On Monday, National Public Radio‘s “Morning Edition unveiled its exit interview with President Barack Obama. While the interview (transcript here) covers a wide range of topics while lasting just over an hour, one comment in particular is getting the most attention so far: Obama’s assertion that “not showing up” was a big part of why not just Hillary Clinton but also Democrats in general did so badly on Election Day.
“I think that on something like the Affordable Care Act, you have people who are benefiting right now from Obamacare who either don’t know it’s Obamacare or consider that as a given and then end up voting on Second Amendment rights,” he said. “So part of the reason it’s important to show up, and when I say show up, I don’t just mean during election time, but to be in there engaging and listening and being with people, is because it then builds trust and it gives you a better sense of how should you talk about issues in a way that feel salient and feel meaningful to people.”
However, when asked, Obama did also shift some of the blame to the Russian hacks of various Democratic Party and Clinton campaign email accounts. “There’s no doubt that it contributed to an atmosphere in which the only focus for weeks at a time, months at a time, were Hillary’s e-mails, the Clinton Foundation, political gossip surrounding the DNC,” the President explained. “And that whole swirl that ended up dominating the news meant that number one, issues weren’t talked about a lot in the coverage. Huge policy differences were not debated and vetted. It also meant that, what I think would have been a big advantage for Hillary objectively, her experience, her knowledge, her outstanding reputation around the world as secretary of state, all that stuff got lost.”
[Photo: NPR screen grab]
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