Bill Clinton has figured out why his wife lost the presidential election. It was angry white men, the Russians and FBI director James Comey. More nearly, in fact, it was angry white women, Americans and Bubba himself.
Clinton revealed his own angry conclusions in an impromptu session at a New York bookstore, calling Donald Trump dumb except in his ability to get presumably dumber white men to vote for him.
Many did, of course, but the unexpected voter whammy for Hillary Clinton – at one point happily set to be the first woman president, espousing feminist causes every other minute and shown in polls to be killing Trump with the female vote – was what white women actually did at the ballot box.
Trump got 53 percent of their votes. Inevitable Hillary turned out to be disposable Hillary because many in the white middle class of both genders felt let down and left out. Much of this has been revealed in surveys showing concern, for instance, about the future of beloved children and how once-glowing opportunities have turned dim.
And the electoral effect of Clinton campaign emails that were supposedly supplied to WikiLeaks by Russians cheering for Trump? There is no way of knowing for sure, but a safe bet is that it was somewhere between nil and very little.
As Bill Clinton himself used to say about what wins and loses elections, it’s the economy, stupid. And here was Trump talking about turning things upside down for the sake of economic oomph while Hillary Clinton preached same old, same old.
It probably did not impress some Americans much when she also called them names during one of her endless huddles with rich donors likely convinced they were making a sound investment in maintaining the status quo.
Now we get to Comey, beloved by Democrats when he let Hillary Clinton off the prosecutorial hook even as he revealed how incredibly careless she had been with national security information as secretary of state. The infatuation turned to fury when it became public through a letter to Congress that he was reopening the investigation with 11 days left before the election.
The news likely hurt, but other things were hurting more, such as new information on Obamacare costs, and, at any rate, Bill Clinton can be seen as being as much the villain as Comey in this announcement.
Comey could have been stopped. Attorney General Loretta Lynch had authority to do it. It was her call. She had in fact made clear to Comey that she did not want him to do what he did, that she thought it violated Justice Department protocols. So why didn’t she flat-out say no?
Perhaps because she had been compromised? Bill Clinton had gone out of his way at an airport to sneakily visit her on her private plane. This was when the investigation was going on, and both had to know that, if the chat time became publicized, they would be seen as secretly conniving on how to save Hillary.
To go ahead with it anyway suggests Clinton thought it was worth the risk to keep his wife out of trouble. And the possibility of such a discovery did not stop Lynch. Why not? Maybe she was just taken by surprise and temporarily befuddled about what to do. She later said how much she regretted the meeting.
At any rate, here is my surmise. When she could have stopped Comey, she did not because she knew everyone would point to the airplane confab and assume she had come to a political understanding. Her reputation would be in shreds.
Forever after, she would be identified as politically corrupt. Many would not see it as her legal expertise and conscience at work but as Bill Clinton at work. You be the jury.
Obviously much more was at play in the election outcome than the factors mentioned above, but ongoing Clintonian duplicity is surely part of what defeated Hillary.
Jay Ambrose is a columnist for Tribune News Service. Reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.