In­side ac­count tells tale of Hil­lary’s doomed ‘pres­i­dency.’

An in­side ac­count tells a tale of rage, dark in­trigue and ter­mi­nal in­com­pe­tence

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Suzanne Fields Suzanne Fields is a colum­nist for The Wash­ing­ton Times and is na­tion­ally syn­di­cated.

While we’re ex­am­in­ing the ac­com­plish­ments of Don­ald Trump’s first 100 days — putting his man on the U.S. Supreme Court is the big­gie — Hil­lary is get­ting the once-over (and the sec­ond and third) for all the rea­sons why she’s not the first woman to pre­side over her own first 100 days in the Oval Of­fice.

She never un­der­stood that “the fault, dear Hil­lary, is not in the stars, but in your­self.”

In “Shat­tered: In­side Hil­lary Clin­ton’s Doomed Cam­paign,” the book Wash­ing­ton is talk­ing about, Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, write a sweep­ing drama with lots of sup­port­ing ac­tors strut­ting across the stage. The char­ac­ters are wor­thy of the Bard. It’s a tale told not in the po­etry of El­iz­a­bethan tragedy, but as com­edy or farce.

When the cur­tain fi­nally falls on elec­tion night, there are no dead bod­ies to drag off stage, but lots of Machi­avel­lian char­ac­ters lit­ter the land­scape, mut­ter­ing asides and re­veal­ing dark in­sights into be­hind-the-scenes machi­na­tions.

The cast in­cludes a hus­band with no “im­pulse-con­trol but­ton,” and enough jesters, fools and syco­phants to de­stroy the myth of the ir­re­sistible Hil­lary jug­ger­naut or­dained to elect the first woman pres­i­dent of the United States.

In one richly far­ci­cal case of mis­taken iden­tity, an aide mis­un­der­stands the name of the in­ter­viewer Hil­lary wanted for her first tele­vi­sion in­ter­view. She said she wanted “Bianna,” mean­ing Bianna Golodryga of Ya­hoo! News, the wife of Peter Orszag, a one­time Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion eco­nomic ad­viser, whom she con­sid­ered friendly and def­er­en­tial. The aide thought she meant “Bri­anna,” as in Bri­anna Keilar, and that’s who got the live in­ter­view for CNN. She asked tough ques­tions about Hil­lary’s in­fa­mous email server.

Hil­lary grew defensive, es­pe­cially when she was asked, “Would you vote for some­one you didn’t trust?” This was a clas­sic soft­ball, which some­one at ease with the press might have knocked out of the park. In­stead, she glared daggers at the ques­tioner, and replied, as if in a sulk, “Peo­ple should and do trust me.” The lady doth protest too much, me­thinks — and so did much of the na­tional au­di­ence.

Such in­sights, er­rors and sloppy staff work dogged her through­out the cam­paign, and this af­ter-the-fact fo­cus in this sea­son of her dis­con­tent shows her to be the cul­prit in her demise. “Shat­tered” sug­gests why a Wash­ing­ton PostABC News poll sug­gests that Don­ald Trump, de­spite low ap­proval rat­ings, would still de­feat Hil­lary in the Elec­toral Col­lege, and this time in the pop­u­lar vote as well, by 43 per­cent for the Don­ald and 40 per­cent for the Lady Mac­beth late of Lit­tle Rock. A re­mark­able 96 per­cent of Trump vot­ers say they would vote for him again, and only 15 per­cent of Hil­lary vot­ers would still vote for her.

Richard Nixon might have felt at home in the Hil­lary bunker. Af­ter her 2008 loss to Barack Obama, Hil­lary aides as­signed loy­alty scores to mem­bers of Congress, from 1 to 7. A score of 1 re­flected high loy­alty, 7 likely to commit “egre­gious acts of treach­ery.” Such ex­pec­ta­tions of dis­loy­alty ter­ri­fied ev­ery­one in the bunker.

Don­ald Trump, by con­trast, in­spires a dif­fer­ent kind of loy­alty. His sup­port­ers stick with him de­spite his ev­i­dent flaws, his an­gry tweets, anger that can go public in an in­stant. They nev­er­the­less be­lieve he’s got their back. There’s no mushy em­pa­thy like the Clin­tons’ phony as­sur­ance that “we feel your pain.” The pres­i­dent’s fans don’t like some of the things he’s done, but still think he’ll de­liver on his prom­ise to bring about change, and de­stroy the es­tab­lish­ment of the elites that has grown fat and stale, sur­viv­ing long past their sell-by date.

In town halls dur­ing spring break, many vot­ers vented anger at con­gress­men for their sup­port of the pres­i­dent. But Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, typ­i­cal of the pres­i­dent’s loyal friends in Congress, of­fered a de­fense. “We’d be hard pressed to find a pres­i­dent who doesn’t have flaws,” she said. “I sup­port a ma­jor­ity of the poli­cies ver­sus the ac­tual per­son.” A Bubba de­fender couldn’t have said it bet­ter.

Hil­lary has yet to mea­sure the man or un­der­stand the “or­di­nary” men and women who stand with the pres­i­dent. When her aides, pre­par­ing her for one of the de­bates, had to choose some­one to play the Don­ald, cast­ing was a prob­lem be­cause the cam­paign didn’t want a Satur­day Night Live im­i­ta­tion, but some­one to rat­tle and an­noy her. An­thony Weiner, the sus­pect sex-tex­ter hus­band of Huma Abe­din, was sug­gested. But Phillipe Reines, a senior aide with an acid tongue and a rep­u­ta­tion for rude­ness, was se­lected. He helped her to an un­flap­pable de­bate per­for­mance, but couldn’t do any­thing about the school­marm style that turned off the mil­lions. Hil­lary is a woman of many gifts, but not what the poet Bobby Burns de­scribed as “the gift to see our­selves as oth­ers see us.” It was the fa­tal flaw.

A re­mark­able 96 per­cent of Trump vot­ers say they would vote for him again, and only 15 per­cent of Hil­lary vot­ers would still vote for her.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY HUNTER

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