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Hillary on 2016 loss: 'That was my last race'
Sorry. Not buying the Clinton family rehab.
If you watched any news over Easter weekend, you probably heard a lot about two giant bombs. The first was the MOAB that fell in Afghanistan. The second was Hillary Clinton's doomed 2016 campaign.
The media dredged up the latter thanks to a new book called "Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign." Written by The Hill's Amie Parnes and Sidewire's Jonathan Allen, the tome claims to contain the inside story of the collapse of the Clinton machine and what really went down on Election Night. The book sounds interesting, and you're going to hear a lot about it but, for reasons we'll get to, I'm not necessarily buying the narrative it's pushing.
We'll get to why that is in a moment. But first, here's a conversation that supposedly occurred as Hillary realized her lifelong presidential dreams had been shattered.
“Look, I really just want to concede gracefully, wish him the best, thank everybody, and get off the stage,” she said.
“This is not a moment for me to do more than that.”
Chief strategist Jake Sullivan said: “Everything you said, we’re going to do in the speech."
"But you have been saying for many months that he’s temperamentally unfit and that he would be dangerous, and if you meant it, you should say it," he told her.
"And you made a case that all these people’s rights and safety are in danger— if you meant that, you should say it.”
But in response, Clinton said it wasn't her "job anymore to do this."
“Other people will criticize him. That’s their job. I have done it. I just lost, and that is that,” she continued.
“That was my last race.”
Yeah, that sounds nice and all, but does anyone actually believe it happened that way?
We all remember that night. Every eye was on that plaza in New York, her supporters waiting to hear from their candidate, and the deafening silence from the campaign. We remember John Podesta telling everyone to go home, and we remember the rumors of a drunken, raging, possible violent Hillary Clinton who refused to admit defeat.
If you've been following the Clintons for the last 30 years, the rumors sound a whole lot more plausible than the calm, collected, conversation that appears in this book. Keep in mind, Hillary had worked - literally her entire life - for that moment. She subjugated herself to a man who humiliated her for decades, was trounced by Obama in '08, and then watched her aspirations go up in smoke in 2016, and we're supposed to believe that she just wanted to concede gracefully?
That's simply not the Hillary we've all come to know. Besides, if that's the case, why didn't she do it?
Frankly, the above exchange sounds like fanfiction written by people hoping to rehab the Clinton family machine.
So... let's consider the source. Jonathan Allen is a former Politico writer, which makes me suspicious right off the bat. Then we have Amie Parnes. She's The Hill's chief White House correspondent. I read Parnes' work regularly, and it's good, but The Hill has been desperately trying to turn Chelsea Clinton into the "next big thing" since well before her mother's career came to a screeching halt.
All of this makes me think that "Shattered" (while it purports to be an unvarnished look at a failing campaign) is really just a brick in the foundation of a dynastic resurrection.
Clintons, as we all know, NEVER admit failure. They NEVER want to ride quietly off into the sunset. Accepting defeat gracefully is anathema to their entire existence. They may play the "aw shucks" games but, for them, every loss is just a bump in the road to their next success.
Since this book is going to be making some pretty big waves, keep two things in mind:
A: You know who the Clintons are. Revisionist history coupled with fading memories is a Hallmark of their public and private lives.
B: There are those who hope to give Hillary the graceful defeat she decided not to embrace on election night. They'd like nothing more than to offer her some image rehab in the form of an alleged tell all.
I'm as fascinated by the inside story of Clinton's collapse as anyone else, so there's a good chance I'll be reading "Shattered." Still, there's an entire industry out there dedicated to restoring the Clinton brand. Anything that furthers that goal should be taken with a grain of salt.