Of all sad words of tongue or pen
December 9, 2021 5:39 PM   Subscribe

the saddest are these: "It Might Have Been." In an emotional excerpt from her MasterClass on resilience, Hillary Clinton reads parts of the victory speech she hoped to deliver in 2016. "In this lesson, I’m going to face one of my most public defeats head-on by sharing with you the speech I had hoped to deliver if I had won the 2016 election," Clinton says.
posted by MiraK (60 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
A strange glimpse from an alternate, better universe.
posted by Sleeper at 5:43 PM on December 9, 2021 [14 favorites]


I'm still sore. Yes, you can say popular vote, and all of that, but 2016 was hers to lose. And she lost. By thin margins, but she and much of the rest of the democratic echelons haven't learned a goddamn thing. She didn't even visit Wisconsin! Once! We need paid field organizers in every country, for starters; I am not even paid for my position in the Democratic party. We need a continuous every county fifty state organization. And we need a rural platform. We don't have one. We magically assume that urban GOTV will suffice, and that has bitten us in the ass again and again in every low-turnout cycle.

So I'm really done with the centrists who not only refuse to innovate in policy but also refuse to adapt in tactics. The only thing the centrists are good at is controlling the party apparatus; they don't know how to win general elections.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 6:10 PM on December 9, 2021 [68 favorites]






Well I went over to MasterClass and it seems to be some kind of pay TED talks. But they do show you who all your Masters are and yep, they are our Master Class all right. And now even though the Master Class controls everything including the media they want you to pay for their insights while they get free media coverage. Of course these people aren't the current Master Class, they are all Masters on the way to being not masters. Not much different from Trump University really. And so even though I desperately want to hear Hillary read her speech, no way in hell do I pay for the privilege of hearing the Master Class telling me one more time how it is.

And hey @Condoleeza: I haven't forgotten! I'll never put one penny in your pocket.
posted by hypnogogue at 7:01 PM on December 9, 2021 [17 favorites]


But they do show you who all your Masters are and yep, they are our Master Class all right. And now even though the Master Class controls everything including the media they want you to pay for their insights

Um. Okay.
posted by MollyRealized at 7:20 PM on December 9, 2021 [24 favorites]


I don't know if I can handle watching this without turning into a sobbing wreck, but thank goodness, there's a transcript, and reading it fills me with not just the same gaping disappointment over the criminal campaign interference and unmatched misogyny that stole her win, but also with immense, tender admiration for her willingness to be this vulnerable - I mean, I can't think of anyone who's been this vulnerable, this public, about perhaps the greatest defeat in my lifetime, in the face of so much utter unthinking loathing; and it fills me with so much sympathy for her mother - the child who became her mother - that she's trying to comfort with the promise of what she tried to achieve ... what she would have achieved, absent criminal Russian interference and the infuriating Electoral College.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to hear from women like Hillary Clinton, like Stacey Abrams, like Irene Shin, women who have done the hard work and keep doing it and doing it and doing it.

I totter way too close to despair in the face of climate change and vote suppression, and the more I open my heart and mind to what these women have to say, the more I feel like giving in to despair is copping out, giving up, when other women, who have faced unimaginable hatred, threats, losses, defeats, have nevertheless gotten back up and carried on with their vision of service and dedication to making the world at least a little better.

I am immensely grateful to be alive at a time when I can learn from fearless women like Clinton, take heart from their words of encouragement and inspiration from their long years of hard work.

How do you turn a pain this deep into an opportunity for connection, an opportunity to invite other people to join in the work of doing good in the world?

I am in awe.

MiraK, thank you so much for sharing this with us. I am so glad to read her words, and to be inspired again by her bravery and her - well, her love.
posted by kristi at 8:06 PM on December 9, 2021 [50 favorites]


The Grasshopper Lies Heavy.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:10 PM on December 9, 2021 [11 favorites]


This feels like an even more transparent attempt to scam money out of fans than other MasterClasses, but I suppose it fits well enough with "Dan Brown on Writing" or "George W. Bush on Leadership."
posted by bokane at 8:37 PM on December 9, 2021 [9 favorites]


Masterclass in getting pwnd.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 8:38 PM on December 9, 2021 [9 favorites]


