tv Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen Shattered CSPAN October 12, 2017 2:49am-3:42am EDT
welcome to barnes and noble at the westside. tonight i have the pleasure of introducing author jennifer allen and amy pardons. jonathan covered politics for e-echo, bloomberg and fox and is the head of community content for slide wire and writes a political column for roll call. amy is a senior white house correspondent for the newspaper in washington and covers hillary
clinton during the campaign and will cover the trumpet administration. they've written the acclaimed biography. tonight they bring their new book, shattered inside the campaign. through deep access to insiders from the top to the bottom of the campaign, jonathan allen and amy have reconstructed the key decisions and i'm seized opportunities and the well-intentioned misfires and the hidden for that turned the contest into a devastating loss. many have been conducted in the last several months and they've shattered in the observations made here by campaigns and the democratic party insiders are nothing less than devastating. also everyone who carries out the upcoming at the momentous consequences of the election. without further ado please join me in welcoming jonathan allen
and amy parnes. [applause] >> there's my family waiting over there. they must have been drinking already. [laughter] they are laughing like they were. what we are going to do is read one of the earlier chapters of the book, chapter seven. then we will talk a little bit about what our promise wasn't that we will take questions from anybody that has a question. do you want to start? we are going to read a little part of chapter seven. bill clinton was pissed off and
yelled a john podesta of loud enough to be heard and on the tenth floor of the savory hotel in downtown des moines iowa. it was the tendency was watching on tv. they were getting it wrong again as the results of the iowa caucuses trickled in. hillary was leading but it is going to be tight. omg, wolf blitzer said on cnn. it doesn't get closer to that. the invited parallels to the 2008 loss to barack obama. who was an absurd comparison. after all, that have bee had bee way race and she was still likely to come out the winner on this night, not the third-place finisher. it was a hard storyline to resist and the outcome tonight ensures that the race is going
to go on for months and months on the democratic side of the colleague reported from sampras headquarters. the perception all might have been that hillary was such a front runner heading into the nomination fight that she should have cleaned up easily. bill had a much different perspective. iowa has never been clinton country to give or take a little in 2016 and plus i'm like obama he was tailor-made for iowa. the state is overwhelmingly white, winter a colleges and working class cities even if he managed to get a victor victoryr the hillary showing strength not weakness. on the one level it was just another one of the routine myths about television personalities
and he cursed the name after they had declared obama the winner of the 2008 primary in may of that year there was anothebut it wasanother sign ofo the pivotal moment of his wife's political career. at the start of the day he'd gone with a walk to relieve some of the buildings dressed and he played a combination of card games. he was a prospective husband and concerned democrat and now he was shouting eight years of frustratiofrustration and that e friend and adviser. when bill spent himself, podesta walked into the space that was a part of the caucus night. it was a spectacle in his mid mid-40s he left his job as the
communications director in tom vilsack to run the operation. he'd been with her and stops across the state for the better part of a year having served on the presidential campaign as a former aim to senator tom harkin he knew the electorate as well as anyone. he beckoned him with a quick but poignant blog. he gathered himself and walked into see him sitting in the chair. he was wearing a suit and a pair of gloves. his arms were crossed. even if the yelling hadn't been audible through the walls of the hotel it would have been clear he was in a foul mood. his eyes were fixed on paul. if there's ever a time to make sure i know my speed eight, this is it. what is so outstanding in polk county, what about johnson county and how about cedar
rapids? he walked him through the state where the results haven't been reported county by county. slowly the anger subsided. even if his anxiety didn't. hillary had gotten out consistent where the team thought she would be heading into the night. she was up a handful of points but sanders was slowly closing in on her. after poll briefed though, they repeated the conversation where the rest of the team was nervously assessing the situation. even in front of the others a source noted a shift in his personality. usually he is a storyteller this source said. on this night he was just an information gatherer. it's much harder to figure out who's winning a state and particularly in iowa because the results are not measured in both votes cast but the number of
delegates to the delegates each gets from the locations. the members can come in as very small fractions. over and over paul gave up the names of the former president and marlton reports that were not actual meaningful updates but remained upbeat about the chances. he concluded .-full-stop he regaineremained unreported. if they were outside of the city she would when. he also knew the states like the roads around his alabama home, look at the state numbers, same numbers and got a bad feeling. he back channels where paul was reporting. this isn't getting any better. this is going to keep going down. he could overtake us. let me say before we go any further, we are happy to have
c-span here. we'd love c-span. we like to thank barnes and noble for hosting us. we found out that the book showed up as number one on barnes and noble on their website today across the country so we are really happy to be here and we would like to thank our editor have been over there along with rachel and many other people that helped make the possible so we would be remiss in not. what might be interesting for you is if we talk with each other for a few minutes and then take some of your questions. did you want to kick it off?
