Hillary Clinton’s inner circle is not happy about the release of a new book alleging her failed presidential run was plagued from the get-go by infighting, pessimism and chronic dysfunction.
Staffers and confidants have pushed back on the book, “Shattered,” with a counter-narrative alleging that, actually, the 2016 Clinton campaign was great fun.
“I feel so lucky to have worked for the right candidate — a woman who still inspires us — with an amazing group of talented true believers,” the campaign’s deputy communications director, Christina Reynolds, wrote in a blog post. “I hope that no book, no impugned motives, no stories about staff bickering takes that away from any of those amazing coworkers. In the end, I’m still very proud to be with her. And with them.”
However, the tell-all book paints the former secretary of state’s 2016 campaign in a very different, and unflattering, light.
The authors, political reporters Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, go through the blow-by-blow of the campaign, cataloging each reported misstep and miscalculation in an attempt to figure out how a longtime professional politician managed to lose the election to an inexperienced and disorganized former reality show host.
What they found were dozens of anonymous sources who alleged the campaign was an unmitigated disaster from start to finish.
Clinton’s world has pushed back on the book, as some maintained this week that the 2016 run was a joyous and fulfilling experience. There was much merriment. They even have the photos to prove it!
For example, there was that time Clinton watched baseball on her phone (via longtime confidant Philippe Reines):
Then there was that time there was a birthday celebration (via Clinton press secretary Nick Merrill):
Can’t possibly forget the time Clinton campaign staffers took a photo of themselves in that one place (via former Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri):
“Shattered” may include a lot of unflattering allegations, including the claim Clinton stopped speaking directly to her campaign manager Robby Mook back in February 2016. But does it include a bunch of sentimental campaign photos? Didn’t think so. Checkmate, haters.
Clintonworld’s response to “Shattered” has been unintentionally hilarious for the simple reason that it proves the book’s point.
Personal ambition, lack of transparency, a persecution complex, underestimating the intelligence of others, dismissing legitimate scrutiny and criticisms, weak messaging, hubris and self-interest led to Clinton’s defeat, according to Allen and Parnes.
The responses to the book have failed so far to disprove anything reported in “Shattered.” They certainly don’t come close to addressing the questions raised by the fact Clinton lost the election despite enjoying nearly every conceivable advantage.
Rather, Reynolds’ blog post and the scrapbooking nonsense are clear attempts to deflect from the rather serious charge that Clinton and her crew badly bungled 2016. It’s about circling the wagons to protect both Clinton and her inner circle’s personal and professional reputations. It’s about striking a fault-free pose, which has been their default position since Nov. 8.
Further, the tone of the responses has been the sort of hollow, sentimental twaddle peddled by the Clinton campaign during the election. It’s heavy on the fluff and light on the actual substance.
The reactions have been overly defensive, overly protective, beside-the-point and lacking any sort of substantive counterargument to what’s reported in the book.
In short, Clintonland’s response to “Shattered” has included elements of the exact things the book said dogged the campaign from the start: Personal ambition, lack of transparency, a persecution complex, underestimating the intelligence of others, dismissing legitimate scrutiny and criticisms, weak messaging and hubris.
Incidentally, the totally spontaneous push back on “Shattered” comes at the same time as reports alleging the failed presidential candidate and her closest advisors are “scrambling” to find who leaked to Allen and Parnes.
This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner