Book should really be entitled “Brazen”, for the authors’ obvious attempt to make a buck and redeem their campaign coverage.
There has much chatter about the recently released book, “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign“.
My colleague Mary Chastain penned a superb summary of all the campaign low points in her analysis, and fellow author Neo-Neocon did a exceptionally detailed dissection of the book’s main premise that poor messaging was the reason for Hillary’s election failure.
This post will focus on an actual review, addressing whether or not you should spend the $10-$20 dollars to purchase the book to add to your political library.
The short answer: Save your money and read Mary’s and Neo-Neocon’s posts instead.
The long answer: The book will be difficult to read, because you will be constantly rolling your eyes at the insults about President Donald Trump and and shaking your head at the Clinton-supporting non-sequiturs offered by authors, both of whom are premier members of the elite media.
I was initially hesitant to purchase Shattered because of the authors’ biographies. Jonathan Allen writes for Politico and Vox, neither site being able to offer much in the way of non-biased coverage when it comes to President Trump. Amie Parne’s credentials include contributing to The Hill, a pro-establishment outlet, and actually being involved in covering Hillary’s campaign.
However, I am totally addicted to news about the shock of Election Night 2016. I will occasionally watch the network coverage for the shear pleasure of seeing the leading pundits have to backtrack on over one-year of fake news and erroneous prognostications.
So, against my gut feeling, I bought the book…and it was every bit of the disappointment I feared it would be.
To begin with, the few times that the authors seem to put any passion in their writing is when they insult Trump. A sample of this needless and unprofessional contempt comes as they write about the aftermath of the debates.
Hillary had done what she was suppose to do to win, and Trump had blown chance after chance to impersonate a traditional commander-in-chief.”
Between his response to Syria, his handing of North Korea, and his work with Egypt and Jordan to fight terror in the region, Trump has shown himself to be more of a savvy Commander-in-Chief in under 100 days than Obama had in 8 years. The whole book is filled with demeaning one-liners like this.
On the other hand, some fairly odd lines regarding the Clinton’s are offered, such as Bill Clinton being “protective of his wife”. Additionally, the book is highly repetitive on how poor Clinton’s messaging was and the complete failure of the analytics being used to make key campaign decisions.
Furthermore, something struck me as “off” in the tone of the book. I sensed it was written as if to give readers the impression that both authors knew that Hillary Clinton was doomed from the start, and that they were simply detached chroniclers of the disaster. I suspected their analysis would have been different if she had actually won.
It turns out my instincts were correct: Newsbusters’ P.J. Gladnick compared Allen’s initial 2015 review in Vox of Clinton’s kick-off speech to the very critical assessment that has just been published. Initially, Allen robustly praised the address in June, 2015 for having what he now says it lacked: How Hillary Clinton nailed the vision thing.
Hillary Clinton gets hit a lot for not having a “vision.” For most of the campaign so far, the criticism has fairly centered on her refusal to take positions on some core Democratic issues. Now she’s taking flak for getting too deep in the weeds in the speech she gave at her campaign’s first big rally in New York. But the truth is, Clinton pretty much nailed the vision thing on Saturday.
…Clinton articulated her own vision by contrasting with Republicans, and she did it without the kind of clever rhetorical flourish that usually wins praise from political analysts.
As I read the book, I focused on the one part of the entire campaign I covered in detail for Legal Insurrection: Bernie Sanders’ surprisingly competitive primary run. While the writers did offer some interesting insights of Sanders’ unexpected success and grassroots phenomenon, they failed to detail some of a key reason Clinton won the initial caucus in Iowa: Coin flips.
Furthermore, both authors assumed that news of the Sanders’ supporters disruptions during the convention went unnoticed. They detail, with some amount of smugness, how the Democrats hid the chaos from the general public. However, the #DemExit and #NeverHillary protests were observed and described by Legal Insurrection’s elite team.
- Thousands of Sanders Supporters to Occupy Dem Convention
- Bernie Fans’ Signs Confiscated at Dem Convention
- #DemExit Clinton Protests that DNC Tried to Hide
I think this is ample evidence that bloggers are still doing the reporting that elite journalists don’t want to do!
If you do order the book, then probably the best way to enjoy it is to first read the last two chapters focused on President Trump’s shocking election night victory and its aftermath. They are the most entertaining and least annoying portions of Shattered.
However, unless you are a total political geek, save your money and your time and pass on this brazen attempt to make a buck and gain profession redemption for the authors’ original campaign coverage.DONATE
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