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    "Shattered"

    Shattered is a book just out about the Hillary Clinton campaign and it's failure (mainly hers) to win perhaps what was thought to be the most winnable election for a democratic presidential campaign in history.

    I haven't read it, however, I did read the review on the NY Times website, and it isn't pretty. There is, for some reason, what appears to be a sidetrack about Russia in the review. It seems out of place and is probably a face-saving attempt for past articles The Times has published.

    I understand there is another equally dismal portrayal of Clinton and her aloof behavior and poor judgments and managing style in a review of the book on The Wall Street Journal website, though you have to subscribe to read it.

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    Re: "Shattered"

    I this what you had in mind from the WSJ?

    I can't post the whole thing on FG, but I can PM you the rest.


    How Hillary Lost the White House


    When staffers questioned campaign manager Robby Mook, the same response always came back: ‘The data run counter to your anecdotes.’ Barton Swaim reviews ‘Shattered’ by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes.

    ‘This is too easy,” Barack Obama is recorded as saying in “Shattered,” an exhaustive account of Hillary Clinton’s ill-fated 2016 presidential campaign. The president had just delivered a well-received speech in praise of Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy; both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton had derided Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, as a malignant nincompoop. John Podesta, the Clinton campaign’s chairman, looked at the president doubtfully. Too easy? “All right, all right, all right,” Mr. Obama playfully conceded. “There’s just so much material.”

    The remark nicely captures the attitude not just of the Clinton campaign but of almost the entire Democratic establishment in the months before the election. “Shattered,” by campaign reporters Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, narrates the petty bickering, foolish reasoning and sheer arrogance of a campaign that was never the sure thing that its leader and top staffers assumed. The authors, in a mostly successful attempt to get their sources to talk candidly, promised them that they wouldn’t be identified.

    That’s more or less the method behind other hefty “insider” accounts of politicians and campaigns in recent years, especially “Game Change” (2010) and “Double Down” (2013), both by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, as well as Ms. Parnes and Mr. Allen’s own “HRC” (2014). (Messrs. Halperin and Heilemann will have their own account of the 2016 campaign coming next year.) The juicy quotes would mean more if they were on the record, but mostly it works: You can’t pinpoint the identity of any one “top aide” or “close Hillary ally,” but the authors’ language leads you to believe they include the most senior Clinton advisers—Mr. Podesta, longtime Clinton confidante Huma Abedin, campaign manager Robby Mook, speechwriter Dan Schwerin, policy adviser Jake Sullivan —and probably the candidate herself.

    For those few unhappy addicts who wish to relive the 2016 presidential campaign so soon, “Shattered” offers a number of gratifying revelations. Among them: Mrs. Clinton’s tinkering with a certain computer server. Not that server—a different one. After losing to Mr. Obama in the protracted 2008 primary, she was convinced that she had lost because some staffers—she wasn’t sure who—had been disloyal. So she “instructed a trusted aide to access the campaign’s server and download the [email] messages sent and received by top staffers.” This tells us, first, that Mrs. Clinton possesses an almost Nixonian paranoia about treachery and, second, that her use of a private email server at the State Department was never the naive “mistake” she pretended it was. In fact, she didn’t want anyone reading her emails the way she was reading those of her 2008 staffers.

    Mr. Allen and Ms. Parnes stress two essential failures of the campaign, the first structural, the second political. The campaign’s command structure, the authors write, was an “unholy mess, fraught with tangled lines of authority, petty jealousies, distorted priorities, and no sense of greater purpose.” Mrs. Clinton herself was inaccessible to almost everyone but Ms. Abedin, whose role was never clarified, so top staffers broke off into mutually mistrustful tribes: the campaign data analysts, Mrs. Clinton’s State Department coterie, Clinton Foundation staff, and the enthusiasts associated with the Ready for Hillary super-PAC.


    This diffuse command structure was a consequence, the authors suggest, of the fact that Mrs. Clinton didn’t know why she wanted to be president. At one point no fewer than 10 senior aides were working on her campaign announcement speech; not one had a clear understanding of why Americans should cast their votes for Mrs. Clinton and not someone else. The speech, when she finally delivered it, was a flop—aimless, boring, devoid of much beyond bromides. (Compare that to Donald Trump’s announcement: disjointed, funny, written by no one—but the speaker knew why he wanted to be president and wanted you to know why, too.)

    The Clinton campaign’s other failure was rooted in a mistaken assumption about the nature of politics. The campaign relied too much on analyzing data and too little on getting the candidate in touch with actual people. Mrs. Clinton’s young staffers came of age during Barack Obama’s campaigns and thought they’d mastered the art of electoral politics. They failed to realize that Mr. Obama won for a variety of sociological and political reasons that had nothing to do with his campaign’s analysis of data. Successful politicians must have a tacit sense of what voters want to hear and how they might be persuaded. Mrs. Clinton—in stark contrast to her husband—was never interested in that component of campaigning. You got the feeling she didn’t like people all that much.
    "The judge who always likes the results he reaches is a bad judge.".

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    Re: "Shattered"

    Many of Clinton's closest aides claim the book is overblown or just flat out misleading. Though that should be expected by at least some. Tha authors defend the book saying they interviewed a hundred or so members of Clinton's staff.

    From Politico: Clinton aides deny infighting captured in 'Shattered' book - POLITICO

    “[T]he overarching narrative paints a picture of a campaign bogged down by infighting which as a result is paralyzed, leading to its own eventual demise,” Clinton deputy communications director Christina Reynolds wrote in a Medium post on Wednesday. “I wanted to speak out because after spending most of the campaign watching some people question the enthusiasm and our supporters, it’s hard to read a depiction of the campaign that paints a dedicated, cohesive team as mercenaries with questionable motives who lacked a loyalty to a candidate described as ‘imperial’ and removed from the campaign. That’s just not the campaign, the staff or the candidate I was in the trenches with for 18 months.”

    [...]

    The authors of the book on Thursday vigorously defended their reporting, which included interviews with more than a hundred sources, with the understanding that the comments were on background and wouldn’t be used until after the election.

    Allen, a columnist at Roll Call, credited the Clinton campaign for tapping “really smart people.” “But the people didn’t work very well together,” he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

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    Re: "Shattered"

    Register to remove this ad.
    The Democratic party's biggest failing was to lock in on Hillary before the confetti from Obama's 2012 victory party had settled.
    As for the book, I think I might better spend my time attempting "Atlas Shrugged" again.
    Or perhaps, "Art of the Deal"
    "You don't need to know all the answers. Nobody is yet smart enough to even know all the questions."
    - Anonymous

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