Monday, July 10, 2017


by Bob Walsh

I just finished my second read-thru of SHATTERED, an inside story of the failed Hillary Clinton campaign. It was written by two people who had written one book already about Hillary and new a lot about her. They were given wide access to her campaign, presumably because it was thought that they would be in a position to accurately document her unprecedented victory over evil. In case you forgot, it didn't work out that way.

I am a political junkie, but not as much of a wonk as many people. I find process interesting, but I don't know all that much about it.

There were two things I found really interesting about the book. One was that (as I expected) Hillary was totally unable (not unwilling but unable) to realize that much of the problem with her campaign was HER. Not her message, not her delivery, but HER. I suspect she still doesn't really get it.

The other was the huge reliance her campaign put on technical analysis, called "analytics," rather than traditional polling. Polling is much slower and more expensive and they thought analytics would do the job at least as well and maybe faster with the benefit of being cheaper. The idea is they analyzed the shit out of districts and even individual precincts and made decisions about allocation of resources on that information. They would assume, for instance, a precinct that had a lot of college educated women was going to go big for Hillary and it needed very little attention and a district that was heavily rural working white men was probably a lost cause. This led, among other decisions, to the notion that Wisconsin was totally safe. Hillary made zero personal appearances in Wisconsin during her campaign.

Also the last chapter was a hoot. It went into the election night crash-and-burn in agonizing detail. I loved it.

Anyway the book is by Allen and Parnes. It is a good read and I recommend it.

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