“Shattererd”: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign”


Author: Hugh Hewitt

Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes have combined to produce the instant best-seller: “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.” The book’s reporting is one stratling revelation after another about the inner workings  –or more accurately, serial crack-ups– of the Clinton Campaign 2016 and will be on every short list for the 2018 Pulitzers as well as almost certainly a HBO or Netflix mini-series.  Allen and Parnes joined me Thursday to discuss Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.”




HH: Joined now by my friends Amie Parnes and Jon Allen. They are the authors of the New York Times bestselling Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign. And I am amazed by this book. I stand in awe of you two. First of all, congratulations to you both for what must have been an epic pace after the election to get this out this week. Amie, how hard was it to finish this thing after the most surprising political result of my lifetime?

AP: It was a sprint. Jon and I have been working on this book for two years now. And our reporting had basically indicated along the way that there were problems, that it wasn’t error free. And so while we were surprised by it, we weren’t completely blown away, because all throughout our reporting, we were finding significant issues in the campaign that could have railroaded it.

HH: Jon Allen, you sly dog, throughout the course of the writing of this thing, you’ve been on my show a number of times, but we’ve had a number of cigars. We’ve lit up a couple of cigars and had long talks about the campaign. You never gave away any of the bigs. And I must tell you the biggest of the bit, and you know, I’ve read this thing, and I’m looking at it objectively as a reporter, is that Hillary autopsied her own server from 2008, and you never ever gave me a blinking look into that story, you bozo. How, you all along knew that had to be the lead, right?

JA: You know, that’s what we thought. We thought that was something that people would really latch onto. I’m surprised it hasn’t, you know, I’m not surprised that you latched onto it, but I’m surprised it hasn’t been more prominent in some of the reviews and the stories since the book has come out, although it’s only a day old. Yeah, she basically at the end of the 2008 campaign instructed one of her close aides to download the emails of some of her top campaign advisors to figure out who’d been talking to the press, who’d been doing the backstabbing, or presumably if anybody had been talking bad about her, and because she felt that this loyalty was a huge problem for her in 2008. So what she did was figured out how to get all these emails. Now you know, a few years later, she’s making the argument that she didn’t understand what she was doing in setting up a private server outside the State Department system. But it’s very hard to, it’s very hard to reconcile the idea that she understood well enough that she could download her own aides’ emails, but didn’t understand that by putting a server outside the State Department, she was basically preventing people from getting her information during a campaign season, unless of course as happened, there was a court order to retrieve those emails.

HH: Amie Parnes, the implications of this revelation in Shattered are actually very enormous. And if in fact she ever comes before either a prosecutor or a Congressional committee again, they will be going to intention, management of her server as a result of this autopsy. Can you explain a little more at length while Duane redials up Jon to get a better connection? What actually happened here after the campaign of 2008 vis-à-vis her campaign server?

AP: Basically, she wanted to know what happened in her campaign. She wanted to know, obviously, leaking was a problem, a huge problem on her campaign. And she wanted to know exactly who was doing what. And she had this crazy, it was this enormous sort of autopsy that she did, a post-mortem where she met with lots of people, wanted to basically find out exactly what went wrong. This was part of it. So she ordered up one of her staffers to kind of go through, read all these emails and find out who was leaking what and where it all went wrong. And this was part of all of that. This was part of her post-mortem.

HH: Well you know, Jon Allen, you’re back now, and I’m being hard on you for having a bad connection. I appreciate very much the shout-out by the way at the end of the book, but I must say that it, I worked for Nixon for a long time on two different stints. And people associate a lot of characteristics with Richard Nixon, among them paranoia. But the idea of going back and rifling through the emails of your campaign team in a hunt for the disloyal is actually kind of creepy. And I think it is the major revelation. Look, there are many revelations in the book, but this is extraordinarily insightful into her psyche. Did they not not know to not tell you that?

