Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal And The Influence On Her Campaign Message

Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 U.S. Presidential election because of a number of factors, many of which are highly speculative, given the nature of her campaign and her history as a politician. It was rife with scandals, which her political opponents didn’t hesitate to point out. As such, she spent a significant amount of time trying to direct her agenda away from this, while her opponents did their best to discredit her ability as a viable candidate.

On her part, Hillary Clinton recently admitted that she failed to win the presidency partly because of he own mistakes, and influences by external forces. On the email scandal, it might have played a significant role in her failure. According to research undertaken by Gallup, Georgetown University, and the University of Michigan, the general public mainly recalled her email scandal as the most outstanding element, which may be because it received significant coverage from the media. The following is an excerpt from the Huffington Post outlining this.

“‘Email-related scandals clearly dominated recalled words about Clinton. This is true for almost every week of the campaign,’ the authors concluded in a presentation given Saturday during a panel on election surveys. ‘There was no similarly common theme for Trump, whose multiple scandals produced a changing, and perhaps more easily overcome, narrative during the campaign.'”

The email scandal involved her use of a private server to host her emails, a move that was seen to be extremely careless, especially considering that some of them could have been highly classified. The fact that she had a private server also brought about the notion that she had something to hide. Then following is an excerpt of a report from the BBC detailing the back and forth concerning the investigation that made voters even more distrustful of her activities as the election day neared.

“In July, an FBI investigation concluded no ‘reasonable prosecutor’ would bring a criminal case against Mrs Clinton, but that she and her aides were ‘extremely careless’ in their handling of classified information.

Then the FBI surprised everyone, 11 days before the election, by announcing it was examining newly discovered emails sent or received by Hillary Clinton.

Two days before voting booths opened across the nation, FBI Director James Comey announced he was standing by his original assessment – that Mrs Clinton should not face criminal charges.”

Back to the research by the two universities, Donald Trump’s agenda was apparently considered by the public to be immigration and his endeavor to ‘Make America Great Again,’ a message that he was consistent with throughout his campaign, even selling merchandise with the slogan.

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton stuck with the traditional policy-oriented rhetoric that many voters had grown to be accustomed to. Due to the controversy of Donald Trump’s statements, his speeches were also given more airtime. The following is an excerpt of the report outlining this.

“If the prominence of the word ‘speech’ is any indication, much of what they heard about Trump came directly from the candidate himself. Cable television networks like Fox, CNN and MSNBC regularly aired Trump’s campaign speeches in their entirety during last year’s election ? in one case, as The New York Times’ Michael Grynbaum noted, skipping Clinton’s speech to a workers’ union in order to ‘broadcast a live feed of an empty podium in North Dakota, on a stage where Mr. Trump was about to speak.’

Most of the attention to Clinton’s emails came from Republicans, who perceived her more generally as dishonest and scandal-plagued. Democrats’ impressions of Clinton, while not centered around any particular topic, were far more neutral, and included interest in topics like her economic proposals.”

[Featured Image by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Foundation for Women]

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