According to a new book, Hillary Clinton received not one, but two phone calls from then-president Barack Obama on the night of the election, the first urging Hillary to accept defeat as anxiety replaced her confidence in victory on the night of the biggest upset in modern US politics.
Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Election Campaign by political journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes gives a blow-by-blow account of the drama that took place inside Clinton’s campaign headquarters at the Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan on that fateful night of November 9, 2016. According to the tome, the clear tipping point in the results was when Clinton received a short but poignant call from President Obama. His message? “You need to concede,” and Clinton’s response was just as simple, “I’m Sorry.”
Allen and Parnes’ book makes many claims, one being that Obama felt that Clinton needed to handle the loss with dignity once the results from states such as Pennsylvania came in and that he was “determined to make sure that his friend understood that the election was over,” saying that he “didn’t see any point in prolonging the inevitable” or turning the whole election into a “recount mess.”
Shattered not only covers the drama of election night, but also gives an assessment of Clinton’s campaign failure. One theory it delivers is that she ignored her advisors, such as in early 2016 when Hillary was leading Trump 46 points to 41, with neither candidate having secured their party’s nomination. One such advisor gave a clear warning that Trump could win.
Clinton received a memo advising her that she “should not underestimate his capacity to draw people to the polls who normally do not vote,” the reason being that it could “tip the scales in key states,” however, Clinton simply couldn’t grasp the gravity of the situation. “I don’t understand what’s happening with the country,” she once told her aide, Minyon Moore. “I can’t get my arms around it.”
Among many other claims made in Shattered is the fact that Hillary also didn’t appreciate the effect that Brexit would have on her campaign, a campaign that was “living in denial” and constantly undermined by in-fighting. As Allen and Parnes put it, neither Hillary or Bill “could accept the simple fact that Hillary had hamstrung her own campaign and dealt the most serious blow to her own presidential aspirations.”
Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Election Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes is available now on amazon.com