Ah, Hillary Clinton's infamous "basket of deplorables" line.
When the Democrat uttered the phrase during her 2016 presidential campaign — in reference to "half" of then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's supporters, whom she called "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it" — backlash was heavy from conservatives.
But as New York Times reporter Amy Chozick notes in her new book about her coverage of the Clinton campaign — "Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling" — Clinton's "deplorables" line was a hit among her rich and famous friends.
What could go wrong?
“The Deplorables always got a laugh, over living-room chats in the Hamptons, at dinner parties under the stars on Martha’s Vineyard, over passed hors d’oeuvres in Beverly Hills, and during sunset cocktails in Silicon Valley,” Chozick revealed in her book, according to The Daily Beast.
Indeed, Clinton spoke the phrase in front of what most would consider a friendly crowd — an LGBT-centered fundraiser hosted by actor and singer Barbara Streisand two months before the election — and it got big laughs, too.
But the author said Clinton later regretted her words: “‘I really messed up,’ [Clinton] told aides that night,” Chozick wrote regarding the moment "deplorables" made headlines, the outlet reported.
What did one person watching Clinton predict?
“Hillary Clinton just insulted millions of hard-working Americans simply because they don’t want to vote for her,” pollster Frank Luntz wrote regarding her "deplorables" line, adding that "if Trump continues his upward climb in polls and wins on November 8th, tonight will be seen as the turning point of the race."
What else does Chozick's book say?
The book describes a downcast Clinton on the night of the election when campaign staffers informed her that she lost.
Aide Jen Palmieri told Campaign Manager Robby Mook "there was no way she was going to tell Hillary she couldn’t win. That’s when Robby, drained and deflated, watching the results with his team in a room down the hall from Hillary’s suite, labored into the hallway of the Peninsula [Hotel] to break the news. Hillary didn’t seem all that surprised. ‘I knew it. I knew this would happen to me….’ Hillary said, now within a couple of inches of his face. ‘They were never going to let me be president,’” Chozick wrote, according to The Daily Beast.
A former Clinton campaign staffer had this to say to the outlet regarding the new book: “The challenge on the campaign was that you had a reporter holding the Clintons to a higher standard through a lower standard of reporting. Amy was not always an honest broker, and this book seems to be more of the same. It ridicules people with a smile, contributing little to the public discourse.”
(H/T: Washington Times)