>> even though we've worked together now for two books in five years, i have an idea of his favorite moments and inner workings, but i kind of don't also so we will kick it off this way and let you chime in as well. maybe let's start by talking about your favorite moment of the book. >> there was an interesting thing that happened you might have a similar experience we were expecting hillary clinton was would be the next president of the united states and i assume most of you were not into writing a book about the election. one of the first things we discussed in the immediate aftermath and there were a lot of people trying to get adjusted to the surprise and to of course the transition.
we have to make an assessment of what he had to go after from the pre- general period and what we needed to focus on at the end of the campaign in a different way than we had before because we have a lot of reporting from before the election but then the last month or two we didn't have the chance to talk to folks because they shut down nobody wanted any of the out so we had to do new reporting and go back and get some things from early care and one of the decisions we made is that we thought it would be a tremendous failure on our part if we didn't get what was going on behind the scenes in the clinton campaign that i feel most invested in to talk to a
lot of people about what was going on and we have a location with a boiler room in midtown manhattan where the data analytics folks and some of the people who were crunching numbers and talking to people out in the states were working. there was the brooklyn headquarters and the javits center where the planned victory party was a. we spent a tremendous amount of time trying to piece together what happened with a. there's a lot of things in the book that haven't appeared anywhere else and we were the first to report in late november because we were afraid someone would report before the book
came out that president obama urged hillary clinton to concede when she wasn't ready to on election night but there's a lot more to that story with the feelings were, but the emotions were among her staff and family and so to me that is the part that i'm the most proud of is we got all this reporting that no one else did about this incredibly shocking moment not only for the country but obviously for the clinton people and for the country as well. what is your favorite part of the duck? >> well, that's because it took a lot of work -- >> every author's favorite part is the byline so this is the second favorite part.
>> no, i think everyone wanted to know what was going on inside of the room, so i would have to agree with you and also, we wanted to know the real story. they kept trying to portray this joyful campaign so they kind of made it a mission to get the real story from people. initially they would be like no, it's great, it's going well but slowly we started hearing the story. we were interviewing one that's worse than the brooklyn headquarters because the story is about the people in the brooklyn headquarters mostly. 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. we'll have to talk to the other people in the room. i was so angry you like come on,
tell us more about what happened. she said no, no, talk to some other people in the room and i got him to tell us who was in the room and he gave us these names. we tried to make the machine in every interview after that to find out what went down in that moment. moment. finally we circled back mom slater. >> nine months later, we could have had children enough time. [laughter] finally, this one source said we want to know what happened here. we have bits and pieces of what happened. this was like pre- inauguration but it might have been after christmas. >> finally a source tells us
what happene happened and it ren finding out she was frustrated by what happened in michigan during the primary, she was angry at her aides telling them our message isn't resonating, what's happening. these are the moments that make the book what it is. it's about what happened as told through the people, not outsiders but the people inside the campaign, and i think that's kind of moment shines and that is what we aim to do. >> i want to know what you think the hardest part of reporting the bug was. >> getting people to talk about anything is impossible. if i was to chalk up my proudest
