WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton’s return to the national stage yesterday with a high-profile interview — declaring she is “now back to being an activist citizen and part of the resistance” — was welcomed by Democratic strategists eyeing ways to energize voters in the upcoming midterms and 2020 elections.

But when it comes to Clinton repeatedly blaming Russians, FBI Director James Comey and WikiLeaks for her election loss, Democrats say she needs to change the broken record.

“I didn’t like the fact that she blamed her defeat on the Russians or Comey,” said Democratic strategist Brad Bannon. “Even if it’s true, she shouldn’t say that.”

“I’m sort of at the point where I’m tired of litigating the ‘what if’ question of 2016,” said Florida-based Democratic strategist Steve Schale.

In a live, candid CNN interview in New York yesterday, Clinton said she acknowledges her role in her upset loss.

“Of course I take absolute personal responsibility. I was the candidate,” Clinton said.

But she quickly added: “I was on the way to winning before a combination of Comey’s letter on Oct. 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people inclined to vote for me but got scared off.”

“I don’t think what she says is wrong,” Schale said, noting that she narrowly lost the Sunshine State to Donald Trump after holding a steady pre-election lead in the polls there. Still, he said, if her own campaign had been stronger, “when something went wrong at the end, it wouldn’t fall apart.”

“She did have flaws as a candidate,” Bannon said. “She’s not particularly popular, although she did win the popular vote” — a point Clinton herself made twice during yesterday’s appearance.

Meanwhile, a new report this week by Democratic political firm Global Strategy Group pins Clinton’s loss on her inability to turn out the base that voted for former President Barack Obama twice. Because of Clinton, the report concluded, many of those voters either stayed home, or backed Trump.

“It shows how she hasn’t gotten it,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell, adding that Clinton’s biggest failure was her inability to offer working-class voters in shrinking industrial industries anything more than a promise to re-train them.

Schale and other Democrats are looking forward now, and say Clinton could be an asset if she does the same.

“I’m far more interested now in how we can engage more young people, and how we can we do a better job finding the next generation of leaders,” Schale said. “Control the things you can control.”


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