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An Eye on the White House


January 04, 2018

More Revelations Promised in New Book Trump Trying to Block

Michael Wolff’s FIRE AND FURY: INSIDE THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE isn’t due to hit bookstores until January 10th, but it has already launched a firestorm of interest…and criticism from Donald Trump.

Trump is so worried about the contents becoming known that his lawyer sent out a cease and desist notice earlier today to block its publication. Leaving aside Trump’s long history of threatening legal action and then not following through, it’s highly unlikely this will work. Regardless, Trump is already trying to convince the public that the contents are not true.

That said, he certainly took issue with quotes attributed to Steve Bannon and has threatened to sue him as well.

The Trump presidency has been so littered with lies, idiocy, and jaw-dropping nonsense that almost nothing seems surprising anymore. However, most everyone is abuzz over this latest controversy. Of particular note is Wolff’s claim that Trump never wanted to win the presidency in the first place; he was only in it for the fame and the money.

Given his appallingly bad performance, this is certainly not surprising. In fact, pundits now spend much of their time pondering Trump’s exit strategy. Will he simply resign, resign under legal threat from Robert Mueller’s investigations, get impeached (increasingly unlikely considering that, as annoying as Trump is, Republicans are still getting some of the most extreme legislation passed under him), or manage to limp through an entire four years.

The thought of Trump running for a second term seems unfathomable. He still boasts the lowest approval numbers of any first-term president and it seems unlikely that a large enough percentage of Americans would fall for this con job a second time. And yet, here we are. If Donald Trump has accomplished anything at all,  he has shown that unpredictable chaos is the new norm in Washington.

April 20, 2017

Shattered: The First Clinton Tell-All is Out

“Mr. President, I’m sorry.”

That is just one of the fraught election night phone calls that mark the climax of the new book Shattered, described as an autopsy of Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign.

President Donald Trump’s victory came as a shock to much of the world. But it would seem just as shocking that the Clinton campaign, with all its pollsters and data and to-the-minute reporting, was caught off guard as well.

According to Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, that is exactly what happened.

The Clintons were confident. There was no concession speech, no plan B. The Democratic Party was so stunned by the defeat that it took not one but three phone calls from the White House to coax out a concession.

Journalists Allen and Parnes followed Hillary Clinton’s campaign for a year and a half, reporting on the ins and outs of what was once thought to be the unstoppable push to the presidency. Now, in the aftermath of the loss and the tumultuous months since President Trump’s ascendancy, Allen and Parnes have published an insider look at the years and months leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

They say that hindsight is 20/20, and that seems to be the through line of the Shattered narrative. The book sheds light on signs of trouble that arose months before the big day. Interviews from campaign staff and Clinton camp insiders reveal a dysfunctional state of affairs that pursued flawed tactics and ignored key members of the Democratic party base.

To be sure, President Trump was a new kind of opponent. He was, and still is, a game-changer in American politics. But Shattered indicates that many of Clinton’s challenges came from within — a campaign that refused to adapt to the shifting tides.

Shattered is the first major 2016 tell-all to hit bookstore shelves, and it is sure to benefit from its punctuality. It will not be the last. It remains to be seen if it will be among the best. Regardless, it’s a welcome entry for insider-info-starved fans of Game Change and Double Down.