Some more excerpts from “What Happened,” Hillary Clinton’s book of excuses about why she lost the presidency in 2016 have emerged. She directs her ire at Bernie Sanders, the independent socialist senator from Vermont who ran for the presidential candidacy as a Democrat, according to CNN. She accuses him of restoring to “innuendo and impugning my character.” She claimed that Sanders did her “lasting damage” which set her up to get defeated in the fall at the hands of Donald Trump.

Bernie Sanders was an unlikely presidential candidate

Sanders, then as now, a curmudgeonly man in his 70s was an unlikely Presidential Candidate.

His ideas were, mildly speaking, outside the mainstream of American politics. His advocacy of single payer health care was a bold approach, right out of the socialist playbook, but ignoring the mess that government intervention into the practice of medicine that Obamacare wrought. Clinton claims that she believed much the same as Sanders did, but was more realistic in making campaign promises.

The one thing that Sanders had that Clinton never had was authenticity. He may believe crazy things, but he was sincere about it. One always got the impression that Clinton would say one thing to liberal audiences, but then reassure her Wall Street backers that she didn’t really mean it, that she was really a centrist, as her husband had been as president in the 1990s.

What about after the nomination?

Sanders does not really work as a reason for Hillary Clinton’s defeat after the nomination except in one sense. The socialist from Vermont had forced her to take a number of far left positions that limited her ability to follow the famous Nixon strategy for winning elections.

That plan consists of running hard left (or hard right depending on the party) during the primaries and then heading for the center for the general election.

The theory is that one has to pick up the true believers to get the nomination but then get everyone else to win in November. Clinton already had too much of a reputation for saying anything to get elected to make that work.

Also, Trump and Sanders are two different men in temperament and politics. However, Trump shared with the senator from Vermont an air of authenticity, somewhat undeserved at times to be sure.

Clinton could never understand how a billionaire born to wealth who once boasted on tape about being too handsy with the ladies could connect with ordinary voters. Trump was able to speak to people as if his father had been a truck driver where Clinton never could, which is the real reason she lost.