Jonathan Allen, award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author, discussed his book “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign” on Monday in the Holliday Forum.The event was sponsored by the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs.
Allen produced the book while he was the Washington bureau chief for Bloomberg News. He had to decide whether to put the information he gathered about the election in the daily newspaper where he worked or to save it for the book.
“Of course the people that we work for and pay our salaries didn’t want us to hold back information for a book that might affect the election that our readers might want,” Allen said.
Allen said he wanted people to live through the experience of the election “moment to moment.”
“We really wanted to reveal who Hillary Clinton is,” Allen said. “[We wanted to] try to take readers into the room, into Hillary Clinton’s suite that night as she’s finding out that she lost the presidency. We were able to tell a story that had not been told before.”
Allen wanted his readers to experience the campaign in ways they weren’t able to as it was happening. He described how Clinton experienced so many unexpected highs and lows throughout, and wanted to convey the strong emotions in the book.
“They sort of go from this place where they’re expecting to win very quickly from when they start getting data back to where they’re facing this uphill battle,” Allen said.
Allen said the book was able to suspend the reader’s memory of the outcome while it takes the reader through the launch point of the campaign to election night.
Even though the book is a critical examination of what went wrong during Hillary Clinton’s campaign, some of the revelations show her in a way she has trouble showing herself, Allen said.
“Our book, as contrasted to Hillary Clinton’s book, what you see is how there are other factors, self-inflicted wounds, on Hillary Clinton’s part that were much larger than whatever the difference was that was made by Russian attempts to interfere with the election.”
Throughout the book, Allen discussed his opinions on what Hillary Clinton did wrong during her campaign.
“Everybody who’s involved in presidential politics knows the name of the game and that’s 270 electoral votes,” Allen said. “Donald Trump focused on the states he needed to win and the messages he needed to get across in those states.”
Allen is currently a national political reporter for NBC News’ Digital team. He previously worked for Bloomberg News and Politico.
In 2014 he wrote “HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton” as an examination of what she did in the state department to rebuild the political franchise in anticipation of 2016, Allen said.