Thursday, April 27, 2017


I like to think that I’m a careful reader, but I missed the forest for the trees on Shattered – Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, the new, highly publicized book by Jonathan Allan and Amie Parnes.

      I read every word, including the Introduction and Author Notes,  but missed the book’s obvious salient feature, its veritable raison d’être, which my wife Caroline (an acute and very careful reader) pointed out to me:  Shattered is clearly and simply a Barack Obama-directed hit job on Hillary Clinton. 

      Everything in the book  preceding its coda chapter entitled “I’m Sorry” is intended to depict the Obama presidency as a Golden Age scheduled to be followed by a   perpetual rippling Obama/American legacy, which Hillary Clinton destroyed through her gross political incompetence, charmlessless, and utter lack of charisma. Following a lugubrious authorial litany -- "She had let him down.   She had let herself down.  She had let her party down. And she had let her country down"  -- the chapter actually concludes with the pathetic spoken apology: "Mr. President, she said softly.  I'm sorry."  It is clear from the text that this humiliating, self-abasing statement by Mrs. Clinton could only have been reported to the authors by Barack Obama himself or someone acting at his express direction.  Nasty!

      The substantial remaining balance of Shattered's juicy, quite mean anecdotes about the Clinton campaign's mismanagement and fecklessness are obviously and clearly unsourced revelations/disclosures by various Obama administration Praetorian Guards planted inside Mrs. Clinton's continually malfunctioning-on-steroids I'm With Her campaign machinery, i.e., a coterie of troll-hominids uniformly described by the authors in People magazine/Daily Mail-type prose of the kind more usually applied to better-looking (and possibly worthier) types, as opposed to the parasites, leeches, and toadies comprising  Shattered's  main dramatis personae.  (Who was it who said that politics is show-business for ugly people?) 

That being said, Shattered is a useful photorealist portrait of Barack Obama’s chthonic mean-spirited nature and the venom and bile of his lackeys and henchmen.  If only Obama (as the Wall Street Journal styles him and all presidents, i.e., sans honorific; heaven forfend that any disrespect to the soi-disant great man should be interpreted by the reader) had devoted some of his energy into actually improving the American economy and making the United States more secure in the world and less time staring into the mirror and droning on perpetually reciting endless first-person self-encomiums.  But he wasn’t that kind of president and he isn’t that kind of man.

      Shattered is poorly edited, contains a great deal of unnecessarily crude and vulgar prose, and bears unmistakable signs of being rushed into print to capture maximum early news cycle dollars.  But it also imparts information that is worth knowing.  I believe the book is more likely to make you hate politicians and political types than anything else you are ever likely to read.   Its most improbable result was to make me feel sorry for Hillary Clinton.  Seeing her stabbed in the back like this in front of the whole world elicited sympathy, even from a non-admirer.   

      Personally, I believe we all owe Mrs. Clinton an enormous debt of gratitude for burying Barack Obama’s legacy full fathom five.   Move On, indeed.  Move on.

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