tv Inside Hillary Clintons Doomed Campaign SC CSPAN July 4, 2017 11:04pm-11:56pm EDT
allen and amy. jonathan has covered national politics for politico, bloomberg. he's the head of community content for sidewinder and writes the weekly political column for roll call. amy is a senior white house correspondent for the newspaper in washington. she covered hillary clinton during the campaign and the trump administration. tonight they bring the new book shattered inside hillary clinton's doomed campaign. through deep access have reconstructed the key decisions and on seized opportunities. the well-intentioned misfires that turned the contest into a devastating loss. "the new york times" writes although the clinton campaign was widely covered and many have been conducted in the last several months, the details
offered here in the campaigns and democratic party insiders are nothing less than devastating. sure to dismay not just the supporters but also everyone who cares about the outcome and the momentous consequences of the election. without further ado please help me in welcoming jonathan allen and amy. [applause] there is my family waiting over there that must have been drinking already. [laughter] we are going to read about one of the early chapters in the book, chapter seven and then we will talk about what the process was and take questions from anybody that asked the question.
we are going to read a little part of chapter seven that centers around the iowa. bill clinton hollered at john podesta loud enough to be heard through the walls and laid claim to on the floor of the hotel in downtown des moines iowa. it was dependence she was watching on tv and they were getting it all wrong again as the results of the caucuses trickled in. hillary was leading but it was going to be tight. it doesn't get a whole lot closer than that. thathe assessment invited to parallel to the 2008 loss to barack obama.
after all, that had been a three-way race and she was still likely to come out the winner on the site. the race is going to go on for months and months on the democratic side in the headquarters and the perception all might have been had hillary was such a prohibited runner to the democratic nomination site that she should have cleaned up easily. still had a much different perspective iowa had never been clinton country and hillary increased her share of the return from under 30% in 2008 to 50% give or take a little in 2016. plus unlike obama the state is overwhelmingly white riddled
with colleges and decidedly working-class. that was hillary showing strength, not weakness. why couldn't they see the difference after the meet the press host declared obama the winner of the 2008 primary. at the start of the day he had gone with a walk to release some of the stress and bullshity with them. now with years of frustration at his longtime friend and adviser.
podesta walked into the space that was this week for caucus night and the anxiety and the consultants found that the man he was looking for. the state director matt paul owning the spectacled and in his mid-40s the communications director for the secretary tom vilsack drop on. having served. he began him with a quick nod. you go in there and deal with them. he gathered himself and walked into the president sitting in the weather chair wearing a suit and a pair of leather clothes. his arms were crossed and even if it hadn't been audible through the hotel it would have been clear that he was in a foul
mood. his eyes were fit on paul. if there is ever a time to make sure, he thought this is. he fired questions at him. what about johnson county and how about cedar rapids. a. slovenia the anger subsided. she was of a handful of points by sanders was slowly closing in on her. the two men repeated their conversation in a nearby room where the rest of the team was assessing the situation.
[inaudible] and know it. it's much harder to figure out who is winning the state and particularly in iowa because of the votes cast and reported it as a member of state delegates based on the proportion of the votes that each candidate gets from his or her performance at the locations. members can come in as very small fractions. over and over again is more often the reports were more meaningful updates but remained upbeat as the chances were pulling out and concluded what matters is which caucus remains on record. if they were outside the city, hillary would win. they looked at the states members of the missing numbers
and got a bad feeling while he was recording the bill. this isn't getting better, she told podesta. this is going to keep going down. he could overtake us. let me just say before we go any farther than we are happy to have c-span here. it's like local television for us washingtonians and we would really like to think barnes and noble for hosting. we found out as we were walking in today that the book showed up as number one barnes and noble on the website today across the country so we are happy to be here and we would really like to thank our editor and publisher over there along with rachel and many other people that helped make the possible. because they stand really
responsible for what appears in the book. we will talk a little bit to each other and kind of interview each other for a few minutes and then take some of your questions if you want to kick it off, amy. >> even though john and i have worked together for a few bucks, i think we still -- i have an idea of the moments and the inner workings, but i kind of don't commit too so we will take it off this way and then let you chime in as well. so, let's start off by talking about the moment of the book. there's an interesting thing you might have a similar experience to us we were expecting hillary clinton to be the next president of the united states and unlike most routes into writing the
book about the elections o on of the first things that we discussed in the immediate aftermath there were people trying to get adjusted to the surprise to of course the transition. we have to make an assessment of what we've are going to go after that was the pre- election period and what were the things that we needed to focus in on at the end of the campaign in a different way because we had a lot of reporting from before. we had a chance to talk to folks on the campaign because they shut down around of the electi election. we will have to do a new reporting for the last month or two of the campaign and then go back. one of the decisions we made
early days we thought it would be a tremendous failure if we didn't show what was going on behind the scenes in the campaign. my favorite part of the book i feel most invested in is the effort we went to talk to a lot of people about what was going on and we have a sort of location of the peninsula hotel where hillary clinton and her top aides were in the suite and some other rooms around it at midtown manhattan where the data analytics folk and pollsters and people were crunching numbers and talking to people out in the state where they were out working. the brooklyn headquarters were there as well and of course the javits center planned victory party.
