Saturday, July 8, 2017

SHATTERED by Jonathan Allen & Amie Parnes (NF)


If you can bear to think about politics in these days of overkill, the authors’ analysis of why Hillary Clinton lost what was supposed to be a sure thing, is worth a read.

There are no end of theories as to why Hillary lost the election, including the one she holds herself, that she was done in by Russian hacking and meddling with voters, along with FBI director, James Comey’s email revelations just before the election.

I feel the authors have presented an unbiased account of events leading up to her defeat.  They interviewed over 100 sources, many within Hillary’s organization, who were quite candid, as they had a promise that nothing would be written before the election.  Many insiders in hindsight feel that she set herself up for defeat for a myriad of reasons, chief among them that Hillary did not take a lesson from her defeat in the 2008 election in which she lost to Barak Obama.  Somehow Hillary has always had problems connecting with voters; she has been unable to find a way to convince people of her sincerity.  Her inability to communicate what she stands for has been responsible for the widely conflicted views of who she really is. Hillary, unlike Bill Clinton, was never able to really connect with a grass-roots base of voters.

Like just about everything in the national election of 2016, people will be discussing, debating and reading about it for many years to come.  There are so many theories put forth about Hillary’s failure to win what was commonly thought of as a sure bet, even up to the final hours of the campaign.  Perhaps she underestimated Bernie Sanders and his base, or failed to listen to advice from locals in the must-win states.  A lot of money was spent from her very deep coffers, but somehow the emphasis was put on the wrong states.  Robbie Mook, her campaign manager based too much importance on number crunching and data analysis.  And, perhaps the biggest problem of all was her disorganized and conflicted group of advisers and speech writers.  She was receiving different messages from friends, whose advice she put too much faith in, and the seasoned campaigners she hired to run her top heavy organization.  In the end, Hillary spent hours obsessing over issues and details that voters were not interested in.  Or perhaps, America just wasn’t ready for a female president.

All these theories and more are laid out in this well-written book. I recommend it to readers and discussion groups who are interested in dissecting a complicated and incredibly interesting part of what is now history.

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