by WorldTribune Staff, April 25, 2017
Hillary Clinton launched the Russian meddling narrative within 24 hours of her concession speech, the authors of a riveting behind-the-scenes book on the Clinton campaign said.
“Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign”, reveals how Clinton and her team responded in the immediate aftermath of a devastating electoral defeat.
Authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes cite a longtime Clinton confidant in detailing how the Democratic candidate went out of her way to “make sure all these narratives get spun the right way.”
The book also reveals that Clinton’s Russia-blame-game was a plan hatched by senior campaign staffers John Podesta and Robby Mook:
“That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”
The authors said that team Clinton settled on a two-pronged plan — pushing the press to cover how “Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign, overshadowed by the contents of stolen e-mails and Hillary’s own private-server imbroglio,” while “hammering the media for focusing so intently on the investigation into her e-mail, which had created a cloud over her candidacy.”
The authors also detail Clinton’s confusion and frustration with former President Barack Obama, whom she apparently thought didn’t do enough “to apprise the public that the Russians had gone way beyond what had been reported”.
She wondered why the president hadn’t leaned harder into making the case that Vladimir Putin was specifically targeting her and trying to throw the election to Trump.
“The press botched the e-mail story for eighteen months,” one person who was part of the strategy is quoted as saying. “Comey obviously screwed us, but the press created the story.”
The book said that overall Clinton blamed her loss to Donald Trump on the FBI investigation into her private emails, Russian interference, and Trump’s supposed support from “white nationalists.
But Allen and Parnes also provided other data that points to the reason Clinton lost — and it’s not Russia. According to the data, men and working class Democrats in Pennsylvania turned to Trump, and he simply outperformed Clinton with white voters in battleground Florida.
“Exit polls in Pennsylvania showed that Clinton and Obama won women by thirteen-point margins in 2016 and 2012, respectively. But in a state that has never elected a woman governor or U.S. senator, men favored Trump by seventeen points – a massive increase over Mitt Romney’s three-point edge in 2012. From a geographical perspective, Hillary did better than Obama in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburban counties but lost working-class Democratic strongholds in Erie and Luzerne Counties that Obama had carried.
“In Florida, Trump crushed Hillary in the suburban swing areas outside Tampa and St. Petersburg. As he did nationally, Trump did better with white Floridians than Romney had, doubling up Clinton at 64 percent to 32 percent. Romney had beaten Obama 61 percent to 37 percent among Florida whites.”