accomplishments as a reporter it's breaking into this circle getting people to tell us stuff because this is a, especially in this campaign, a group that wasn't talking a lot, afraid of the repercussions having them come back on them. we writes that she's obsessed after 2008 she believed that the leaks from the campaign hurt her in 2008 rather than seeing them as symptoms of dysfunction or accepting people but didn't feel the grievances were being aired ineffectively turning to the outside she looked at them as something plaguing the campaign and one of the reasons she lost. this time a lot of people thought they were going to be working in the administration, that they would be working in the white house. there was a lot of incentive not to bring problems, not to air them externally or internally
and so the hardest part was getting people to talk and i'm walking details going back to the same people over and over again matching what somebody said in april that put a second september, and it was a reminder, the whole process was a reminder of what reporters know in their hearts but if you want to get something good you have to work at it. i am proud we were able to bring to light so many things people didn't know just in terms of the basic story. you can agree with conclusions or look at the book and to say i don't think their analysis of that is right or i wish they had more about it at the end of today there is a lot of new reporting and i am so proud of that and it was hard work for us and i know my family sacrifice and torching of the sacrifice so
we've been sitting on the finished product thisfinished ps waiting for it to come out. for week weeks he was out with a finished product nobody else has read, you don't know if anybody's going to like it or if it is going to sell and it was hard to write to matter whether they go well or poorly but now that it's out and people get to look at it as a finished product what is your fear?
>> i won't people to understand we've gotten feedback on twitter and other media that we are biased reporters. we went into this basically trying to tell -- when h we wrot some people thought was a largely sympathetic book the first time around. this one is basically what we saw and heard from everyone in the campaign. my big fear is that this will be misinterpreted. as we explained in the introduction, we explained reporting this and we thought she was going to win but the reporting changed. the direction didn't even really change because we have seen the signs of problems all throughout the campaign but what happened was she lost and we had to
quickly form conclusions about what happened and to do that right after the election and in january and that was a quick turnaround so i want people to understand that process without judging how we did this and whether or not we were taking sides and who we voted for. a disclaimer i don't bode even because my reporting is my public service and i don't take sides. i want people to judge this fairly and read it before they judge it. >> before the election happened, we picked up on a lot of problems from the campaign and hillary clinton feeling she didn't have a handle for the electorate and there's a couple handles about her basically
saying to people i don't understand what is happening in the country right now, which we obviously saw as a problem in the democratic primary and certainly she would have liked to get a larger share. there was something bernie sanders was tapping into she had a hard time understanding part of that was the general belief in the system to make change rather than break down the system to make change. we saw all of this going on for months and months, her inability to touch what was going on in the country and the dysfunction in the campaign tha then it was clear to us because we were looking at the polling and there seemed to be some pretty good
outing and i hope i'm not talking about it too much here the editor at one point made it sound like she was going to lose. i'm having trouble understanding because it looks like she's going to win but the book feels like she's going to lose and we were like yeah that's a problem we are going to have to figure that out. but we are reporters and this is what's going on. they might be forward projections we are struggling with that and then on election day we have seen all these signs and obviously it was close enough that could have gone either way so any number of things could have tipped one way or another but we have seen all
the signs and we trusted our guts in terms of doing the reporting you the reason we were able to produce this fairly quickly because we didn't have to pull up a lot of fruits and reformulate assumptions because we just sort of laid out what the reporting was. >> make this a lightning question. >> what is your favorite quote from the book lacks [laughter] >> that's rough. you mean someone else said or something we wrote that we think is awesome? [laughter] the most powerful quote. >> i'm sorry. >> the quote is mr. president, i am sorry.
