Clinton, Trump aides in shouting match at Harvard

The usually staid Kennedy School of Government at Harvard featured a verbal brawl between Trump and Clinton aides at an event that was supposed to be about lessons learned from the campaign. 

Perhaps the primary lesson is that the two sides will never reconcile.

(Audio only)

ABC News has a blow-by-blow account:

 Clinton aides lit into their Trump counterparts for running a campaign that a top Clinton spokesperson said provided a “platform for white supremacists,” citing bringing former Breitbart chief, Steve Bannon, on the team.

“I would rather lose than win the way you guys did,” said Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri.

Bannon has denied being a white nationalist and members of the Trump team have defended him. Trump has disavowed support from white supremacists and said he is the "least racist" person.

“No you wouldn’t, respectfully,” Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway countered. She said the Clinton side was ignoring the flaws of their candidate and her campaign operation.

“How about, it’s Hillary Clinton – she doesn’t connect with people,” Conway said.

When Trump aides touted campaign tactics that included an aggressive candidate travel schedule -– helping power a sweep of battleground states, and a clear Electoral Collegevictory –- Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook fired a salvo back.

“I would just say, Hillary did win the popular vote,” Mook said. At latest count, Clinton led by nearly 2.5 million votes, according to the Associated Press.

That provoked sighs and anger from the six Trump aides seated across from the six Clinton aides in a crowded conference room at the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics.

“Oh, God, you guys,” said David Bossie, a Trump deputy campaign manager.

“Hey guys, we won -– there’s no need to respond,” Conway said. “He was the better candidate -– he won.”

Countered Clinton pollster Joel Benenson: “Two-and-a-half million Americans thought she was the better candidate.”

The conference revealed no consensus about how precisely Trump won -– not even from the current and former Trump aides in the room. Clinton campaign leaders rejected the notion that Trump was chosen because of his potential to lead on the economy, and they cited the desire for change as the biggest long-term obstacle they had to confront.

Mook cited the letters sent by Comey regarding Clinton’s emails as a “game-changer.”

“If you ask me the single biggest headwind in the race, it was the two letters from James Comey,” Mook said.

“If the election had been three days later, we would have won,” Palmieri added.

There's nothing new in anything either side is saying.  The narratives have been set, the themes have been well established, and no one from either side will ever be convinced he is wrong.

Democrats will continue to try to delegitimize Trump, much the same way they did with George Bush in 2000.  As for Trump and his supporters, the narrative that wins out in the end will depend on results from the White House. 

Meanwhile, we will be forced to endure endless criticism of Trump cabinet choices as "alt-right" or out-and-out racists.  The race card has turned into a weapon of first choice by Democrats, which will eventually lead to fewer and fewer people paying attention when someone is called a racist.

An epithet that used to shame people will soon be seen as just another political ploy by the left.

The usually staid Kennedy School of Government at Harvard featured a verbal brawl between Trump and Clinton aides at an event that was supposed to be about lessons learned from the campaign. 

Perhaps the primary lesson is that the two sides will never reconcile.

(Audio only)

ABC News has a blow-by-blow account:

 Clinton aides lit into their Trump counterparts for running a campaign that a top Clinton spokesperson said provided a “platform for white supremacists,” citing bringing former Breitbart chief, Steve Bannon, on the team.

“I would rather lose than win the way you guys did,” said Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri.

Bannon has denied being a white nationalist and members of the Trump team have defended him. Trump has disavowed support from white supremacists and said he is the "least racist" person.

“No you wouldn’t, respectfully,” Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway countered. She said the Clinton side was ignoring the flaws of their candidate and her campaign operation.

“How about, it’s Hillary Clinton – she doesn’t connect with people,” Conway said.

When Trump aides touted campaign tactics that included an aggressive candidate travel schedule -– helping power a sweep of battleground states, and a clear Electoral Collegevictory –- Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook fired a salvo back.

“I would just say, Hillary did win the popular vote,” Mook said. At latest count, Clinton led by nearly 2.5 million votes, according to the Associated Press.

That provoked sighs and anger from the six Trump aides seated across from the six Clinton aides in a crowded conference room at the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics.

“Oh, God, you guys,” said David Bossie, a Trump deputy campaign manager.

“Hey guys, we won -– there’s no need to respond,” Conway said. “He was the better candidate -– he won.”

Countered Clinton pollster Joel Benenson: “Two-and-a-half million Americans thought she was the better candidate.”

The conference revealed no consensus about how precisely Trump won -– not even from the current and former Trump aides in the room. Clinton campaign leaders rejected the notion that Trump was chosen because of his potential to lead on the economy, and they cited the desire for change as the biggest long-term obstacle they had to confront.

Mook cited the letters sent by Comey regarding Clinton’s emails as a “game-changer.”

“If you ask me the single biggest headwind in the race, it was the two letters from James Comey,” Mook said.

“If the election had been three days later, we would have won,” Palmieri added.

There's nothing new in anything either side is saying.  The narratives have been set, the themes have been well established, and no one from either side will ever be convinced he is wrong.

Democrats will continue to try to delegitimize Trump, much the same way they did with George Bush in 2000.  As for Trump and his supporters, the narrative that wins out in the end will depend on results from the White House. 

Meanwhile, we will be forced to endure endless criticism of Trump cabinet choices as "alt-right" or out-and-out racists.  The race card has turned into a weapon of first choice by Democrats, which will eventually lead to fewer and fewer people paying attention when someone is called a racist.

An epithet that used to shame people will soon be seen as just another political ploy by the left.

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