Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election on Saturday, thus ending the “unfinished business” that Hillary Clinton said she had left smoldering after her defeat by President Donald Trump in 2016.
The former Secretary of State’s defeat of Trump was a shocking result for many pollsters and citizens in what at first seemed like a drawn-out battle. Trump’s personal attacks on Clinton began at the beginning of the 2016 election cycle-and although he won the presidency, he did not let up on the criticism and accusations in the years that followed.
Calls for “Lock them up” became a battle cry at Trump’s campaign events and became a standard response to politicians with whom Trump came into conflict. A remark he made during the third presidential debate in 2016 about Clinton as an “evil woman” was co-opted by some liberal women as a phrase of pride. He repeatedly accused them of having conflicts of interest and questionable connections to Wall Street financiers, and he recently said that the Democrats never accepted their failed presidential candidacy.
Clinton had his own attacks on Trump and his supporters in 2016. A remark she made about his supporters being part of a “basket of regrets” provoked backlash among Conservatives after it became a virus, accusing Trump of having thin skin, abusing women and displaying “racist behavior.
In the years since then, she has told reporters that Trump is a “clear and present danger” to the country, saying last month that the thought that Trump would win re-election made her “literally sick to her stomach.
During an appearance in the latest podcast by comedian Conan O’Brien, Clinton drew comparisons between Trump and former U.S. presidents, and she widely criticized Trump’s leadership during her term in office.
“I think Trump and his enablers gave people a lot of permission to say things and act in a way that was deeply racist and misogynistic,” said Clinton O’Brien.
Biden presented himself as a stark contrast to Trump, saying throughout his presidential campaign that he ran to represent all Americans regardless of party affiliation. He also promoted his campaign as a return to civility in an era characterized by two-party rule that has intensified in the last four years.
“Part of what this election will hopefully be about is regaining lost ground and moving forward because it is an unfinished business,” she said, referring explicitly to the protests that have swept across the U.S. in recent months and the calls to end systemic racism.
“I hope that we will end this experiment, this national nightmare, with this election,” she said O’Brien.
I think that Trump and his enablers gave people a lot of permission to say things and act in a way that was deeply racist and misogynistic.
In addition to the personal attacks that Clinton and Trump exchanged over the years, Trump made repeated attempts to question the integrity and legality of Clinton’s time as Secretary of State during former President Barack Obama’s first term.
These efforts were spurred four months before the 2016 election when James Comey, then director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced that the FBI was investigating Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail server during her time as head of the State Department.
Although Comey said the use of a private e-mail server to communicate potentially sensitive information was “extremely negligent,” he said there was no evidence that Clinton or her team had acted with intent to break any laws.
An investigation completed under Trump’s own State Department also cleared Clinton of misconduct in connection with her use of a private e-mail server last year. Nevertheless, Trump revived the discussion about Clinton’s e-mails earlier this year, saying that he had instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to publicly release the e-mails in the department’s possession.
Just weeks before Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, a dossier claiming links between Trump, members of his team and Russia was leaked to the public. Shortly after the release of the “Steele Dossier”, named after the British spy who compiled it, Trump was contacted by the Russian authorities.