>> i would have to agree. like abbott and costello or dumb and dumber. >> we will open up to questions because we want to hear from you all. i have a microphone here so raise your hand and i will come to you. >> i would like to know if you have any theories as to why the former vice president joe biden didn't run and second, i would like to know how much influence you feel president obama have on who could challenge hillary clinton advanced why do you think she didn't pardon hillary clinton and if that would have made a difference. >> i will take the question
first. joe biden, that's first. we talked to sources about why he didn't run and it was bad timing for him. he needed to make a decision pretty quickly. his son had died tragically a few months earlier. he wanted to make a decision over the summer, the clock was ticking. the daughters kept calling asking what was taking so long and he was feeling the weight of the moment and the pressure and finally all time crept in and he realized he had to make a decision. meanwhile secretary clinton was boxing him in and doing things that didn't allow him to kind of do what he needed to do. she had already taken many of the donors. time had run out and he was
unhappy about it and we do report that in the book. he can't make it to the advisers that he was playing ugly. >> that is a favorite quote. >> it is one of mine. >> when they have a cordial relationship he was really angry at her into all meant for doing what she did and keeping him out especially when he needed time to grieve. especially now, he's not ruling it out if you hear him in interviews, he is basically leaving the door open and i think he wants to run again. he wanted to but the timing was bad, the decision-making wasn't in his favor. >> in terms of the pardon, in terms of president obama, he wanted to remain natural but
everybody knew he preferred secretary clinton which prevented a vote o lot of the democratic candidates from getting in or from even thinking about getting in because why would you run against a sitting president preferred candidate who already has the super delegates lined up? one candidate was clearing the field. she didn't get bernie sanders not to run, but there were a lot of other democrats who might have run it out, and the democratic bench is pretty thin right now probably because she and a lot of candidates experience running for candidates.
mrs. clinton and her advisers were told to delete the so-called personal e-mails, and any considerations to the fact that there be potential backlash of being covered up or somethin something. >> so, i think the question, in case people didn't here, why she would delete the personal e-mails, those that were deemed personal from her privates server.
obviously there was backlash in terms of people saying she was trying to hide something. the personal e-mails along to her if it was in fact personal e-mail and there was a process put together with her lawyers and top aides looked through these e-mails and determined what was a work e-mail and what was personal e-mail. having looked at her work e-mail and seeing all the information that was classified that ended up on her personal e-mail, it seems pretty clear they didn't sit around saying this could become a problem, let's just delete it. if they had done that we would've seen all that classified information. i think it was a poor decision to set up that private server and one probably motivated by the desire to not have her files out there in the open under freedom of information act request while she was
running for president. that worked out very well for her, as you all know. in terms of the personal nature of e-mails, those belong to her. they don't like anybody else. there shouldn't be a problem with that as long as they are making a good decision, though right decision. >> given what you know now through your reporting, if you had to pu pick one, would you say the clinton campaign lost or the trump campaign one. >> both. >> i think it's really complicated and we been getting that question a lot the past few days. it wasn't just russia or james comey, it was a combination of factors. i'm not saying for everyone here who thanks russia and james, he was definitive factor, i'm not saying it wasn't, but there were other
factors including the fact she didn't have a message from the beginning of her campaign. we detail, during her lunch speech she had more than a dozen advisors working with her to write this thing. none of them really understood the center of gravity of this message, they didn't understand where was going. she brought in advisors from president obama my speechwriter, his chief speechwriter to actually write it. he actually threw his hands up and said i can't do this because the speech is going nowhere. there was infighting on the top level of the campaign. her two top advisers didn't really care for each other so much.
there's one area where they're basically telling each other how they feel about each other and their using words like passive-aggressive hillary clinton stopped talking to some of her top advisers. these are all problems that were swept under the rug and weren't fully addressed. she wanted people to think that it was a drama free campaign. they did a good job keeping it under wraps. she didn't trust people. these are all factors. many said i supported her but kind of unwillingly.
