Hillary Clinton’s campaign team is not happy that five of her electors failed to register a vote for her in yesterday’s Electoral College count, and they’re not being quiet about it.
As the final votes were counted Monday night, five electors had departed from Clinton’s camp. One voted for Bernie Sanders, one voted for environmental activist Faith Spotted Eagle, and three jumped the aisle to register votes for Gen. Colin Powell, in the first ever incidence of party-switching among Electoral College voters.
Three other electors — in Colorado, Minnesota, and Maine — also tried to vote for Sanders but were quickly reined in or replaced by their respective party officials.
Only two of Donald Trump’s electors went faithless, with both — including Chris Suprun of Texas, who Clinton’s team thought would lead a massive turncoat effort — voting for other Republican candidates.
Tuesday, Clinton’s team was seething at the missed opportunity, and blamed electors whom they said led them to believe there was a chance to upend Trump’s Election Day win.
“These Democratic electors’ hearts were in the right place in trying to oppose Donald Trump all the way until the end, but their plan for mounting some kind of coup through the electoral college was never serious,” Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon told POLITICO.
But the electors say they were serious, but that Clinton was unwilling to give them the tools they needed to succeed: Specifically, she was opposed to suggesting Democratic electors vote for a more “acceptable” Republican candidate like Mitt Romney. Democratic electors blamed Clinton’s ego, which they say she put ahead of the country’s best interests.
“Their idea seems to have amounted to wanting Hillary Clinton to publicly surrender her electors in the hope that doing so would entice defections from 37 theoretical Republicans who were never identified — presumably because they never existed,” Fallon said. “This was just a recipe for subtracting more from Hillary Clinton’s electoral vote count than Donald Trump’s, and sure enough that is exactly what happened.”
To which a Democratic elector who asked to remain anonymous replied, “I have no problem casting my vote for Mitt Romney.”
Surrendering her electors, it seems, was the only shot Clinton had at defeating Trump, but she never took it seriously. Instead, her campaign lashed out at anyone they could point a finger at, blaming Clinton’s second loss, which came just weeks after her first one, on everyone from Bernie Sanders to Huma Abedin to Vladimir Putin to FBI Director James Comey.
Unfortunately, Clinton’s scapegoats are pointing the finger right back. Unlike the early days of Clinton’s loss, key figures like Bernie Sanders aren’t willing to take Clinton’s excuses.
Bernie Sanders team hit back at Clinton Tuesday, saying that Clinton deliberately ignored the intelligence they’d gathered in swing states and turned away their advice on how to win over the Rust Belt working class whites who eventually handed the election to Donald Trump.
They didn’t mince words. “They fucking ignored us on all these [three] battleground states [while] we were sounding the alarm for months,” Sanders surrogate Nomiki Konst told the Daily Beast. “We kept saying to each other like, ‘What the fuck, why are they just blowing us off? They need these voters more than anybody.’”
After Monday’s expected defeat, even allies have no more reason to tolerate Clinton’s self-pitying. But thanks to her lack of foresight, they — especially Sanders — can now claim an electoral vote for President.