Hillary and Mitt: Comparing Post-Election Reactions

Hillary Clinton appeared on CBS Sunday Morning this week to talk about all the reasons why she lost the election. Aside from stating the obvious (she lost because she skipped the Rust Belt), Clinton spent plenty of time talking about how she lost because of things that everyone else did. Obama legislated against the coal miners. Bernie promised everyone free college and a pony. And Trump used her words against her (repeatedly).

The thing that grabbed me the most about the interview was the stark contrast between it, and the Mitt and Anne Romney post-election interview from 2013.

Where Hillary is full of anger and blame, the Romneys seem disappointed but still kind and thoughtful about the loss. The facial expressions of Clinton vs. Romney tell the tale: Hillary is still flabbergasted that she lost, ten months later. Ann and Mitt, meanwhile, appear to accept the outcome with grace (as they tend to handle most things in life, with grace and poise).

Democrats will have a tough uphill battle in future elections if their leaders cannot look inward and accept their shortcomings with grace. This is not to say that our current leader of the GOP is a person of tremendous introspection; however, there is something to be said about the fact that Trump moved forward on the “repeal and replace” battle cry of the Republicans, only to be met with refusal by the very Republicans who said this was what they wanted all along. Resultingly, it doesn’t take much introspection to understand why shortly thereafter, Trump leaned across the aisle to make a deal with Democrats to keep the government running.

All this to say: a little grace, humility, and introspection in the face of defeat is a difficult thing to come by, perhaps especially for politicians, but it is a strong determinant of the character of a person in how he or she acts after a loss. Hillary whines and blames. Romney reacted with grace.

Republican leaders should consider their reactions to not getting their way in Congress in light of these two very disparate responses. Acceptance of personal responsibility has been and should always be one of the main tenets of the Republican platform.