Hillary Clinton still doesn’t know What Happened

I have stated previously that I would never buy Hillary Clinton’s book, What Happened, because I did not want to put a single penny from my pocket into her bank account. I’ve also stated that I would read the book if someone gave me a copy. With all of the promotional excerpts floating around out there, there’s really no need for anyone to buy the thing, but CNN purchased the book from a Jacksonville, Florida, bookstore a week before its official release:

Defiant Clinton looks to explain loss in new memoir

By Dan Merica and Kevin Liptak, CNN | Updated 7:02 AM ET, Wed September 6, 2017

(CNN) A raw and aggrieved Hillary Clinton takes ownership — to a degree — for her stunning 2016 loss to Donald Trump in her upcoming book, which offers a revealing look at the campaign through the eyes of the contest’s loser. . . . .

The defeated presidential contender offers a patchwork of explanations for what, exactly, did happen last year — some of which she insists were outside her control and some she concedes were her own fault.

“I go back over my own shortcomings and the mistakes we made. I take responsibility for all of them. You can blame the data, blame the message, blame anything you want — but I was the candidate,” she writes. “It was my campaign. Those were my decisions.”

In a voice that swings from defiant to conciliatory to — at rare moments — deeply vulnerable, Clinton does assume ownership where the fault lines are obvious. And in overarching terms, she admits she badly misjudged the environment in which she was running and the candidate she was running against.

There’s a lot more at the original, including telling us that, while Mrs Clinton has accepted ‘responsibility’ for her failed campaign, she still had plenty of scorn for former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who had the temerity to challenge her for the Democratic presidential nomination.

It has been reported that both Bill and Hillary Clinton dislike Barack Obama for having challenged, and beaten, her in the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination race, but, if Mrs Clinton put that in her book, it hasn’t yet been reported, and there’s no way on God’s earth a statement to that effect in the book would not have been made public.

But this part, to me, is the most important:

(S)he lambasts media coverage of her emails, singling out The New York Times as a repeat and high-profile offender. And she wonders aloud why, after terms as first lady, US senator, secretary of state and two-time presidential candidate, the public still just doesn’t seem to like her.

“What makes me such a lightning rod for fury? I’m really asking. I’m at a loss,” she asks her readers, before concluding: “I think it’s partly because I’m a woman.”

Maybe, just maybe, it ought to be considered that large sections of the public don’t like her because she just isn’t very likable.

I have never met Mrs Clinton, and have no idea what she is like in person. And, despite her interminably long occupation of the public stage, the vast majority of Americans have never met her, and most of those who have have only seen her in staged public appearances. It is quite possible that she is a warm, friendly, very likable person, in person.

But, not in person, in her carefully staged public appearances, and on television, she does not come across as particularly likable. Her husband, who campaigned in 1992 by telling us that she was an equal partner and that we’d get two for the price of one, did come across as likable on television. Mr Obama, who always appeared to me to be oozing with smugness, came across as, to most people, anyway, as being very personable even over television. Even Donald Trump, whom so many people absolutely loathe, has a charisma that takes over every stage he is on, that has inspired millions of people to support him.

But, at least on television, Mrs Clinton has none of that. To me, she has always come across as thinking that she’s just better than the rest of us; I doubt that I am alone in having that impression. She wants to blame that on sexism, on the fact she is a woman, but a solid 53% of white female voters cast their ballots for Mr Trump, not Mrs Clinton. Mr Trump’s advantage among white men was huge, 63% to 31%, but it was also substantial among white women. If white women chose a boor like Donald Trump over Mrs Clinton, then maybe the reason she isn’t liked that well isn’t because she’s a woman.

Mrs Clinton ran, both in 2008 and 2016, because it was just plain her turn to be President, because it was simply a woman’s turn to be President. And the truth is that a lot of people supported her for exactly that reason, her sex, and little else. But, in the end, she is simply another one of the failed candidates, among Mitt Romney, John Kerry, Al Gore and Mike Dukakis, who were defeated by more charismatic candidates.


  1. All else being equal, charisma certainly helps, good examples bring JFK, Reagan and both Roosevelts. OTOH, lack of it didn’t hurt Truman or Eisenhower or even Nixon, at least in terms of getting elected twice, never mind it didn’t save him from being kicked out of office later. Neither presidents Bush had much charisma yet occupied the White House 12 of the last 28 years, and Carter, who had the charm of a dead carp, even managed to eke out an election victory.

    No, Hillary definitely lacked charisma, and also lacked her husband’s good ol boy charm. But she beat Sanders, whose crowd appeal seemed mainly to be bellowing rants about the One Percent. No, what Hillary lacked was trustworthiness and that came across especially on tv. So she is right that people didn’t like her, but not because she lacked suaveness and charm but because you knew she would willingly tell any lie to promote herself or to simply get out of trouble.

    • President Truman certainly had charisma, as did President Eisenhower. As dark as Richard Nixon was, he, too, had charisma, at least as much as did Hubert Humphrey, though that isn’t saying a lot.

      President Carter had a bit more charisma than President Ford, and, as far as the two Presidents Bush are concerned, look at the cold fish against whom they ran.

      • When I think of charisma, I think of that quality that rock stars or movie stars have. Kennedy had it in spades and so did Marilyn Monroe, which is probably why they were attracted to each other. Slick Willie thought he had that same quality, but all he could attract was Monica Lewinsky. Neither Bush had it, indeed, Bush Sr often looked and acted like a dork. Charisma is also what delivers great speeches and memorable phrases, which both Roosevelts, Kennedy and Reagan were noted for and Carter, Nixon, Truman and Eisenhower were not.

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