When I placed What Happened on my TBR I was apprehensive. Did I want to read about the 2016 election so soon? But then I read Unbelievable by Katy Tur and was reinvigorated so I placed a hold at my library and, since I live in a Red State and went for the audio-book, I didn’t have to wait very long. As fate would have it I received my copy on Mueller Monday and listened on my commute on days that included the uplifting election results of November 7th so while parts of the book made my blood boil and my heart hurt it was nice to know that some people were starting to extinguish the dumpster fire Trump lit. In fact, it’s amazing how out of date this book will be in less than a year since so much has happened since going to print.
“I will always be grateful to have been the Democratic Party’s nominee and to have earned 65,844,610 votes from my fellow Americans. That number—more votes than any candidate for President has ever received, other than Barack Obama—is proof that the ugliness we faced in 2016 does not define our country.”
I’m going to get my only complaint out of the way first: the way Clinton organized the book led to bit of repetition. Some things are repeated intentionally for effect, like her victory over Trump in the popular vote, but other parts seem like bad editing.
Now onto everything else.
“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. It was my campaign. Those were my decisions.”
Clinton, for the most part, eschews writing about her time as First Lady, New York Senator and Secretary of State to focus on the roughly two years she campaigned to be the first female President of the United States. She does hit a few highlights from her time in those roles, particularly when they pertain to her presidential campaign, as well as her time at Wellesley.
The well publicized run leads to a books full of direct quotes and easily confirmed facts. Real facts, which is nice.
“My predecessor in the Senate, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, used to say, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
As someone who did follow a lot of news surrounding the general election election I still found myself learning new things about both campaigns – particularly involving Clinton. This of course was part of the problem, Clinton explains that while she had well thought out policies they were often drowned out by Trump shenanigans or emails.
She addresses the sexism that blanketed the campaign and her life long championing of women’s rights. Clinton shares a snippet from her never heard victory speech about how she would be so proud to tell her mother that her daughter grew up to be President.
She is still bitter about Comey and his irresponsible behavior surrounding her emails and the effects that the drip drip dripping had on her campaign. She also goes into a lot of detail about WikiLeaks, Putin’s interference and her growing concerns about the Russians in general.
Either way it is a well written book filled with humor and grace; it is as non-partisan as a book written by the Democratic nominee for President can be and would be an interesting read regardless of your personal political affiliations.