Outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama seemed to criticize Hillary Clinton’s campaign for losing the elections in his first post-election press conference Monday, when he said he had won swing states in both his elections due to the fact he had visited small counties in those states and managed to appeal to working-class voters.
“We have to compete everywhere. We have to show up everywhere. We have to work at a grassroots level, something that's been a running thread in my career,” Obama told reporters.
“I won Iowa not because the demographics dictated that I would win Iowa. It was because I spent 87 days going to every small town and fair and fish fry and VFW Hall, and there were some counties where I might have lost, but maybe I lost by 20 points instead of 50 points.”
People took to social media to say that Obama’s comments were directed at Clinton’s failure to do what he did by instead relying on data from polls and surveys.
“There's some counties maybe I won, that people didn't expect, because people had a chance to see you and listen to you and get a sense of who you stood for and who you were fighting for.”
His concerns are not unfounded and have been shared by many critics of Clinton and the Democratic party. The former first lady didn’t make any appearances in Wisconsin and didn’t show up in Michigan until very late in the election. Her primaries opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, won in both states.
Amid concerns of how “robotic” Clinton appeared to voters, her campaign focused on a computer algorithm and TV ads. Obama further suggested that trying to get your policies and stances “just through a national press strategy” has become “increasingly ... difficult … because of the splintering of the press.”
But Obama himself is not free from blame. Many on the left say he has repeatedly failed to follow through on his promises to the working class and instead favored programs that help Wall Street and millionaires by advancing free trade deals.
Renowned political commentator and linguistics professor Noam Chomsky said in an interview Monday that the Democratic Party in the U.S. was to blame for Donald Trump's victory after failing since the 1970s to appeal to the white working class in the country and instead feeding into the neoliberal tendencies of the corporate elite.
However, many of Clinton's supporters continue to turn a blind eye to the evidence that her loss was the very result of this flawed party culture, and have instead opted to blame Russia, Sanders, WikiLeaks and even third party voters for the defeat.