Hillary Clinton takes responsibility for her devastating loss to Donald Trump in her tell-all book about the 2016 presidential race, but she also blames Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Vladimir Putin and others, published excerpts show. In her campaign chronicle “What Happened,” set for release on September 12, the veteran Democrat acknowledges her own role in her defeat, writing: “It was my campaign. Those were my decisions.” But she also points the finger at a long list of political rivals, apparent allies, and morning television hosts, and signals that much of what happened in 2016 was outside her control. Sanders, a socialist-leaning senator who challenged her during the Democratic primaries, resorted to “innuendo and impugning on my character” in attacks that caused “lasting damage” and disunity, the 69-year-old Clinton wrote, according to excerpts reported by US media yesterday and today.
Regardless of how “progressive” her own policy proposals were, “Bernie would come out with something even bigger, loftier and leftier, regardless of whether it was realistic or not,” she added. Sanders offered a terse response. “I.e., Bernie Sanders just stole all of Hillary Clinton’s ideas. Does anybody really believe that?” he said on MSNBC. Clinton also trained her frustrations on Obama, who backed her as his successor, saying a stronger, televised response by the then-president to Russian meddling in the election might have helped her.
“Maybe more Americans would have woken up to the threat in time. We’ll never know,” she said according to CNN, which obtained a copy of the book. Clinton also criticized former vice president Joe Biden, who campaigned with her, and former FBI director James Comey. She blamed a frustrated electorate for falling for Trump instead of embracing her more traditional campaign, writing that the billionaire businessman ran “a reality TV show that expertly and relentlessly stoked Americans’ anger and resentment.”
Women voters apparently were also partly to blame. Clinton wrote that while she was impressed with the massive anti-Trump demonstrations in the days after his January inauguration, “I couldn’t help but ask where those feelings of solidarity, outrage and passion had been during the election.” Putin — and Russia’s apparent meddling in the 2016 election — also took hits, with Clinton accusing the Russian president of holding a “personal vendetta” against her, according to Vanity Fair. “I never imagined that he would have the audacity to launch a massive covert attack against our own democracy, right under our noses — and that he’d get away with it.”
Perhaps in a page out of Trump’s own playbook, Clinton took a shot at the media as well, in particular the NBC ‘Today’ host Matt Lauer. His constant focus on Clinton’s emails during a forum last September made her “almost physically sick.” “Lauer had turned what should have been a serious discussion into a pointless ambush,” she wrote. “What a waste of time.” Clinton has scheduled a 15-city tour promoting her book, beginning in Washington on September 18.