JA: (laughing) Well, you know, of course, we’re not going to talk about exactly who the sources are, but you know, we believe that the vast majority of people who worked on that 2008 campaign, and you know, had no idea that this had happened. In fact, we quote somebody in the book saying that they were shocked when they went in to talk to her to do a sort of post-mortem review of the campaign just how well she knew what had been going on in her headquarters while she was out on the campaign trail. And of course, one of the reasons is that she had access to all these emails of her staffers. I agree with you that I think it, you know, has the hallmark signs of somebody who’s paranoid, and somebody who also to a large extent, I think, misinterpreted, misinterpreted what happened with the 2008 campaign. You know, rather than thinking that people leaking from her campaign was the problem, perhaps she should have seen that as symptomatic of some of the problems. And you know, the backstabbing is more symptomatic of the problem. When people are on a winning campaign, when they are doing well, when they are succeeding, they are often unified by that success. They’re able to paper over some of those differences. When things are going poorly, they stab each other in the back. They talk to the press. They make things worse. So you know, I think she thought these were the root cause rather than simply a symptom of a campaign in 2008 that was, that had gone wrong.

HH: Now I want to compliment you both on what I’ve grown used to, which is extraordinarily deft writing, very illustrative. At one point, you two refer to the Bataan Death March of the server summer. At another point, you refer to the Hillary Clinton Brooklyn headquarters as like the Tower of London. And finally, Robby Mook is blaming Jenn Palmieri and had to campaign splain the deep sea bubble. I mean, it’s just rife with wonderful things. Did your editors get out of your way, Amie, because this book, as John Podhoretz said two days ago, is like an endless bowl of candy for people like me, and obviously for the rest of the country? I just can’t get enough of it. But did your editors understand you had to write this way in order to connect as you have with the audience of book buyers who love this sort of post-mortem?

AP: Oh, yeah, and Jon and I knew what we needed to do even before this outcome. We knew that we had to write a really splashy book. You know, everyone was obsessed with this campaign. It was an extraordinary campaign, one that we’d all never seen before. Jon and I owned the turf, the Hillary turf, and so we definitely wanted to get in the weeds and find out exactly what was happening. And that’s why we agreed to talk to a lot of these people on background, actually, because we wanted the most accurate, the most candid, the most open, the most shocking stories that they could tell. And I think we succeeded here.

HH: Oh, have you succeeded. I don’t know if it’s number one on the New York Times bestseller list. I predict it will be, and it’s going to be there for a long time. And it’s not going to make many people happy, because it is so candid and fair. Jon Allen, I wrote a book in 2015 called The Queen, and it was my take on Machiavelli’s advice to Hillary Clinton, one chapter of which said fire Huma now. Get rid of her. And I am feeling so vindicated in my advice after reading Shattered, because you guys write about the royal Huma guard. You write that she was an amateur, crucially politically tone deaf at times, and a gatekeeper who didn’t know how to run the gate.

JA: Yeah, you know, Hugh, I read The Queen, and I remember you saying that, and Huma Abedin you know, brought a lot of the material elements of a ticking time bomb to this campaign. I mean, there were so many storylines that ran through Huma that were bad for Hillary Clinton. You know, obviously Anthony Weiner is the screaming headline one, but she was the person who communicated most frequently with Hillary Clinton over that email server. And beyond that, she became somewhat of an impediment within the campaign, because like you said, she’s a gatekeeper who has difficulty with that role, sometimes being unwilling to tell Hillary Clinton what she needs to hear, sometimes giving orders as though they came from Hillary, whether or not they did. And also, I think there were a lot of people who didn’t feel like they could trust Huma to raise issues with her to get them to the candidate without having a finger pointed in their direction. This is somebody who I think, you know, in a lot of ways, has served Hillary Clinton well over the years, but in the end, was becoming so toxic that even Clinton, who I think, you know, to some degree to her credit as a human being, was loyal to her friend who was going through a family crisis. Even though she had stuck by Huma for so long, basically needed her to get off the campaign trail, and that was communicated, my understanding, our understanding is that was communicated to Huma not by Hillary herself, but by others, and that Huma decided on her own to sort of turn over her fate to the campaign management team. And they basically said you need to go home and not be next to her.

