Days of Change

Clinton Happened

September 28, 2017
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Donald Trump won with only 46% of all voters choosing him. He couldn’t even get a majority. The last time a president was elected with a lower percentage than that was Bill Clinton in 1992. Yep, we only have to look to the last Clinton to run for president to find a precedent for Trump.

There’s little reason to rehash the mechanics of the Trump victory. In America, you have to win an Electoral College majority, like Trump did. In fact, the two closest states could have gone to Clinton and Trump still would have won. Hillary Clinton had 48% of the popular vote, which was not even a majority. It instead fell between the 43% and 49% popular vote totals Bill Clinton had. If you don’t like this kind of muddled victory, too bad. In the last 7 presidential elections, 4 winners had an Electoral College majority, but failed to win a majority of the popular vote.

Running for president seems like a daunting task, but it must get easier with time. Hillary Clinton ran twice, winning the nomination once. Donald Trump ran twice, winning the nomination (and the presidency) once. In 2012, Romney had run in 2008 and lost the nomination, to John McCain, who ran and lost the nomination in 2000 to George W. Bush. But practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect. Obama and Bush 43 won their first times out. So did Bill Clinton. Bush 41 lost the nomination in 1980, became president in 1988, the lost to Clinton.

So far, Democrats haven’t had much luck this century in running more than once for president and succeeding. The Republicans are another story. Ronald Reagan lost the Republican nomination twice (in 1968 and 1976) and eventually became president in 1980. Almost 50 years ago, Richard Nixon came back from losing the general election in 1960 to become president in 1968.

Hillary Clinton and willing stooges in the media are either explaining or asking “what happened” this week. For the average person, that might be something of a mystery. Polling was just outside the margin of error and the “Democratic Party Machine” was still considered powerful, at least in the case of Barack Obama. Given that Trump’s campaign had mediocre infrastructure at best, even with the RNC behind them, the answer is obvious in hindsight. The Clinton campaign relied too much on data, tried to get a large electoral victory at the expense of close states and ultimately had a product not many people wanted.

Clinton has been a household name for 25 years and not usually a positive one. Her only elected office was as Senator from New York. To win that seat, the party made sure she was the only real competition among Democrats. State Republicans did their part to have lousy candidates as well. Rudy Giuliani might have beaten her. Actually, Donald Trump might have been able to beat her in 2000 or 2006. Her 2008 presidential campaign was blindsided by Obama, but she can’t write a book about how much of an ass Obama was, so she’s focused on Trump instead.


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