“If it’s a close election — like say Biden ‘wins’ — what do you think Trump will do?” Jennifer Palmieri asked the former secretary of state and failed 2016 presidential candidate on an episode of Showtime’s “The Circus.”
Clinton suggested Republicans will try different strategies, such as “messing up absentee balloting” like she said they have done in Wisconsin (as if Hillary knows what happens in Wisconsin). “The only way they can win is by either suppressing or stopping voting or outright intimidating people into feeling that they have to go with the strong guy,” Clinton said.
“This is a big organizational challenge, but at least we know more about what they’re going to do,” Clinton said of Republicans. She suggested Democrats, specifically the Biden campaign, must amass a huge legal operation, an increased poll worker presence, and groups of people to counteract what Clinton alleged would be a “force of intimidation that the Republicans and Trump are going to put outside polling places.”
“Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances,” she concluded, “because I believe this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch, and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is.”
This is an interesting conclusion from Clinton, who in 2016, when she faced off against then-candidate Donald Trump for the presidency, said that disrespecting election results is an existential threat.
“Donald Trump refused to say that he’d respect the results of this election,” Clinton tweeted in the lead up to the 2016 election. “By doing that, he’s threatening our democracy.” Democrats’ histrionic speculations about what would happen if Trump refused to concede the election permeated the 2016 cycle.
Some Democrats in recent years have demonstrated their unwillingness or reluctance to accept the results of elections, with Clinton still tirelessly reminding Americans that she won the popular vote and would be in the White House if it weren’t for that pesky Electoral College, and other prominent figures such as failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams insisting she “won” the 2018 Georgia governor’s race.
A new report from the bipartisan but anti-Trump organization Transition Integrity Project — created “out of concern that the Trump administration may seek to manipulate, ignore, undermine or disrupt the 2020 presidential election and transition process” — found that if anyone refuses to accept the results of the upcoming election, it will be Democrats.
Among four game-playing election outcome scenarios the group worked through, only one resulted in a clear-cut victory for one candidate wherein the opponent refused to concede, and it was Biden, not Trump, who refused to swallow the result. As Byron York noted at the Washington Examiner, “That is precisely the opposite of the Trump-won’t-accept-results speculation that has dominated the media in recent weeks.”
“When one side believes the stakes are so high as to be existential — a last chance to stop authoritarianism and unbridled nativism — then virtually any means are justified to prevent the other side from winning,” York said. “One lesson of the Transition Integrity Project game-playing is that today, less than 100 days from the election, some of the president’s most passionate opponents believe Democrats might willingly throw the Constitution aside in their desire to put an end to the Trump presidency.”
That’s exactly what Clinton is encouraging Biden to do. ✪