- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

There’s a stark new judgment call on the 2016 election in a forthcoming book, and the title tells all: “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.” Authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes detail the former Democratic presidential hopeful’s efforts to win the White House in a story that amounts to a brutal close-up. Mr. Allen is a veteran political writer with time spent at Politico, Bloomberg News and Vox. Ms. Parnes is senior White House correspondent for The Hill — which has offered a helpful preview of the book.

“Hillary was so mad she couldn’t think straight. She was supposed to be focused on the prep session for that night’s Univision debate in Miami, but a potent mix of exhaustion and exasperation bubbled up inside. She’d been humiliated in the Michigan primary the night before, a loss that not only robbed her of a prime opportunity to put Bernie Sanders down for good but also exposed several of her weaknesses,” the authors write, offering details about the “browbeating” of staffers and the failures of pollsters.

“While the campaign projected a drama-free tenor, it was reminiscent of other moments of frustration. Months earlier, Hillary Clinton turned her fury on her consultants and campaign aides, blaming them for a failure to focus the media on her platform. In her ear the whole time, spurring her on to cast blame on others and never admit to anything, was her husband. Neither Clinton could accept the simple fact that Hillary had hamstrung her own campaign and dealt the most serious blow to her own presidential aspirations,” the authors say, noting that there was no arguing with former President Bill Clinton.

“We got an a**-chewing,” a participant said, recalling one conference call in particular.

“It was hard to tell what was worse — getting hollered at by Bill or getting scolded by the stern and self-righteous Hillary,” Ms. Parnes and Mr. Allen write.

The 480-page book arrives Tuesday. Publisher Crown advises that the action moves “blow-by-blow from the campaign’s difficult birth through the bewildering terror of election night.”


It is a significant appearance during a very jittery week. On Thursday CIA director Mike Pompeo leads an hourlong discussion on national security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, just a few blocks north of the White House. This invitation-only event’s guest list quickly filled to capacity and is destined to draw intense interest from a curious, critical press. Mr. Pompeo will be introduced by John Hamre, president and CEO of the host organization; the moderator is Juan Zarate, chairman of the Financial Integrity Network.

Everyone here bristles with credentials, including Mr. Pompeo, a former four-term Republican congressman from Kansas who served on the House Select Committee on Benghazi. But wait, there’s much to know: Mr. Pompeo graduated first in his class at West Point, went to Harvard Law School following combat duty in Europe and the Middle East, and later founded two successful businesses.

Since he was confirmed as CIA director, Mr. Pompeo predictably has been subjected to news coverage rife with anonymous sources and suggestions of discord within the Trump administration, by now a familiar old theme. Now Mr. Pompeo will have his say. C-SPAN will cover it; the event also will be livestreamed at CSIS.org. Showtime is 3:30 p.m. EST.


“What remains of the Berlin Wall, a formidable barrier that separated East from West for 28 years until it was pulled down in 1989, is now getting its own barrier to protect it from tourists. A permanent railing is being installed in the German capital to stop visitors from leaving their own historic mark on it — or from taking a little Cold War relic home with them,” says Catherine Hickley, a reporter for The Art Newspaper, a New York City-based publication.

The wall was designated a heritage site in 1990. Still, the longest intact portion of the wall still standing faces threats from property development and vandalism. Local authorities now have agreed to erect a protective barrier — complete with warnings in several languages forbidding visitors to touch, decorate or break off pieces of the original wall.


President Trump‘s proposed border wall with Mexico has a starting point: the San Diego border community of Otay Mesa, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. The federal agency put out a request for bids from builders interested in vying for the massive project, and some 450 companies stepped forward last week to apply.

And the particulars? The prototype walls must be 30 feet long and up to 30 feet high, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

“Construction of the models, which will likely take place in June, may attract protesters, but law enforcement officials said they were committed to supporting 1st Amendment rights,” the newspaper noted. “Officials declined to say if officers or deputies would be on site while the construction takes place, but made clear the location will be monitored by law enforcement agencies and Customs and Border Protection.”


Rush Limbaugh thinks President Trump will be able to build his “big beautiful wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border. So does New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who insists Mr. Trump will find the funds for the border barrier despite repeated protests and pushback from Senate Democratic leader Charles E. Schumer.

“I think the president will be able to figure out a way to pay for it whether Senator Schumer likes it or not,” Mr. Christie told Fox News. “That’s part of the president’s skill. It’s a multitrillion-dollar budget. I think the president will be able to find his way through, and Sen. Schumer is still fighting the election results. I mean, enough already. The election was months ago.”


74 percent of U.S. voters say the United Nations should be “doing more” to end the civil war in Syria.

70 percent support tighter economic sanctions on the Syrian government.

63 percent say the U.S. should be doing more to end the civil war; 61 percent say the same of Russia.

57 percent support more U.S. airstrikes against targets in Syria.

44 percent support U.S. ground troops in Syria to “combat Islamic extremists.”

39 percent support U.S. ground troops to “remove current President Bashar Assad from power.”

Source: A Morning Consult/Politico poll of 1,988 registered U.S. voters conducted April 6-9.

Happy chatter, cautionary tales to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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