Elections, Featured

What Did Hillary Do, Besides Nod and Sit Still, on the Night She Lost the Election?

Is the ‘Shattered’ in the chronicle by Jonathan Allen and  a reference to the a shattered big-screen television, smashed in a fit of range by failed candidate Clinton?

“Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign” by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes has become de rigeur post-election reading, as it pulls back the curtain on a campaign that was far more muddled and disorganized than the public was led to believe. What’s not being discussed, however, is how sympathetic the authors are to their subject, even as they elucidate her legions of previously unreported failings. Consider, for instance, how the writers conclude their introduction:

This is the story of how it all unraveled again for Hillary. We expect that it will generate a feeling of righteousness, and perhaps a touch of sympathy, in those of you who don’t like her. For many of Hillary’s millions of supporters, we know that it will leave you feeling shattered all over again.

Notice that they “expect” that opponents of Mrs. Clinton will feel a certain way after reading their work, but they “know” precisely how Hillary’s supporters will feel, implying that Allen and Parnes number themselves among them. That implication is ever-present throughout the book as all of Hillary’s chronicled flaws are applied to the image of a misunderstood or mistaken candidate, never a corrupt or dishonest one. This Hillary of this story is nothing like the “Crooked Hillary” Trump sold his supporters on the campaign trail.

Despite the book’s candor in many areas, there is very much a sense that the authors are still tiptoeing around sensitive facts that could make the Clintons look bad.

Perhaps the most egregious example of this approach can be found in how these two reporters recount the night of Hillary’s shattering loss without giving very much information about what Mrs. Clinton was actually doing as she watched her presidential ambitions go up in smoke. Election night is reported in the book’s penultimate chapter, titled “I’m Sorry,” a reference to her statement, late in the night, to President Obama when it was clear that she had lost. Yet, over the course of 17 pages, Mrs. Clinton’s specific whereabout prior to her concession phone call to President-Elect Trump make up only a handful of sentences:

Hillary [was] sitting in a big chair and Bill [was] on the couch…Hillary sat stone-faced, trying to process the unexpected and abrupt reversal of her fortunes. “OK,” she said, over and over as she nodded. It was all she could muster… Hillary was still surprisingly calm, unable or unwilling to delve into the details of how her dream was turning into a nightmare.

And, until President Obama calls to tell her to concede, that’s all we hear from her. She’s the center of the storm, but, curiously, the writers spend all their time focused on everyone in the room but the candidate herself. We are left to presume that she spent the most devastating hours of her life in that big chair, speaking monosyllabically and nodding quietly. Hopefully, she got something to drink and got up to use the facilities now and again.

Compare that scanty report with the other election-night reports from far less sympathetic sources.  According to the American Spectator, there was at least one rather colorful moment when Hillary got out of her big chair:

Sources have told The American Spectator that on Tuesday night, after Hillary realized she had lost, she went into a rage. Secret Service officers told at least one source that she began yelling, screaming obscenities, and pounding furniture. She picked up objects and threw them at attendants and staff. She was in an uncontrollable rage. Her aides could not allow her to come out in public. It would take her hours to calm down.

Breitbart picked up the same story, and other right-wing outlets were quick to offer additional details, most if not all of which are completely unverified. Ostensibly, this is the rest of the story as reported by iPatriot, hardly an objective news source:

The most notable damage was located deep in the VIP room of the Clinton camp. A custom 150 inch ultra HD TV, a gift from the Saudi Arabian government, was found with a broken screen. The damage was caused by a $950,000 bottle of champagne that was believed to have been thrown at the screen by the former presidential candidate some time during the election.
Early in the morning, the custodial staff were greeted by flipped-over tables as the floors were covered with expensive food, drinks, and appetizers. Broken champagne flutes and gilded silverware were also seen scattered around the would-be party room.
The most telling sign of a massive meltdown was the cake. The pastry that had once proudly displayed the presidential seal, was violently flung against the walls in chunks. A broken topper from the cake in the shape of the white house was discovered lodged firmly into the drywall near the dessert table.

It’s likely that the truth lies somewhere in between the quiet solitude of the big chair and the hurling of million-dollar champagne bottles, but it would be nice if the journalists being feted for their “Shattered” scoops could let us know whether there’s any truth in stories of a shattered big-screen TV.

Jim Bennett

Jim Bennett recently ran for Congress as the first candidate of the newly formed United Utah Party and garnered the largest vote percentage of any third-party congressional candidate in Utah history. A longtime editorial writer and columnist for the Deseret News, he has managed several political campaigns in Utah, and he is currently at work on a biography of his father, former Utah Senator Robert F. Bennett. He and his wife, Laurel, are the parents of five children.

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