posted at 12:01 pm on October 20, 2016 by Ed Morrissey
Or, for that matter, ever? And did the Left accept the 2000 election results as legitimate? As Larry pointed out earlier this morning, Hillary Clinton herself seemed to agree with a crowd yelling “YOU WON” at a joint campaign appearance with Al Gore last week, who had noted that the election was “close.” In fact, as Brit Hume pointed out an hour ago or so, Hillary’s done more than just nod at election “delegitimizing”:
Hillary may claim to be horrified by Trump’s refusal to commit to accepting election result, but look at this: pic.twitter.com/cf782CSLDx
— Brit Hume (@brithume) October 20, 2016
That makes Kellyanne Conway’s obviously self-serving rhetorical question also a legitimate response to the media today, but it’s another example of a missed opportunity:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 20, 2016
Already a few enterprising souls have gone to the Internet archive to point out some media hypocrisy in the hyperventilating, via Allahpundit:
This is perfect. pic.twitter.com/FjYEuJAUen
— Jason C. (@CounterMoonbat) October 20, 2016
Unfortunately, Trump didn’t make this argument himself when it counted — in the debate. Trump talked about media bias and potentially corrupt voter registration rolls, but the latter has been around when Republicans won, and for that matter so has the latter. He offered a better explanation in a follow-up to the answer, but it’s not actually responsive to the specifics of the question:
TRUMP: I think what the FBI did and what the Department of Justice did, including meeting with her husband, the attorney general, in the back of an airplane on the tarmac in Arizona, I think it’s disgraceful. I think it’s a disgrace.
True, but that doesn’t relate to the actual voting process, and makes it sound as if Trump rejects the entire election out of hand regardless of how clean the process is. Conway does her best to dig Trump out of that hole, but it contradicts what both she and Mike Pence said just a few days earlier. Trump has forced both of them to make an awkward shift, and although both have done so with considerable skill, it puts the campaign back into a reactive mode when it needed to be on offense.
And that’s the rub: the media has made Trump’s claims over the last few days about possible “rigging” of the election a major story. Did no one on the Trump campaign think to prepare the candidate with the very cogent arguments that they’re now making after the fact so that he could deliver them on camera when asked? Trump did seem more prepared for this debate than in the previous two, but this question could have been easily anticipated — and an answer prepared for it that cited Gore and even noted Hillary’s cheering of the Left’s Gore-got-robbed narrative. For a candidate who ran on his executive brilliance and media savvy, the campaign hasn’t exactly demonstrated much of either, at least not when they are both most needed.