Hillary Clinton says if she had won the 2016 presidential election, she would have been seen as a ‘genius’ who ran a ‘perfect’ campaign.
As it turns out, Clinton lost, and has been energetically promoting her book, ‘What Happened,’ by giving a series of interviews in a book tour that has annoyed some of her Democratic colleagues.
Clinton got asked on WNYC about the way her ‘familiarity with the american public’ could negatively impact her campaign. The question may have been a reference to some of the locked in disapproval of Clinton by long-time opponents from her decades in politics.
‘I thought it was pretty revolutionary that I was the first woman to have a realistic chance of becoming president,’ the former Secretary of State responded.
‘So I don’t know how any woman who is not familiar to people, since we have so many hurdles to overcome, could have even been in that position that I found myself.’
IF ITS AND BUTS WERE CANDY AND NUTS: ‘So if I’d won, you know, I would have been seen as a genius,’ Hillary Clinton told WNYC
‘So if I’d won, you know, I would have been seen as a genius,’ Clinton continued. ‘My campaign would have been seen as perfect,’ she said with a slight chuckle. ‘I understand all of that.’
Her claim of being seen as genius had she won drew immediate scorn from former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who was among those throwing mud at Clinton during the bitter campaign.
‘And ‘if’ I won the lottery I’d be rich,’ Spicer, who just hung out his shingle as a paid speaker, wrote on Twitter.
Even had she beat Trump (she won the popular vote but lost the electoral college), it seems unlikely she would have been viewed as running a perfect campaign.
Clinton started with high overall approval ratings from her time as secretary of state that gradually came down to earth as she got back into traditional politics.
Her campaign stumbled before it really got started as she was thrown off by her email scandal. She spent months failing to effectively smother an upstart challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was able to capitalize on her paid speeches and corporate connections.
LET ME BE CLEAR: Clinton said he she had beaten Donald Trump, she would have been seen as a ‘genius.’ In another interview, she called Trump a ‘clear and present danger’
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Among tactical mistakes was a failure to lock down battlegrounds like Wisconsin and Michigan.
Clinton also revealed isn’t just mad at Bernie Sanders for the tenor of his campaign, but the length of it too.
As her new book, What Happened, was released Tuesday, Clinton told the hosts of the Pod Save America podcast that she wished the independent from Vermont, running for the Democratic nomination, had dropped out sooner.
She compared the conclusion of the 2016 primary to the one she ran against President Obama in 2008.
‘Once it was over, it was over and I quickly endorsed President Obama … I didn’t get anything like that respect from Sanders and his supporters,’ she noted. ‘And it hurt, you know, to have basically captured the nomination, ending up with more than 4 million votes than he had – but he dragged it out.’
She said she views Trump as a ‘clear and present danger to America.’ She added: ‘I think Trump, left to his own devices, unchecked, would become even more authoritarian than he has tried to be.’
Clinton’s comments come at the same time Rasmussen Reports found that 61 percent of likely voters said it was time for the former first lady, senator and secretary of state to retire.
By the time the general election came around, Sen. Bernie Sanders (right) stumped for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (left)
Of course, Republicans agreed to that statement over Democrats, 83 percent to 36 percent, but even along gender lines, 53 percent of women said it was time for Clinton, the country’s first female major party nominee, to go.
Clinton has no plans to go away, as she booked on the Today Show and The View tomorrow and heads to Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show on September 19.
On Monday she’ll also kick off her 15-city ticketed book tour, Hillary Clinton Live, with stop No. 1 being Washington, D.C.’s Warner Theatre, just down the street from the White House.
For the Pod Save America podcast she spoke to alumni from the Obama administration, including Jon Lovett, Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor, and talked about her behavior at the conclusion of the 2008 Democratic primary.
‘I worked really hard to get him elected,’ she said. ‘I was still arguing with my supporters at the Denver convention, telling people, ‘Don’t be ridiculous, you’ve got to vote for Senator Obama,’ at the time. And I was thrilled when he got elected.’
She then pivoted to Sanders, who the podcast hosts had asked about.
‘And he was so reluctant,’ Clinton said.
Clinton, however, has a point.
Sanders’ last hope to rout the former secretary of state from winning the Democratic nomination was in California, which had a primary on June 7.
In advance of that, Sanders and his motorcade went all throughout the state, attracting tens of thousands in terms of crowds. But Clinton went on to to win the state by about 7 points.
After that, Sanders flew home to Vermont and there was speculation he would drop out then.
He traveled to Washington, D.C., and met with President Obama, who gave his endorsement to Clinton.
Sanders also didn’t drop out then.
It took until July 12 for him to finally appear in New Hampshire alongside Clinton and throw her his support.
It appeared so absurd that the Onion marked this long road to closing out the Democratic primary by headlining a story from that day: ‘Bernie Sanders Agrees To Drop Out Of Race In Exchange For 13-Hour Speaking Slot At Convention.’
Clinton watchers were already aware that Sanders was going to be in her crosshairs thanks to a tweet last week from journalist and CauseWired founder Tom Watson, which included a page of her book.
In that excerpt, Clinton wasn’t bemoaning Sanders’ long goodbye, but rather his political attacks, which were later used against her by now President Donald Trump.
During the primary Sanders would often hint that Clinton taking donations from Wall Streets and other corporations meant that she was corrupt or doing their bidding.
‘When I finally challenged Bernie during a debate to name a single time I changed a position or a vote because of a financial contribution he couldn’t come up with anything,’ Clinton noted.
‘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,’ she said.