Hillary Clinton made three fundamental mistakes. She assumed she could tack to the Left and still win moderates. She assumed that the minority vote would carry her to victory. And she assumed that voters would ignore her scandal-ridden past.
Clinton advertised herself as preserving Barack Obama’s legacy. And she focused far too heavily on the president’s personal popularity. In so doing she seriously underestimated popular discontent with his policies, especially Obamacare. As the election was drawing near, the very people that Obamacare was meant to assist were finding their insurance rates rising by as much as 25 percent, even as they were being told that the government would penalize them if they did not buy insurance. If that were not enough to turn voters off a candidate who promised to preserve Obamacare, Clinton’s arrogation of Bernie Sanders’ policies as her own compounded voter unease with the prospect of her moving back into the White House.
hat fear was not unfounded. Clinton never endorsed Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court; she would only go so far as to suggest that he be confirmed by the Senate. She did nothing to counter the impression that if she were to win the election, she would nominate candidates for the Supreme Court that were far to the left of Garland, who is hardly a conservative, or even a true moderate. If that were not enough, she remained silent as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders virtually blacklisted several highly qualified Democrats for the job of Treasury Secretary because they purportedly were too close to Wall Street.