Staffers on Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign struggled to come up with a coherent explanation for why the former first lady and secretary of state wanted to become president.
Some top aides, in turn, floated the idea of using “because it’s her turn” as a campaign rallying cry, Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes report in “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign,” a new book revealing the Clinton campaign’s inner workings. The book details the competing egos and reported infighting among Clinton campaign staffers.
The candidate herself could not articulate vision for why she wanted to be president in calls and internal meetings with her staff, the book says.
Allen and Parnes wrote that Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for President Barack Obama and staffer on John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, thought the Clinton campaign was reminiscent of Kerry’s losing run: A “bunch of operatives who were smart and accomplished in their own right but weren’t united by any common purpose larger than pushing a less-than-thrilling candidate into the White House.”
At the outset of the campaign — when Clinton was seeking to “reintroduce” herself to the American public by announcing her presidential bid — her speechwriting team was “stunned” by the “absence of any talk about her actual vision for the country,” Allen and Parnes wrote.
Clinton reportedly never blamed herself for the stunning defeat on election night. Neither Hillary or her husband, former President Bill Clinton, “could accept the simple fact that Hillary had hamstrung her own campaign and dealt the most serious blow to her own presidential aspirations,” the book says.
An anonymous top aide put it more succinctly to Allen and Parnes.
“I would have had a reason for running,” the aide said, “or I wouldn’t have run.”
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