Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has opened up about the mistake she feels had the greatest impact on her 2016 election campaign and why she insists she isn’t finished with politics.
In her first television interview to promote her new book Clinton told interviewer Jane Pauley of CBS that using personal email while she was Secretary of State was the thing that had the most detrimental effect on her election bid.
FBI director James Comey revealed in October 2016 that the FBI had started investigating newly discovered emails. He would soon say though the investigation did not warrant any charges. But that was enough to do the damage.
“I think the most important of the mistakes I made was using personal email,” Clinton told Pauley.
“I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, that was my responsibility. It was presented in such a negative way, and I never could get out from under it. And it never stopped.”
‘I had not drafted concession speech’
Clinton also told Pauley about election night and what she did when it became apparent she wasn’t going to win.
“I just went into the bedroom, laid down on the bed, i just thought ‘Okay. I just have to wait this out.’ But then, midnight, I decided, well, ‘you know it looks like it’s not going to work.'”
Clinton then called Trump to congratulate him on being elected and followed that up with a call to President Obama. She said she felt the need to make that call because she felt that she had “let everyone down.”
The next morning brought the task of facing the nation in defeat, something Hillary had not prepared for.
“I had not drafted a concession speech,” she admitted. “I had been working on a victory speech.”
‘Basket of deplorables’
Hillary also offered an explanation of the infamous “basket of deplorables” label she put on Trump supporters.
“Well, I thought Trump was behaving in a deplorable manner,” she explained.
I thought a lot of his appeals to voters was deplorable. I thought his behaviour, as we saw on the Access Hollywood tape, was deplorable. And there were a large number of people who didn’t care. It did not matter to them. And he turned out to be a very effective reality TV star.”
When Pauley said that this merely energized some people and offended others who didn’t personally feel deplorable at all Clinton adamantly stressed that she didn’t buy that narrative.
‘Done with being candidate’
During the interview broadcast on Sunday the 69-year-old drew a line under her future as a candidate but insisted she isn’t finished in politics.
“I am done with being a candidate. But I am not done with politics because I literally believe that our country’s future is at stake.”
She also opened up about the continued hurt she feels following her stunning loss to Donald Trump.
“I am good,” Clinton said to Pauley, “but that doesn’t mean that I am complacent or resolved about anything what happened. It still is very painful. It hurts a lot.”