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  • Book Review – Shattered

    Posted by Carl from Chicago on April 29th, 2017 (All posts by )

    This really isn’t a traditional book review. “Shattered” is a book about the last presidential campaign from Hillary’s advisors’ perspective. I bought it on Amazon and read it and it was just an amazing view into the mechanics of that doomed campaign. Highly recommended.

    First of all, I want to commend her camp for getting the basics so right. They reviewed the 2008 campaign which failed for her and took all the tactics of the winning side. They consisted of:
    1. Focusing solely on the super delegates. Apparently this is much more technical than you’d expect and if you don’t carefully understand each state and district and how everything works you may win a lot of votes but receive few delegates
    2. Play the long game and ignore distractions. When Bernie blew her out of a lot of states they just waited to get back to states with large minority populations so she could cover over those losses. This generally ignores the fact that Bernie was competitive in states which were critical to the electoral college and “in play” which made a difference in the general election but not in the primary election
    3. No one was going to change their mind about her. Their campaign strategist, a guy named Robby Mooks, didn’t spend any money on “persuasion” because those that hated her weren’t changing their mind and the more she was in the news tied to the email scandal or her health or the DNC leaks the worse it got. At one point they said they were considering not putting more money into a state (Michigan) right up before the election because they believed that they were just inflaming the other sides’ base

    4. No matter what happened, she soldiered on. She was unflappable.

    After the 2008 campaign, she made a list of all those that abandoned her and if you rated a “7” as the highest traitor, she and her allies worked to bring the Dems down in the primaries. This was noted by everyone and as a result she had few folks who would tell her the unvarnished truth on the campaign trail because you’d be viewed as disloyal and immediately sent packing (and likely your prospects in the party would be destroyed).

    It was also very interesting to me that she didn’t write her own speeches or even have much of a hand in them – a complex and changing committee of individuals were continually making edits and major changes right up to the last minute, and she would scold them for their failures and berate them on a speakerphone. She seemed to be a spectral and distant figure to almost all of her campaign staff and leaders, with a couple exceptions. She also told them next to nothing, so her illness on the campaign trail was as big a surprise to them as it was to the nation.

    The choice of her VP candidate Tim Kaine, whom the dems said was “as dull as a month old razor”, seemed to me to be a dunderhead move. But I guess he was the runner up as a VP candidate in 2008, as well, showing how thin their “bench” was for this sort of choice. Ever political, the campaign thought that they would win and some of the VP candidates came from states where the governor could appoint a republican into the senate seat, and this would make it harder for her to govern post victory.

    She was also very distant from the press and from the general public. She was surprised when she went to a VFW event that plainly, those people couldn’t stand her. She thought it was because she was a woman, and said this, which probably made it even worse. There was never a point in the book at all where she felt any actual responsibility for the choices that she made which made her campaign stumble, like the Wall Street speeches and the email server and everything else like the foundation along those lines.

    At the end when there was a swirl about whether or not she would concede, there was a note that if her team had realized how close it was going to be in key states (within 1% of the vote), they never would have conceded. Apparently Obama called her and pressured her to concede, not wanting his term to end in confusion and chaos.

    This book is highly recommended and I was riveted. I probably will read it again, cover to cover.

    Cross posted at LITGM


    14 Responses to “Book Review – Shattered”

    1. roadgeek Says:

      Concur. I finished my copy yesterday. I agree with every point you’ve made. The two authors are plainly very liberal but also very fair; little was omitted. I’m waiting for equivalent book about the Trump campaign. I suspect many, many books will be written about the wildest presidential campaign in modern history.

    2. Whitehall Says:

      Whose idea was it to send the muscle to disrupt Trump’s rallies?

    3. Mike K Says:

      I was amazed she did not choose Cpry Booker as he is Obama’s clone although I understand he is as dumb as a stump.

      My wife wants to read so I guess I will too.

      One comment I had read is that the first third is more organized as though it was written when she was expected to win.

    4. Bill Brandt Says:

      Hats off to the authors for being objective. Curious that Hillary would not blame herself for anything. And going to a VFW Hall and expecting a warm reception? What was she thinking?

