But Hillary still struggled with the question of whether she was running for Bill Clinton’s third term, Obama’s third term, or her own first term. “How do you take credit for eight years of Democratic progress but also get that things haven’t gone far enough?” said one aide who wrestled with the conundrum. “She hired us all to help her figure this out, and I think at the beginning we struggled to do that.”
The confusion was reflected in the conclusion that Favreau and Muscatine both reached early on: The campaign was an unholy mess, fraught with tangled lines of authority, petty jealousies, distorted priorities, and no sense of greater purpose. No one was in charge, and no one had figured out how to make the campaign about something bigger than Hillary…
Favreau thought Clinton’s campaign was reminiscent of John Kerry’s, where he had gotten his start in 2004â€”a bunch of operatives who were smart and accomplished in their own right but weren’t united by any common purpose larger than pushing a less-than-thrilling candidate into the White House. Hillary didn’t have a vision to articulate. And no one else could give one to her. In fact, the more people she assigned the task of setting the tone for her campaign, the more muddled her message became.
Allen, Jonathan and Amie Parnes. Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign. Crown; New York. 2017. p. 13-4