Lou Cannon at RCP writes:
In the six weeks since Donald Trump won the presidency, the losers have comforted themselves by blaming outside forces for their stunning defeat.
Addressing donors in Manhattan recently, Hillary Clinton said that she lost because of two “unprecedented” events: FBI Director James Comey announcing the reopening of an investigation into her use of a private email server, and the “unprecedented Russian plot to swing this election.”Clinton Campaign Manager John Podesta, who in the immediate aftermath of the election claimed that Clinton lost because the media gave Trump a pass, has more recently complained that the hacking of his personal email and emails of the Democratic National Committee by Russians had “distorted” the election outcome.But analysis of final results in the three Rust Belt states — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — that cost Clinton the election suggests a less dramatic reason for her defeat than the machinations of Russian President Vladimir Putin. She may have lost simply because she failed to show up in crucial counties where she might have made a difference.
Wisconsin, with 10 electoral votes, is usually Democratic in presidential elections; it last voted Republican in 1984, when Ronald Reagan won re-election. But Wisconsin is more competitive than Arizona. Although Obama twice won it handily, Democratic nominees barely carried the Badger State in 2000 and 2004. Wisconsin was supposed to be part of the Clinton “firewall,” but it is not a state that a Democratic nominee can take for granted. And yet Clinton did not campaign there — not even once — in the entire general election. Was there ever a previous Democratic candidate for president who campaigned in Arizona and skipped Wisconsin?
They took it for granted as part of the mythical blue firewall.
Michigan, with 16 electoral votes, was supposedly an even firmer part of the Clinton firewall. Clinton campaigned there but just barely. A revealing article in Politico that reviewed the blunders of the Clinton campaign in the Wolverine State said she never went to a United Auto Workers hall. The UAW in turn has been criticized by Clinton loyalists for falling down on the get-out-the-vote effort on Election Day.
According to Politico, the Clinton campaign under the direction of Robby Mook was so confident of carrying Michigan that it turned away a bus load of Iowa campaign volunteers organized by the Service Employees International Union. The Clinton team wanted them to stay in Iowa in an effort to fool the Trump campaign into thinking that Clinton was competitive in the Hawkeye State, which she wasn’t.
That bluff worked really well didn’t it.
No wonder the campaign team are pointing fingers everywhere at why they lost. Distracts from the core problem that they campaigned in the wrong states.