It seems improbable, if not impossible, that anyone can spend $1.2 billion on an election in the first place, let alone lose it. But that is reportedly how it worked for the Hillary Clinton campaign, where dollars flowed freely into over-priced commercials that made their way onto television, radio and into print.
It must have been painful to lose to a billionaire who appeared too penurious to invest in a 30 second ad spot when he could just log on to Twitter and fire away. And the mainstream media kept reminding us that the Clinton organization was outspending Republican Donald Trump by phenomenal sums of money and, they added, we all know in this world of saturation communications that the candidate who yells the loudest and longest is the one who wins.
Not this time. Maybe that’s why the Clinton campaign has tried every conceivable method of reversing that electoral verdict since Hillary first pasted on a smile and stood for a New York City podium to deliver one of the most gracious speeches of her politically-motivated life.
I don’t say that with any hint of irony. Clinton appeared to embrace her own rhetoric on that day after the night before. She seemed willing to accept the decision of the voters; to encourage her loyal followers to lay down their arms and believe in the wisdom of the democratic process. Trump had won and he was our president.
Never mind the malicious tales of her going berserk the night before in a fit of denial, or all the unkind speculation about why she had taken so long to arrive at the scene of her concession speech. She didn’t disappoint when her moment of history arrived.
Clearly, Clinton was being less than transparent as she feigned serene comprehension of her defeat. Though she has deftly remained detached from the most of the numerous efforts to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat — though she did begin assigning blame for the loss within days of the election, explicitly citing FBI Director James Comey as the villain. Her hapless running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, provided a glimpse of the coming Clinton resistance when he arched his eyebrows and declared Clinton first in the hearts of Americans because she had won the popular vote after all.
The popular vote wedge was where the push-back began. We had been here before, of course, with the Bush-Gore fencing match that focused on hanging chads and voter irregularities in Florida but no matter. It was time again to suggest that the Electoral College be abandoned and that presidents be elected on the basis of popular vote. When that didn’t appear to have sufficient traction to generate change swift enough the alter the 2016 election, the Clinton surrogates began musing about recounts in key battleground states. It was left to Green Party candidate Jill Stein to initiate this charade, demanding that votes be counted again in states that Stein wasn’t even competitive in because of a compelling desire to ensure the “integrity” of electoral process – even though she had no reason to believe otherwise and no one seriously presented evidence to the contrary.
Well, as the recount fiasco generated mounting embarrassment and no more votes for Clinton, it was time to focus on the Russians again. Putin had been a convenient source of blame during the election campaign, whenever a reverberating WikiLeak emerged from the private-no-more e-mails of John Podesta. It didn’t matter how the offending messages read; the Clinton campaign never denied the validity of the material, just the nefariousness of the alleged hacker: “the Russians did it,” declared interim DNC chair Donna Brazile when confronted with evidence of her atrocious willingness to share debate questions with Clinton.
Well, the Russians are doing it again. So sure are the Clinton surrogates that the Russians both interfered with the presidential election and assiduously worked to elect Trump that desperate measures are required. Hence the latest call to change the election results by – again – appealing to the Electoral College. This time, they don’t want the electors disbanded, just convinced to break faith with the voters of their states and change their allegiance from Trump to Clinton.
At least one very unsure electoral form Texas has already succumbed to the pressure; but Chris Suprun hasn’t broken for Clinton. He’s musing about voting for Ohio Governor John Kasich, who, as we all know, wasn’t even on the ballot. But there is a form of poetic destiny in Suprun’s otherwise bizarre take on one of democracy’s basic rights: Kasich couldn’t bring himself to vote for Trump either, so he cast a ballot for John McCain, who wasn’t running either. Clearly, they belong to the NeverThinking protest vote.
I don’t know if the increasingly louche – and never say die – Clinnton campaign has continued to spend money in aftermath of their still stunning loss and added to that already bloated billion dollar plus election bill – if so, it is merely more bad money spent on discredited objective.
Cost of losing: well over a billion dollars. Result: priceless.
Follow David on Twitter @DavidKrayden.