      I am fascinated by the Trump campaign – I think he benefited greatly by the crowded Republican field. I wonder if massive numbers had dropped out early and there were 2-3 candidates with 6 months to the convention would he have dine as well?

      He really ran a brilliant campaign, with all of his enemies under estimating him. IIRC even the Hillary camp hoped he would win the primaries as they felt he was the easiest to defeat?

    5. dearieme Says:

      “She was unflappable.” Indeed. Put otherwise, she was wooden and unresponsive.

      How much of this is a consequence of her being an invalid?

      Come to think of it, did the book cover her maladies? If not why not?

    6. Strelnikov Says:


    7. Trent Telenko Says:

      This –

      >>At one point they said they were considering not putting more money into a state (Michigan) right up before the election because they believed that they were just inflaming the other sides’ base.

      Says it all for Hillary Clinton as a candidate.

      She was so toxic for the White Working class that advertisements for Hillary drove more votes to Trump.

      And she was the strongest presidential candidate the Democrats could run.

    8. Trent Telenko Says:

      I still don’t understand why Mook turned off Hillary’s polling two-to-three weeks before the end of the campaign.

      The one thing the Hillary campaign had was money.

      Trump certainly was using polling as every state he hit in the last three days was a swing state that Obama carried in either or both 2008 and 2012 and he flipped all but one of his targets. (Minnesota was campaigned in due to local coverage in Wisconsin, Trump’s real target.)

      And The Democrats only kept Virginia blue due to a gubinatorial pardon of tens of thousands of felons. That was either most or all of the margin of Hillary’s victory there.

    9. Sgt. Mom Says:

      I’d always thought that Hillary and her people thought the win was in the bag, she could saunter along to her inevitable coronation, without doing much more than a token campaign. And it was Bernie Sanders who put a spoke in that plan. So belatedly – they had to get to work.

    10. Grurray Says:

      I read somewhere that Kushner and his team believed that they had a good chance of winning Minnesota, but the pussygate tape syphoned too many votes away from them.

    11. Mrs. Davis Says:

      I just hope this doesn’t diminish her desire to run in 2020. She’s got something to prove now.

    12. Christopher B Says:

      At the end when there was a swirl about whether or not she would concede, there was a note that if her team had realized how close it was going to be in key states (within 1% of the vote), they never would have conceded. Apparently Obama called her and pressured her to concede, not wanting his term to end in confusion and chaos.

      This must be the first time I agree with Obama. Hillary’s people were smoking some good stuff if they thought they could turn the election results around in a recount. Gore couldn’t find 500 votes in two months of trying to turn FL around for him. Yes, the percentage margins were razor thin but she needed to find (i.e. manufacture) thousands of votes to cover the margins, and do it in two states (WI and MI) at least partially controlled by Republicans. It was never gonna happen.

    13. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Mrs. Davis Says:
      May 1st, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      I don’t think that she has any intention of running again, or that her party will be in any shape to allow it.

      1) As we discussed in some detail here at Chicago Boyz, she shows signs of both advanced Parkinson’s disease [as into the stage where mental capacity is diminished] and of the Levadopa syndrome that is the counterproductive reaction to the only drug that can treat Parkinson’s. Absent the discovery of a truly miraculous cure that allows restoration of brain functions [not bloody likely]; by 2020 if still alive she will have a marked resemblance to a football bat.

      2) If the GOPe allies of the Democrats do not succeed, it actually may be possible for her to face criminal processes for her past actions.

      3) If the GOPe allies of the Democrats do succeed, and the nullification of the laws and Constitution in Democrat controlled areas of the country [the Clinton Archipelago] and use of Democrat street thugs operating outside the law continues apace; by 2020 we may well be involved in the Second American Civil War. By which time, a demented Rosa Kleb-clone may not be in a position to rise to the top of the Leftist party in that war.

      Other than the desirability of bringing her to justice as part of the effort to return to a rule of law; she really has no leadership role in the future of American politics.


    14. mhj Says:

      RE Minnesota, if you add McMullin’s votes to Trump’s, Trump would have won. McMullin was supposed to be a spoiler in Utah, but he actually was in Minnesota.