Read Remark Book Review - What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Book Review: What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Published September 2017
Simon & Schuster

One-sentence summary:
Hillary Clinton visits many chapters of her life, from her middle-class childhood to the presidential election that was almost hers.

What happened? Millions of people have been asking that question since the 2016 presidential election.

How did it come to be? How does it continue to be? Who in their right mind could be complicit with what’s currently happening?

Easy question. Difficult answer.

I’ve seen many armchair quarterbacks weighing in with varied opinions on why Hillary lost the 2016 presidential election. Advertising experts said her branding and messaging was a mixed bag, while Donald’s “make America great again” carried a strong emotional wallop. Some said she wasn’t taking change far enough; Bernie could push it further. And of course, we’ve all heard the familiar refrain, “but what about her emails?!”

There’s no one reason Hillary lost.

Turns out, the election was a perfect storm of mayhem, with constantly shifting winds that blew in Donald’s favor at just the right moment.

In her book, Hillary goes through each piece of that mayhem and dissects, well, what happened. We hear about Russian interference, James Comey’s ill-timed reopening of an already resolved investigation, her place in history as a woman vying for power (albeit from a helping standpoint as opposed to an “I alone can fix this” standpoint), her own mistakes and missteps along the way, and a number of other factors.

Ultimately, she takes responsibility. But these things don’t happen in a vacuum and there are plenty of factors.

Of course, others can and will weigh in with their counter opinions, some reasonable and some that make my eyes goggle in disbelief. There are good people on both sides of the political aisle. And some real doozies as well. It’s hard to talk politics without getting at least a few people riled up to the point that they spout hateful nonsense.

And it’s also hard to talk politics without people interjecting their own biases and beliefs into the discussion, no matter how reasonable and well thought-out they may seem (yours truly included). That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But when those differing biases clash, it’s easy to get caught up in the clash itself and winning rather than working together to find an outcome that actually benefits the people who need it most.

What Happened is a fascinating look not only at the election, but also at Hillary’s life in politics. We get an inside look at:

  • The grieving period after losing the election, specifically getting through the first few days.
  • Her absolute love and adoration for her grandbabies.
  • Het absolute love and adoration of Chelsea and the woman she’s become.
  • How much she misses her mom.
  • Life with Bill; taking walks, watching The Good Wife, talking through decisions.
  • Life on the road and in the air during campaigns.
  • The ridiculous (but necessary) amount of time she had to spend in hair and makeup.
  • There’s no crying allowed in politics…at least not in public and not if you’re a female.
  • That infamous sick day. You know the one.
  • Stories of the people she meets along her treks across America.

Agree or disagree, What Happened is worth checking out. Because whatever did happen…we can’t let it happen again.

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