But think of the four years of non-stop Senate hearings about Benghazi and her emails we would have had to endure if she won.
posted by ShooBoo at 8:47 PM on December 9, 2021


centrists by the second comment, Bernie by the fourth, just waiting on neoliberalism and we can get it all wrapped up
posted by Anonymous at 8:50 PM on December 9, 2021


never change, Metafilter, never change
posted by Anonymous at 8:53 PM on December 9, 2021


neoliberalism something something masterclass in ALL the something election, but when bernie something liberals, then NOBODY something these neoliberal something, especially with the war on christmas. and THAT'S how you teach a masterclass.
posted by wibari at 9:32 PM on December 9, 2021 [6 favorites]


Thank you to the folks who took a moment to give this the respect it deserves. I found myself impossibly moved by it. Had to share. 💔
posted by MiraK at 9:42 PM on December 9, 2021 [26 favorites]


I'm still too sad to watch this. But I'm glad she did it.
posted by Toddles at 9:49 PM on December 9, 2021 [10 favorites]


I don't think I could bear to watch it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:01 PM on December 9, 2021 [12 favorites]


I skimmed the transcript, and will need to be in the right frame of mind to watch it. But what I've seen so far makes me glad she made the video. It offers a rare glimpse of the kind of humanity we don't often get to see from political figures these days.
posted by rpfields at 10:08 PM on December 9, 2021 [4 favorites]


On the night, no concession speech was given. The loyal supporters were sent home with a few words from Podesta. Apparently no concession speech was even written - losing to Trump was just an impossibility. Such appalling hubris.
posted by moorooka at 10:32 PM on December 9, 2021 [11 favorites]


You know who else didn't give a concession speech?
posted by Theiform at 10:43 PM on December 9, 2021 [13 favorites]


To this day, I still think she would have won, had she not made the "deplorables" comment.
posted by yellowcandy at 10:50 PM on December 9, 2021 [3 favorites]


I can't watch this. My daughter was four going in to the 2016 election. I was proud that she was born when Obama was president, and I really wanted her to see someone like her become president.

She got it.

"Do you like Donald Trump?" "No. He's mean."
"Do you like Hillary Clinton?" "Yes. She's nice."
posted by kirkaracha at 10:53 PM on December 9, 2021 [3 favorites]


Mod note: A couple deleted. Oh dear god. Please. Haven't we suffered enough? What we're NOT going to do here is reenact the whole Hillary/Bernie tribal gorefest, or any Hillary-Donald- just-alike fuckery. Or pretty much any fuckery. We've done our time on this, the time was hard, and we're not up for samesies.
posted by taz (staff) at 3:59 AM on December 10, 2021 [72 favorites]


To this day, I still think she would have won, had she not made the "deplorables" comment.

The comment was not "Trump supporters are assholes." The comment was "some of them are, yeah, but a lot of them are good people who are desperate for change, and we need to understand and support them."

It can't be helped that when given an option between "bigot" and "honest American looking for a new way," so, so many Trump supporters chose the first label. She didn't lose a single vote with that speech, she just maybe spurred a few people who otherwise felt the need to couch their bigotry in polite terms to just take the mask off.

---------------------------

"You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?

[Laughter/applause]

The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now how 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America. But the other basket — and I know this because I see friends from all over America here — I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas — as well as, you know, New York and California — but that other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroine, feel like they’re in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well."
posted by explosion at 5:05 AM on December 10, 2021 [21 favorites]


It can't be helped that when given an option between "bigot" and "honest American looking for a new way," so, so many Trump supporters chose the first label.

As you point out, only by taking Clinton's words entirely out of context does her statement seem to mean what it was portrayed as meaning.

This bad-faith interpretation that Clinton was somehow snubbing all of Trump's supporters was driven by the right wing media, which framing the so-called "liberal media" adopted uncritically, as is usually does.

We need a media that responds to The Drudge Report the righty blogosphere right wing Twitter with "that's obvious nonsense" instead of pretending "this is a valid point that deserves amplifying.
posted by Gelatin at 5:21 AM on December 10, 2021 [10 favorites]


Metafilter: Oh dear god. Please. Haven't we suffered enough?
posted by fortitude25 at 5:24 AM on December 10, 2021 [18 favorites]


You just don't see this kind of contempt and visceral disgust aimed at, say, Biden. I wonder why.

