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"The Data Run Counter to Your Anecdotes"



(p. A13) "Shattered," by campaign reporters Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, narrates the petty bickering, foolish reasoning and sheer arrogance of a campaign that was never the sure thing that its leader and top staffers assumed. The authors, in a mostly successful attempt to get their sources to talk candidly, promised them that they wouldn't be identified.


. . .


The juicy quotes would mean more if they were on the record, but mostly it works: You can't pinpoint the identity of any one "top aide" or "close Hillary ally," but the authors' language leads you to believe they include the most senior Clinton advisers--Mr. Podesta, longtime Clinton confidante Huma Abedin, campaign manager Robby Mook, speechwriter Dan Schwerin, policy adviser Jake Sullivan --and probably the candidate herself.


. . .


Successful politicians must have a tacit sense of what voters want to hear and how they might be persuaded. Mrs. Clinton--in stark contrast to her husband--was never interested in that component of campaigning. You got the feeling she didn't like people all that much.

Mr. Mook's scientific "model" of how the campaign should run emphasized demographics, constituents' voting histories, regional electoral patterns, and so on. When staffers objected to his directives, the authors record, the response was always the same: "The data," as Mr. Mook at one point put it to former President Bill Clinton, "run counter to your anecdotes."



For the full review, see:

Barton Swaim. "BOOKSHELF; Hillary the Unready." The Wall Street Journal (Tues., April 18, 2017): A13.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the review has the date April 17, 2017, and has the title "BOOKSHELF; How Hillary Lost the White House.")


The book under review, is:

Allen, Jonathan, and Amie Parnes. Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign. New York: Crown, 2017.






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