INTERNATIONAL

FBI chief’s letters led to loss: Hillary

Not our leader:Protests against US President-elect Donald Trump in front of Trump Tower in New York on Saturday.— PHOTO: AFP

Not our leader:Protests against US President-elect Donald Trump in front of Trump Tower in New York on Saturday.— PHOTO: AFP  

Protests against Trump continue; Speaker Ryan says America will remain pluralistic and inclusive

Hillary Clinton said two letters from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) director James Comey to members of Congress in the run up to the presidential election, the first announcing a new investigation against her and the second exonerating her, led to her loss in the last week.

She made the statement during a conference call on Saturday with donors who contributed $1,00,000 or more to her campaign. She said she was poised to win the election until the FBI chief’s letters turned the direction of the campaign.

The Clinton campaign’s analysis of voter turnout data claims that her supporters were depressed and her opponent Donald Trump’s supporters were enthused with the two letters from Mr. Comey putting the focus of the last few days of campaigning on her rather than the latter.

Some opinion polls had suggested that neither the FBI letters nor the taped conversations that featured Mr. Trump talking about his controversial behaviour with women had much impact on voter preferences that were frozen much earlier in large part. Ms. Clinton’s conclusion is based on the fact that the minority groups were not as enthusiastic on the election day as they were during early voting, and may have been put off by the FBI letters.

Soul-searching

While the Clinton campaign has absolved itself of any responsibility for the failure, many within the party and sympathisers outside are calling for radical changes in the party. Film-maker Michael Moore, who joined protesters outside the Trump Tower in New York on Saturday evening said in an interview on Sunday morning: “I hope there is a clean sweep in the Democratic National Committee. The party should have leaders who people can love, not the people who offer more of the same old things.”

Ed Rendell, former Governor of Pennsylvania and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley have also called for a re-look at the party’s priorities. “I’m taking a hard look at DNC Chair because I know how badly we need to reform our nominating process, articulate a bold progressive vision, recommit ourselves to higher wages and a stronger middle class, and return to our roots as a nationwide, grass-roots party,” Mr. O’Malley said last week.

“... it would be interesting to think of how Bernie Sanders would’ve done. Bernie Sanders would’ve lost a few Republicans who voted for Hillary because of some of his economic views but he would’ve fought Donald pretty hard for those disaffected, angry, and frustrated workers,” said Mr. Rendell, a Clinton supporter, in a radio interview last week.

Meanwhile, even as protests against Mr. Trump continued in multiple cities across the country, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that no group has reasons to worry under the new administration. “America has been a pluralistic, inclusive society and it will remain so,” he said. Responding to the numerous incidents of hate crimes, racist graffiti and bullying of minority students at schools that have been reported in the wake of Mr. Trump’s victory, Mr. Ryan said: “They are not Republicans. We are the party of Abraham Lincoln, and I am confident that Donald Trump feels the same way.” “We are not planning on erecting a deportation force,” the Speaker said, when asked about whether the new President will launch a deportation drive targeting the 11 million undocumented residents in the United States.

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