October 11, 2017
Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign (cont’d from the last three weeks, posted on Sept. 20th, 27th and October 4th. This is the last one in this series)
THE CONVENTION: The big reveal
Because of space constraints, I’ve skipped ahead to page 280 where the authors declare that: “Hillary had struggled to define herself and her campaign in ways that appealed to voters. She didn’t like taking issues she’d been working on for years and boiling them down into little sound bites. She lived for complexity.” There it is again! More than a year into the campaign and STILL NO ‘on the page before it’s on the stage’ and yes, I’m well aware that I’m turning into a bore by repeating this BUT I simply can’t believe it!
Hoping to end on a high note at the Democratic convention, a number of speechwriters worked tirelessly on Hillary’s big moment: her acceptance of the nomination which is described this way. “One of the clearest lines of distinction between a great political speech and a pedestrian one is the speaker’s ability to turn the end into a big call for action.”
“Hillary’s fell flat.”
THE MONEY: Who spent what
What was spent where and by who is fascinating – take a look:
At the same time, Trump received $80 million in contributions in July 2016 alone
THE PREP: Demeanor is the debate
As the presidential debates loomed “Hillary’s team believed Trump would come in with such low expectations that his performance would be considered a success if he didn’t drool on his shoes. On the other hand, Hillary was supposed to shine in a format that rewarded preparation, quick recall of facts, and the ability to focus on both the answers at hand and an overall strategy.”
After three debates – it was generally agreed – Hillary won with near-flawless performances. “She was more presidential, totally establishment and super-rehearsed. Trump embodied change – for good and for ill. Hillary had done what she was supposed to do to win, and Trump had blown chance after chance to impersonate a traditional commander in chief.”
ELEVEN DAYS: The Comey letter
On October 28th, Hillary was told by one of her staff that FBI director James Comey had “learned of the existence of e-mails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. Case reopened.” This was eleven days before the election.
James Comey: former FBI director
“Many dissatisfied voters had not yet decided which candidate was the lesser of two evils. Trump’s allies believed, or at least hoped, that voters’ indecision would play to his advantage. Suddenly, Trump’s quixotic ride into the heartland looked a lot more strategically sound, and Hillary’s attention to expanding the electoral map seemed misguided.”
TWO WORDS: “Congratulations, Donald”
“The first early exit polls came in and hinted that Trump was running a little stronger than expected in the Rust Belt. Hillary’s team decamped to the Javits Center (with its glass ceiling) in Manhattan, where preparations for her victory party were being made.”
The glass ceiling at the Javits Center on election night
“The torture was excruciating in large part because, while it was clear Trump was outperforming expectations, the races in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin were too close to call definitively.”
One staffer said, “Our analytics models were just really off. It’s time to go back to traditional polling. We just put too much faith in analytics.”
“A nation of Democrats sat in stunned silence. They hadn’t been warned. Hillary hadn’t been warned.” In the early hours of November 9, 2016 the top of the Empire State building was a glowing red – Donald Trump was America’s next President.
The Empire State building announcing the result of the 2016 election
POSTCRIPT: The political world can be brutal. Back a bit, I went to Washington with the client to pick up an award for a print political campaign we created. The gathering for this Awards Show had a great number of attendees and was held at the elegant ANA Hotel (currently The Monarch). Dinner was superb and after dessert was served it was announced that the winning political TV commercials, from all over the US, would be shown. We’d never seen such jaw-dropping ads before – and haven’t since. They were vicious, no-holds-barred creations. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing.
That’s politics.Shaun Nelson-Henrick
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October 22, 2020
I just read an article that sounded – to me at least – like “a canary in a coal mine” or an early warning of danger. This piece, written by Joe Pompeo, appeared in the May 2020 issue of Vanity Fair magazine with the title “The British Tabloid Invasion” and a subtitle that read, “How the Daily Mail is conquering American gossip.”
The paparazzi horde, La Dolce Vita, 1960 – photo courtesy of Vanity Fair
October 14, 2020
Apparently the good old U.S. is a nation of “not great” sleepers. Really? And I thought I was the only one! According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it was revealed that one out of three Americans are chronically sleep-deprived. Yikes!
October 06, 2020
I think we’re all taken by the incredible mystique of the famous French fashion house, Hermès that has been with us for two centuries and is still owned and operated by the same family. From its beginnings in fine equestrian leather goods, they are – in the tumultuous year 2020 – best known for their handbags and many other items.
My image of Hermès has always been rarified products at equally rarified prices so imagine my surprise when I recently received a very stylish publication of theirs in the mail.