Pete Buttigieg just figured out what Hillary Clinton did wrong in 2016



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"We spent, I think, way too much of our time talking about him," said Buttigieg in an interview with "The Breakfast Club," a New York-based radio show on Tuesday morning. "Our whole message was not to vote for him because he is terrible, and even because it is, it's not a message."

This is the best – and most concise – summary of why Clinton lost and Trump won that I've heard from anyone – Democrat, Republican or Independent in the two years since then. the 2016 election.

The simple fact is that Clinton (and his team) thought Trump had disqualified himself from the eyes of most voters at the polls. And it was not an unreasonable assessment to make in the moment! From his decision to take a Gold Star family to the "Access Hollywood" tape, each sign seemed to indicate the idea that Trump was just too good, well, Trumpian for most voters.

And he was there! Type of.

Only 38% of respondents have a favorable opinion on Trump and 60% an unfavorable opinion. Only one in three said Trump was honest and trustworthy. Fewer than four in ten thought he was qualified to be president. Only 35% said Trump had the right temperament to be president. (All of these data points come from the 2016 exit query.)

"L-o-s-e-r" is inscribed on these numbers!

Except…

1) Clinton's numbers were not much better. Only 43% had a favorable opinion of her and 36% thought she was honest and trustworthy. These numbers have somehow canceled Trump's disastrous assessments.

2) People did not care as much about liking their candidate as about getting that candidate to bring them what they thought was necessary. Four out of ten voters said that a candidate capable of creating a change was the most important trait in their choice of a candidate; Trump has won more than 80% of these voters.

Trump was a person that the majority of people did not like, did not trust and did not think it was enough to have the right temper to be president. Many people may have agreed that, in Buttigieg's words, "he is terrible," but they also did not like Clinton and had no idea what kind of change she was having. could actually represent.

The message was simply: you're not going to vote for this guy, is not it? And that was not enough.

Presidential elections, unlike mid-term elections, traditionally require the candidate to plead not only against on the other side but for himself. (This is clearly wrong at mid-term when the outgoing party of the White House can succeed by simply being passed for control of the party in power). the team lost this thread – and never recovered it.

Now. The decline is 20/20 and all that. And fighting the last battle is not a guarantee of winning the next one.

Nevertheless, the accuracy of Buttigieg's analysis shows his understanding of how voters think and the important challenge that Trump (always) poses.

"I do not like to say it, but he could absolutely win again," said Buttigieg at Trump's "Breakfast Club". He is absolutely right.

CORRECTION: The Buttigieg Breakfast Club interview was broadcast on Tuesday.

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