Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reportedly apologized to former President Barack Obama for her election loss. She made the apology after election results from the key swing states showed that she had lost to the Republican candidate Donald Trump. According to a new book, titled Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Election Campaign, by journalists Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen, Clinton told Obama on election night that she was sorry for letting him and the party down.
The book, which seeks to give an insight into the Democratic presidential candidate’s failed campaign and to portray the chaos that took over at Clinton campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters on the night of November 8, was set for release on Tuesday.
“Mr. President, I’m sorry,” Clinton reported said solemnly and sadly when Obama called her moments after she called Trump to concede defeat.
According to a review of the book by the Washington Post, Clinton had called Trump to say congratulations before she apologized to Obama.
“Congratulations Donald,” Clinton said, as she struggled to suppress her emotions, according to the book by the Hill’s Parnes and Sidewire’s Allen.
She told Trump that she was committed to country’s success and “that means your success as president.”
“I’ll be supportive of the country’s success and that means your success as president.”
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Clinton called Trump to concede defeat shortly after a previous phone conversation with Obama. Obama had called Clinton at about 11 p.m. on November 8 after results showed that Trump had won Wisconsin. He urged her to concede defeat.
“You need to concede,” President Obama reportedly told Clinton over the phone.
After a slightly prolonged hesitation, Clinton took Obama’s advise and called Trump to concede defeat.
Soon after she had conceded defeat to Trump, Clinton aide Huma Abedin informed her in her room at the Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan that Obama was on the phone once again.
“It’s the president,” Abedin said.
That, according to the book, was the moment that the reality of her defeat hit Clinton.
“Mr. President,” she said softly, “I’m sorry.”
She admitted that she had let herself, Obama, her party, and her supporters down. According to the book, she also said that she knew she had “let her country down” and that her loss had “shattered” Obama’s legacy.
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The devastating impact of election loss on Clinton was accentuated by the fact that she was not prepared for it. Her campaign had gone into the election confident of victory on account of pre-election polling that indicated a comfortable Electoral College win for Clinton. But during the night, as results from the key swing states were released, the truth dawned gradually on the Clinton campaign that loss was inevitable.
The first sign of trouble reportedly came at about 7:45 p.m. when Steve Schale, a Clinton campaign polling analyst, called to say that loss was imminent in the key swing state of Florida. But after results from other key swing states, such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, showed that Clinton would lose the Electoral College, Obama called her and advised her to concede.
According to Parnes and Allen, although the election results were not final at the time that Obama called Clinton and urged her to concede, he was determined to ensure that Clinton understood the race was over and that it was her duty in the circumstances to accept her loss with dignity, in contrast with Trump’s pre-election statements that had appeared calculated to undermine public trust in the electoral system.
According to the book, after the results for the key swing states were announced, Obama argued that there was no point “prolonging the inevitable” by calling for recounts.
Clinton took Obama’s advise and her aide Abedin called Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway.
When Trump eventually came on the line, Clinton conceded graciously.
It was after Clinton had conceded defeat to Trump that Obama placed a consolation call to her. Clinton apologized solemnly during the call, saying she was sorry to have let him and the party down.
The call from Obama, according to the book, “crystallized everything for Hillary.” When Abedin told her that Obama was on the phone, Hillary took the call reluctantly because her mind was still struggling to absorb the shock of unexpected loss. She was not ready to explain herself and the situation to Obama.
“Hillary winces. She wasn’t ready for this conversation,” the book said. “When she’d spoken with Obama just a little bit earlier the outcome of the election wasn’t final yet. Now, though, with the President placing a consolation call, the reality and dimensions of her defeat hit her all at once.”
“She had let him down. She had let herself down. She had let her party down. And she had let her country down,” the book continued.
“Obama’s legacy and her dreams of the Presidency lay shattered at Donald Trump’s feet. This was on her.”
Clinton must have winced again when, later, her husband, Bill Clinton, tried to console her by comparing her loss with Brexit.
“It’s just like Brexit,” he reportedly said as he realized that his wife’s White House ambition was over.
According to Bill, the vote by the British was a sort of “harbinger,” and it helped to inspire Trump’s victory. Bill had reportedly expressed concern before the election that Hillary’s campaign was underestimating Trump.
[Featured Image by Mary Altaffer/AP Images]