How Infighting Doomed Clinton

Long awaited post-mortem details stunningly disfunctional campaign
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2008 2:19 PM CDT
Hillary Clinton shake hands with supporters after a speech supporting Barack Obama at the AFSCME convention in San Francisco, July 31, 2008.    (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid failed for many reasons, the most prominent her campaign team's stunning dysfunction, writes Joshua Green in a much-anticipated Atlantic Monthly feature. Green uncovered a trove of memos, finding a team overwhelmed by “anger and toxic obsessions.” Clinton acted nothing like a chief executive, putting off countless decisions until it was too late.

Clinton did nothing to clamp down on growing discord, which eventually became public. “This makes me sick,” one prominent backer wrote in an e-mail. “This circular firing squad… is unattractive, unprofessional, unconscionable and unacceptable.” The defining argument was over how hard to go after Barack Obama. Mark Penn urged Clinton to attack mercilessly, saying Obama wasn’t “fundamentally American.”