Amie Parnes reports for The Hill, June 4, 2017, that more than a dozen Democrats, including even staunch Hillary Clinton supporters and her former aides, who were interviewed by The Hill, all say they’d like Hillary to take a cue from Obama and step out of the spotlight.
They say her string of public remarks blaming her loss in November on any and all but herself — especially those blaming the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for her defeat which many took as an indirect criticism of Obama — are hurting the party and making Hillary look bitter.
Although many empathized with Hillary’s anger over former Director James Comey’s handling of the FBI’s probe into her (illegal) private email server, the
Democrats unanimously said Hillary needs to rethink her blaming tour, including the recent Recode conference in California on June 1, 2017, in which she complained she had inherited nothing from a “bankrupt” Democratic Party led by Obama for eight years.
The Democrats who wish Hillary would shut up include:
Democratic strategist Brad Bannon, who said this about Hillary: “I’m not sure there is a political strategy here. It sounds to me like more of a personal strategy. Complaining about an outcome and blaming everyone else is not a good political strategy.”
A longtime Hillary aide, after watching her at Recode, exclaimed: “Good God, what is she doing? She’s apparently still really, really angry. I mean, we all are. The election was stolen from her, and that’s how she feels. But to go out there publicly again and again and talk about it? And then blame the DNC? It’s not helpful to Democrats. It’s not helpful to the country, and I don’t think it’s helpful to her.”
A former senior aide to Obama said Hillary’s criticisms of the DNC can make it tougher for new leaders to come forward: “It’s hard to do that when you have the former nominee out there in a newsy, aggressive manner. If she is trying to come across as the leader of the angry movement of what happened in 2016, then she’s achieving it. But part of the problem she had was she didn’t have a vision for the Democratic Party, and she needs to now take a break and let others come to the forefront.”
Jamal Simmons, a Democratic strategist who worked for Al Gore’s failed presidential campaign, acknowledged some frustration among Democrats over Clinton’s remarks: “Some people I know are just frustrated that it’s happening. She is a national hero and a great public servant and has the right to be upset.” But if she’s going to discuss the loss, “it would be nice to hear a little more about the things she did wrong, which I believe mattered more than what she has discussed.” Simmons said, “When Al Gore lost the election, he went to Europe, gained weight and grew a beard. He walked away. And there’s something to that.”
Hillary’s longtime aides and advisers say she will not run for public office again, and that she feels liberated to finally speak her mind. They anticipate that Hillary will keep discussing the election, particularly to promote her upcoming book, which is expected to be published this fall.
And to that I say:
“Keep up the blame game, Hillary, so every American knows what a whiny, sore loser you are. You are ensuring another loss for your party in the 2018 midterm elections.”
“For many people in . . . the left-center quadrant of the American political spectrum . . . what happened in 2016 was a nonsensical aberration . . . maybe there’s a fix right around the corner. . . .
I suspect it’s pointless to list all the things that are wrong with that scenario, because either you agree with me that it’s a delusional fantasy built on seven different varieties of magical thinking or you don’t, and in the latter case I am not likely to convince you….
Democrats have been virtually wiped out at the state and local level in non-coastal, non-metropolitan areas of the country: They had full control of 27 state legislatures in 2010, and partial control in five more; today they control 14 (with three splits)….
I have previously argued that the Democratic Party’s civil war was unavoidable and has been a long time coming…. But right now the Democratic Party has no clear sense of mission and no coherent national message, except that it is not the party of Donald Trump.”
O’Hehir predicts the GOP is “virtually guaranteed” a House majority until the next census and at least the 2022 midterms. As for the Senate, “Of the 33 Senate seats up for election next year, 25 are currently held by Democrats — and 10 of those are in states carried by Donald Trump last year. It’s far more likely that Republicans will gain seats in the Senate, perhaps by knocking off Joe Manchin in West Virginia or Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, than lose any at all.”