I am going to make a prediction about the new book, ″SHATTERED: Inside Hillary Clinton′s Doomed Campaign″. It will be the most talked about book this year! Political junkies like me will reread it until the pages are dog-eared. Published by Crown, an imprint of Penguin Random House, authored by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, ″SHATTERED″ takes us deep inside the Hillary Clinton campaign. The authors turn us into flies on the wall as we listen in and watch how this campaign was fouled from Day One. The inside story is so compelling that the book made news this week as it went on sale. That Hillary Clinton and her supporters have begun a witch hunt to discover who was talking and leaking to Allen and Parnes.
Oddly enough, this is not new as we learn from ″SHATTERED″. While most of the story takes place between 2014 through the election, the stage for the 2016 campaign was set back in 2008. Hillary Clinton blamed many of her staff in that first failed campaign for her loss. She had some of her more trusted workers conduct a witch hunt, combing through staff emails to discover who was leaking information to the news media. Seeing how much emails confirmed that many of her staffers had ″betrayed″ her, led Hillary Clinton to decide to use a private email server when becoming Secretary of State. A decision which would haunt her entire 2016 run for the White House.
Some in the news media are avoiding this book because of its revelations. One review declares that it is partial as it cannot be fully judged until the probe into Russian meddling is completed. But ″SHATTERED″ destroys this myth. My Liberal-Democrat readers, and I know there are a few of you, cannot dismiss this book as the product of some ″vast, right-wing conspiracy″. Jonathan Allen writes a respectable weekly column in the respectable publication ″Roll Call″, as well as ′content head′ for ″Sidewire″. He also has worked as a journalist for Bloomberg News and for Politico, where he was White House bureau chief. Amie Parnes, likewise has considerable political ′street cred′ as White House correspondent for ″The Hill″ as well as having worked for Politico. They bring a gravitas to their book and cannot be tagged as Koch Brother shills. Nope, ″SHATTERED″ is a book which no amount of spin can tarnish. This makes it as bulletproof and about as solid, pure gold as one can get.
So, what is the inside story as to why Hillary Clinton′s campaign was doomed from the start? Forget the Russians, forget Trump, forget James Comey and forget about national misogyny. You can even forget about Bernie Sanders, who does come off as an anti-hero in this book. For the most part, Hillary Clinton has only herself to blame for her defeat. She simply was not a good candidate. Maybe she could get elected senator from New York, where a bag of garbage could win an election if it has a ′D′ after its name. The story unfolds in ″SHATTERED″ how from the beginning, she was a candidate without a cause, a message, a purpose, or a vision.
Allen and Parnes take us inside one of the first conference calls between Hillary and her campaign leaders. She essentially tells them to come up with a slogan and a message for her. Hillary had none of her own. She had no answer to the question of why she was running in the first place! As the story unfolds, we see more of this sort of disconnect. How Hillary avoids the press, how she avoids meeting with her own campaign staff. Hillary Clinton was the Absent Candidate! She rarely visited her headquarters in Brooklyn. She simply was not fully engaged or involved in her own campaign.
We also learn how another individual ruined her campaign, and it was not Vladimir Putin. It was her own campaign manager, Robby Mook. The 30 year-old ′Wiz Kid′ had a ′rocket-in-his-pocket′ and thought he had no stink. We learn from page after page how Mook was a tyrant who often picked fights with Hillary′s ′Old Guard′ of loyal friends and associates. He even went after Huma Abedin. Mook was not alone in instigating turf wars. There were others and the upshot of all of this infighting was organizational chaos. While the news media ginned up stories about chaos in the Trump camp, the real blood feuds were going on in Brooklyn.
In reading ″SHATTERED″, it becomes quite obvious that Robby Mook is a know-it-all punk. His poor judgment, due to his inexperience, led to many of the knife cuts which bled the Clinton campaign white. One example of this comes towards the final week when campaign people in Wisconsin are begging for more campaign literature and material to hand out. But Mook ignored their pleas. Given how the margins were so close in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, states where workers on the ground knew that the campaign was in trouble, Mook turned a blind eye, blinded by his own arrogance and trust in his flawed analytical models.
For you would-be, future Democratic Party candidates and financial contributors, if you read ″SHATTERED″, then you will learn an important lesson. DO NOT HIRE ROBBY MOOK! Yes, I realize that most of the book focuses on how Hillary Clinton bungled her own campaign. But there is sufficient evidence to show that Mook and others share in the responsibility for the 2016 failure. Mostly due to personal ambition and jealousy. They did not have the campaign′s best interest at heart. In fact, they got rid of those who did!
A classic example of this is the treatment by Mook of the only real ′grassroots′ support for Hillary Clinton, the super PAC of Ready For Hillary. They were the brash upstarts who began building a national network on their own with very little money in 2013, more than a year before Hillary declared herself a candidate. Once she did, Bill and Hillary wanted them to close up shop and be absorbed by her campaign. John Podesta told the folks at RFH that all 30 staffers in Washington would be hired immediately. These were people who would literally jump off a building if ordered to by Hillary. But, Mook did not want them. Only 6 were eventually hired and effectively sidelined by Mook in his organization.
There were other fights among other campaign staffers as well. All detailed in ″SHATTERED: Inside Hillary Clinton′s Doomed Campaign″ by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. Yes, Hillary Clinton has mostly herself to blame for bringing so much baggage to the campaign, as well as being so absent and disconnected from it. But the real lesson here in this superb book is that if you are thinking about giving a candidate a billion or two dollars to run for office, maybe you better make sure from the start that they have a message and are committed to doing all they can to win. Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential campaign spending barely a tenth of what Clinton did. He was certainly committed, fully engaged, perhaps too much so! Plus, he had a message, a vision and a purpose. ″SHATTERED″ is a great book for us political junkies. If there is one flaw, it is the chapter covering election night was too short and lacking in details. But the overall uptake is that Hillary had no business running in the first place. ″SHATTERED″ is on sale now at Amazon and all fine bookstores.
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