Clinton: 'I was not as adept or as quick' at ways to reach voters

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE on Monday night expressed regret she had not found better ways to communicate with voters during her 2016 presidential campaign as she kicked off her book tour before a packed house at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C.

The 2016 Democratic nominee sat down with friend and former speechwriter Lissa Muscatine to discuss her new memoir, “What Happened,” a personal account of her loss to President Trump.

Clinton said her campaign team focused on perfecting policy points, missing the bigger picture and failing to make the necessary changes.

“I was not as adept or as quick to try and figure what is a better way for me to communicate,” she said.


“You think you’re running one kind of campaign and you realize that the press is not covering the policy you’re putting out every day,” Clinton continued. “They’re covering an empty podium.”  

Clinton spoke before a lively crowd in a city where she carried nearly 91 percent of the vote, with supporters and many former campaign staff attending. The event, hosted by Muscatine’s D.C. bookstore, Politics and Prose, was the first stop on a 15-city tour.

In her new book, her sixth, Clinton lays blame for her loss on Russia’s election interference, former FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the probe into her personal email server, the media, fellow Democrats and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), her rival in the primary.

Clinton reflected on the final month of the election, which saw Comey renew the email investigation, which centered on her handling of classified information while secretary of State.

“All of a sudden people are being told you know what, something’s going on, they’re going to investigate her again. We could see that a lot of women, in particular, were discouraged.”

In the last month, WikiLeaks also released a trove of stolen campaign emails, including from campaign chairman John Podesta.

Clinton said Podesta’s emails were innocuous and blamed the Russians and their allies, “whoever they turn out to be.”

Clinton said she wished she had done more to challenge Trump’s statements and plans for the country.

She said losing to a “normal Republican candidate” would have been easier to stomach.

“If I had lost to another Republican candidate I would have felt bad but I wouldn’t have worried about the fundamental future of our country, our institutions, our rule of law,” said Clinton.

“You can disagree about policies, but you can’t begin to chip away at the basis of our government’s functioning and our democratic norms without paying a very big price.”

She delivered her toughest punches for the president and urged Republicans not to disregard facts on the “altar of partisanship.”

And she expressed worries for federal workers in the Trump administration, saying the president had shown a “total disregard.”

“I know people I worked with at the State Department just really being frozen out, demeaned, mistreated,” she said.

Overall, Clinton said she hoped her book shared the lessons she learned from her campaign.

“I wrote it not just to say what happened, but what we need to do to make sure what happened doesn’t happen again,” Clinton said to applause.

Clinton’s next stop book tour stop is Toronto.

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