Posted by Curt on 9 May, 2017 at 10:07 am. 1 comment.


The Federalist:

Last week, Hillary gave her first major interview since Donald Trump moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. She gave the three reasons she’s still stuck at her old address: James Comey, those meddling Russians, and “just a lot of funny business.”

If not for these, she confidently declared “I would be your president.” She curiously said she takes “absolute personal responsibility” for her campaign—but none of the blame.

An important and smashingly successful book, “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign,” considers what actually went wrong here. Its two authors, Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, are gumshoe political journalists working in DC who don’t seem to have an axe to grind with Hillary, not even a hatchet or a pocket knife. They have given us a brutally honest and carefully documented tale.

The stark element of the book is that Allen and Parnes could only scare up a few measly breadcrumbs of anything the Hillary campaign did right. Here are eight of the most interesting “Shattered” revelations.

1. Hillary Only Got Two Things Right

Even the most charitable reader is hard-pressed to find anything Allen and Parnes found that the campaign did well. By my reading, their list totals two.

First, she “whipped [Congressman Trey] Gowdy and his crew of amateur interrogators” in her marathon congressional testimony on how she handled the Benghazi tragedy. She made a successful showing simply by staying calm, cagey, and confident. Her “serenity in a crisis” created the high-water mark of her campaign to date, the authors say.

They judged her debate performances against Trump successful as well. They offer no real good news for Hillary’s ego beyond these two. But consider the abilities these two assignments called on from Hillary: dodging accusations and returning volley. No wonder she nailed it. Who’s better at this than Hillary?

2. The Campaign Was Long Slog Between Self-Induced Crises

The book’s narrative is largely the telling of how Hillary and her executive team effectively executed a simple if unintended model: Set fire to campaign. Distract attention from, explain away, or deny the fire. Repeat.

Early in, it’s noted that “her campaign was under fire every minute of every day. Worst of all, it was the candidate who was responsible for” setting each blaze. Not just due to her shifty email management, but her obsession with diverting the voter’s eye from it. Her top staff and exclusive vacation friends at the Hamptons pleaded with her to admit her mistake in the email scandal and stop the blood loss. She dismissed all of them. She was Hillary, d-mn it.

She finally relented, offering the best she could muster in an interview with Andrea Mitchell: a non-comitial “sorry for the confusion” throw-away. She was sure this would do the trick. At this, one of her high-level and long-trusted aides sought to create a silver lining. At least the candidate “didn’t seem like a bitch in the interview” and the word “sorry” did actually come out of her mouth. The lowest bar of admission seems like a victory when one’s norm is no bar.

3. ‘I Don’t Understand What’s Happening with the Country’

Another major conclusion of the book is that Hillary’s boyish campaign manager, Robbie Mook, and his wonkish voter demographic analytics failed miserably to detect and measure the nation’s concerns. When Bill Clinton registered his intuition that the campaign was not helping Hillary connect with voters, Mook confidently told him the data refuted his anecdotes. Both Bill and Hillary sensed better. This put Hillary in a near-debilitating funk.

Hillary aide Huma Abedin enlisted Minyon Moore, an old and trusted friend from White House days, to travel with Hillary as her personal counselor. It was an emergency call. Hillary confided to Moore in rare transparency that she seemed to have a flat spot in understanding the common citizen. “I don’t understand what’s happening with the country. I can’t get my arms around this?” As Moore listened, Hillary asked in desperation, “How do I get answers to this?”

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