According to a forthcoming tell-all book about the 2016 election, President Obama was the one who gave Hillary Clinton the final push to take the high road and give Trump a formal concession call.
“You need to concede,” Obama urged Clinton over the phone as the Rust Belt states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania were trending Trump’s way early Wednesday morning. Authors Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen cite several sources within Clinton’s orbit that depict a defiant team that was reluctant to concede the race even after being pushed by the Democratic president.
They did not want to admit defeat to their supporters publicly, even when the writing was on the wall. Staffers sent campaign chairman John Podesta to the “victory” party at the Jacob Javits Center to tell a somber crowd the race wasn’t over, nothing had been decided, and to just go home.
As Podesta was out addressing the crowd, a frustrated Clinton finally gave in and asked her aides for the phone. “Just give me the phone, I’m calling him.”
The conclusion of the race has made for some head scratching ironies. Many on the Clinton team, who lampooned Trump during the campaign for suggesting he may not accept the outcome of the election, are now supporting an effort by Green Party candidate Jill Stein to recount the votes in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias and John Podesta held a conference call with activists last week who believe the results in these three states were tampered with. They are actively stoking the flames of Clinton supporters who believe the election outcome is not legitimate.
For their part, Obama’s people think the effort is ridiculous. Former Obama White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer has been ridiculing the effort on twitter.
I really wish Jill Stein had not waited until after the election to be so concerned about a few thousand votes tipping the election to Trump— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) November 24, 2016
The amount of Democratic energy and money being wasted on recounts instead of trying to win the Louisiana Senate Race is mind boggling— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) November 24, 2016