Part of me is tempted to give her a pass on this for now. The woman just suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of the least-popular presidential nominee in modern American history, dealing a crushing blow to her lifelong quest for power. Coming to grips with just how deeply the American people detest you cannot be an enjoyable process, and such harsh realities undoubtedly trigger coping mechanisms. That is what's going on here. That being said, even if you're inclined to cut her a little bit of slack, this is pitiful and delusional spin:
This is no a small thing for Hillary Clinton to publicly and formally blame the FBI director for her defeat.— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) November 12, 2016
Hillary Clinton blamed FBI director James Comey for her stunning defeat in Tuesday's presidential election in a conference call with her top campaign funders on Saturday, according to two participants who were on the call...Clinton told her supporters on Saturday that her team had drafted a memo that looked at the changing opinion polls leading up to the election and that the letter from Comey proved to be a turning point. She said Comey's decision to go public with the renewed examination of her email server had caused an erosion of support in the upper Midwest, according to three people familiar with the call...Comey sent a letter to Congress only days before the election announcing that he was reinstating an investigation into whether Clinton mishandled classified information when she used a private email server while secretary of state from 2009 to 2012. Comey announced a week later that he had reviewed emails and continued to believe she should not be prosecuted, but the political damage was already done. Clinton told donors that Trump was able to seize on both of Comey's announcements and use them to attack her, according to two participants on the call.
Democrats assured us that Comey's 'treachery' or whatever would only serve to motivate Clinton's base down the home stretch. They later claimed that his reiteration of his decision not to recommend a criminal indictment two days before the election was vindication. In truth, scapegoating the FBI Director after the fact is a naked effort to deflect blame for a Hillary's humiliating loss, which she earned all by herself. James Comey didn't force her to set up an unsecure, rules-violating, national security-compromising email server. He didn't make her ignore explicit warnings that she was putting sensitive material at risk. He didn't make her wrongly withhold and attempt to destroy thousands of work-related emails. He didn't compel her to lie about every element of the email scandal, over and over again. He didn't tell Huma Abedin to fail to turn over a computer with previously unreviewed emails on it. All of those actions were taken by Mrs. Clinton and her team. In fact, Mr. Comey did Hillary a large favor by recommending against charges in the first place, even though he confirmed that her conduct was grossly negligent -- while averting his eyes from clear evidence of intent.
Even if it's true that the eleventh-hour renewed scrape with the FBI contributed to her loss (it surely did), it was merely one factor of many, including the Obamacare meltdown, ongoing questions about the Clinton Foundation, and voters' overarching desire for change. Comey's decision to briefly reopen an investigation in light of new evidence merely reminded voters of longstanding reasons they were planning to either vote against her, or sit at home: She is an historically untrustworthy and unlikeable political figure. A majority of voters held an unfavorable view of Clinton, and a super-majority saw her as dishonest. Those are fundamental flaws that no team of handsomely-compensated consultants or multimillion-dollar advertising blitz could overcome. And they certainly aren't the fault of James Comey. If Hillary Clinton wants to face up to the real reasons she crashed and burned, she need not look any further than her own loathed status among the US electorate, and her team's bad missteps. Case in point:
Trump shocked HRC in two states: MI and WI. Here's the Oct ad airings in those states. Big pro-Trump advantage. Dems basically didn't play. pic.twitter.com/TEZO5umaF6— Jim Tankersley (@jimtankersley) November 12, 2016
Team Clinton vastly, vastly outspent Team Trump overall, but they missed the boat on key indicators over the final weeks of the campaign. Instead of locking down their "blue firewall," Clinton's campaign devoted major resources to places like Arizona, in an effort to scramble the map and run up the score. They lost there anyway, and left the barn door wide open in their supposedly "safe" states in the process. In the campaign's closing weeks, Hillary was running more ads in Omaha, Nebraska "than in the states of Michigan and Wisconsin combined." Result: Slim, devastating losses in the latter two states, and a three-point defeat in Nebraska's second Congressional District. And for their much-ballyhooed data superiority, funded by tens of millions in high-dollar donations, they ended up failing in new and entertaining ways:
To make matters worse, because Republicans had a non-existent ground game in many areas this cycle, this powerful reminder from a Clinton volunteer to get out and vote might have been the only personalized GOTV communication these Trump voters received. The campaign’s text messaging GOTV effort may have been the worst offender. Volunteers reported as many as 30% of the replies they received from voters they were urging to get out were Trump supporters.
But Comey. Speaking of refusing to learn hard lessons, I'll leave you with this ludicrous take on the media's role in Trump's victory:
Every media outlet that obsessively covered the Clinton email non-story should be doing some serious soul-searching right now.— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) November 9, 2016
An American Secretary of State and major party presidential nominee put extremely high-level national security secrets at risk -- recklessly handing our adversaries a trove of sensitive intelligence -- then lied to voters' faces about it at every turn. Some embittered leftists and journalists believe this was a "non-story" that the media over-covered. Preposterous. The American people clearly disagreed, meting out the ultimate political indictment of Mrs. Clinton several months after it became clear that the Obama Justice Department was never going to hold her accountable.