“They” Didn’t Pick Hillary.
People who claim that “they” picked Hillary for the 2016 nominee (and shooed away other, better candidates) are flat out wrong with their analysis, in a way that does damage. No one picks who runs for president, least of all the DNC. The DNC has practically no money and practically no power. They provide some infrastructure in the primaries - mostly runnnig the debates. That is it.
People run for pesident because they have a deep desire to do so, and are willing to spend crazy hours for two or more years of their lives to do nothing else. They (and their families and friends and surrogates) spend endless hours doing speeches, raising money, recruiting staff and volunteers, talking to reporters, going on TV for insulting interviews by idiots who don’t do their homework and ask all the same pointless questions as every other talking head. It is endless and grueling and frustrating, and “they” absolutely do not pick someone and assign them this task.
The people who ran in 2016 were the people who wanted this bad enough to give it a try. There were five serious candidates on the Democratic side, including a governor and four senators. All five attended to the first debate in October of 2015. By February of 2016, three of them had dropped out. Not because anyone instructed them to do so but because they weren’t getting anywhere in polls and fundraising.
The people who did well enough in polling and fundraising to stay in after that were Hillary and Bernie. Bernie was elimated from winning the primaries by Super Tuesday (March of 2016) , but he was still getting the donations and the press, so he decided to pretend he could still win and stayed in all the way until, and really through, the convention. This was really the only unusual aspect of the primary process. Usually once a candidate clearly can’t win, they drop out and support the future nominee. Not doing so made Hillary seem weaker and less popular than she actually was.
The reason I think this story about how “they” picked the person next in line or picked Hillary or kept other candidates out or made other candidates quit is damaging is because it is really a form of conspiracy theory. It assigns agency where there isn’t any (there is no “they”) and denies agency where there is (people deciding to run, or not, for their own reasons). If we don’t understand the process or what happened, we are doomed to make mistakes in the future.
And on a personal note, as a Hillary fan from way back, it really pisses me off. It takes the most qualified person in recent history to run for president and pretends she was just assigned the nomination by people who made a mistake because it shouldn’t have been her, but rather some other much better (but unnamed and too lazy to bother to run) person. Hillary should have run and she should have won. She was the most admired woman in the U.S. for many years. She was by far the best qualified candidate. She was good at working with people and getting things done. She cared about the important issues and worked on them - and made progress! - her entire adult life.
The reasons Hillary lost are (1) the Republicans throwing everythig they had at her; (2) the press largely going along with it; (3) Russian interference; (4) Bernie eroding her legitimacy; (5) voter suppression; and (6) the electoral college. She won by almost 3 million votes in spite of all of that. This isn’t on her or her supporters or her voters. She, and we, worked our asses off and did everything pretty much as well as human beings are capable of doing. Positing some unnamed candidate who would have been better if only “they” hadn’t made the mistake of picking that loser Hillary is damaging and insulting.
If I have one regret in the 2016 election it is that I was a little too polite and reticient in sticking up for Hillary. I thought (like Hillary) that it was best not to alienate Bernie supporters, so we could all come together once one of them secured the nomination. That was a mistake I won’t again.
So guys, please don’t do this. Please don’t assuage your regrets or guilt by pretending it was some “they” that picked Hillary and that if “they” had picked someone else we would have won. That isn’t what happened.