Just one day after a recount request was filed in Wisconsin by another candidate, and paid for by individual donations after a groundswell of public support for the idea, Hillary Clinton and her campaign have officially come on board with it. Even as some of her supporters are asking why she took so long to step back into the light and begin to fight for an election result that was so clearly rigged against her, they’re overlooking the obvious: this was the plan.
Hillary Clinton could have refused to concede on election night and pointed to the outcomes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania among other states were too unlikely and absurd to have been legitimate. But then she would have been seen – not by her base but by those in the middle – as merely a losing candidate crying foul without any evidence. So instead she quickly conceded as the news networks were calling the race for Donald Trump, knowing full well that a concession carries no legal weight and can easily be revoked. Then she strategically stepped away.
Since that time we’ve seen multiple storylines play out. The first is that, with Trump assuming the title of “president-elect,” the nation had to sober up and come to grips with the horrifying reality that he will in fact take over the country if something isn’t done; this comes amid Trump’s increasingly disturbing and erratic behavior since being named the winner.
The second is that, as outside observers have looked more closely at the voting totals, they’ve noticed bizarre discrepancies in Trump’s favor. This has led to the increasing public sentiment that the election truly may have been rigged for Trump. And the third is that Jill Stein, who never turns down an opportunity for exposure, is forcing recounts to happen in these three states while furthering the public groundswell of support for the idea.
In other words, by stepping away and publicly doing nothing at all, Hillary Clinton has allowed the momentum to come to her. Now she gets to sign onto the Wisconsin recount today, giving it instant credibility and additional legal resources, not as complainer who’s upset that she lost, but as someone who simply had no choice but to give the public what they’ve decided they want from her. And that sets her up in the most ideal position possible: she’s now seen as contesting the election because the public demands as much. This puts her in an infinitely better position than if she had been stomping her feet in protest the entire time.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report