>> to support what you are saying, one of her top aides said i would've had a reason for running, or i wouldn't have run. the argument was that even her aides didn't know what the rationale was. i think an honest assessment is that it was easy to see what donald trump's message was, whether you like it or not. you could tell what he wanted to do. he had a nationalistic message and an anti-immigrant message.
this is what he wants to do with his power. with her there was an embrace of so many things, and as some of them put, some of the people said if you're for everything coming out for anything but i think was a harder message to carry because it was a very focused, even after all these years. >> too that point, someone told john and i there is a wall, there was a wall in her brooklyn headquarters that had little post-it notes and it said hillary is for, and the wall was covered with various ideas and one of our sources actually pointed to that wall and said basically what john just said, if you're for everything you're not really for anything. you talk about brooklyn and trump had kelly aimed calmly come in the game running circles around them, who was making decisions in brooklyn
and sang go to arizona the week before the election, the rust belt, who was making decisions for the campaign? >> so the first answer to that question is your guess is as good as mine. >> now. this was a problem that a lot of the junior and mid-level staffers were unable to get decisions rendered. sometimes they were trying to get signoff and they couldn't get it because they weren't talking, things like that. in terms of, if you want to sort of look at what the basic debate was that really mattered in terms of the strategy of field operations data analytics and the mechanics of campaigning, they believed heavily in the use of campaign data, not only heavily but exclusively, he
didn't look favorably among those who look at politics as an art including president clinton who believed that hillary clinton should be out there trying to persuade people who didn't agree with her, the data said it was more expensive, less efficient to try to get people who disagreed with her to vote for her then to get people who agreed with her to show up, which is true, by the way, anybody will tell you that's true. typically they don't abandon persuasion efforts entirely and this campaign abandoned persuasion efforts and became more and more focused on the base and they alienated, it looks like they alienated some of the people who might've been persuadable at some point. particularly talking about working-class whites. this is a process from the primary where she was so focused on turning out, with good reaso reason, turning out african-american and hispanic voters to win the nomination, you need to get to the nomination and win the delegates. her path was to focus heavily on urban areas and on
african-americans and on latino latinos. she goes to a city and works on turning up black voters in his hispanic suburbs and doesn't talk in ways that are trying to reach out to the voters she's having trouble with and they become somewhat alienated. you see that process particularly in the rust belt overtime. there's no way to know what would happen had they done things differently but one of the motifs of this book is that there was a big battle over the level of reliance on data versus say bill clinton coming in from the fille field saying these guys are buying our message. he would come in and say that's great, but i don't want to send you out to a rural area or send you to a city
where you can touch more people who are more likely to turn out. >> he was really angry about it and a lot of the former presidents aides were angry about it. they kind of said he had a better feel for things than the data and analytics that they were reporting back to him. i think that's something that still kind of angers the people around him. >> both of you referred kind of them passing to james comey. how significant do you think it was for the outcome of the election, the letter that he sent congress just before the election, and even though they publicly downplayed it, what was the reaction to that inside the campaign? >> there is a saying in the campaign, we can't have nice things. every time something started
to go well there was another shoe that dropped. it felt like there was a millipedes runaround dropping shoes. we go through the background of that and i don't want to tell whole story here because i want to get a few more questions and, but basically they were shocked at what happened in trying to scramble to figure out why the fbi director had weighed in again to say he was reopening an investigation and was looking at a computer that belonged and the campaign was like there can't be anything on there that we can know about because they've got everything. >> the press secretary actually traveling with her thought when asked about it that this reporter on the plane who is asking about these new revelations was joking. they never saw that coming. >> in terms of how much a
factor it was in the election, it's impossible to know exactly. i would point out that while director call me did a lot of unusual things, that's a euphemism, all of what he was doing relates back to the e-mail server. if there is somebody here who thanks that was a good decision on her part both in terms of how you should behave as a public official or as a political decision, please raise your hand. that is self-inflicted damage which may be unfair and whatnot, but we sort of look at that has part of the major goal of this e-mail server that actually came to light before she even announced the campaign. >> thank you. >> i'm with the newspaper from norway.
