When Hillary Clinton was in the White House, she embraced memes as a way to humanize herself and her brand. She's also used them to criticize her rivals and even to skewer the media. So it's no surprise that some have jumped on the hillary what happened meme bandwagon to poke fun at her defeat.
In April 2012, two journalists named Stacy Lambe and Adam Smith started a blog called Texts from Hillary. The blog features fake text messages from a hypothetical Hillary phone that they sent to celebrities and other people. The meme became wildly popular, and it helped to shape the public image of Clinton in 2012.
At the time, she was a "Leaned In" figure with a winking smile and a collection of polka-dot accessories. Critics argued that the meme obscured her serious flaws, like her war hawk policies and anti-feminist attitudes.
The meme sparked new questions about how close the race was and whether misogyny played a role in her loss to Donald Trump. It also made it more difficult for her to move on from the election and get back to her job as secretary of state.
During the 2016 campaign, a man named Douglass Mackey posted memes on Twitter that suggested voters could cast their ballots by texting them to a fake number. The memes were a violation of federal laws against election fraud, and in 2021, he was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to interfere with an election.