I didn’t want to read Hillary Clinton’s take on the 2016 election. I didn’t want to relive November 9th, 2016, the day I woke up with tears in my eyes and my stomach in my throat because I knew that an unmitigated jackass had won the U.S. presidency the night before. I didn’t want to relive the gut-churning fear I felt for my children and the grief I felt for my country that day.
But I’ve admired Hillary Clinton since I was in elementary school, so I wanted to see what she had to say. And you know what? She didn’t let me down.
Crap, I’m tearing up just thinking about this book.
Let me start with what I love about What Happened. I loved the section about Hillary’s day-to-day life on the campaign trail. I loved that I came away with several books to add to my “must read” list. I loved that Hillary is still a policy wonk. I loved that she so clearly loves her family. I loved that the 2016 election was an ending for her, but not the end.
Here’s what I hated about What Happened: she wrote this book because she isn’t the President of the United States.
I’m not saying this book doesn’t have weak spots. It drags a bit in places, and I’ve been so tuned in to political news for the last three years that the section on Russia’s interference in the election was old hat to me…although it did hit me somewhere around page 363 that lots and lots of really bad things have happened how is Trump even still in office OMG total meltdown.
I never thought Hillary Clinton was a saint, and What Happened won’t leave you with that impression. What did come through to me in this book is that Hillary is human: she has flaws, she makes mistakes. She is made to suffer for those things in ways that most of us will never have to contend with.
But that does not stop her from being funny, smart, honest, angry, sad, and hopeful. It does not stop her from being the person I desperately wanted to be our president.
I’m with her, and always will be.