the MSM showed that they are NOT professionals and are nothing more than lapdogs. It explains why fewer and fewer people are listening, reading or watching what passes as news (and why organizations such as Macleans have to cut back on their issues – no one wants to read the crap you present as information!!)