‘Shattered’ Author: Clinton Refused to Prepare for Populism in U.S.

'This is somebody who fundamentally believes in the establishment'

Hillary Clinton
AP

Jonathan Allen, co-author of the new book Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign, said on Thursday that failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton refused to prepare for populism to arrive in the United States.

Allen spoke with Yahoo News about the release of his new book that details the turmoil within Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

"It was like standing on a beach and seeing a slow-moving tsunami from the middle of the ocean moving towards you, and you never move," Allen told Yahoo.

According to Allen, populism was a concept Clinton could not adjust to. The co-author said former President Bill Clinton frequently talked about the Brexit vote, Britain's decision to leave the European Union, which many observers said was bolstered by a populist movement.

Populism in Great Britain concerned Hillary Clinton as well, but "she really never had the feel for what was going on in this country and how to adjust for it in the right way," Allen said.

After Clinton's loss on election night, her husband said, "It's like Brexit … I guess it's real."

Allen said Clinton struggled with figuring out how to "tap into the populism that propelled not only Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to surprising wins in the Democratic primary elections but Donald Trump to the presidency."

The former secretary of state believed in making changes through the political system without changing the system, Allen said.

"This is somebody who fundamentally believes in the establishment. It's how she's lived her life," Allen said. "And the idea that the American public would turn around and sort of burn down what it had built, this thing that she believes in … It was too hard for her to grasp."

Shattered also revealed that after Sanders won New Hampshire in the Democratic primaries, Clinton told one of her longtime aides, "I don't understand what's happening in the country."

Clinton's inability to understand what was happening in the country led her to alienate some white working-class voters, according to Allen.

Other "strategic failures" the campaign faced were evident from the start, such as Clinton's use of a private email server at the State Department and her refusal to apologize for it in the beginning.

"The aides were all thinking, ‘You've got to apologize. We've been telling you you've got to apologize,'" Allen told Yahoo. "It was an example of how the Clintons didn't get or didn't want to get that she needed to apologize. And eventually she did, but it took a really strong persuasion effort all the way up and down the ranks of her close friends and allies to get her to do it."