Shattered - Inside Hillary Clintons Doomed Campaign
Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen
Contributed by Marshall Raine
Themes
Themes are described as ideas that dominate a particular piece of literature. In almost all cases, pieces of literature will be centered a theme or a number of them.
Loyalty

The theme of loyalty appears vividly throughout the book. Mook’s ability to inspire loyalty helped him into the position of campaign manager in the 2016 presidential race. He understood how to build loyalty, enabling him to nature a cult-like power base in the campaign as well as within the Democratic circles. He only used people he trusted, which worked to his advantage. It was easy to run a campaign knowing that nobody was trying to undermine his work.

Clinton also develops the theme of loyalty in the book. For starters, the authors inform the readers that she respected loyalty more than any other thing, including competency. Sometimes, this worked in her favor, while not so much during others. Parkhomenko and his team were some of her most-loyal soldiers; while the Ready for Hillary team had sacrificed a lot to ensure that Clinton won the election. This was the kind of loyalty that kept her going. She was convinced that in 2008, her presidential dreams were shattered because of betrayal by some fellow Democrats and friends. So in 2016, she was determined to ensure that it did not happen again. However, it has become clear that loyalty is not everything in life. Other traits could also make people valuable and respectable. Prizing loyalty above other traits may have contributed to Clinton’s loss in 2016.

Instead of selecting skilled advisers, organizers, speechwriters, and handlers, she selected people she thought were loyal to her, even if they did not have the required expertise. Loyalty is a good trait in life; but it has to be complemented by other traits for it to be truly valuable (Dwayne and Brown 180).

Honesty and Trustworthiness

The theme of honesty and trustworthiness are also evident in the book. Clinton develops these two themes perfectly throughout the book, where, time and again, they are put into question by her opponents — and, sometimes, even the authors. These two qualities are very important in a leader (Tullberg 2065). Besides Clinton having lacked, or was accused of lacking, these two qualities, it is hard for people to trust someone who seems dishonest at everything that he or she does. Her actions seemed to reinforce this perception of her, starting from the e-mail scandal, to her sickness, to the Wall Street speeches — which ultimately led to the public perceiving her as a dishonest individual. First, she could not explain why she gave paid speeches at Goldman Sachs, the fact that opponents like Sanders and Trump used to destroy her credibility. She also tried to conceal the fact that she was sick with pneumonia. In addition, she could not explain why she used a private e-mail server, rather than the one provided by the government for public service delivery. Clinton’s failure to explain painted her as a dishonest leader that the people hated.

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