I was left of Hillary in 2016 and moving steadily left since then, but I hate to see how much some people hate women.
posted by Mavri at 5:56 AM on December 10, 2021 [28 favorites]


You know what's heartbreaking, Mavri, is that "but" in your sentence. Can you imagine saying "I have moved more to the left but I hate to see how much some people hate the concept of unions"? It's telling what "left" has come to mean in the US. #NotMyLeft

In any case if praxis were the measure of how left a person is I'm certain Clinton would be WAY to the left of us all.
posted by MiraK at 6:06 AM on December 10, 2021 [4 favorites]


You just don't see this kind of contempt and visceral disgust aimed at, say, Biden. I wonder why.

Did I live through a bizarro primary for 2020? Biden was getting slagged (rightfully) from every angle. It may not have penetrated to media headlines though.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:20 AM on December 10, 2021 [6 favorites]


Biden gets hated but it's not quite the same level of vitriol that every woman gets, ever, for existing in public.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:47 AM on December 10, 2021 [12 favorites]


She puts the class in MasterClass.

Thank you for this, Ms. Clinton, even though it breaks my heart.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:48 AM on December 10, 2021 [4 favorites]


It's telling what "left" has come to mean in the US.

That's not what I meant. There are people who hate women everywhere. What I meant is that criticism of Hillary isn't just about her positions, no matter how much people want to claim that's so. I am left. I hate many of Hillary positions, but I don't hate Hillary.

Biden was getting slagged (rightfully) from every angle.

He was getting criticized, often harshly. I rarely saw the kind of loathing I see for Hillary. It's different.
posted by Mavri at 6:55 AM on December 10, 2021 [8 favorites]


The most over-qualified presidential candidate since Jefferson (<- look, don't start, ok?) and graceful in defeat, and I'm not even that big a fan of hers. US has become Us Stupids. Had to be the women hate thing plus boat-anchor hubbie.
posted by Chitownfats at 7:04 AM on December 10, 2021 [4 favorites]


That's not what I meant. There are people who hate women everywhere.

Mira's point is simple - if you hate women, no matter how your other political positions may fall, you are not left-leaning. It is ridiculous how much tolerance for sexism and misogyny there is in ostensibly "leftist" spaces, and it needs to end - and the only way it will is by the left saying "we believe that women are people, and if you want to hold to misogynistic bullshit, the door is there."
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:12 AM on December 10, 2021 [9 favorites]


You just don't see this kind of contempt and visceral disgust aimed at, say, Biden. I wonder why.

Biden didn't lose an election to Donald Trump.
posted by Uncle Ira at 7:26 AM on December 10, 2021 [6 favorites]


Mira's point is simple - if you hate women, no matter how your other political positions may fall, you are not left-leaning.

Quoted for truth. If being "left" has any meaning at all it's about solidarity, and degrading half the population means what whatever "left" pose you may have is just all about you.
posted by Gelatin at 7:32 AM on December 10, 2021 [3 favorites]


Biden didn't lose an election to Donald Trump.

As if the contempt and visceral disgust wasn't there in 2008 and even in 1996...
posted by that girl at 7:47 AM on December 10, 2021 [13 favorites]


I don't think I'll ever respect Hillary or Biden as people because they've both done awful things, but I can respect what Hillary means to her supporters.

She tried to represent a better future. Biden on the other hand is trying to represent a return to a pre-trump past that was actually awful for a lot of people who don't matter to the comfortable centrists who control the democratic party.
posted by zymil at 8:20 AM on December 10, 2021 [5 favorites]


None of these horrible people deserve our tears.
posted by bleep at 8:42 AM on December 10, 2021 [4 favorites]


What an ego-destroying moment it must have been, though, imagine. We all remember what it was like seeing Trump win. Just try to imagine how you might feel if it was you that had lost the free world… to him
posted by moorooka at 8:53 AM on December 10, 2021 [3 favorites]


Well, i will hold my tongue for the people here who are inspired by such. for me, this is intelligence on the limits of a particular hubris.
posted by eustatic at 9:21 AM on December 10, 2021


Yeah I mean I don't know why you'd even have the impulse to shit on people who find Hillary inspiring, like me. Or tell us about it.

The contempt hurts. Leave these threads alone in the future please.
posted by tiny frying pan at 9:25 AM on December 10, 2021 [8 favorites]


Biden didn't lose an election to Donald Trump.

Biden wasn't running in 2016 and he is also a white man.

