Hillary Clinton isn't writing James Comey any love letters these days, reports the New York Times, with the vanquished Democrat briefly raising her head Saturday to tell top fundraisers in a conference call that while "there are lots of reasons why an election like this is not successful," the FBI director's late-breaking letters to Congress "raising doubts that were groundless, baseless, proven to be, stopped our momentum." Following the final debate in Las Vegas and before Comey's first letter to Congress, Clinton said, "we felt so good about where we were. We just had a real wind at our back." Then Comey's letter dropped 11 days before the election, and "we dropped, and we had to keep really pushing to regain our advantage, which going into last weekend we had."
Per a campaign memo Monday morning quarterbacking the loss: "There is no question that a week from Election Day, Secretary Clinton was poised for a historic win," but that "late-breaking developments in the race proved one hurdle too many for us to overcome." The final nail in the coffin was actually Comey's second letter, two days before the election, giving Clinton the all-clear; her campaign contends that only further alienated her from voters who doubted her trustworthiness. There's another interesting dynamic at play in that nine-day window, notes Al Jazeera: Some 24 million people, or roughly 18% of all voters, voted between Comey's two letters. Still, some top Dems point to the campaign's self-inflicted wounds. "There is a special place in hell for Clinton staff, allegedly including Cheryl Mills, that okayed the email server setup," says a former top aide to Harry Reid. Admitted Clinton on Friday in a national call to voters: "Look, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. These have been very, very tough days." (Read more Hillary Clinton stories.)