we spent a tremendous amount of time putting together and there are a lot of things that haven't appeared anywhere else. we were first to report in late november because we were afraid someone would report it before the book came out when she was not yet ready on election night there is a lot more of that story obviously for the clinton people and the country as well.
it was great i think everyone wanted to know what was going on inside that room so i would have to agree with you and also we wanted to know the real story obviously they kept trying to portray the campaign and we kept seeing signs, so john and i kind of made it a mission to get the real story for people and initially people would be like that is great it's going well and we started hearing the story and we were interviewing one source in the headquarters because it is about the people in the book when headquarters
and a source told us at the very tail end of the interview there was one moment right after michigan she was really pissed off but i can't tell yo you any more. you'll have to talk to the people that were in the room. i was angry like tell us more of what happened we want to know. talk to some other people in the room and i got him to tell us who was in the room and he gave us the names of. separately we could have had children in that time. [laughter]
>> i want to know what you think the hardest part of reporting this book was. >> getting people to talk about anything is impossible and if i was to chalk up my proudest accomplishments it was especially in this campaign. hillary clinton is believing from her campaign it had hit in 2008 rather than seeing the symptoms who didn't feel that they were being aired turning to
the outside. they're going to bring problems externally and internally. it's detailed coming back to the same people over and over again matching with what they said in september and december. it was a reminder in the whole process if you want to get something good you have to work at it. i'm proud we were bringing it to life with so many things people didn't know in terms of the basic story. you can't agree with conclusions
and things in this book. there is a ton of reporting i am so proud of that and it was hard work for us. i know my family sacrificed for it. i want to know from you what wih your biggest fear is now that it's out because we have been sitting at this project waiting for it to come out to read into the experience of an author i think we can see this an say the that publishers don't get mad. he heard that there was likely to be a review on friday and it came out before we expected it to. the products nobody else has read you don't know if it is going to sell.
about reporting this. we had seen signs of problems all throughout the campaign. she lost when we had to quickly interview people and quickly form conclusions we do that right after the election and before in january and that was a quick turnaround so i want people to understand the process without judging. my reporting is my public service. it's kind of read it before they
we are struggling with fat and we had seen all these signs and obviously it was close enough it could have gone either way so any number of things could have kicked it eitheticketed either e seen all these signs and we trusted our guts in terms of just reporting so that pai the d off and that is the way we were able to produce this. we didn't have to pull up a lot of roots in the formulated assumptions because we laid out what the reporting was. >> let's take another quick question. >> what is your favorite quote from the book. >> my favorite quote from the book, you mean like something
somebody wrote that we think is so awesome? >> the quote is mr. president, i'm sorry. like abbott and costello. >> we will open up to questions. we have a q-and-a microphone here. >> i would like to know if you have any theories and secondly i'd like to know how much influence you feel president obama had the candidates would
he had to make a decision and meanwhile secretary clinton was boxing him in and doing things that they didn't allow him to do what he needed to do. time had run out. we refer to th report that in te confided she was quite -- >> there was a favorite quote. >> they have a cordial relationship that he was angry at her for doing what she did at keeping them out especially when he needed time to breathe and make a decision especially now he is not ruling out.
