Politico Reveals Shocking Hillary Clinton Secret: A Lean Mean Excel Spreadsheet
As the day winds down, you were probably thinking "man, I really wish I could read one million words by some guys over at Politico pimping a new book, but only if they really hype it with an over-the-top nonsense headline." Now is the time for all your dreams to come true, little ones, because Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes have given you 14,122 paragraphs from their new book, HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton.
What's the big reveal? Hillary kept a hit list! That's probably a list of people she killed, or at least wanted to kill, right? Oh no wait. It was just a way of ranking people that Hillz found particularly helpful, mildly helpful, or hurtful? That's not a hit list, sweetie. That's a little black book. Hell, we keep that list but it is of our exes.
Do you think Politico was sitting around over the weekend and moping about how the rollout for Gabriel Sherman's Roger Ailes book, The Loudest Voice in the Room,was getting tons of great press as juicy bits leaked and thought UNFAIR! Did they shake their little Politico fists at the sky and say "as God is my witness, we'll never stop attention-whoring again"? They did! And that's why you have a doorstop of an article that you are now trying to wade through, except you probably cannot because the writing is execrable.
Balderston’s salt-and-pepper beard gave him the look of a college English professor who didn’t need to shave for his job. Then in his early fifties, he had been with Bill and Hillary Clinton since their White House days, serving as a deputy assistant to the president and later as Hillary’s legislative director and deputy chief of staff in her New York Senate office. The official government titles obscured Balderston’s true value: He was an elite political operator and one of Hillary’s favorite suppliers of gossip. After more than a dozen years spent working for the Clintons, he knew how to keep score in a political race.
Elrod, a toned 31-year-old blonde with a raspy Ozark drawl, had an even longer history with the Clintons that went back to her childhood in Siloam Springs, a town of 15,000 people in northwestern Arkansas. She had known Bill Clinton since at least the age of five. Her father, John Elrod, a prominent lawyer in Fayetteville, first befriended the future president at Arkansas Boys State, an annual civics camp for high school juniors, when they were teenagers. Like Bill Clinton, Adrienne Elrod had a twinkle in her blue eyes and a broad smile that conveyed warmth instantaneously.
We are truly sorry for that mammoth block quote wall of text, but if we have to experience this romance novel level writing, so do you. We clink and clank and clunk through that type of thing for about ten years' worth more of reading to find out that the realllllllyyyyy big deal about this list was -- Wait. Are you sure you're ready for this? It's pretty terrifying. It's some stone cold Godfather-level politicking. It's head-on-a-pike stuff. People, they kept an Excel spreadsheet. But not just any old Excel spreadsheet. No, this one was nuanced.
As one of the last orders of business for a losing campaign, they recorded in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet the names and deeds of members of Congress. They carefully noted who had endorsed Hillary, who had backed Obama, and who had stayed on the sidelines—standard operating procedure for any high-end political organization. But the data went into much more nuanced detail. “We wanted to have a record of who endorsed us and who didn’t,” a member of Hillary’s campaign team said, “and of those who endorsed us, who went the extra mile and who was just kind of there. And of those who didn’t endorse us, those who understandably didn’t endorse us because they are [Congressional Black Caucus] members or Illinois members. And then, of course, those who endorsed him but really should have been with her … that burned her.”
Chilling, isn't it? You'll never look at politics the same way again. We're sorry to have pulled, nay, flayed, the scales from your eyes in such a casual fashion, but we report, you decide whether you can handle the truth. You're probably lying to yourself right now though, aren't you? Telling yourself that everybody does this, that the Clintons are just doing what comes naturally to a politician. Silly, silly people.
It would be political malpractice for the Clintons not to keep track of their friends and enemies. Politicians do that everywhere. The difference is the Clintons, because of their popularity and the positions they’ve held, retain more power to reward and punish than anyone else in modern politics. And while their aides have long and detailed memories, the sheer volume of the political figures they interact with makes a cheat sheet indispensable. “I wouldn’t, of course, call it an enemies list,” said one Clintonworld source when asked about the spreadsheet put together by Balderston and Elrod. “I don’t want to make her sound like Nixon in a pantsuit.”
See? They have power! Which makes them powerful! Which makes it unfair if they don't just snuggle every person that has ever come into their orbit, because otherwise they are just flexing their big powerful cruel muscles all over the place.
Side note: we would totally go to a theme park called Clintonworld. Wouldn't you? Please commence your Monica Lewinsky jokes in the comments, thanks.
So, to recap: everybody keeps a list of friends, enemies, and frenemies, but when the Clintons do it, it is just like murder, because they are the Clintons. If you simply cannot wait to hear more startling revelations like this and read more bodice-ripping descriptions of various political operatives and aides, perhaps you should pre-order the book and breathlessly count down the days.