Who still baffles that Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the highly bizarre run to the White House in 2016 should go through Amy Chozick's amusing yet disturbing memoirs: "Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, two presidential campaigns and an intact glass ceiling. "
Chozick reported on both White House Clinton campaigns: first for the Wall Street Journal in 2008, when Clinton voted against Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination; and for the New York Times, when a too self-confident Clinton took on Trump. Most of "Chasing Hillary" revolves around the 2016 marathon, and the author renounces any profound political analysis of this race.
Instead, Chozick assesses Hillary's dealings with Trump in the debates and summed up Trump's victory in language any political novice could understand: "I will not bore you with the details, because in the end the debates did not matter Times and Hillarys, our antiquated notions that voters would judge candidates like us, have failed us ̵
Chozick's keen insights focus on the personalities of the race, of which Hillary is the greatest. Many conservative commentators have been pleased to note Chozick's admiration for Clinton as proof that mainstream media was in their pockets. In fact, Chozick says that in the early 1990s he was hired by Hillary Clinton as a young girl to her hometown of San Antonio and immediately became infatuated.
She admired Clinton's tenacity, keen mind, and determination to endure the sexist double-standards she faced almost every day of her public life. Even as the supposedly sharp-sighted, impartial reporter of the journal, Chozick's warmth towards Clinton betrayed her when she actually stood up and Clinton applauded during a 2007 council meeting.
But the same "I told you, sos" miss the whole point of Chozick's book. We see that during the 2016 campaign, Chozick quickly came to the conclusion that Clinton was not in contact with voter turnout. She held a campaign for a terrible, painful plague. "If there was a single unifying force behind her candidacy, it was her obvious desire to leave the whole thing behind," Chozick wrote.
Clinton also cut herself off from the media, which she deeply distrusted. She was convinced the New York Times hated her and the rest of the media just followed. To build a larger bridge between Clinton and all the reporters in their campaign, Clinton's team kept the media on a separate bus and then on a separate plane, often without a campaign on board.
Clinton's handler denied almost all of Chozick's interview requests (47 in all), even for positive stories such as Clinton, which was obscured in the early 1970s to expose segregation in the South. The campaign refused to confirm the smallest details, including whether Clinton ate a chicken wing at a fairgrounds fair.
Chozick spent most of the campaign with a group of press officers she described as "The Guys", mutually undermining their credibility, playing with their insecurity as a reporter and sometimes intimidating them. "You have a target on your back," one of the guys told her.
Trump on the other hand was sociable, although he was constantly complaining about the "Fake News" media. Chozick tells how Trump called her to talk about an article she had written. Chozick was so surprised that an actual presidential candidate spoke to her and told Trump how Clinton had not had a press conference for months. To chozick's embarrassment, Trump used this conversation to beat Clinton for trying to dodge the media.
Chozick regrets dominating the e-mail controversy towards the end of the campaign by pursuing Russian designs to turn the race against Trump
Apart from their regret, Chorzick's collapse of the 2016 campaign provides a unique glimpse into one of the most bizarre episodes in US political history and one of its most intriguing players.