Why would someone vote for Biden but not Hillary? They are largely the same except for her lady hubris, and perhaps, the shock of four years of Trump. Biden in 2016 would have benefited from the former but not the latter.
posted by Mavri at 9:44 AM on December 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


Biden in 2020 benefited from being an amiable old white guy, the shock of Trump, and the lessons of 2016 and still didn't knock it out of the park. But sure, it's all Hillary. She's the worst.
posted by Mavri at 9:54 AM on December 10, 2021 [5 favorites]


None of these horrible people deserve our tears.

1.) We don't make perfect people.

2.) Anybody who runs anything is "horrible" in one way or another. All we can hope for is not Hitler or Pol Pot horrible. I used to think Lyndon Johnson was satan walking the earth, now, in retrospect, I wish the Democratic party had about 3 to 6 of him at various levels of power. Oh, for sure, at some time or another, I would find them alternately risible or abhorrent. I'm not perfect either.
posted by Chitownfats at 10:27 AM on December 10, 2021 [3 favorites]


Love when people say "she just expected to be handed the win!" like it proves anything. She had every right to feel that way. If she'd been a man, she would have won.
posted by a power-tie-wearing she-capitalist at 10:28 AM on December 10, 2021 [8 favorites]


I'm still too sad to watch this. But I'm glad she did it.

Ditto. She's an inspiration to me, though - any time I'm feeling petty about something (and I ran for office as a Democrat in what we know now was a 2021 Red Wave in NJ, so I have material), I think, if Hillary Clinton can go to Donald Trump's inauguration, I can live another day.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:02 AM on December 10, 2021 [3 favorites]


Public opinion of Clinton has followed a fixed pattern throughout her career. Her public approval plummets whenever she applies for a new position. Then it soars when she gets the job. The wild difference between the way we talk about Clinton when she campaigns and the way we talk about her when she’s in office can’t be explained as ordinary political mud-slinging. Rather, the predictable swings of public opinion reveal Americans’ continued prejudice against women caught in the act of asking for power.
[Source]

This is why as much as I fervently dreamed that Michelle Obama would run, I also am very happy that she did not have to face that kind of misogynistic bullshit, watching the media and "reasonable" people all over the country all of a sudden question whether she was likable and other nonsense. (And I know she has always been adamant that she would never run for President, but I used to dream about it all the time.)

Hilary Rodham Clinton should have been our 45th President. I'm 100% here for anything she has to say about how she processed and is still processing the events of November 2016.
posted by lord_wolf at 1:03 PM on December 10, 2021 [10 favorites]


The most over-qualified presidential candidate since Jefferson (< look, don't start, ok?)

Oh, I'm starting! Often named as the worst president, James Buchanan represented Pennsylvania in both houses of Congress, was ambassador to Russia and the UK, and served as secretary of state.

He was succeeded by Abraham Lincoln, often named as one of the best presidents, and one of the least qualified. When Obama ran for president I thought his qualities as a person were more important than his political experience, as with Lincoln, and was mostly happy with Obama as president.

Hillary Clinton was both one of the best people to ever run for president, and one of the most qualified.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:24 PM on December 10, 2021 [5 favorites]


So, former Pres. Clinton, Sec of State Clinton, W, Madeline Albright AND Condolezza Rice are all on Masterclass now, huh?

Masterclass turned into "how to be a war criminal" lesson hub so gradually, nobody noticed, I guess.
posted by ShawnStruck at 2:42 PM on December 10, 2021 [3 favorites]


There's a saying, the better president is the one who wins. Not the one who is more ideal. Most sane leftists actually did vote for the winning party i.e. the Democrats, using tactical voting (i.e. Chomsky: Lesser Evil Voting), whereas but appeal to pragmatism or "imperfection" is something applicable to centrist arguments as well.
posted by polymodus at 2:47 PM on December 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


As to the content of the video clip, it's worth noting the amount of Americanisms in the speech (even considering that a victory speech is in part a pep talk for the people) that after four years and a world into global warming and pandemic are just out of date. America didn't suddenly become not "the best country in the world", because the American system was never a sustainable dream. So what would be interesting is how Hillary Clinton might rethink her speech and positionalities given what the Democratic party should've learned after this near half decade.
posted by polymodus at 2:56 PM on December 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


He was getting criticized, often harshly. I rarely saw the kind of loathing I see for Hillary. It's different.

