Hillary Clinton’s loss to President-elect Donald Trump has been sealed with the final count of Electoral College votes. Trump exceeded the 270 electoral votes needed from the 538 electors, quelling protests and hopes by the Clinton camp that they might prevail. It is now clear that Donald Trump will indeed become president this January.
There have been rumblings from the Democrats that if a sufficient number of electors refused to endorse Donald Trump and instead voted for Hillary Clinton then she would become president. A change.org petition signed by nearly 4.5 million people encouraged members of the electoral college to cast their votes for Clinton, claiming that, “If they all vote the way their states voted, Donald Trump will win. However, they can vote for Hillary Clinton if they choose. Even in states where that is not allowed, their vote would still be counted, they would simply pay a small fine – which we can be sure Clinton supporters will be glad to pay!”
“We are calling on the Electors to ignore their states’ votes and cast their ballots for Secretary Clinton.”
Despite efforts to cultivate faithless electors, when the electoral college met yesterday on December 19, Donald Trump was confirmed as president-elect and Hillary Clinton’s loss was made official. According to a report by USA Today, only 82 electoral votes were changed on the personal initiative of the elector in the history of the United States and none has affected the outcome of a presidential election. This made it highly unlikely that faithless electors would have been able to change the outcome of the election, and in fact both President Obama and Hillary Clinton have endorsed the democratic process that elected Donald Trump.
In a press conference on November 14, Obama insisted that the election results be upheld and accepted, “Look, the people have spoken. Donald Trump will be the next President, the 45th President of the United States. And it will be up to him to set up a team that he thinks will serve him well and reflect his policies. And those who didn’t vote for him have to recognize that that’s how democracy works. That’s how this system operates.”
Just ahead of the electoral college vote yesterday, Bill Clinton took some time last weekend to do some shopping in Katonah, New York, not far from the Clinton’s Chappaqua, New York, home. While perusing a local bookstore, the former president responded to some informal questions from locals, and his responses were written up in the local paper, the Bedford-Pound Ridge Record Review.
Bill Clinton’s statements in this off-the-record Q&A in Katonah have since gone viral, and his answer as to why Hillary Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump is being widely quoted.
“James Comey cost her the election.”
When FBI director James Comey announced that the agency would be investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server, this undermined voters’ faith in her and essentially cost her the election. Bill Clinton insists that this blow to her reputation and the media’s lack of interest in the dearth of evidence that Hillary Clinton was involved in illegal activities was the main reason for Donald Trump’s victory.
While discussing why Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump, Bill also had the opportunity to state his opinions about the president-elect. Dishing out a zinger in response to the question, “Is Trump smart?”, former president Bill Clinton responded caustically,
“He doesn’t know much. One thing he does know is how to get angry, white men to vote for him.”
Aside from the FBI investigation headed by James Comey, Bill Clinton also placed blame on Russia for why Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump. The intelligence consensus is that Russia actively meddled with the American elections by hacking the Democratic National Committee and releasing thousands of stolen emails that were damaging to Hilary Clinton’s campaign. If not for Comey and Russia, as quoted on Politico, Bill Clinton believes that his wife would have won the election.
“She fought through everything, and she prevailed against it all. But, you know, then at the end, we had the Russians and the FBI deal. But she couldn’t prevail against that.”
With Donald Trump winning the electoral college vote, Hillary Clinton’s supporters will have to accept that she will not be America’s next president. The question of why Hillary Clinton lost against Donald Trump in the elections is a difficult one, but Bill Clinton believes he has the answer. Without the Russian hack and Comey’s untimely announcement, Bill Clinton supposes that Hillary Clinton would have won.
[Featured Image by Matt Rourke/AP Images]