On Sunday, Hillary Clinton gave the graduation speech for Yale College, a speech with no fewer than six not-so-veiled complaints about her loss in the 2016 election to Donald Trump.
“Let me just get this over with, by the way. No, I’m not over it,” Clinton declared at one point during the speech. Talk about an understatement. Her resentment pulsed from the entire address. Yale is her alma mater, where she went to law school, and yet it seems she had more to say about Trump and the 2016 election than she did about Yale or its graduating class.
Here are six particularly memorable gripes.
1. Congratulations … to delinquent voters
After thanking the college for inviting her, Clinton began her speech by congratulating the Yale class of 2018. Even in this, she slipped in a disparaging remark about the voters who failed to get her elected.
“Most of all, congratulations to the Class of 2018. I am thrilled for all of you, even the three of you who live in Michigan and didn’t cast your absentee ballots in time,” the former presidential candidate quipped.
Were this the only remark about the election, it could be discounted as a joke. Alas, it was but the first of a long train wreck of petty sore loser accusations.
2. The hat
Referencing the hats at the graduation ceremony, Clinton said, “So I brought a hat too, a Russian hat, right?”
She pulled out a black ushanka with the iconic hammer and sickle of the Soviet Union and held it up in her left hand. Raising it to her head, Clinton could not quite bring herself to put it on.
“I mean, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” she quipped.
Ironically, her own connections to Russia — in the Uranium One scandal — seem to outweigh those of Trump’s campaign. Even the most prominent piece of “evidence” for Trump-Russia collusion — the Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya — has an odd connection with Fusion GPS, the notorious opposition research firm responsible for the Trump-Russia dossier paid for by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
3. “It was the worst of times”
Clinton quoted the opening lines of Charles Dickens’s “A Tale of Two Cities:” “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.”
“Dickens was writing about the years leading up to the French Revolution, but he could have been describing the ricocheting highs and lows of this moment in America,” Clinton declared. “We’re living through a time when fundamental rights, civic virtue, freedom of the press, even facts and reason, are under assault like never before.”
Clinton seemed not to notice that the press has also twisted the facts, that gun control protesters also want to assault “fundamental rights,” and that the Left demonizes its opponents, undermining civic virtue. Even so, the former first lady and secretary of State insisted that the threats came almost exclusively from the Right, and that Trump was responsible for making 2018 “the worst of times.”
4. “Our own methods of coping”
When addressing the subject of hardship in life, Clinton let loose the floodgates. “Yes, you will make mistakes in life. You will even fail. It happens to all of us, no matter how qualified or capable we are. Take it from me,” the former candidate said.
This kind of comment reinforced the perception that the former first lady felt entitled to the presidency because she was “the most qualified” candidate.
“I remember the first months after that 2016 election were not easy,” Clinton continued. “We all had our own methods of coping.” She described “long walks in the woods,” “hours going down a Twitter rabbit hole,” “my fair share of chardonnay,” and “yoga and alternate nostril breathing,” alternating each coping mechanism with a common activity for Yale students.
5. The confession
At this point, the former first lady became even more candid. “And let me just get this over with, by the way. No, I’m not over it,” she admitted. (Really? Do say, you’ve only been complaining about it for 18 months…)
“I still think about the 2016 election. I still regret the mistakes I’ve made. I still think, though, that understanding what happened in such a weird and wild election in American history will help us to defend our democracy in the future,” Clinton said.
This casual remark solidified the message this sore loser gave at the beginning of the speech by waving the ushanka. Her loss wasn’t just a miscarriage of justice (she was the “most qualified,” after all) — it was an assault on democracy itself!
Yes, Russians did attempt to meddle in the election, but the notorious Facebook ads promoted issues on both sides. The actual vote tallies were not affected, and Russia could not have hoped to divide America as badly as Americans were already doing themselves. Face it: Trump won, and it wasn’t because of an assault on democracy. Clinton herself admitted making mistakes, but it seems she wants to blame someone else for her failure.
6. “Not getting political”
The former first lady framed her speech in terms of bringing America back together. “I believe healing in our country is going to take what I call ‘radical empathy,'” she said. She described people sensing the plight of immigrants facing deportation, black students who “feel singled out and targeted,” and students whose hearts have been broken by gun violence.
These are serious and difficult situations and Americans should have empathy for these people. Even so, Clinton’s choice of victims proved telling. She did not mention the Kate Steinles of the world — those harmed by illegal immigrants. She did not dwell on the Christian bakers, florists, and photographers who fear that the government will force them to celebrate something that goes against their consciences.
Worse, for all her talk of bringing sides together, Clinton placed the blame for America’s polarization clearly on one side of the aisle.
“I’m not going to get political here, but this isn’t simply a ‘both sides’ problem,” the former candidate declared. “The radicalization of American politics hasn’t been symmetrical.”
“There are leaders in our country who blatantly incite people with hateful rhetoric, who fear change, who see the world in zero-sum terms so that if others are gaining, well they must be losing,” Clinton explained.
Yes, the presidential candidate who described millions of Americans as “deplorables” blamed her opponent for “hateful rhetoric.” She who described Republicans as her “enemies” pointed to those same people as the cause of polarization. Clinton, who cast economics as a zero-sum game between the haves and the have nots blamed the Right for engaging in “zero-sum terms.”
Clinton’s speech wasn’t all complaining and snide remarks against President Donald Trump, but those were the memorable bits. The former first lady did encourage some positive things in her speech — resolve, empathy, civic virtue — but she framed them in terms of opposing an evil and injustice to which she never gave a specific name.
Yet, with every word and action, the target of her wrath became more and more clear. Her speech wasn’t about college graduates, Yale, or the need for resolve in difficult times. It was about Donald Trump, and the infinite resentment Clinton has for the man who took her rightful place behind the Resolute Desk.
Watch her Yale commencement speech below.