Hillary Clinton Helps Launch Lanny Davis’s New Book

Many will remember Lanny Davis from these days.

May 09, 2008

When Clinton supporter Lanny Davis appeared on CNN during primary night, shortly before 10 p.m., there was a peculiar exchange with host Anderson Cooper.

Cooper: Lanny, let me start off with you. We haven’t heard from you tonight. Your take on Barack Obama’s speech earlier?
Davis: You haven’t heard from me tonight. And I’m not sure — I’m not sure you want to hear from me tonight but —
Cooper: We heard from Paul Begala. This is your big chance.
Davis: Well, actually, I don’t think we heard very much from Paul Begala. We did hear an awful —
Cooper: All part of the conspiracy against Hillary Clinton, I suppose.

During the Election Night broadcast, there was palpable tension between Davis and CNN reporters and panelists on camera — and apparently, with producers off camera.

Looking back, Davis said by phone this afternoon, he considers it “the worst experience I ever had on television.”

What bothers Davis most is that CNN is the network with which he’s had the longest relationship, where he’s maintained close friendships through the years, and that he’s always considered middle-of-the-road in its coverage. But in his opinion, CNN has not treated Hillary Clinton fairly in the ’08 race.

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We did not hear from him during the primaries and general election in 2016, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t watching. He now has a book out about it. He held a book party in D.C. last night, and guess who came?

Lanny Davis in 2013. (Dayna Smith for The Washington Post)

“Seven minutes,” Adam Parkhomenko said. “She’ll be here in seven minutes.”

There was no need to explain who “she” is. On Monday night, attorney and Clinton family loyalist Lanny Davis was celebrating the release of his book “The Unmaking of the President 2016” at the Georgetown home of former Portugal ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley. Davis signed copy after copy in a room designed to look like a Mediterranean courtyard; Hillary Clinton herself was en route.

Hillary Clinton, speaking Monday at the annual Hillary Rodham Clinton awards ceremony at Georgetown University. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

When she arrived — seven quick minutes after Parkhomenko, a lifelong Clinton campaigner, had promised — Clinton could hardly get past the foyer. For 10 minutes, the former presidential candidate took photos, caught up with friends and posed for the day’s second round of selfies. (She’d spoken at Georgetown University earlier in the day.)

“Going back to law school, I remember your focus on the word: facts,” Davis said. “Every time I do a television appearance, all through the years, I learned from Hillary Rodham Clinton — facts, facts, facts.”

Clinton worked slowly through the crowd, to the living room, where she took a seat next to an enlarged cover of a book subtitled “How FBI Director James Comey Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency.”

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It can’t be comfortable for Hillary to go through endless post mortems of the 2016 election. It is a testament to her fortitude that she nevertheless rewards Davis for his loyalty, protection, and faith in her.









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