I voted for Hillary Clinton even though I wanted Bernie Sanders to be the nominee. What you say is true that Hillary got/gets a lot of criticism that is unfair, but I think it's important to keep things in perspective. Criticism of Clinton can be categorized, she gets so much of it. In random order, one, those of us on the left don't like her for her center-right policies; voting for the Iraq war, in thrall to Wall Street, a no on universal health care and free college, etc. Two, the bizarro-world right-wing concept of Hillary as a left-wing Marxist, which is of course ridiculous and usually just a cynical, bad faith politicking to make headlines. And third, actual misogyny--the hate she gets simply by being a strong woman.

Bad faith can also exist in her defense. If I criticize her right-leaning policies, I would be labeled a "misogynist Bernie bro," a tactic that just stops any discussion dead in its tracks. An analogy would be any criticism of Israeli policies is instantly attacked as anti-semitic. So those of us on the left pointing out her shortcomings as a progressive had a really, really hard time of it.
posted by zardoz at 4:03 PM on December 10, 2021 [8 favorites]


Why would someone vote for Biden but not Hillary? They are largely the same except for her lady hubris, and perhaps, the shock of four years of Trump. Biden in 2016 would have benefited from the former but not the latter.

These days it's more about turnout than persuading undecideds, right? You're not gonna trick any unemployed Christian voters into pro-labor votes when overturning Roe. v. Wade is on the line. In terms of get-out-the-vote, qualification looks like a liability, if it means having a history of governing to refer to. As a 2016 presidential candidate, Trump was an outsider with no political decisions to point at to bring out the Dem vote, whereas Clinton came with a ton of 90's political baggage that absolutely triggered right wing radio hosts, and those hosts did get out their vote.

Maybe I'm biased but I suspect the problem with Dems is not 'centrists.' Anyone who wants to win the electoral college has to look fairly centrist (at least until NVIC passes and survives supreme court review).
posted by pwnguin at 6:41 PM on December 10, 2021


Personally, I think it would be lovely if we could talk less about Clinton compared to other politicians or who's where on the left-right spectrum, and more about things like resilience, defeat, and persistence.

For example, I'm intrigued by people like Rep. Cori Bush. I really only know about her because of her inclusion in the documentary Knock Down the House - she lost the primary race she ran during that documentary in 2018.

But she ran again in 2020, and defeated the same Democrat who had beaten her in 2018, and went on to win the seat and start serving the good people of Missouri. I am inspired by people who are striving to make a difference in the world, put huge amounts of themselves (money, time, emotional investment) on the line ... and then LOSE ... and then try again.

I would love to hear more about other people finding or creating resilience within themselves, finding the means to go on fighting for a chance to make the world a better place.
posted by kristi at 6:58 PM on December 10, 2021 [4 favorites]


I feel like the big appeal of Biden was that he was the one of all of the candidates that would not take actions to convict Donald Trump. And he hasn't. So, mission accomplished, I guess.
posted by Quonab at 7:16 PM on December 10, 2021


So those of us on the left pointing out her shortcomings as a progressive had a really, really hard time of it.

If only the centrists were as good at actually winning elections as they are at shutting down debate from the left. Biden wouldn't have won if Trump hadn't spent four years proving how godawful he was. Clinton didn't have that. It is what it is.

I didn't think much of Clinton, but obviously she spoke to some people. It's not like you saw Mitt Romney giving a sad trombone speech in 2016. I had to think for a minute to remember who even ran against Obama in 2012. Who cares?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:55 PM on December 10, 2021 [1 favorite]


Bad faith can also exist in her defense. If I criticize her right-leaning policies, I would be labeled a "misogynist Bernie bro," a tactic that just stops any discussion dead in its tracks. An analogy would be any criticism of Israeli policies is instantly attacked as anti-semitic. So those of us on the left pointing out her shortcomings as a progressive had a really, really hard time of it.

Again, I'm not all that sympathetic to this argument given the tolerance in a lot of leftist spaces for sexism and misogyny. I remember how even legitimate criticism would get framed in misogynistic slurs, and then people would be expected to turn a blind eye to that. So if it really bothers you that leftist criticism gets undermined by leftist misogyny, perhaps you should work on dealing with the misogyny, instead of complaining that the rest of us won't ignore it.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:39 PM on December 10, 2021 [6 favorites]


Mod note: a couple deleted. Please be mindful of directly addressing other users in this thread and also, let’s try and keep our comments focused on the intended subject
posted by travelingthyme (staff) at 7:29 AM on December 11, 2021 [1 favorite]


She needs to let it go and the Democratic Party needs to actually make peoples lives better
posted by awfurby at 8:33 PM on December 11, 2021


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