HH: At one point, Amie, Neera Tanden refers to the Achilles Heel of Hillary Clinton as being apologies and her inability to give them. If you were to actually to catalogue the Achilles Heels of the Hillary Clinton campaign, you would need to be a centipede. There are so many Achilles Heels in this campaign. I’m going to throw this one to you, because Jon knows Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and I don’t want to put him on the spot here.

JA: Thank you.

HH: But in the book, Hillary’s aides think that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is on a different planet, Amie. Why then did they not remove her?

AP: That’s a good question, because as you know, President Obama’s aides didn’t think highly of her, either, and left her there for the past few years. That’s a really good question. But they saw her as kind of toxic towards the end, obviously, and there was an effort, you know, she was sort of like a dead mouse as they were like eating a fine meal on the day of, you know, the day she was supposed to announce Tim Kaine. And there was an effort to sort of keep her away that day, which we report in the book. And it’s, we all kind of sensed it, but there was obviously this huge tension looming on that day, a day that they thought would go kind of flawlessly, didn’t, because of Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

HH: Over and over again, she intrudes into the narrative. Let’s talk about Tim Kaine since you brought him up. Jon Allen, he’s a wonderful guy, and everybody likes Tim Kaine. But I had Admiral Stavridis on my show on Tuesday of this week, and he’s an extraordinary brilliant thinker. Who knows what the plusses and minuses are, but he has charisma. The one thing this campaign lacked, it was like a charisma suck. It was like the death spiral of charisma. And Tim Kaine fed into that. There was no charisma left in this campaign. Do they regret the Tim Kaine selection?

JA: You know, nobody said to us directly that they regretted the Tim Kaine selection, I think, because of the reason you just identify, which is people generally like him, but you’re absolutely right about the charisma suck. It’s as if they had decided to see if they could get, you know, a table elected to the presidency and the vice presidency. I think you know, there’s a scene in the book where you know, Hillary Clinton is going through her choices for vice president, and she, one of her aides basically says that you know, she just can’t make up her mind. And the reason was she felt like she didn’t have good choices, which actually led to the elevation of Elizabeth Warren on her short list. Ultimately, she decided, our sources tell us, that she didn’t have enough of a background with Warren, and in particular, she was worried about whether Warren could be pragmatic enough and could be transactional enough, essentially, to work well with Clinton in the White House. And you know, I think they put a lot of emphasis on the idea of her having a governing partner, and less emphasis on having somebody who would energize the Democratic base or reach across the aisle. I mean, you know, Tim Kaine has been a liberal at times and a moderate at times. And, but in this case, they, instead of going for the moderate Tim Kaine and trying to reach across the aisle with him, they basically had him adopt the sort of progressive stanzas and move to the left, which made him a little bit of a fish out of water.

HH: Now…

JA: You know…

HH: I, we could go on forever about the what ifs in this campaign, but I want to put forward my uber takeaway from your book, and Shattered, by the way, America, in bookstores everywhere. If you get it for an airplane ride, you won’t want to talk to whoever is sitting next to you. You’ll just OD on this stuff. There’s so much we could talk about and so little time. If I have to walk away from the two big disasters here, Amie, the, I want to get the quote exactly right. “The map of Clinton world looked like a traffic jam on a ven diagram. No one in their right mind would set up a campaign this way. And yet, the most experienced politicians in America, Bill and Hillary Clinton, can’t get an organization chart organized.”

AP: Yeah, and that was so true here. You know, they picked really smart people. But the people didn’t work very well together. And she has all kinds of people from her time as Secretary of State, from her time as First Lady, from her time in the Senate, from her previous campaign, and then people from his world. And they always have trouble kind of making those various entities kind of work and run smoothly. And I think that was a huge problem for her. But you know, and you had people like we detail the fact that John Podesta and Robby Mook were infighting. There was lots of infighting and you know, one of them thought the other was passive-aggressive. The other one didn’t trust the other. And so there’s lots of this kind of stuff. That never really seeped out. You know, they were very good at kind of keeping it under wraps. They didn’t want to emulate the storyline from 2008 that there was a lot of drama inside the campaign. So they were very good about keeping that kind of private. And even when people like Mook were kind of demoted and with, he had responsibilities kind of removed from him, that never really bubbled up, either. So that was one thing they did pretty well.

