Apr 18, 2017

Inside the Hillary Hindenburg

John Locher / AP

A new book by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, "Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign," makes it clear that whatever you thought was happening in Brooklyn at Clinton's campaign headquarters, it was worse. One of the kickers:

Hillary's top aides were as miserable as midlevel bureaucrats in an agency with no clear plans.

More highlights from the book:

  1. Jon Favreau, brought in to help with the announcement speech, "thought Clinton's campaign was reminiscent of John Kerry's, where he had gotten his start in 2004 — a bunch of operatives who were smart and accomplished ... but weren't united by any common purpose larger than pushing a less-than-thrilling candidate into the White House. ... Frustrated with the process and the product, Favreau dropped out."
  2. "Some of Hillary's aides longed for her to find her own David Axelrod."
  3. Huma Abedin "couldn't be counted on to relay constructive criticism to Hillary without pointing a finger at the critic."
  4. Campaign manager Robby Mook "had the most reason to be nervous about his job. Longtime Clinton confidants outside the campaign had been agitating for months for Hillary to get rid of him."
  5. Bill Clinton's chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, "mentioned to him and a small group of his aides that she was going to see the Rolling Stones in Europe. 'Mick Jagger used to give my mother-in-law wet dreams,' Bill offered."
  6. Hillary to longtime confidant Minyon Moore, during the primaries: "I don't understand what's happening in the country."
  7. "The one person with whom [Hillary] didn't seem particularly upset: herself."
  8. "[T]he mercenaries ... feared — appropriately — that unflattering words about Hillary or the strategy would be repeated at their own expense by those who hoped to gain Hillary's favor."
  9. "[S]he liked to set up rival power centers within and outside her operation."
  10. President Obama thought her handling of the server scandal "amounted to political malpractice."
  11. "In hallmark fashion, Hillary had set up two separate and isolated teams to write her convention speech."
  12. "Worried about leaving his supersecret [debate] prep materials in an Uber, [Philippe] Reines [who played Trump] bought a heavy-duty tether so that he could lock his briefcase to his waist. He actually acquired two different versions — one of which was originally designed for bondage enthusiasts."
  13. Hillary to an aide during the general: "I know I engender bad reactions from people."
  14. Bill Clinton on election night: "It's like Brexit ... I guess it's real."
  15. Hillary to Obama after calling Trump to concede: "Mr. President, I'm sorry."

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Why it matters: The letter follows reports that a senior intelligence official briefed Congress that Russia is again interfering in the November election to help Trump. White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien repeatedly rejected that assessment on Sunday, and CNN later reported that the briefer may have overstated the intelligence community's evidence about Russia's goals.

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Why it matters: Private equity markets itself as beating public markets over long-term time horizons, and usually providing an illiquidity premium to boot. These new performance figures not only dent such claims, but provide fresh ammunition to critics of public pension investment in private equity funds.