Hillary Clinton did not hold back in her new book about the 2016 presidential election, “What Happened.” Hillary blamed nearly everybody but herself, indicting a diverse list of characters ranging from former FBI director James Comey, to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, to even her liberal competitors Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein. However, perhaps most surprisingly, she also heaped blame on Democratic candidates that did not enter the race – including former Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden himself equivocated several times about whether or not he would enter the presidential race. After the death of his son, Biden considered running on continuing President Obama’s platform. His freewheeling style would have made a matchup with eventual president Donald Trump very entertaining. However, he decided against it – in a move that left many Democrats unsatisfied with their options.
However, Clinton did not mention Biden’s near run. Instead, she responded to criticism that he mounted against her after she lost. Perhaps trying to save his own graces with Democratic voters for another run in the future, Biden blamed Clinton for diverting too far from a popular economic message.
Clinton writes, “Another easy explanation that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny is that I lost because I didn’t have an economic message. Joe Biden said the Democratic Party in 2016 ‘did not talk about what it always stood for—and that was how to maintain a burgeoning middle class.’ He said, ‘You didn’t hear a single solitary sentence in the last campaign about that guy working on the assembly line making sixty thousand bucks a year and a wife making $32,000 as a hostess in a restaurant.’ I find this fairly remarkable, considering that Joe himself campaigned for me all over the Midwest and talked plenty about the middle class.”
Instead of taking control of the White House, Biden began work at the University of Pennsylvania.