HH: Now some people, Amie, to follow up, are saying oh, this is overstated. Their spokesperson whose name is escaping me right now, Brian Fallon, would say oh, no, that wasn’t the way it is. We were all one happy family. We would sing together and you know, do guitars and have s’mores. Was this remarkable for the level of dislike or an average level of dislike on a presidential campaign? I’ve never been on one, I never want to be on one because of what goes on in them. But is this one unique in the amount of infighting and backstabbing and knife-cutting?

AP: I think every presidential campaign obviously has a level of drama. This one, I think, was pretty extraordinary. You know, they can say what they want to say that it wasn’t the campaign they knew, but you know, we talked to hundreds of people. This is their story from inside the campaign. This is what they told us. You know, we weren’t talking to outsiders for this book. So…

HH: It’s obviously not. Obviously not, yeah.

AP: Yeah, so we are, we’re reporting what they told us, and this is, you know, Jon and I are journalists. We report what we hear, and this is what they told us.

HH: So my second big takeaway from Shattered, the first is that the organization was doomed from the start, and you produce the evidence that make it absolutely irrefutable. And I don’t care what Brian Fallon says. The second is maybe not explicitly put, but obvious to me, is that they received a series of false positives, Jon Allen, that ultimately killed them. They had a great Saturday Night Live appearance that they put too much stock in. They won their first debate with Bernie Sanders. And then critically, they won all three debates with Donald Trump in their mind so that if you have false positive after false positive, you never know you’re sick.

JA: That’s right. She thought she was going to win the presidency. She at one point turns to an aide a few days before the election and says you know, a lot of people really bring out the worst in a lot of people I don’t understand why that is, but it is. And the aide says to her, well, it’s going to be worse in the White House, and she says I know. And you know, she knew, and we talked to people who said she was you know, talking a lot about governing in those last few days before the election. She had gotten all these false positives. And look, you know, my rating of the debates, and I think Amie would agree with this, is that in sort of traditional terms, she won the debates. But I think, you know, what gets lost there is the ability of Donald Trump to communicate to an audience in a different way than we’ve seen from presidential candidates in the past, and in a very effective way about a pretty tight and clear to understand message, whereas she was sort of a master of policy, but somebody that went on and on and had difficulty kind of punching. And this wasn’t just the debates. I mean, much more broadly, she had trouble convincing people that she had a vision for the country that was more than visions of power. And so she keeps getting these false positives, and her data analytics team does these sort of quickie data surveys which people make, they come back and they show that she’s doing perfectly fine in the swing states, and then she’s losing some ground in them, but they still think she’s got a pretty solid cushion. They had stopped polling, doing traditional polling about three weeks out, so they didn’t have a check off that false positive. They didn’t know what the state of the race was. Meanwhile, on the Republican side, as we report, the Republicans were so, were seeing such huge swings in their favor in some of these swing states, that they were unwilling to share some of the numbers with the press, because they were worried that they would look foolish after the election. They didn’t even believe how good things were.

HH: Yeah, it’s terrific reporting. It’s terrific reporting. I didn’t know any of this until I read Shattered. Philippe Reines, who is one of the inner circle, Amie, I’ll send this one to you, on Page 323. He knows she’s boring. He knows it, and he can’t do anything about it. How can you get to the home stretch after running for president for essentially 12 years and not be able to tell your candidate you’re boring as hell?

AP: That was a problem for her, obviously. I mean, she faced likeability issues and image problem, a larger image problem that they tried to remedy a few times, particularly in the fall of 2015 when you saw her kind of, they rolled out a late night comedy act, or like a run for her where she was on Jimmy Fallon and some other shows. And there was a definite effort to try to make her, to draw her out. And you know, but she’s always had difficulty doing that. Everyone always talks about how funny she is behind the scenes, and but you know the American public doesn’t see that. So I know that they wanted to definitely try to draw that out. And you know, and I think what Philippe was basically trying to get at was that he kind of understood. He got so in the weeds of playing Donald Trump and understood that he was gaining traction, and that he could be problematic for her. I think getting into that role in the way he did, and he did it pretty well, he kind of realized what she was up against. And I think that was a red flag, particularly looking back, I think, in retrospect. I think a lot of people feel that way.

