The Comey Letter Probably Cost Clinton The Election

The piece is long, and old, but it's well worth reading the whole thing, if you want to see the ultimate reason Roe just got overturned.

But here's the opening:

Hillary Clinton would probably be president if FBI Director James Comey had not sent a letter to Congress on Oct. 28. The letter, which said the FBI had “learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” into the private email server that Clinton used as secretary of state, upended the news cycle and soon halved Clinton’s lead in the polls, imperiling her position in the Electoral College.

The letter isn’t the only reason that Clinton lost. It does not excuse every decision the Clinton campaign made. Other factors may have played a larger role in her defeat, and it’s up to Democrats to examine those as they choose their strategy for 2018 and 2020.

But the effect of those factors — say, Clinton’s decision to give paid speeches to investment banks, or her messaging on pocket-book issues, or the role that her gender played in the campaign — is hard to measure. The impact of Comey’s letter is comparatively easy to quantify, by contrast. At a maximum, it might have shifted the race by 3 or 4 percentage points toward Donald Trump, swinging Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida to him, perhaps along with North Carolina and Arizona. At a minimum, its impact might have been only a percentage point or so. Still, because Clinton lost Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by less than 1 point, the letter was probably enough to change the outcome of the Electoral College.

And this bit just pissed me off all over again:

The Times thought it was covering President-elect Clinton’s first scandal

Re-read one of those New York Times front-page stories from Oct. 29 — “This Changes Everything’: Donald Trump Exults as Hillary Clinton’s Team Scrambles” — and you’ll be surprised by how strange it is. It begins by describing the Comey letter in dramatic terms, as “the kind of potential turnabout rarely if ever seen at this late stage of a presidential race”:

Everything was looking up for Hillary Clinton. She was riding high in the polls, even seeing an improvement on trustworthiness. She was sitting on $153 million in cash. At 12:37 p.m. Friday, her aides announced that she planned to campaign in Arizona, a state that a Democratic presidential candidate has carried only once since 1948.

Twenty minutes later, October delivered its latest big surprise.


In the kind of potential turnabout rarely if ever seen at this late stage of a presidential race, Donald J. Trump exulted in his good fortune.

And yet the same Times article told readers that this rarely-if-ever-seen turnabout wouldn’t cost Clinton the election. She had banked too much of a lead in early voting, the story said, and it came too late in the campaign. Instead, the Comey letter could “cast a cloud over a victorious Mrs. Clinton’s administration-in-waiting”:

With early voting well underway, and Mrs. Clinton already benefiting from Mr. Trump’s weekslong slide in the polls, Democrats’ concerns were tempered — more in the realm of apprehensiveness than panic.


But the specter of an F.B.I. inquiry could cast a cloud over a victorious Mrs. Clinton’s administration-in-waiting. News had hardly spread when exasperated Democrats and donors were ruefully dredging up painful memories of the seemingly constant tug of congressional investigations on Bill Clinton’s White House.

What the heck is going on here? Why was the Times giving Comey’s letter such blockbuster coverage and at the same time going out of its way to insist that it wouldn’t affect the outcome?


In a sense, the Times may have made a version of the same mistake that Comey reportedly did, according to the very detailed recounting of the FBI director’s decision that the Times published last month. The newspaper’s editors and reporters thought Clinton had the election in the bag. And they didn’t consider how their own actions might influence the outcome and invalidate their assessment.

Fuck you, Mr Comey.

5 thoughts on “The Comey Letter Probably Cost Clinton The Election

  1. nooneithinkisinmytree

    Hmm, yes, but the no.

    A conservative movement operative, on orders, would have assassinated Hillary Clinton if she had won the election, and any Democrat who would have followed her into that office.

  2. russell

    regarding “small pile”, you are 100% correct.

    I been on your case now and again lately, but I hope you know I share your anger.

    All the best buddy.

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