Accuracy in Media

Hillary Clinton’s election-excuses tour fell flat with a media panel on Thursday on CNN, moderated by John King.

Clinton listed a litany of excuses during a question and answer session on Wednesday at Recode’s Code Conference as to why she lost the election to Donald Trump.

King started things off by asking the panel what purpose it serves for her to trash the DNC,  “and so on and so forth.”

First to comment was Julie Pace of the Associated Press, who said that while we’ve heard the Comey  and Russia rationale before, “This was the first we’ve really heard from her blaming the party.”

Pace added that in one sense Clinton wasn’t wrong, because former President Barack Obama had his own data operation and kept it close to his political operation—hurting the DNC—but that it wasn’t at the same time Clinton was inheriting nothing, as she claimed. Pace finished by saying that if Clinton is going to put herself out there to talk about the election, then she has to realize that people will want to talk to her about why she lost, and that people’s expectations are that she will be humble and take ownership for losing the election.

The Daily Beast’s Jackie Kucinich then chimed in that Clinton’s attempt to “have it both ways’ doesn’t help her:

“And there’s the trying to have it both ways, saying, ‘I was flawed. It was my fault, but it was also all these other entities’ fault,’ and it kind of dilutes any sort of ‘the buck stops here’ statement that she has. And frankly, it seems like she’s burning bridges within her own party at this point.”

The Washington Post’s Karoun Demirjian said that it was an issue of Clinton’s tone, and that it would have been better if she had taken responsibility, and sought to work with the DNC to address the problems rather than blaming them outright.

King then joked that Clinton couldn’t help ignoring Wisconsin because “The Russians cloaked Wisconsin, so she couldn’t find it on a map to get there and campaign there,” eliciting chuckles from the panel.

Finally, The Wall Street Journal’s Naftali Bendavid said that Democrats probably would prefer that Hillary fade away a little bit…”I mean a lot of them would say the reason they lost the last election despite a very vulnerable Republican candidate is that people turned on Hillary Clinton, Republicans were able to make her be a villain.” He added that he thinks if the Democrats have any advantage in the next two elections, it’s that there isn’t anyone easy for the GOP to villainize. But the longer Hillary continues to speak out, the more it hurts their chances of recapturing Congress and the White House.

Clinton is trying to convince the public that she does accept responsibility for her loss and that she has moved past the election. But the increased number of excuses she cites makes it clear that she can’t and won’t let go.

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