When not blaming the Russians or the voters for her 2016 loss to President Donald Trump, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is trying to avoid thinking about the prospect of Trump winning a second term in next week’s presidential election against Democrat Joe Biden.
“I can’t entertain the idea of him winning,” Clinton said in a podcast interview with Kara Swisher of The New York Times published Monday.
“It would cause cognitive dissonance of a grave degree,” she said.
Asked to explain, Clinton’s cup of bitterness overflowed.
“Well, because it makes me literally sick to my stomach to think that we’d have four more years of this abuse and destruction of our institutions, and damaging of our norms and our values, and lessening of our leadership, and the list goes on,” she said.
The former secretary of state tried to stoke fears of a Trump second term.
“But there’s no doubt that he would do everything he could to attack and punish anyone who was, in his view, an adversary. And he would be aided and abetted, sadly, by both elected and appointed officials. So of course, one of the most important accomplishments that I hope we see in this election is a Democratic Senate, where that would be the check that we would need against further abuse of power,” she told Swisher.
“I don’t think he has any boundaries at all, Kara. I don’t think he has any conscience. He’s obviously not a moral, truthful man. So he will do whatever he can to lift himself up. And remember, as I said, he lives with this specter of illegitimacy. He knows more about how he got really elected than we still do.”
During the interview, Clinton portrayed herself as “the candidate that they basically stole an election from.”
“I was the candidate who won nearly 3 million more votes. So no matter how they cut it, it wasn’t the kind of win that people said, ‘OK, it wasn’t my candidate, but OK,'” she said.
The former secretary of state insisted Americans have never recovered from her defeat.
“This election is still front and center in people’s psyches. And people fight about it every day online, because there is a deep sense of unfairness and just dismissiveness toward his victory, and he knows it. So part of what he’s doing by attacking me is trying to shore up himself. The other thing is they’ve been attacking me on the right for 30 years,” she said.
Clinton was asked again if she blamed herself for her 2016 defeat.
“Look, I mean, I tried to take responsibility, ultimately, it was my campaign, but we were facing unprecedented challenges, and those are not unprecedented anymore. I mean, the Russians interfered. Who believed it? We couldn’t get people to believe it,” she said.
“Everybody now knows it happened, and we’re being told it is happening right now in real time. And I think people are, as I said, more on alert, willing to entertain the possibility that maybe something they’re seeing is not accurate. The social media platforms, particularly Facebook, were oblivious or negligent in what they let on and had no real standards for any level of accuracy. So there were just a lot of pieces of this perfect storm that were at work, and that’s what was going on then.”
Clinton claimed that “craziness is baked into the Republican right in this point in our history.”
The 73-year-old Democrat also said voters were simply too sexist to elect her.
“I think there’s also a third element, and that is the combination of my being an effective woman who went further than any woman has gone. And there is something deeply unsettling to a strata of American voters about a woman getting that close to being president,” Clinton said.
“So I see it in some of these articles where reporters go out and they interview somebody who said, ‘Well, I voted for Trump last time, but I’m voting for Biden today.’ And you get comments like some of my personal favorites, like, ‘Well, you know, the girl wanted to be in charge, and that that troubled me,'” she said.
Asked in the interview what it was like “to be in a position without levers of power,” Clinton insisted she still is powerful.
“Well, I think I have a really powerful voice. I just shot a video supporting women in Belarus. I just tweeted out against the violence in Nigeria because people called me. So I have a global standing. I feel very good about what I can do,” she said.
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