HH: Now I have so many questions about specific things. I’m going to limit it to one. There is a huge Hillary supporter named Susie Tompkins Buell, Jon, I’ll send this one to you. And he, Robby Mook goes to her house in early September, 2015, expecting a kind of a nice weekend. And she lays into him, and with a razor that is very sharp and accurate for announcing their strategy, for saying we’re going to make her more likeable. And she just rips them apart. And so I’m asking myself did Susie Tompkins Buell ever tell Hillary the same thing?

JA: I don’t have reportage that suggests that, but I would be shocked if she did not. They are very close and communicate a lot. Look, I think Hillary Clinton heard all of the things that she needed to hear to make corrections on her campaign.

HH: That’s where I was going. So she did know? People told her?

JA: People told her. And she also heard a lot of things that she probably should have ignored, and I think she didn’t necessarily understand the signal and the noise. You know, and I think she didn’t necessarily hone in on the things that she needed to fix, and you know, I’m sure she did fix some things that she needed to. But basically, she gets a lot of inputs from a lot of people, and she ultimately made the decisions that led to a losing campaign. And you know, if you’re looking for a reason that, or a proximate cause of her political demise, it’s her. And that’s not just in the decisions of the campaign on a tactical or even strategic level through the campaign. It’s setting up that email server, you know, when she knew she might run for president again, and then you know, giving speeches to banks for money right before she runs for president during a populist renaissance? No political operative would give the advice to do that.

HH: No.

JA: And in fact, some people advised her not to, and her response was well, they’ll hit me for something.

HH: And she sets it up after she has basically emptied her previous server, and therefore knowing the vulnerabilities of servers. I still say that is the revelation, the big reveal of Shattered that people haven’t quite absorbed, yet, that they’ve got to get their arms around. Let me talk about two more things, and you’ve been very generous with your times, guys, and Shattered is going to go on and on, and you’re going to be in demand everywhere. But I’ve got to talk about Bill Clinton, because I wrote to Amie about Bill in The Queen, and my suggestion was to put him front and center and run with him, and put your arms around him, and make him second husband and second president, and they did it again. They mismanaged Bill Clinton. It’s not like they hadn’t confronted this problem set again, and you document his frustration, the mismanagement of him. He wanted to go to the small towns. They wanted to send him to data-rich centers where all that, you know, just get touches on already banked voters. He wanted to go to the byways and highways of America. He might have been J.D. Vance. He might have channeled J.D. Vance before J.D. Vance’ Hillbilly Elegy came out if they just turned him loose.

AP: It’s true, and for some reason, I mean, I guess because of 2008, they had this reaction where they wanted to kind of keep him, keep a tight lid on him. And so he didn’t end up campaigning for her until well into the primary, right before Iowa. And then they kept a pretty tight leash on him. And I think that was unfair in the sense that he is a really smart politician. He gets what’s happening on the ground. And I think that was part of the problem for them. But he didn’t, he wasn’t being listened to. Every time he kind of sounded the alarm to Brooklyn and said I’m kind of getting a different feel on the ground. You’re sending me to these places. I’m feeling differently. They kind of, you know, they didn’t listen to him, and I think that was frustrating to him and to those people around him. You know, and I think this time around, he definitely in the past had kind of a blind spot for her, but I think he could have maybe helped her a little bit more had they kind of unleashed him.

HH: I want to talk as well about the Russian hack, Jon Allen. Glen Caplin on Page 344 is described as the man who is tasked with the most mind-numbingly brutal job in modern political history, managing the Podesta email. And I don’t know Glen, and I have great sympathy for him. How do you assess his management of that job which I think is impossible to do, but nevertheless, it wasn’t done very well.

