President Barack Obama delivered a veiled rebuke to Hillary Clinton today for spending the summer and much of the fall taking it easy as Donald Trump barnstormed the nation.
From Daily Mail
The two-time winner Electoral College winner said he was victorious in Iowa, a mostly white state, ‘not because the demographics dictated’ it, but because he spent 87 days going to ‘every small town and fair and fish fry and VFW hall.’
Some counties he may have lost by fewer votes because he dropped in, the president said. Others he may have won unexpectedly because he spent so much time there.
‘And the challenge for a national party is how do you dig in there and create those kinds of structures so that people have a sense of what it is that you stand for.’
That’s ‘increasingly difficult to do’ through a national press strategy, he said.
Conversations in the party about grassroots efforts and building a bottom up party will ‘contribute to stronger outcomes in the future,’ he assessed. ‘And I’m optimistic that will happen.’
Democrats who are ‘feeling completely discouraged’ by last Tuesday’s election, Obama said, should remember that ‘things change pretty rapidly.’
‘But they don’t change inevitably. They change because you work for it,’ he said.
Clinton spent considerable time in Iowa as she prepared to competed in the Democratic caucuses there against Bernie Sanders.
She visited Des Moines three times and Cedar Rapids once in the general election. She also made a stop in ‘Quad Cities’ area, though her rally was technically in Illinois.
Clinton’s campaign wrote off the swing state that Obama won in 2008 and 2012 and spent her time trying to win over North Carolina, a state he lost in 2012, and Pennsylvania instead.
Not only did she lose all three of those states, Clinton held one or no rallies a day while Trump conquered the country and lost most of the Midwest, never even visiting Wisconsin which turned red as a result.
‘We have to compete everywhere. We have to show up everywhere. We have to work at a grassroots level,’ Obama said today.
The president was taking questions for the first time since his former secretary of state lost her electoral battle against Donald Trump this afternoon.
‘When your team loses, everybody gets deflated. And it’s hard, and it’s challenging,’ he acknowledged.
But he said, ‘I think its a healthy thing for the Democratic Party to go through some reflection.’
His party is looking for a new election chief to manage the Democratic National Committee.
‘I think it’s important for me not to be big footing that conversation,’ Obama said of the intra-party debate. But he also said the party would benefit from ‘new voices.’
Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, an African-American representative who comes from the progressive wing of the party and is Muslim, put forward his name today.
Ex-DNC chair Howard Dean was the first candidate to formally put himself in the running. Dean ran the party when Obama was elected. Democrats also won the House and the Senate under his oversight.
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