Donald J. Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in November came as a shock to the world. Polls, news reports and everything the Clinton campaign was hearing in the final days pointed to her becoming the first female president in American history.
In their compelling new book, “Shattered,” the journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes write that Clinton’s loss suddenly made sense of all the reporting they had been doing for a year and a half — reporting that had turned up all sorts of “foreboding signs” that often seemed at odds, in real time, with indications that Clinton was the favorite to win. Although the Clinton campaign was widely covered, and many autopsies have been conducted in the last several months, the blow-by-blow details in “Shattered” — and the observations made here by campaign and Democratic Party insiders — are nothing less than devastating, sure to dismay not just her supporters but also everyone who cares about the outcome and momentous consequences of the election.
在引入入胜的新书《粉碎》(Shattered)中，记者乔纳森·艾伦(Jonathan Allen)和艾米·帕尼斯(Amie Parnes)写道，克林顿的失败让他们在此前一年半时间里做的所有报道突然合理起来——从当时的形势看克林顿胜算在握，但那些报道呈现的种种“预兆”，看上去常常显得与之相悖。尽管媒体对克林顿的竞选团队进行过大量报道，而且在过去几个月里有过很多事后的分析和检讨，但《粉碎》中的详尽细节——以及竞选团队成员和民主党内部人士在书中发表的言论——仍然极具破坏性，肯定会让她的支持者乃至每一个关注大选结果及其重大后果的人感到沮丧。
In fact, the portrait of the Clinton campaign that emerges from these pages is that of a Titanic-like disaster: an epic fail made up of a series of perverse and often avoidable missteps by an out-of-touch candidate and her strife-ridden staff that turned “a winnable race” into “another iceberg-seeking campaign ship.”
It’s the story of a wildly dysfunctional and “spirit-crushing” campaign that embraced a flawed strategy (based on flawed data) and that failed, repeatedly, to correct course. A passive-aggressive campaign that neglected to act on warning flares sent up by Democratic operatives on the ground in crucial swing states, and that ignored the advice of the candidate’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, and other Democratic Party elders, who argued that the campaign needed to work harder to persuade undecided and ambivalent voters (like working-class whites and millennials), instead of focusing so insistently on turning out core supporters.
“Our failure to reach out to white voters, like literally from the New Hampshire primary on, it never changed,” one campaign official is quoted as saying.
There was a perfect storm of other factors, of course, that contributed to Clinton’s loss, including Russian meddling in the election to help elect Trump; the controversial decision by the F.B.I. director, James Comey, to send a letter to Congress about Clinton’s emails less than two weeks before Election Day; and the global wave of populist discontent with the status quo (signaled earlier in the year by the British “Brexit” vote) that helped fuel the rise of both Trump and Bernie Sanders. In a recent interview, Clinton added that she believed “misogyny played a role” in her loss.
当然，推动克林顿走向失败的，还有一场由其他因素促成的完美风暴。其中包括：俄罗斯为了帮助特朗普当选而对选举进行干预；联邦调查局局长詹姆斯·科米(James Comey)在离大选日不足两周时做出颇具争议的决定，向国会发出一封与克林顿的邮件有关的信函；不满现状的民粹主义席卷全球（去年早些时候，这种情绪在英国的脱欧投票中便有所体现），为特朗普和伯尼·桑德斯(Bernie Sanders)的崛起推波助澜。克林顿最近接受采访时加了一条：她认为在她的失败中“女性歧视发挥了作用”。
The authors of “Shattered,” however, write that even some of her close friends and advisers think that Clinton “bears the blame for her defeat,” arguing that her actions before the campaign (setting up a private email server, becoming entangled in the Clinton Foundation, giving speeches to Wall Street banks) “hamstrung her own chances so badly that she couldn’t recover,” ensuring that she could not “cast herself as anything but a lifelong insider when so much of the country had lost faith in its institutions.”
Allen and Parnes are the authors of a 2014 book, “H R C,” a largely sympathetic portrait of Clinton’s years as secretary of state, and this book reflects their access to longtime residents of Clinton’s circle. They interviewed more than a hundred sources on background — with the promise that none of the material they gathered would appear before the election — and while it’s clear that some of these people are spinning blame retroactively, many are surprisingly candid about the frustrations they experienced during the campaign.
“Shattered” underscores Clinton’s difficulty in articulating a rationale for her campaign (other than that she was not Donald Trump). And it suggests that a tendency to value loyalty over competence resulted in a lumbering, bureaucratic operation in which staff members were reluctant to speak truth to power, and competing tribes sowed “confusion, angst and infighting.”
Despite years of post-mortems, the authors observe, Clinton’s management style hadn’t really changed since her 2008 loss of the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama: Her team’s convoluted power structure “encouraged the denizens of Hillaryland to care more about their standing with her, or their future job opportunities, than getting her elected.”
The campaign frequently spun its wheels in response to crises and urgent appeals from Democrats on both the state and national levels, the authors report. Big speeches were written by committee. “Evolving the core message” remained a continuing struggle. And the Brooklyn campaign headquarters — which would end up outspending Trump’s campaign by nearly 2 to 1 — frustrated coordinators in battleground states like Colorado by penny-pinching and cutting back on television, direct mail and digital advertising.
As described in “Shattered,” Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook — who centered the Clinton operation on data analytics (information about voters, given to him by number crunchers) as opposed to more old-fashioned methods of polling, knocking on doors and trying to persuade undecideds — made one strategic mistake after another, but was kept on by Clinton, despite her own misgivings.
“Mook had made the near-fatal mistakes of underestimating Sanders and investing almost nothing early in the back end of the primary calendar,” Parnes and Allen write, and the campaign seemed to learn little from Clinton’s early struggles. For instance, her loss in the Michigan primary in March highlighted the problems that would pursue her in the general election — populism was on the rise in the Rust Belt, and she was not connecting with working-class white voters — and yet it resulted in few palpable adjustments. Michigan, the authors add, also pointed up Mook’s failure to put enough organizers on the ground, and revealed that his data was a little too rosy, “meaning the campaign didn’t know Bernie was ahead.”
These problems were not corrected in the race against Trump. Allen and Parnes report that Donna Brazile, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, was worried in early October about the lack of ground forces in major swing states, and that Mook had “declined to use pollsters to track voter preferences in the final three weeks of the campaign,” despite pleas from advisers in crucial states.
在和特朗普的角逐中，这些问题没能得到纠正。艾伦和帕尼斯称，去年十月初，民主党全国委员会(Democratic National Committee)主席唐娜·布拉吉尔(Donna Brazile)对主要摇摆州缺少基层工作人员，以及莫克——不顾关键州的一些顾问的恳求——“拒绝在最后三周的选战中利用民意调查员来追踪选民的偏好”感到担忧。
After a planned appearance in Green Bay with President Obama was postponed, the authors write, Clinton never set foot in Wisconsin, a key state. In fact, they suggest, the campaign tended to take battleground states like Wisconsin and Michigan (the very states that would help hand the presidency to Trump) for granted until it was too late, and instead looked at expanding the electoral map beyond Democratic-held turf and traditional swing states to places like Arizona.
In chronicling these missteps, “Shattered” creates a picture of a shockingly inept campaign hobbled by hubris and unforced errors, and haunted by a sense of self-pity and doom, summed up in one Clinton aide’s mantra throughout the campaign: “We’re not allowed to have nice things.”