Hillary Clinton in a new interview said that her inability to run on an “agenda of change,” coming off of Barack Obama’s two terms, was a significant problem for her 2016 campaign.
“It is true that when you run to succeed a two-term president of your own party, you have a historical headwind blowing against you,” Clinton told radio host Hugh Hewitt. “It’s not just this campaign can be set apart from everything that’s ever happened in our politics. It is a challenge.”
“If you are both the candidate defending a lot of the areas of agreement, but also putting forth an agenda for change, which is what I tried to do, it is often difficult to get the second part of that message through,” she added. “So I do think it was a problem.”
“I was proud to serve in the Obama administration. I did not agree with everything that President Obama decided, but on balance, I really think he did what had to be done to rescue the economy, which as we all remember, was in desperate straits,” Clinton told the conservative radio host. “He did chart a course in the world that favored diplomacy and negotiation, something that I think is important.”
Hewitt asked Clinton if the Obama aides hampered her from allowing the “emotional Hillary Clinton” to emerge during the campaign. But Clinton chalked up her issues to the simple inability to being able to “break through” in the environment in which the 2016 campaign took place.
“I have high regard for the campaign that we put together, and all of the people who were working in it so hard. But I think it is fair to say that it was hard to break through,” Clinton said. “Maybe some of that is on my shoulders, and perhaps some because of the campaign as well. But I think a lot of it … is that it was really hard in the environment in which this 2016 campaign played out to break through in a lot of ways.”
“I’ve said a few times that this was the first reality TV campaign. My opponent was the first reality TV candidate, and I was, for better or worse, the candidate of reality,” she said. “And I think it was a shortcoming of the campaign that the work that I’ve done my entire life, the passion I feel for helping people, the record that I have of doing just that, never really could break through.”