Review: Shattered – Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen & Amie Parnes

9780553447088Why did Hillary Clinton — arguably one of the most capable presidential candidates in history — not take the White House in 2016? Were the lessons of her failed Democratic nomination for the 2008 presidency disregarded? Was her campaign derailed by Russian meddling? Did she underestimate Bernie Sanders’s attempted political revolution? The screw-it populism of Donald Trump? Jonathan Allen & Amie Parnes enthralling autopsy of Clinton’s campaign, Shattered, suggests these reasons, and more — uh, remember that whole email debacle? —  combined in a perfect  storm to deny the former First Lady and Secretary of State.

Shattered is a superbly comprehensible and truly page-turning examination of Clinton’s campaign. There’s no sugarcoating the fact that her campaign wasn’t adequate, no where near up to the task of securing her place in the White House. Parnes and Allen spend a lot of time on the campaign’s inability to articulate Hillary’s message: Why was she running? What did she stand for? While Sanders and Donald Trump dished out soundbites, resonant and memorable to the ears of voters, Clinton struggled for traction. Which made the bullishness of her campaign staff even more perplexing, particularly when you consider their obsession with analytics over polling, the models of which were erroneous. Clinton’s campaign was cancerous, corrupted within, which only exacerbated the influence of the exterior hammer-blows that included her email scandal, coincidentally flagged again by the director of the FBI mere days before the election, and many more.

With only a baseline understanding of US politics, Shattered provided precisely the kind of campaign analysis I was after. Both insightful and captivating, and as these books go, fairly balanced in its presentation of all candidates. Great reading for the armchair politico.

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