By Patrick Barron, Opinion Writer
Last week, Hillary Clinton failed to achieve enough electoral votes to secure the U.S presidency. She would have been the first female president of the country, inspiring millions of girls across the nation. But that dream, along with countless others was dashed on election night with an unexpected Trump victory. Instead of playing the blame game, I will examine both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton’s own campaign to offer an explanation.
As Hillary Clinton’s public service career reaches its crossroads, we must began to examine her legacy. On the one hand, she was a role model to many girls across the country, inspiring them to achieve greater things for themselves. On the other hand, she was the epitome of an establishment candidate, with a long list of controversies. It is complicated, but she was a positive role model who I believe overtime became too ingrained in the “political game”, which effectively tainted her image.
Let’s start with the obvious here. The American people wanted real change, and apparently, just about anyone would have fared well piggybacking that message. Also, they wanted someone who was not a part of the problem. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) had the opportunity to put forth a candidate in the election that fit those criteria in Bernie Sanders, a true “progressive” senator from Vermont. I bet some DNC officials are kicking themselves about it now, as they chose Hilary instead!
However, to be fair, both Hilary and Trump were very flawed candidates. But for Clinton, the email scandals, the WikiLeaks Podesta dumps, the Clinton Foundation, and the long history of Clinton political machine hurt her campaign severely. The portrayal of Clinton as untrustworthy was the straw that broke the camel back, and even I often questioned her. In the end, voters may have found that she had “too much baggage”, and clearly wanted someone different.
Furthermore, instead of Clinton’s campaign expounding on their campaign platforms, they decided to heavily rely on the obvious flaws of Trump’s campaign. Saying he is a racist, a sexist, and a xenophobe was not enough to convince people that she was promising “real change”. Unfortunately, some Americans did not care enough about that, as they wanted to hear what was going to be done to improve their own lives.
In addition, Trump outworked her. Clinton did not do too many interviews, opting to be careful and cautious while Trump was everywhere explaining his controversial messages. I believe Clinton was too careful when appearing before the press at times, and she did not even campaign in Michigan and Wisconsin: an fact pointed out by CNN.
Even worse, Trump ended up winning both of those safe-hold Democrat states! Clinton ultimately failed to galvanize minority voters, and her numbers were worse than President Obama in 2012. On top of that, Trump did better among minority voters than Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate.
According to Politico, in reference to the presidential election, President Obama said, “good ideas don’t matter if people don’t hear them”. The Clinton campaign did not explain her message well. I wanted to hear Clinton talk more, and not rely on her campaign surrogates super team.
There is no doubt that many Americans are fearful of the uncertainty surrounding the country’s future. Hopefully, whoever is the next Presidential candidate from the Democratic Party can learn from Clinton’s mishaps.
Whether or not you supported a Trump presidency, we must respect his victory and come together as a nation. And now, more than ever, he needs everyone’s support in maintaining a peaceful transition of power. That is the only way we will move forward and be stronger, together as a country.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 22nd print edition.
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