Democrats across the nation have all questioned multiple times what happened to cause Donald Trump, an inexperienced reality television host, to win the 2016 presidential election. We imagine many political operatives and strategists have had many sleepless nights to ponder this as they watch Trump destroy the country.
The real question, however, is really what Hillary Clinton, the embattled Democratic nominee, believes what went wrong. With all the money behind her, she still lost to Donald Trump. On September 12, the American public will get a look into what she believed went wrong when her new book What Happened is released.
Several excerpts released by Clinton supporters and reported on by CNN reveal just what she believes is to blame. She blames Bernie.
During the primaries, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was mocked and laughed at for even considering running for the nomination. At least, he was mocked until it became more than obvious that he had ignited a fire underneath many unhappy with the Democratic party’s messaging and brought in a whole new group of voters In one excerpt, she blamed Sanders for “impugning her character” and being advised to refrain from hitting him too hard.
‘Throughout the primaries, every time I wanted to hit back against Bernie’s attacks, I was told to restrain myself. Noting that his plans didn’t add up, that they would inevitably mean raising taxes on middle-class families, or that they were little more than a pipe dream – all of this could be used to reinforce his argument that I wasn’t a true progressive. My team kept reminding me that we didn’t want to alienate Bernie’s supporters. President Obama urged me to grit my teeth and lay off Bernie as much as I could. I felt like I was in a straitjacket.’
She also complained about his supporters and blamed them for harassing her supporters.
‘Some of his supporters, the so-called Bernie Bros, took to harassing my supporters online. It got ugly and more than a little sexist.’
Right. Like, Clinton supporters didn’t do the same to Bernie supporters.
She even went as far as to claim Bernie’s attacks laid the groundwork for Trump’s favorite nickname for Hillary, “Crooked Hillary.”
‘Nonetheless, his attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump’s “Crooked Hillary” campaign.’
Whether or not you were a Clinton supporter, a Bernie supporter, a Bernie supporter who begrudgingly supported Clinton after winning the nomination, or someone who just flat out refused to go and vote for her, the blame she lays at Bernie’s feet is either founded or unfounded. However, the concern is what the book could do to the Democratic Party. The party is already suffering from a deep fracture with many claiming the Democratic Party has become a party of elitism, rather than a party of and for the people. Clinton pointing the finger at Sanders will only further alienate those Democrats who are desperately searching for someone they can back in 2020.
Featured image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.