Hillary Clinton’s aides and supporters are urging dispirited Democrats to channel their frustrations about the election results into political causes just not into efforts to recount ballots in three battleground states.
The former Democratic presidential candidate and her close aides see the recount drive largely as a waste of resources, according to people close to Clinton.
The effort is being fueled by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who’s formed an organization to try to force recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
“Believe me if there was anything I could do to make Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States I would,” said former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a longtime Clinton supporter. “But this is a big waste of time.”
Aides say Clinton is focused on moving past her unexpected defeat and has devoted little attention to the recount or thinking about her political future. She’s been spending time with her grandchildren and going for walks near her Westchester home.
Sightings of Clinton hiking with her dogs and shopping at a Rhode Island bookstore went viral on social media.
“There have been a few times this past week where all I wanted to do was curl up with a good book and our dogs and never leave the house again,” Clinton said in an emotional speech at a gala for the Children’s Defense Fund, her one public appearance since her loss.
Former President Bill Clinton, meanwhile, has been poring over the election results, second-guessing decisions by top campaign aides and intensely trying to figure out how his wife lost the white working-class voters who were the base of his electoral coalition, say people familiar with the campaign.
Clinton’s team was aware of possible discrepancies soon after the election, telling top donors on a conference call four days after the election that they were looking into potential problems in the three states.
But while many campaign staffers believe Russian hacking influenced the outcome of the election, blaming foreign actors for incursions into campaign and Democratic National Committee emails, they’ve found no evidence of the kind of widespread ballot box tampering that would change the results of the race or even flip a single state.
Still, some dejected Clinton supporters have been unwilling to accept the results. Stein has raised $ 6.5 million for her recount campaign, according to a count posted on her campaign website on Tuesday. That’s nearly double the roughly $ 3.5 million she raised during her entire presidential bid.