Clinton's 2nd Call on Election Night: 'Mr. President, I'm Sorry'
New book 'Shattered' details the travails of the Democrats' 2016 campaign
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2017 10:33 AM CDT
President Obama and Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – One of the first major assessments of the 2016 campaign is out Tuesday in the form of a book called Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. In addition to a detailed account of the campaign, it provides a look at its final hours. The bad news began about 7:45pm when a Democratic vote-counter stunned insiders by declaring that Florida was lost. After 11, President Obama called Clinton and urged her to concede. Soon she did just that, with her first call to her rival to say, "Congratulations, Donald" and the second to Obama to say, "Mr. President, I'm sorry." So how did she get to that point? Some takeaways from reviews of the book:

  • NPR: "There is no Big Reveal, no shocking secret answer. Instead we get a slow-building case against the concept and execution of the Clinton campaign, with plenty of fault falling squarely on the candidate herself."

  • Axios bullets some highlights, including that aide Huma Abedin "couldn't be counted on to relay constructive criticism to Hillary without pointing a finger at the critic." And another that Obama thought Clinton's handling of her email server mess "amounted to political malpractice."
  • Daily Beast: "More damning than any anecdote of petty infighting or a deadly devotion to data, however, is the book’s verdict on the main reason for Clinton’s loss: Clinton herself."
  • New York Times: "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.'" Among other things, the book notes that the campaign ignored the advice of Bill Clinton and others to more aggressively court white working-class voters and millennials.
  • Washington Post: But "does it really matter who was pissy at whom in Brooklyn when we still don’t know what role the Russians played in the election or why FBI Director James Comey publicly announced a reopening of the email investigation in late October?" asks reviewer Steven Ginsburg. "Those questions are largely left unexplored here, other than as targets of Clinton’s post-election ire."

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