The worst candidate of 2016

And yet, from the start, it was clear that Clinton’s appeal on paper didn’t match her appeal in the real world of political campaigning. She badly underestimated Sanders’s appeal from the start and then, because of ongoing doubts about her commitment to liberal causes, found it difficult to attack the senator from Vermont. As a result, a primary that was expected to be a coronation turned into a long-lasting problem — exposing the lack of enthusiasm for Clinton, particularly among young voters.

A general-election matchup against Trump was expected to be a fix for what ailed Clinton’s primary effort. After all, faced with a choice between Clinton’s deep résumé and Trump’s bluster and showmanship, voters really had only one serious option, right? Clinton might not be exciting or represent the change voters wanted but no way, no how would people pick Trump, right?

Those assumptions led Clinton to run a campaign that can be summed up thusly: “I’m the one not named Donald Trump in the race.” Turns out that wasn’t enough for voters. Trump, for all his talk and inexperience, represented radical change. Clinton represented more of the same politics people hated.