JA: Right. I mean, what we hear after the election from the Clinton camp is that the Russian hack, you know, changed the election, that between that and Jim Comey, that that’s what cost Hillary Clinton the election. And the truth about the Russian involvement is that we knew Russians were trying to affect the elections. In fact, when the Podesta email first broke, which was the same day as the Access Hollywood video of Donald Trump saying the inappropriate thing about, about, well, we know what it was about, and also on the same day as, I’m sorry, my mind’s blanking. There were like three sort of big hits of news that day. But the point is that the email came out, and it was the same day as the intelligence community finding that the Russians were trying to interfere in our election. The Clinton people looked at that as a game changer.

HH: Yeah.

JA: They thought finally, we have the evidence that Donald Trump, maybe not, maybe Donald Trump isn’t coordinating with the Russians, but he’s certainly encouraging people to hack into emails and release them, and they thought this was the smoking gun. This is going to convince the American people not to vote for Donald Trump. And we heard that argument not just from the campaign. We heard it out of the mouth of the candidate. Hillary Clinton said it in debate. She called Donald Trump a Russian puppet. She talked about that intelligence agency report. Any voter that was paying close attention to the election or even just attention to the debates knew that this was an issue, and still not enough people voted for her in the right states to win the election. You know, so the idea that this was something that you know, wasn’t out there before the election is just specious.

HH: Now I have to ask you both before we begin to wrap up on some huge questions, is that Donald Trump remains, and this is an overused term, a black swan of black swans. No one believed he could win from the day he came down the escalator. And I still defy people to find me adamant mainstream commentators, center-right or left on television the week before the election, a month before the election, a year before the election, saying he could win. Did that cripple the Clinton campaign, because like everyone else who reads a lot and thinks a lot about politics, they just could not believe themselves, Amie Parnes, to believe it could be Donald Trump, President Donald Trump?

AP: Yeah, yeah, I think it did. And there was a memo that was actually circulated, written by a longtime advisor circulated in her campaign among top advisors, outside advisors, that basically said fact, and we report this in the book, Donald Trump can win.

HH: Yup.

AP: And I think there were people around her who kind of knew. No one really believed it. But it’s interesting now in retrospect to see that there were people who were kind of, you know, sounding the alarm and waving the red flags and basically trying to get people to listen and take it seriously. And I don’t think, I think they did take it seriously, but I think there was almost towards the end, they felt like it was, they were going to win. As Jon talked about, she talked about, she talked to this aide about saying, you know, when I’m in the White House, and they had this conversation, there was, they thought that they had this. So I think they kind of ignored some of these sounding alarms, and I think that’s something that will continue to haunt them.

HH: So Jon, and in beginning to wrap up here, I believe you guys have won a Pulitzer here, and you deserve it because of the reporting. Have you optioned it, yet, in the way that Game Change was optioned?

JA: We have nothing to announce. Thank you for the kind words and you know, from your lips to God’s ears. But we, you know, I think we believe that this is, this is compelling stuff, and that you know, it’s, there’s new information pretty much on every page of this book.

HH: Oh, my God, it’s…

JA: And I think readers will love it, and I think it’s this visual. I think it’s something that would be nice to see optioned.

HH: Oh, I just think it’s an amazing mini-series. And the faster, the better on HBO. I’d watch every minute of it, because it’s so damned revealing. And Amie, it’s kind of tragic. Now I voted for Donald Trump, and I have great respect for the Secretary and President Clinton, but I look at the end of this, and I think it’s a tragic story. They really never, ever got it together.

AP: Yeah, and you know, I think this book details that, that they really tried. They had everything going for them. They had the star power, the financial backing. They had surrogates. They had Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, everyone that, you know, in the Democratic Party kind of rooting for them. But they just couldn’t quite do it, and I think a lot of that stemmed from the tough primary she had, the unexpected primary she had with Bernie Sanders. There was some tension there about how he didn’t really, he didn’t get out of the race quick enough. He made her spend more money than she had to. He kind of dinged her permanently, I think, you know, in…

HH: When he wouldn’t say, he thought it was corny, I loved your reporting. He thought it was corny, I’m with her. He wouldn’t say it.

