17 July 2018

Obama's theory on Clinton's defeat

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Barack Obama has said Hillary Clinton may have lost the election because she was seen by voters as an establishment “insider”.

Transcripts of paid private speeches made by the Democratic presidential candidate to financial executives from Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and others were published in October by Wikileaks.

It was reported at the time that Ms Clinton was paid $225,000 (£181,500) for one speech in 2013 and earned around $22 million (£17.7 million) in ‘speaking fees’ over two years.

“Hillary may have been more vulnerable because she was viewed as an insider,” the outgoing President told The New Yorker.

He said reporting around the Wall Street speeches “might have reduced her advantage, the normal Democratic advantage, in the eyes of working people, that we were standing for them.

“I don’t think it was fair, but that’s how it played itself out.”

One of Mr Trump’s campaign videos released days before the election showed images of Lloyd Goldman, CEO of Goldman Sachs, alongside archive footage of the Clinton Global Initiative and shots of Wall Street.

These were contrasted with videos of seemingly everyday Americans in the workplace.

Over the images, a voiceover spoken by Mr Trump blamed a "global power structure" for economic problems faced by American citizens.

“It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities," he said.

“The only thing that can stop this corrupt machine is you.”

Bernie Sanders said Ms Clinton had lost because the party was more concerned with “raising money from wealthy individuals” than campaigning on behalf of ordinary people.

He told Radio 4’s Today programme the Democrats should have concentrated on "bringing working people into the party and taking on the billionaire class, taking on Wall Street, the drug companies or the insurance companies.”

“The Democratic Party has not been strong in standing up for working families,” he said.

Mr Obama also told The New Yorker that social media and the proliferation of digital news sites “means everything is true and nothing is true.”

“An explanation of climate change from a Nobel Prize-winning physicist looks exactly the same on your Facebook page as the denial of climate change by somebody on the Koch brothers’ payroll,” he said.

According to the article, written by the magazine's editor, Mr Obama had talked “obsessively” with his senior advisor, David Simas, about reports of a “digital gold rush” that was seeing pro-Trump websites cropping up at an alarming rate and gaining hundreds of thousands of Facebook followers.

2016.11.19 / 14:16
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