Hillary Clinton’s latest book “What Happened” and her ensuing book tour are the latest examples of the former presidential candidate creating fresh tensions within the Democratic Party. What happened is not terribly complicated: Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump and weakened the Democratic Party in the process. In her book, Secretary Clinton blames her loss on the Russians, James Comey and Bernie Sanders, among others, yet the only person she does not seem to blame is herself.
Clinton continues to take the focus away from the party and its elected leaders, weakening those who could actually make a difference in 2018, and eventually 2020. The tension she is causing only exacerbates divisions within the Democratic Party. Clinton continues to focus on the debate and other excuses for her loss.
Recently, Clinton was quoted saying that she felt that Trump “was literally breathing down my neck,” and that she felt “incredibly uncomfortable.” While this generates lots of coverage for her, these anecdotes only distract from the real reasons she lost and the changes the Democratic Party needs to make going forward.
In the wake of an unpopular president, usually the candidate who lost has a surge in approval ratings. Not only has Clinton not had this increase, her approvals are below those of President Trump. In the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last month, only 30 percent of voters reported having either a very or somewhat positive feeling about Clinton, while 6 percent more, or 36 percent, viewed Trump positively.
These numbers underscore just how unpopular Clinton is and how weak of a candidate she was. Further, continued national focus on an unpopular Democratic nominee does not…