We should probably have expected, with the publication this week of a tell-all book called “Shattered,” that the decaying remnants of Hillary Clinton’s defunct campaign would launch a witch hunt (no pun intended).
They’re seeking to hunt down the identities of the high-ranking campaign staff that fed all these revealing, juicy anecdotes and details to a pair of journalists. Ed wrote about the book’s publication here. We now know, for instance, the stricken campaign was afflicted with disorganization, over-confidence, enmity and Bill Clinton.
The campaign had no central message and, worse, it featured an unpleasant but clueless Hillary Clinton, who confided to a close friend, “I don’t understand what’s happening in the country.”
She still doesn’t.
Except that Clinton’s 2016 doomed campaign to inherit the Oval Office was not her fault.
The book raises several interesting questions. Its authors–Amy Parnes of Politico and Jonathan Allen, a former colleague there–apparently had deep access to the highest campaign aides, promising them anonymity and that nothing would be published before the Nov. 8 election. Presumably, Parnes and Allen had clearance to withhold from their journalism employers all the best stuff from an historic campaign for use in their book.
Of course, there’s no way to verify the anonymous anecdotes and quotes. But you won’t see much concern about that “just trust us” attitude because Washington journalists slobber over such collections of behind-the-scenes details about what they too were covering all along. Critical readers may wonder why more of these experienced professionals didn’t find ways to sidle into such access themselves so they could fulfill their journalistic obligations and we could have known some of this in real time when it might have mattered.
The N.Y. Post describes Dennis Cheng, former Clinton finance chair, as launching a far-flung hunt for the talkative campaign perpetrators. To what unpleasant end this long after the ship sank, we can only suspect.
It’s one measure of Clinton’s total absence of introspection that less than five months after such an historic upset, she’s back out circulating in public la-de-dah and the Clinton camp is ginning up publicity about daughter Chelsea’s political future. At one point during the fall campaign, Shattered reports, Clinton turned to an aide and said: “I know I engender bad reactions from people.”
No kidding. After a generation in American political life the woman spending more than $600 million of other people’s money to futilely chase her White House inheritance got the message. And what had she done meanwhile to change it? Well, she knows to blame others for not fixing things.
The Post reports former campaign staffers plan a “Thank You” party in New York next week. Wouldn’t that be fun to witness everyone circulating and suspiciously eyeing everyone else for any telltale tattling signs?