AP: Oh, yeah, he said, he thought it was phony, even.

HH: Yeah.

AP: He just, he basically, they’re, we have a scene where they’re trying to, they come to his house to make an ad for her, and they want him to say I’m with her. And he stops and he’s like…

HH: He won’t do it.

AP: I can’t say that. It’s so pony.

HH: Yeah.

AP: And that kind of, you know, even though he was out there campaigning for her, there were people who thought he should have been out there more. They should have, and maybe some people detected that he wasn’t completely with her. And so all that kind of resonated, I think, and had an impact on the election.

HH: Last question, Jon Allen, do you think it changes the way campaigns will be run, because Robby Mook is a good guy and he did a good job, but he’s Mr. Analytics. Bill Clinton is the avatar of the old, but the old slugger, Ted Williams, teaching hitting sort of thing. Does the detail of Shattered change the way that whether it’s Elizabeth Warren or Chris Murphy or our new senator out here in California who may very well go for the roses the way Barack Obama did, does it change the way they run their campaigns? And if so, what’s the number one message they take away from Shattered?

JA: I think there are, if you don’t mind, two. Number one is that in order to win elections, you’ve got to have a candidate who bridges the divides in your own party and reaches out beyond the party. That’s a candidate issue, that charisma or whatever it is, that thing that allows a candidate to bind people to them, you know, in a good way and in an appealing way. That’s number one. But in terms of the mechanics of the campaign, I think what you’ve got here is a lesson in how you need both science and art, that there is an art of political persuasion in politics, and that ties into this candidate thing that I was just talking about. There’s this art of persuasion that is so important and so intangible, and you need in modern campaigns to understand the data, to know who the electorate is, to know where you want to go, to have all those numbers at your hands, but to sometimes you know, kind of understand what it is that’s going to, that’s going to move those numbers. You know, the data on voters are not static, because voters’ perceptions of what’s going and their feelings aren’t static. So it’s got to be a mix. It can’t be this sort of moneyball data extremism. And at the same time, like you point out, you can’t just, in modern politics, you can’t afford to ignore the available information.

HH: You know, someone told me once that the most important thing is, and it might even have been Matthew Dowd. Does the candidate convey the sense that they understand where the voters are? Is this person on my side? And I don’t know that Secretary Clinton ever got on anybody’s side. But Amie, I’ll close, last question for you, Kamala Harris scares me as a Republican, because she’s kind of like Barack Obama. If you had to sign up with someone right now, and you had to bet who you’ll be writing this book about in four years, who’s it going to be?

AP: That is a very good question, Hugh. I definitely think it needs to be someone who is not in the establishment, as the selection proved, someone who is the leader for, you know, there’s so many voices in the Democratic Party right now, and I think they’re trying to find that person. And that’s why you have someone like Bernie Sanders out there campaigning for the DNC, someone who isn’t really technically a Democrat. But I think, you know, Elizabeth Warren, who actually has a book out this week, too, she could be a contender. She’s obviously trying to make a name for herself. I think maybe Kamala Harris. She’s definitely a no-nonsense politician. She’s climbed the ladder pretty quickly. People are quite scared of her inside the party, but I think she obviously has vision of that. But it has to be someone with fresh ideas, someone that hasn’t been around, that isn’t kind of weighed down by baggage. I think the party is crying out loud for someone like that.

HH: Yeah, I hope you two make a visit over to the Senator’s office and start getting the access, because I want another one of these in four years. Jon Allen, Amie Parnes, congratulations on Shattered, really quite an amazing achievement, and if my Hollywood friends are listening this morning, they ought to call up, who’s your agent? Who options this for you?

JA: Bridget Matzie.

AP: Bridget Matzie.

HH: Bridget, what’s her last name?

AP: Matzie.

JA: Matzie.

AP: M-A-T-Z-I-E.

HH: That’s the person they should be calling. Congratulations, you two. Talk to you soon.

AP: Thank you.

JA: Thank you.

End of interview.

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