i think he wants to run again, but the timing was bad and the actual decision-making was not in his favor. >> in terms of president obama, he wanted to remain natural. why would you want to run against the sitting president that already has these delegates lined up. when people talk about the skills as a candidate she didn't get bernie sanders not to run. there were a lot of other candidates who would like to run but did not and it is pretty thin right now.
he said he would not recommend a prosecution and said a lot of other things. he wouldn't recommend a prosecution and donald trump i don't think is going to attempt to imprison his successor no matter how much somebody dislikes what he does. it would have been a stain on both the president and clinton. to delete the so-called personal e-mail and any considerations of the fact that there would be
potential backlash being a cover-up of something. >> this is a question in case people didn't hear. there was a backlash trying to hide something. they will determine what is working and what' what is a perl e-mail and having looked at the e-mail and seeing all the information was classified ended up in the e-mail that was on a private server.
it's decision was the desire to not have her finals delete the files running for president. those belonged to her but they don't belong to anybody else so they aren't making a good decision about it. if you had to pick one would you say the clinton campaign lost or won? >> i think it's complicated and we have been getting that question a lot in the last few days. we do so pretty conclusively.
it wasn't just russia or comey. it was a combination of factors. to say that it was the definitive factor, i'm saying it was a contributor for sure. she didn't have a message from the beginning of her campaign and been detailed in this book during the speech she had more than a dozen advisers to write this thing. none of them understood the gravity or understand where it was going. she brought in advisers from president obama as a speechwriter and he actually threw his hands up before the process was over and said i can'that ican't do this anymoree the speech is going nowhere essentially comes with a message
was a huge problem for her. there was fighting at the top levels of the campaign. her top advisers, john podesta and robbie didn't care much for each other we detailed in the book. >> there is one passage we have in the book where they are at a senior retreat for the members of the campaign telling each other how they feel about each other and using words like passive aggressive. hillary clinton stopped talking to some of her top advisers during the primary these are problems that are all swept under the rug and were not fully addressed and wanted people to think that it was drama free based on 2008 and the headlines that came out that there was a lot of infighting. they did a good job, but it was a problem for her.
these are all factors. when you talk to people now, john and i talked to someone tonight who basically said i supported her but unwillingly. that spoke for a lot of people inside and people acknowledged that. >> to support what you were saying one of her top aides said iowans have had a reason for running or i wouldn't have run into both essentially even her aides didn't know what the rationale was and they would be unable to look at what she was saying and say here is the revision for the country rather than the vision for power. she had been running for president for ten years at least and i think that an honest
assessment is that it was very easy to see what the message was, whether you like it or not. whether he was being honest at the moment or not. you could tell what he wanted to do and he had an isolationist message and anti-immigrant message. but they were basically one, two, three. these were his priorities. with her, there was an increase of so many things. they said it's for a wall covered with various ideas.
they came in late in the game. who was making decisions in brooklyn, he was a millennial in the campaign. >> the first answer to the question coming toward us is as good as mine -- no, this was the problem though that a lot of the mid-level staff were not able to get the decisions rendered because they were not talking and things like that. but in terms of if you want to look at what the basic debate was battered in terms of strategy of the field observations and data analytics
and mechanics of campaigning to be beefed heavily in the use of campaign data exclusively. president clinton believes hillary clinton should be trying to persuade people who didn't agree with her. it is true by the way anybody will tell you that is true. typically they do not abandon persuasion efforts entirely and this campaign abandoned the persuasion efforts and they became more and more focused on the base and they alienated some of the people that might have been persuaded particularly talking about the process from
the primary where she was focused on turning out the hispanic voters to win the delegates and the nomination you needed to get to the nomination to win the delegates and the path must focus heavily. there is no way to know that they done things differently one of the sort of motifs of the book is that there was a big battle over the level of the alliance on the data versus say bill clinton coming in.