>> i have norwegian relatives so we are very pro- norway. i have a question about your access, homage did you talk about her during the campaign and to what extent did you feel her staff was being guided in one way or another when it came to talking to you because obviously you knew many of these people from before and they must've known you were writing this book. they must've had some kind of strategy in place to guide you in the direction they wanted you to go. >> so, that's a very complicated question. we don't talk about our sourcing at all. it's something we did on hrc, were not doing it but you can rest assured that we talk to everyone from the highest levels on down. this is very inside the campaign kind of book.
if you want to know what outsiders are thinking, this is not the book for you. >> i thought you're going to say we don't talk to the press. >> the second partier question is also complicated because as john mentioned earlier, they are a tough nut to crack. we did this two times, both times we felt, correct me if i'm wrong but i think we got the second time was harder than the first because he was running a campaign and he was worried about what we are going to put out. we also had day jobs we're doing at the same time. it wasn't as easy as it might sound because we did hrc, it's not like they open the floodgates. we had to work really, really hard. we almost had to reintroduce ourselves to the clinton world
in some sense. i used to joke with john, they act like they don't know us and we been working with these people for years. >> one of the things about the leaked e-mails from the staffers where we were able to see somebody being told not to talk to us because presumably, there wasn't a whole big reason it was just like yeah, you don't have to talk to them. >> people who had spoken to us before were given red lights, don't talk to them which is essentially like you're not allowed to talk to them. i will say this, there's a mix of that and over time that seem to ease and some people talk to us and some people do. some people asked permission to talk to us in some didn't ask permission and talk to us in every way. >> john and i often joke that we want to write our next book on someone who is a lot easier and more assessable because this world is not that.
>> like queen elizabeth or something. >> hello. i'm a journalist from new york. you were terrific on channel five this morning. i'm about a third of the way into the book and hillary is indecisive, she has bad judgmen judgment, she doesn't really stand for anything. you guys have a front row seat for getting from oma who is the president, did you learn anything that told you whether or not she would be a good president. all the things she's doing in the campaign, she's not doing very well. would she have been up could president? >> i think, someone else is applauding. [inaudible]
that and she is sometimes judged unfairly, however your job as a candidate is to win over people whatever their biases are and that was a little bit of failure. i didn't mean to cut you off, i mean i did mean to cut you off but i had a point that i felt was valid. >> it's tricky because i think she's a terrible candidate, she doesn't know how to manage a campaign well, i do think she's very well versed in policy, we saw that in the debate. i think she would be good in that way. i think she would have a management problem for sure if she was in the white house. >> someone talked about james comey. since 1991, james comey led the white walker investigation against bill clinton and there
has been a 91 -- 91 billion-dollar industry and they started this on trust untrustworthy, what you think? i think the press also contributed to that since they were hardly ever asking who's the president, donald trump. >> thank you. [laughter] >> did you just not want to say the words. >> it's still very painful. i'm recovering. whatever he said, nothing mattered and they grilled her left right and center. benghazi was a phony thing. all these factors that you mention also contribute but i think there was a concerted effort where in the last ten
days when james comey went and put his thumb on the scale by bringing up this phony e-mail thing when he knew this russian investigation, a very serious level with the top spy was a connection to these people was going on. my question is, within all these factors contribute to her being very pg and mismanaging and not having a specific message because i think in the end, her policies were not very well reported by the press. >> i think if you wanted to find your policy they were easy to find. i would be hesitant to look at a campaign and say wow, there's a campaign against her and it was unfair that there was a campaign against her. when you talk about, we haven't talked about this before but we talk about
russia, here's an example of something we knew. we knew the russians have been trying to tamper with our elections. we knew they were behind the dnc back. there was good reason to suspect they were involved in the hack and hillary clinton made that case publicly. she did it in debates. she said to trump that he was a puppet. she talked about the intelligence community that russia was responsible and trying to do this in the country elected donald trump anyway. it is not as though we had no idea what was going on here. if people didn't pay attention when they were voting and their angry now because they weren't paying attention, that would be one thing, but i don't think that's the case. i think that was baked into the decision people are making, one fifth of his voter
felt he wasn't fit to be president of the united states and voted for him anyway. when i look at that it says to me even though this was a very close race and one that could have changed just a little bit, it says to me that hillary clinton failed to win by a large margin that she could have. there were voters certainly available to her. she just couldn't nail down. >> with that we do have to move to the signing. ther