In September of 2016, most of the experts still believed Hillary Clinton would crush Trump in the election. Then Hillary said something which would ultimately become a symbol of this presidential contest.

How can anyone forget this? Hillary: Half of Trump Supporters Belong in a “Basket of Deplorables”

The moment was framed as a gaffe, something Hillary accidentally said out loud when she thought the only people listening were her supporters. A new book disputes this account, however.

Phillip Wegmann reports at the Washington Examiner:

The ugly, elitist backstory behind Hillary Clinton’s ‘basket of deplorables’

It’s hard to imagine, now that Donald Trump is president, but there was a time, a less genuine time to be sure, when politicians didn’t just say things. They scripted things. Messaging often went through advisers, editors, and often focus groups before making it to the candidate’s lips.

Less than two months before Election Day, Hillary Clinton gave a speech at an LGBT fundraiser in New York City. Breaking down the electorate she said, “you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.” It wasn’t a gaffe. It wasn’t slip of the tongue. It was a scripted line, that New York Times reporter Amy Chozick reports, was developed over glasses of chardonnay.

In her new book, Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling, Chozick details how the Clinton public relations assembly line went haywire. And it is ugly.

The idea that this was a scripted and tested phrase makes it a little worse, doesn’t it?

Douglas Ernst of the Washington Times has more:

Clinton stunned when Hamptons-tested ‘deplorables’ bombed, ‘Chasing Hillary’ author says

The author of “Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling” has covered Mrs. Clinton’s career for a decade, but her new book promises to supply “inside details” on the candidate’s failed 2016 campaign.

Excerpts released ahead of publisher Harper’s April 24 release date already have Clinton insiders questioning the author’s integrity.

“‘I really messed up,” Mrs. Clinton allegedly said on the night that her “basket of deplorables” line went viral.

The New York Times journalist said, however, that the Democrat repeatedly used the line during campaign fundraisers.

“The deplorables always got a laugh, over living-room chats in the Hamptons, at dinner parties under the stars on Martha’s Vineyard, over passed hors d’oeuvres in Beverly Hills, and during sunset cocktails in Silicon Valley,” Ms. Chozick wrote, The Daily Beast reported Friday.

Trump exploited this for all it was worth, and it worked like a charm.

The rest, as they say, is history.