There’s a lot of ink out there about how Clinton was a status-quo candidate in a Change year, and how this was a bad choice, etc. But I’m curious about this – what made this a change year? What were the factors that made that the “mood of the electorate”, and how & when could we have read that better?
I honestly don’t know how we could have handled this better, in a small-d democratic sense, because I think that for a majority of democrats, this wasn’t a change year. We liked Obama and wanted more of the same. A lot of us wanted something better, but not a majority. So we did what we _thought_ the Republicans were doing – let our primary process pick someone who was out of step with what America wanted.
In some ways, this makes me wish for the old convention approach. The general election is democracy, and must be; but the candidate selection process has only been in recent decades, and (as the superdelegates demonstrate) is not completely democratic. The thing is, it’s difficult for the set of all Democrat voters to be strategic; it would be easier for a convention. (But do I think that convention would have made a different choice this year? Probably not, they’re more in the “liberal bubble” than the rest of us.)
May Democrats be smart, may we be strategic, may we connect with people of different views, and may we find leaders that can hold all of this complexity while playing to win.