Saturday, July 15, 2017

"Lessons in disaster: A top Clinton adviser searches for meaning in a shocking loss"

If all had gone as planned, and as most in Washington had expected, Jake Sullivan would be hard at work just steps from the Oval Office.

He was the elite of the Washington elite: Rhodes scholar, Yale Law School graduate, clerk to a Supreme Court justice, the person at Hillary Clinton’s side when she circled the world as secretary of state, a steady voice in the Situation Room for President Barack Obama.

The conventional wisdom held that Sullivan was a lock to be the national security adviser in a Clinton administration. At 40, he would have been the youngest to hold that position in U.S. history.

Instead, Donald Trump won the presidency, and Sullivan says he sometimes feels like a “ghoulish reminder” to friends of an election that shook the Washington establishment like no other in decades.

On a recent evening, he was pushing open a battered orange door, climbing stairs covered with fraying carpet and striding into a dimly lit apartment where two dozen Yale Law School students were waiting to hear from him. Most of them were desperate for some version of the life he had led in Washington.