I both agree and disagree with this for two reasons.
If it took the 2016 election for some Democrats to figure out that you have to give people something to vote for...well...then I'm not sure what to say exactly... but a couple of things to spring to mind.
1. At least they are learning?
2. These Democrats need to get off their high horse and stop acting like they are the smartest people in the room. Because if it took them this long to figure that out then, clearly, they aren't.
I disagree with the "you have to give people something to vote for" hot take for two reasons: 1) it disregards Hillary's support. Believe it or not, many people actually like Hillary. Myself, the majority of the Democrats I worked with last year, and most of my family, worked our butts off because we genuinely wanted to see Hillary and her style of politics in the White House. 2) I believe that elections are equal parts voting for and against someone. Anti-Hillary hate certainly helped propel Trump into the White House. Obama's "Hope and Change" campaign was as powerful as it was because it drew a not-so-subtle contrast to the horror of the Bush years which would have been continued with McCain in office. And finally my own vote was every bit as much against Trump as it was for Hillary, because I'm black and gay. Marginalized groups very rarely have the privilege of voting "for" someone. Our votes tend to be against the person we feel will fuck us over the most.
But I agree 100% with Democrats needing to get off their high horse. We have policies that are beneficial for most Americans. But we continuously lose the messaging war by refusing to appeal to people's feelings.
Yes, the woman that got 48% of the vote the last time around needed help to get 55% this time, when she was more popular and more qualified.
but it was Her Time
Biden didn't run because he would have lost the primary. He was a crap candidate all of the previous times he ran for president, and wouldn't have done better as a grieving 73-year-old.
If Hillary has a total lack of appeal, then what do you call Biden's previous runs for president?
He's 100% right but that's not going to stop people from downplaying her total lack of appeal.
We are in a partisan time, and candidates are generally going to be reviled by the other side. Obama was the most hated candidate in history as of 2012, and that didn't stop him from winning. Did Obama win because of fear of Romney?
Or maybe it was just the fear of trump that got her all those votes. She is easily one of the least liked candidates in history.
I think this is succinct and on point. Clinton was a subpar candidate when measured by her ability to influence voters but would have been a damn good president. But in the realm of politics that unfortunately means very little, and will always mean little without a significant culture shift in the country.
Originally Posted by Paul Graham
People who are powerful but uncharismatic will tend to be disliked. Their power makes them a target for criticism that they don't have the charisma to disarm. That was Hillary Clinton's problem. It also tends to be a problem for any CEO who is more of a builder than a schmoozer. And yet the builder-type CEO is (like Hillary) probably the best person for the job.
I don't think there is any solution to this problem. It's human nature. The best we can do is to recognize that it's happening, and to understand that being a magnet for criticism is sometimes a sign not that someone is the wrong person for a job, but that they're the right one.
I believe technically they didn't lose every branch but it was a disaster. Also, I wouldn't generalize all Clintonites because there's a lot of folks on the GOP side parroting similar talking points about how they think vs. everyone else. Nevertheless, Nassim Taleb has a great phrase that sums up that kind of "pragmatist" and their ideology which is Intellectual Yet Idiot.
Haven't you heard? Clintonites are so pragmatic that they make progress by losing every single branch of government.
If you want to know a bit about why Biden chose not to run against Hillary, there's about half a chapter in Shattered which covers Biden's vacillating back and forth in late 2014/early 2015 when he was considering a run. Ultimately he chose not to run because Hillary had already basically locked the party down and he didn't have anyone willing to work for his putative campaign because they were all afraid of angering the Clintons.
Biden would have been awesome