Shattered is the first book to chronicle the seemingly impossible—how Hillary Clinton’s campaign spent over $500 million and lost to the, under-funded, insult-driven, chaotic, Donald Trump campaign. While trumpets blared in the media with praise for the supposedly “well-oiled” Clinton machine, the book’s authors, Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, reveal the Clinton campaign’s depths of dysfunction.
The candidate is always the most important force in any campaign. Shattered details the numerous failings of candidate Clinton. It was a given that Hillary lacked natural political skills, yet her failure to articulate a sole reason as to why she wanted to be president remains baffling.
In my upcoming novel Roll the Dice, in contrast to the dysfunction of the Clinton candidacy, Senate candidate Tyler Sloan takes control. He fires his media advisor and disdains all lobbyists’ campaign funds. Unlike Hillary, the former rock star Sloan visits baseball batting cages, Starbucks, takes an Uber drive, and walks down busy sidewalks to meet voters and gain intimate knowledge of their concerns.
Hillary Clinton had the experience, but was never able to articulate the reason why the unemployed or struggling Ohio worker should support her. Gender politics was not enough.
Robbie Mook’s over-reliance on analytics during the primaries set the stage for the November debacle. Data analytics provide sophisticated data to effectively employ resources; yet that was never effectively merged with traditional campaign measures of; polling, allocating resources to ground operations, and spending advertising dollars to persuade undecided votes.
Politics is part data and part feel, and this campaign had no sensory touches. It was political malpractice.
The campaign failed to connect with working-class white voters and neglected the Heartland. The decision to never campaign in Wisconsin, and skimp on resources in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, allowed Trump to draw an inside straight. As Clinton’s campaign was stricken by hubris, Trump drew that last Queen of Hearts.
Hillary Clinton’s resume was irrelevant, due to a flawed campaign, non-existent message and disconnected candidate. While Bill Clinton may have lost a little off his fastball, Shattered reveals how the campaign alternated between dismissing and humoring the former President, instead of selectively utilizing his unique political skill set.
Beyond the campaign, the Democratic establishment is indicted for losing to a candidate as flawed as Trump, and almost losing to the near-socialist Bernie Sanders. The establishment never read the national mood, comfortable in the cocoon of the moneyed East and West Coasts. The central unanswered question remains—did the candidate fail her campaign; or did the campaign fail the candidate? Shattered reveals it was dysfunction clashing with incompetence.