we need to spend more time with them and frame it this way. he would essentially be like that's great mr. president, but i don't want to send it out into this area i want to send you to a city where there's more people to turn out. >> he was angry about it and a lot of former president and aides were angry about it and still are. he had a better feel for this and to that day that is something that bothered him. >> both of you referred in passing to james comey. how significant do you think it was even though they publicly
downplayed it, what was the reaction inside of the campaign >> there was a saying we can't have nice things. every time things would go well, another shoe would drop. basically they were shocked about what happened and tried to scramble to figure out why the fbi director had waited again for the reopening and essentially he was looking at a computer that belonged to him at aberdeen and they thought this
reporter was asking about the revelations and was choking. >> they never saw that coming. i would point out while he did a lot of unusual things, that is a euphemism, he did a lot of unusual things in the campaign a lot of what he was doing related back to that server and if there's somebody here that thinks thi that was a good decin on her part both in terms of how you should behave as a public official or politically please raise your hand. that is self-inflicted damage and it may be unfair but we sort
of look at that as part of the major goal to borrow a phrase from this e-mail server that came to light before she even announced the campaign. >> i'm a journalist with the newspaper from norway. how much did you talk to her during the campaign and to what extent did you feel her staff were being guided in one way or another because obviously you knew many of these people from before from your other book and they must have known you were writing this book to guide you in the direction they wanted to.
>> that is a complicated question we do not talk about the sourcing at all. you can rest assure we talk to everyone from the highest levels down. if you want to know what the outsiders are thinking, this is not the book for you. >> the database to times and both times we felt, correct me if i'm wrong but the second time it was as hard as the first and perhaps harder because she was running a campaign and they were worried about what we were going to put out if we also had day jobs we were doing at the same
time, and it was not as easy as it might sound, because we did hrc the floodgates suddenly opened up on the book quite the opposite we have to reintroduce ourselves and i used to joke with john we have been working with these people now for years. >> e-mails from the staffers that we were going to see somebody being told not to talk to us because they didn't -- because presumably there was a reason that was like you don't have to talk about it. >> people that had spoken.
doing in the campaign, she's not doing very well. would she have been a good president in your opinion? >> somebody else is applauding. is that what you would want to ask? she knows how to be a candidate i think. she admitted this several times during the campaign. she has said she is not president obama either or george bush people say is quite charming.
>> amy works hard and says smart things everyone smiles and laughs and then they forget how hard she has worked to put stuff in. i feel for her on that level. i think societal we still have a lot of fat and she is -- have a lot of that index to win over people whatever their biases are and there's a little bit of failure. >> it is tricky because i think she is a terrible candidate and doesn't know how to manage. i think that she would be good enough for a way she would have a management problem for sure if
she was in the white house. >> he was the one that led the investigation against bill clinton and there had been a 91 billion-dollar industry specifically since russia started this. they were hardly ever asking. >> did you just not want to say the word? [laughter] never asked about the service and whatever was said
[inaudible] nothing mattered but then it was a phony thing. so all the factors that you mentioned was a very concert at effort where in the last ten days they put their thumb on the scales. all these factors come tribute to being mismanaging because i think in the end the policies were not very well reported by the press.
>> i think that the policies were easy to find. i would be hesitant to look at a campaign and say there is a campaign against her and it was unfair that there was a campaign against her. we haven't talked about this before but you talked about russia. here is an example of something that we knew. we knew that they had been trying to tamper with the elections and there was a good reason to suspect that they were involved. hillary clinton made the case publicly and said he was a puppet and talked about the agencies that came in and said that russia was responsible for these attacks. it is not as though we had any idea what was going on.
and people did not pay attention when they were voting. they are angry now because they were not paying attention but i do not think that is the case. i think that is baked into the decision people were making. one fifth said they thought he was not fit to be president of the united states and voted for him anyway. it says even though this was a very close race and one that could have changed on just a little bit excessive to what the clinton failed to win by a large margin than she could have but they were certainly available they just thought it wouldn't fit. they were available to her but she could nail them down. >> are there any final comments from either of you? >> we want to thank you all for coming in for a thoughtful discussion we hope that you will enjoy the books. >> here is a look at som
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