What a recipe for political success. Decide from the very beginning of your campaign that you will make no appeal to white voters. Then stick to your plan. That was just one of the disastrous mistakes made by the Clinton campaign. 2016 was just like 2008 all over again, except with a candidate 8 years further out of touch. Although her tin ear remained intact.
A new book, “Shattered, Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign”, has just been released. The books authors, Jonathan Allen and Amie Parmes, were given total access to the inner workings of the campaign, but with one proviso, that nothing they see be published until after the campaign. Which is too bad. Maybe if some of this stuff had gotten out earlier, there might have been a course correction.
In the NYTimes review that I linked above, we learn the following:
In fact, the portrait of the Clinton campaign that emerges from these pages is that of a Titanic-like disaster: an epic fail made up of a series of perverse and often avoidable missteps by an out-of-touch candidate and her strife-ridden staff that turned “a winnable race” into “another iceberg-seeking campaign ship.”
“Our failure to reach out to white voters, like literally from the New Hampshire primary on, it never changed,” one campaign official is quoted as saying.
Hey, readers of DL know what kind of response you’d get from the Hillary cheerleaders if you even suggested that the campaign was committing political malpractice. I know I did. The responses to this linked article look even more condescending, wrong-headed and laughable than they did in real time.
Despite years of post-mortems, the authors observe, Clinton’s management style hadn’t really changed since her 2008 loss of the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama: Her team’s convoluted power structure “encouraged the denizens of Hillaryland to care more about their standing with her, or their future job opportunities, than getting her elected.”
Especially disastrous was some Mook named Robbie, who ran the campaign the way that I might run a fantasy baseball team:
“Mook had made the near-fatal mistakes of underestimating Sanders and investing almost nothing early in the back end of the primary calendar,” Parnes and Allen write, and the campaign seemed to learn little from Clinton’s early struggles. For instance, her loss in the Michigan primary in March highlighted the problems that would pursue her in the general election — populism was on the rise in the Rust Belt, and she was not connecting with working-class white voters — and yet it resulted in few palpable adjustments.
These problems were not corrected in the race against Trump. Allen and Parnes report that Donna Brazile, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, was worried in early October about the lack of ground forces in major swing states, and that Mook had “declined to use pollsters to track voter preferences in the final three weeks of the campaign,” despite pleas from advisers in crucial states.
Now, before you think that this is some hit piece, bear in mind that these authors were granted this access b/c they had written a generally positive book about Clinton’s years as Secretary of State.
None of that, however, changes the two word verdict on the Clinton campaign: