Hillary Clinton addressed a group of fundraisers at New York’s Plaza Hotel yesterday, to express her gratitude for their contributions to her campaign. And during that speech, she pointed fingers at both the Comey emails and Russian hacking as causal factors in her defeat.
It was the first time she’s spoken publicly about her loss to Trump. And it was also the first time she’s aired dirty Putin laundry, accusing him of monkeywrenching the election in retribution for comments she made about Russia’s election five years ago.
The New York Times obtained an audio recording of her speech at the private event. Clinton had this to say about the Russian president:
“Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people, and that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election. I want you to know this because he is determined not only to score a point against me, which he did, but also to undermine our democracy.”
Apparently, not all of her campaign donors are satisfied by this explanation of her loss. A group of them lingered at the hotel after the event, agitating against her campaign staff for their refusal to acknowledge their massive strategy blunders.
During the speech, Clinton apparently mentioned, repeatedly, that she won the popular vote. And outside of her comments about Comey and Putin, made zero acknowledgement of any other possible influences.
If the angry donors are waiting for Clinton to start publicly soul-searching, they should probably not hold their breath. Democratic Party officials and their apologists have, post-election, almost uniformly failed to offer anything resembling an honest self-critique about why they lost.
And we shouldn’t expect them to change, either. The election has been hugely divisive in both major political parties. On the left, many people have not dropped their deep, well-justified resentment over Clinton’s scuttling of the Sanders campaign. There is now a minor insurgency in the DNC, energizing a push for a change in management.
Whether Clinton ever cops to her own inadequacies as a candidate, and the incompetence of her campaign, or not, is pretty irrelevant now. Her loss to Trump marks her permanent exit from politics. The question for the left, now, is how to circle the wagons for a Trump presidency and how to offer the American people a candidate that doesn’t make their skin crawl.