When I voted for Hillary Clinton in the general election, I, like many other Americans, swallowed my distaste for her personality to do the right thing — avoid electing a man whose policies threatened the very fabric of our democracy and time-tested values. Unfortunately, it didn’t make enough of a difference to sway the election in Clinton’s favor and now, Democrats, moderates and Republicans need time to heal from this disaster of an election year and mobilize against the new administration. But, rather than leading this resistance, Clinton chose to drag us back into the past with her new book and its accompanying tour. 

Clinton’s book, “What Happened,” is a new low for the politician who just can’t figure out that she’s the root of her own problems. Excerpts from the book reveal that she attributes the loss to just about everyone but herself. She berates Bernie Sanders for “echoing” her own ideas, writing “No matter how bold and progressive my policy proposals were … Bernie would come out with something even bigger, loftier and leftier.”

Apparently Clinton doesn’t understand that two opposing candidates should have, and are expected to have, differences in policy. Sanders wasn’t stealing her ideas; he had radically different, yet sensible, approaches to policy. Clinton wanted a continuation of moderate Obama-era policies, such as subsidized insurance and student debt relief. Sanders saw this solution as putting a bandage on a torn artery, the systems so flawed they required total transformation into public programs. Sanders sought a shift toward the European model; Clinton accepted gradual reform.

A more egregious example of finger pointing in the book was her speculation of what would have happened had former President Barack Obama done a prime-time address on Russian interference in the election. These kinds of what-if musings are emblematic of post traumatic denial. It appears her post-election funk, where she admitted, “I couldn’t feel, I couldn’t think. I was just gobsmacked, wiped out,” has lingered to this day.

Her anger toward former FBI Director James Comey is understandable, but openly doubting a man who gave her one of the most powerful positions on Earth after defeating her in an election is shameless. Obama was a steadfast ally during the campaign, not an aloof observer. Even Clinton’s staffers are sharing a “collective groan,” according to Politico. Having worked tirelessly to defend her image from both conspiracy-ridden nonsense and legitimate criticism, they were looking forward to some time off. Even colleagues in Congress, such as Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., dodged questions about the book tour, not wanting to be caught in the webs of her mistake. 

It seems Clinton doesn’t understand the beating heart of political thought in the United States. It’s raw, straight to the point and embraces strong values over intellectual debate. Most Americans don’t peruse through political science dissertations or subscribe to policy magazines — that’s obvious and expected. But most don’t even engage in “soft” civic duties like writing their senators or brushing up on United States history and law.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but it does illustrate a divide between the ways Clinton and Trump interacted with the public. Rejecting Clinton’s policy approach, Trump understood that the most effective way to win the hearts of people in the United States was through direct, no nonsense messaging and an avoidance of excesses, which blundered Clinton. Her carefully controlled speeches struck many Americans as elitist and emblematic of a career politician. As Clinton admitted in her book’s introduction, “In the past … I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I’m letting my guard down.”

While many cringe at her change in persona after the election, a sizable number of people are still willing to pay to see her. Tickets to some of her book signings this year have reportedly been as high as $2,000. Not too shabby for someone who charged $675,000 for a couple of speeches to Goldman Sachs. The real icing on the cake, however, is her planned tour in Wisconsin, a state she notoriously neglected to visit during the campaign. It’s hard to tell whether Clinton realizes these actions rub people the wrong way, and that’s exactly her issue. She doesn’t read the mood of the general public well enough to understand the cringe-worthy similarities of high ticket prices and speaking fees.

Americans tend to elect presidents because of personality, not policy. If a candidate “feels right” with voters, they enjoy a massive advantage. Al Gore, Walter Mondale and George H.W. all lacked the personal spark that their opponents had, leaving many pundits to conclude it cost them their elections. Those were just blunders that included a couple of sighs during debates, an odd campaign ad and frequent watch checks.

For a modern candidate, Clinton was disliked on a whole new level. To put it simply, she isn’t as relatable as she thinks she is. She’s wonky, and couldn’t act like the average gal if her life depended on it. Her personality is so sour that Americans chose an inexperienced reality TV star to run the country over a politician with the best résumé in the business. Whether her reputation is the result of sexism or legitimate grievance can be debated extensively, but doesn’t change the fact more Americans believed her to be dishonest. While Trump also possesses a repellant personality, the American public concluded that it was more “genuine” than Clinton’s. Trump may be cruder, twisted and morally repugnant, but he clicked better with the public’s craving for authenticity.

Continuing to ignore the public’s collective groans, she drudges on, speaking about herself and charging hefty fees for you to hear it. We won’t help our country by more finger pointing, so please — for once, stay out of the spotlight, Hillary.

Luke Jacobs can be reached at lejacob@umich.edu. 

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