Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Clinton Cites Missouri as Proof That Her Presidential Campaign Wasn't out of Touch

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Clinton Cites Missouri as Proof That Her Presidential Campaign Wasn't out of Touch

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * In her new book, "What Happened," Hillary Clinton uses her "razor-close" victory over Bernie Sanders in the Missouri primary last year to debunk a central critique of her presidential campaign: that she was overly dependent on flawed data, too detached from actual people.

"It's true that some of our models were off just like everyone else's, including the media, the Trump campaign, everyone probably because some Trump supporters refused to talk to pollsters or weren't honest about their preferences or because people changed their mind," Clinton wrote in the 469-page book released this week.

"My team was constantly in touch with local leaders, and I had trusted friends reporting back to me from all over the country, including a big group from Arkansas the Arkansas Travelers who fanned out in nearly every state. I believe they helped us win the razor-close Missouri primary, and they were a constant source of information and perspective for me."

The title of this book could just as easily have come with a question mark: "What happened?"

In it, Clinton, who turns 70 next month, assigns "a lot" of blame for her loss to Donald Trump to "forces beyond my control" from former President Barack Obama's inability to persuade middle-class voters Democrats had made their lives better; to bigotry of Trump voters; to sexism of the "Bernie Bros," the followers of her chief primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom Clinton points out, "isn't a Democrat."

But while Clinton points the finger back at herself, she does not do so in the sweeping analysis of legitimate voter rejection of her ideas and character, but more in the nuanced, tactical "if they could only understand me" voice that sometimes turns off even her supporters.

"If it's all my fault then the media doesn't need to do any soul searching," Clinton writes. …

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