Mainstream Media Does An About-Face On Clinton’s Election Loss


Stewart Lawrence Stewart J. Lawrence is a Washington, D.C.-based public policy analyst who writes frequently on immigration and Latino affairs. He is also founder and managing director of Puentes & Associates, Inc., a bilingual survey research and communications firm.
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The mainstream media has finally decided that it wasn’t racism, Russian president Vladimir Putin or FBI director James Comey that cost Hillary Clinton the presidency – it was Clinton.

In recent days, everyone from The New York Times to the Huffington Post has run feature news analyses pointing the finger at the former First Lady for throwing away her chances at victory in  November.

First, there was former Reagan speechwriter and biographer Lou Cannon writing in Real Clear Politics on December 22.   In a lengthy analysis entitled “The Importance of Being There,” Cannon offers a blistering critique of Clinton for failing to show up to campaign in the major Rust Belt states that threw their support to Trump.

Cannon argues that Clinton’s campaign was actually more effective than many people realize, pointing to her big win in Nevada and closer than expected showing in Arizona as proof.  In those states, Clinton campaigned heavily and in Nevada, she not only one beat Trump handily but also flipped both houses of the legislature to the Democrats.

But in Blue-leaning states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, Clinton never really campaigned in earnest.  In Michigan, despite pleas from the United Auto Workers and her own field staff, she failed to show up at local events.  In Wisconsin, she failed to make a single appearance anywhere.

And she got shellacked.

Cannon is especially contemptuous of suggestions that “racism” among Trump supporters and White voters explains Clinton’s loss.

In one electoral district after another where White support for Obama had been strong in 2008 and 2012, voters threw their support to Trump, Cannon shows.

For example, Trump flipped Luzerne County in northeastern Pennsylvania, which went for Obama in 2012 by five percentage points and 12,000 votes. The billionaire real estate mogul won the county by an amazing 20 points and 25,000 votes.

Trump also flipped Erie County, which Obama had won by a whopping 57-41 percent margin. Trump won it, 49-47 percent.   The same story was repeated in counties throughout the Rust Belt, Cannon found.

David Kuhn, in an op-ed published four days later in The New York Times, echoed Cannon’s analysis.

Kuhn reviewed voting data for those that expressed a low favorability rating for Trump and Clinton and found that the overwhelming majority of them broke for Trump.

His conclusion:  Many people voted for Trump in spite of his views on race and gender – not because of them.

“Bluntly put, much of the white working class decided that Mr. Trump could be a jerk,” Kuhn writes.  “Absent any other champion, they supported the jerk they thought was more on their side — that is, on the issues that most concerned them.”

Kuhn also looked at Trump voter views on immigration and found that most did not support his hard-line views.  But they voted for him anyway because of his stances on jobs, terrorism and other issues.

Even the liberal Huffington Post has decided belatedly that Clinton was responsible for her own woes.

Senior HuffPo political columnist Sam Stein reviewed a host of interviews with late breaking undecided voters who overwhelmingly went for Trump and found that many had actually made up their minds weeks earlier.

One interviewee, Leonard Rainey, said he had serious doubts about Trump, especially his ability to handle an international crisis.  He also complained that Trump “was always running his fucking mouth” and saying “inappropriate” things.

But, because of Clinton’s basic credibility problems, he voted for the reality star anyway.

Even Comey’s revived email investigation, which Clinton herself has singled out as the most important factor swaying late deciding voters, wasn’t that significant in the end.

“That was not the nail in the coffin,” Rainey asserted. “It was the throwing of gas on a fire. … Ultimately, there was too much baggage with her.”

Stein also found it wasn’t just Republicans that broke late for Trump – it was Democrats, too.  And ultimately many looked beyond Trump’s alleged character foibles and made up their minds based on the issues.

“I think Trump is far less likely to get us involved in endless war in the Middle East,” Mark Bagley, a native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, told interviewers.  “And the thing to me that is most important is not getting into unnecessary wars.  I am 100% certain that Clinton will get us into a war in the Middle East.”

Another Democratic interviewee said that Clinton’s incessant harping on Trumps’ alleged gender problem actually ended up swaying him toward The Donald.   He came to admire Trump’s “perseverance” and concluded that the former First Lady was simply dodging the issues.

The fact that the so many mainstream media organs are running pieces critical of the Clinton campaign may be a sign that the efforts to delegitimize Trump’s victory have finally come to an end.

But it’s hardly the end of the media’s war against Trump.  With Senate hearings to confirm a slew of controversial Trump cabinet nominations still pending, expect these same news organs to go back on the offensive to try to knock the incoming administration off balance.

The big war is over, but the post-election battles are just getting underway.