A Trump presidency could have been avoided if Clinton had only listened to American Arabs
Clinton’s supporters in Michigan knew they had a problem when Bernie Sanders pulled off the electoral primary and beat her by 17,000 votes in March 2016. More important still, Bernie won the Arab-American majority districts by two-to-one
If only Hillary had thought about the Arabs. They might have brought her a lot closer to the presidency if she’d taken the trouble of going to the largest Arab community in America, the predominantly Lebanese-Iraqi city of Dearborn, Michigan. Its streets are lined with Lebanese restaurants and cedar tree flags and they are proud Americans but – against the best advice of her own regional organising director in the city – Hillary Clinton didn’t bother with them.
Nicholas Noe was Hillary’s senior man in Michigan, the beating heart of 186,000 residents who claim Arab ancestry. Noe also lives in Beirut where he runs Middle East Wire, which translates the Arab media, and writes long – sometimes over-wordy but often all too accurate – analyses of the Arab world. “We lost Michigan with its 16 electoral votes – and we lost it by a little more than 10,000 votes,” Noe says. “We were never able to get Hillary herself in front of the Arab community to listen to them. She went to Detroit but she never came to see this community – even though she was nearby.”