Book review of Shattered…

Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes have written the best book so far about Hillary Clinton’s doomed presidential campaign in 2016. In spite of obvious omissions and questionable opinions, they present their case that HRC faced the perfect storm of incompetent campaign advisers and bad luck. She was a flawed candidate to begin with, of course. Rejoicing in getting what she considered to be the weakest of the GOP candidates, she trounced Trump in the debates and popular vote, but she still lost. For those disappointed Dems who have to face four years of Trump and see the party disarray as they prepare for 2018 and 2020, there are lessons to be learned here.

Here’s a list of reasons why she lost, with MoND signifying “minimally or not discussed” in the book: (1) the arrogance and the entitlement felt by the candidate and her staff (MoND); (2) letting Bill be a loose cannon (e.g. the meeting with SoJ Lynch) and not listening to him when they should have (e.g. ignoring working-class whites, especially in those “rust belt” states, and using analytics instead of old-fashioned polling); (3) being the “establishment candidate” and not being sensitive to voters at each end of the political spectrum fed up with “politics as usual—the Wasserman Schultz dustup was also crucial); (4) the private email server, a particular but telling example of number one; (5) being a candidate from another era unable to confront new political realities (MoND)—if she or Biden are thinking about running in 2020, they’ll lose; (6) winning a primary on the basis of super-delegates and ones from southern states she would lose in the general election (MoND); (7) not unifying the party, and (8) a plethora of historical mistakes from Bill’s administration, to Benghazi, and beyond.

#7 deserves more elaboration. To quote the authors: “…before their national convention…[HRC] still had problems with millennials, [true] progressives, and working-class whites.” Keying on the second point, HRC was considered a liberal just left-of-center, and a one-percenter member of the establishment in cahoots with Wall Street, and NOT a progressive in any sense of the word! Progressives are liberals, but not all liberals are progressives. Issues important to millennials and true progressives weren’t important to HRC and her staff. Some of the former voted for third parties; some didn’t vote at all. And certain groups thought she had it all wrapped up, like many Blacks and Hispanics, so they tuned out and didn’t vote.

The authors seem to lay blame on Bernie Sanders, buying into the Clinton campaign’s claim that she would have done much better if he hadn’t run in the primaries. Boo-hoo! Isn’t that what the primaries are for? Trump was up against sixteen others. Blaming Sanders is nonsense, of course. He was very vocal about HRC’s flaws; neither she nor her advisers listened. Instead, with the help of the DNC’s Wasserman Shultz, the Dem establishment ran a rigged primary. The whole super-delegate mess was a way for the establishment to protect their favorite candidate HRC. Also missing from the book are the coin tosses in Iowa (HRC won all four—there’s little chance for that happening!) and Harry Reid’s duplicity in Nevada (union leaders forcing their members to vote for HRC when Sanders was clearly the candidate of choice for the unions).

Blaming Sanders or Comey after the election was mentioned, especially now that she’s not in hiding and out in the public again, but that’s just sour grapes from HRC and her avid supporters. Sanders even campaigned for HRC in the general election and was smart enough to prefer her to the unmitigated disaster of Trump we now have with him as president. Comey was caught between a rock and a hard place, and recent events related to the FBI’s investigation of the Russian interference in the election showed that—Comey was just doing his job and was fired by Trump for doing it (the Dems jumped all over that, but those hypocrites were also calling for it when he made his pronouncements about the emails).

Who are the real guilty parties in this national fiasco? Robby Mook, the campaign manager, and HRC, for believing in him. Or we can generalize and say it was Clinton Inc. and all that implies. They have left us saddled with Trump. The book avoids this obvious conclusion. Still, it’s an eye-opener for those who wonder why this happened.


The Collector. In #5 of the “Detectives Chen and Castilblanco Series,” the detectives set out to solve the murder of a Manhattan art dealer. After twists and turns, they discover that the crime leads to something perverse financed by stolen artworks from the Gardner Museum in Boston as collateral. This intriguing and profoundly disturbing mystery/thriller/suspense novel is the crime-fighting duo’s toughest case so far. It also introduces Scotland Yard Arts and Antiques Inspector Esther Brookstone, the protagonist of my new book Rembrandt’s Angel (Penmore Press). The ebook The Collector is on sale now at Smashwords in all ebook formats; use coupon code SV28G. My new book Rembrandt’s Angel is available in ebook format on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, B&N, and Apple and print format on Amazon, B&N, or at your local bookstore via Ingram (if they don’t have it, ask them to order it).

In libris libertas…

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