Bickering Hillary

  • 13 April 2017
  • NormanL
Bickering Hillary

A new book to be released next week takes us inside the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign where, in this excerpt, we see a candidate who refuses to admit her own failures. Let's pick it up after Hillary's loss to Bernie Sanders in the Michigan Democratic primary:

The underlying truth — the one that many didn’t want to admit to themselves — was the person ultimately responsible for these decisions, the one whose name was on the ticket, hadn’t corrected these problems, all of which had been brought to her attention before primary day. She’d stuck with the plan, and it had cost her.

While the campaign projected a ­drama-free tenor, it was reminiscent of other moments of frustration.

Months earlier, Hillary Clinton turned her fury on her consultants and campaign aides, blaming them for a failure to focus the media on her platform.

In her ear the whole time, spurring her on to cast blame on others and never admit to anything, was her husband. Neither Clinton could accept the simple fact that Hillary had hamstrung her own campaign and dealt the most serious blow to her own presidential aspirations.

That state of denial would become more obvious than ever to her top aides and consultants during one conference call in the thick of the public discussion of her server. Joel Benenson, Mandy Grunwald, Jim Margolis, John Anzalone, John Podesta, Mook, Huma Abedin and Dan Schwerin were among the small coterie who huddled in Abedin’s mostly bare corner office overlooking the East River at the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters. Hillary and Bill, who rarely visited, joined them by phone.

Hillary’s severe, controlled voice crackled through the line first. It carried the sound of a disappointed teacher or mother delivering a lecture before a whipping. That back end was left to Bill, who lashed out with abandon. Eyes cast downward, stomachs turning — both from the scare tactics and from their own revulsion at being chastised for Hillary’s failures — Hillary’s talented and accomplished team of professionals and loyalists simply took it. There was no arguing with Bill Clinton.

You haven’t buried this thing, the ruddy-cheeked former president rasped. You haven’t figured out how to get Hillary’s core message to the voters. This has been dragging on for months, he thundered, and nothing you’ve done has made a damn bit of difference. Voters want to hear about Hillary’s plans for the economy, and you’re not making that happen. Now, do your damn jobs.

“We got an ass-chewing,” one of the participants recalled months later.

Political professionals are used to having the bark stripped off their hides. It comes with the job. But the book's authors say her complete unwillingness to admit even the smallest personal errors contributed to her failure to win on Election Day. 

When the book is published, we'll write a review (we have several in the works). 

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