Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has emerged from hiding after the bruising election loss last November.
This time, she sat for a conversation before 650 executives from global media, tech, and startup companies for the invitation-only Recode conference.
We might have expected that a conference, which looks at trends and predictions for the future, wouldn't focus so much on the past 2016 election, but the conversation with Clinton focused only on the reasons why she lost despite the love and support of the tech industry.
So who did Clinton blame for keeping her out of the White House again? Everyone else but her and the campaign she ran.
Here is the running list:
1. The obsession over her emails – Clinton claimed that her treatment of public business on personal emails was no big deal but blown up by the likes of the New York Times. Then when her campaign buried the email issue, along came Undertaker James Comey to resurrect it:
"And there was no law against it, there was no rule, nothing of that sort. So I didn’t break any rule, nobody said, “Don’t do this,” and I was very responsible and not at all wwcareless. So you end up with a situation that is then exploited, and very effectively, for adverse political reasons.
“… I know you had Dean Baquet here from the New York Times yesterday, and they covered it like it was Pearl Harbor. And then in their endorsement of me, they said, “This email thing, it’s like a help desk issue.” So it was always a hard issue to put to bed, but we put it to bed in July and then it rose up again."
2. The media – Trump was good for the media business and as a result Clinton got less airtime:
"The networks made more money than they’ve made in years, and we’ve got lots of network executives saying things like, “You know, he may not be good for the country but he’s good for business.” And there was that. And putting him on all the time. Calling in wherever he was from… In 2008, which was the last time you had a contested election, not somebody already in the White House, the policies put forth by President Obama, Senator McCain, got 220 minutes of air time, okay? In 2016, despite my best efforts and giving endless speeches and putting out all kinds of stuff, we got 32 minutes. That’s all."
3. The bots – Nameless, faceless that did the dirty work of spreading misinformation and more:
"… The other side was using content that was just flat-out false, and delivering it in a very personalized way, both sort of above the radar screen and below… If you look at Facebook, the vast majority of the news items posted were fake. They were connected to, as we now know, the 1,000 Russian agents who were involved in delivering those messages.
“They were connected to the bots that are just out of control. We see now this new information about Trump’s Twitter account being populated by millions of bots."
4. The "Forces" – Apparently, Hillary is the representation of every social movement since the 60s. Those who opposed her presidency were really against civil rights, women's rights, immigrants rights and any form of progress:
"… there are forces in our country — put the Russians to one side — who have been fighting rear-guard actions for as long as I’ve been alive, because my life coincided with the Civil Rights movement, with the Women’s Rights movement, with anti-war protesting, with the impeachment…
“And we were on a real roll as a country despite assassinations, despite setbacks. You know, opening the doors of opportunity, expanding rights to people who never had them in any country, was frankly thrilling. And I believed then, and I believe now, that we’re never done with this work…
“… You had Citizens United come to its full fruition. So unaccountable money flowing in against me, against other Democrats, in a way that we hadn’t seen and then attached to this weaponized information war. You had effective suppression of votes…
“… And there were lots of factors at work and yeah, it was aimed at me, but it’s a much deeper, more persistent effort to try to literally turn the clock back on so much of what we’ve achieved as a country.”
5. The DNC – Clinton bemoaned the weak data of the Democratic Party, but she conveniently left out the fact that Obama’s organization didn't share the data it collected on millions of voters from both elections to the DNC.
"I get the nomination. So I’m now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party.
“I mean it was bankrupt, it was on the verge of insolvency, its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong. I had to inject money into it …
“So Trump becomes the nominee and he is basically handed this tried and true, effective foundation.
6. The Russians – there were too many references to pull out.
7. Facebook – Social media was the platform to spread information against Clinton far and wide.
“And there have been some studies done since the election that if you look — let’s pick Facebook. If you look at Facebook, the vast majority of the news items posted were fake.
“So if I put myself in the position of running a platform like Facebook, first of all, they’ve got to get back to trying to curate it more effectively. Put me out of the equation, they’ve got to help prevent fake news from creating a new reality. That does influence how people think of themselves, see the world, the decisions that they make."
8. James Comey – aka The Undertaker
“… Because as I explain in my book, you know, the Comey letter, which was, now we know, partly based on a false memo from the Russians. It was a classic piece of Russian disinformation — comprimat, they call it. So, for whatever reason, and I speculate, but I can’t look inside the guy’s mind, you know, he dumps that on me on October 28th, and I immediately start falling.
“Remember, Comey was more than happy to talk about my emails, but he wouldn’t talk about the investigation of the Russians. So people went to vote on November 8th having no idea that there was an active counter-intelligence investigation going on of the Trump campaign.
9. Misogynists: They know who they are but in case you need a clue:
"So I never said I was a perfect candidate, and I certainly have never said I ran perfect campaigns, but I don’t know who is or did. And at some point it sort of bleeds into misogyny. And let’s just be honest, you know, people who have … [applause] a set of expectations about who should be president and what a president looks like, you know, they’re going to be much more skeptical and critical of somebody who doesn’t look like and talk like and sound like everybody else who’s been president.
If only Clinton admitted that her philosophy, view of the role of government, message, and her as a messenger was not what half of Americans wanted, then perhaps her comments wouldn’t sound so much like violins. She was just not the candidate that voters ultimately wanted.
Not all of the sit down with the former Secretary of State was a venting session. Clinton had honest advice to young women about success that wasn't victimizing but empowering:
“You have to be brave because there’s going to be a lot of setbacks and push-backs and all the things that go with it…
“I mean, it’s really, really hard. And I just tell young women to develop more confidence in themselves…
“So, I guess the final thing I would say is, it really is important both for men and women, for mothers and fathers, for employers of both genders, to be really ready to support young women, and to give them that confidence, that external confidence, but to do everything you can to help them weather all of the push-backs and knockdowns that are going to come their way.
Finally, positive reflections and advice.