What Happened: Hillary Clinton
Sometimes in order to move forward we need to take several steps back and reevaluate situations that we might not have any control over any more but revisit them to understand how to move ahead in the future. Candidates run for President and of course one will win and the rest will lost. Hillary Clinton’s journey to become the first woman President might have resulted in a lose due to the lack of electoral votes needed to win the election but the American people sent out a message that might not have been heard as loud as it should have been that they would have preferred her as our President as she won the popular vote. Dealing with the loss in own way and feeling angry, upset and wondering what she could have done differently Senator Clinton takes us through it all from start to finish helping readers understand her mindset from the start leading up to her concession speech wearing gray and purple. Trump’s White House victory or some would say upset, sent her in a tailspin but her speech was given with class, dignity and her head held high. In this quite revealing and telling what I consider a political journey rather than a memoir even though she includes her childhood, her schooling and her political background, taking the role as the main character and hearing her voice readers will understand her thinking, rationale and why she wore gray and purple. It was what she wanted to wear to Washington had she won the election on her first trip as President Elect.
There are many schools of thought regarding this book as some think the author is blaming her others for her loss, complaining and sharing her views on what she endured. Rethinking about her team, her strategies and what she could have done differently the book centers around her campaign, her views about the opposition but I am going to focus on what strengths she shares and what positive qualities she has that might have made her a great woman president. As she shares one viewpoint or mindset as former president Nixon, they both were committed to win, never giving up and understanding the meaning of defeat. Ambition is at the heart of her personality and helping others was something she did to promote women’s health, women in the workplace and reminding us of the many conversations she had with President Obama who was one of her strongest advocates.
The interview with Matt Lauer blindsided her and rather than allowing her to talk about policies that would help foster greater healthcare, education reform, more jobs or anything of value he hit her with her emails and spent too much time hacking away at her that I would agree that balance was not the end result as Trump came on the questions were tempered.
Relaxing by doing yoga, breathing exercises and just rethinking and reworking ideas the reader understands her frustrations as she tells us about speaking with Black Lives Matter trying to come out with some positive ways to work together and listening to mothers who lost children to senseless killings and bringing the issue of gun control to the forefront. Rather than focusing on the negative and trying to have a one for one contest with Trump who was making it known how he was going to make America Great again was sure he was going to take the Electoral College and get the majority of the votes, Senator Clinton focused on how she was going govern as President, thinking about Cabinet candidates, possibly more living quarters for her staff if she won the election. It’s hard for anyone to believe that the voters would fall for what the other candidate was saying and that it often seemed as many have said that Trump was running his own reality show and wanted to win high ratings as if it were another episode of the Apprentice. Issues like civil rights, women’s rights, pro choice, pro-family and pro-health reform and human rights were at part of the forefront of what she was trying to impart to the American people. Her only competition might have been Elizabeth Warren and she stated if she put her hat or hand in the ring she would not have been her challenger. Dubbing Warren and calling others like her SHRILL or unlikeable because they wanted a position that most thought belonged to a man.
Anger is normal, screaming and shouting not uncommon or unwarranted and yet she came within 100,000 votes of the White House and I am glad she decided not to take Xanax to temper her anger.
A primary focus she stated on page 46 was to give an honest accountant of her mistakes and a great question is asked: Are you flawed? What do you do about your flaws? Do you learn from your mistakes so you can do better in the future? Explaining how and why she got started and creating what she felt were a great team in order to have the best possible advisors and most experienced people to help run her campaign. Detailing her team and enlisting the aid and advise of President Obama, Chuck Schumer and other notable people the candidate realizes that she had a rough road ahead and although the papers might not support her at first or comments that were negative were made she held her head up high and kept going in order to reach her ultimate goal the Presidency of this great nation. A presidential campaign she compares creatively to a marathon run at the pace of a sprint. Even President Obama drilled this point into her that she needed to make sure that she does not or did not burn out. Pacing is the key. Formulating her days and making sure she was on task and on target she sets out with an organized course of action.
The debates were well rehearsed and the topics researched and different members of her team played many roles including some had to be Trump. But, Trump as you will learn and many realize just from some of the media shots when walking with members of his own family, you realize that at times his goal is to demean women and anyone who dares to disagree with his viewpoints.
Women in politics have a harder role and we need our politics she states on page 141 to resemble our people. Explaining in simple terms that, “when the people who run our cities, states and country overwhelmingly have a shared background (wealthy, privileged) we end up with laws and politics that don’t come close to addressing the realities of American lives.”
The chapter that really hit me the most was the one titled Turning Mourning into a Movement, which focuses on mothers who lost children to gun violence or in encounters with police officers. Some of the women whom she met at the homey Sweet Maple Café, shared their stories and would form a traveling sisterhood: community centers onstage at the Democratic National Convention. The stories they shared really touched her and this reviewer as you read them in detail on pages 174-176. As a presidential candidate she ends the chapter by stating that she worked with civil rights advocates and law enforcement leaders to develop solutions that would help, form body cameras to new training guidelines fro de-escalating tense situations. It is vital she states to understand the effects of systemic racism that young black and Latino men and women face every day, and how they are made to feel like their lives are disposable. As an educator that worked in an inner city school in the Bronx the one thing my students realized that I would never stand for any racial comments or slurs and the respect I received from them is what they received from me.
Guns and gun control are discussed and led to a heated discussion when dealing with the NRA. The politics of funs she states have been toxic for a long time. In 1990, Bill Clinton fought to have a ten-year ban on assault weapons and the Brady Bill, which, for the first time, required background checks on many gun purchases at federally licenses firearms dealers. But, in the coming years the law was blocked and the NRA funded an intense backlash to the new safety measures and helped defeat many of the democrats. More explanations follow and a discussion about Cassie Bernall who was asked by one of her student killers if she believed in GOD and when she replied Yes he shot her.
On page 167 the author relates that Trump from the inception of his campaign did everything he could to ingratiate himself with the gun lobby, which may have been wary that a NY billionaire with a history of being sympathetic to gun country wouldn’t be a natural ally. Forcing schools to allow guns in the classroom. Eight students and one professor were killed at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon and all Trump called the attack horrible but did not seem to think anything could be done about it and I quote he said: You’re going to have these things happen, in a flippant way.”
The interview with Lauer needs more attention and discussion as he started out with at statement regarding judgment and closed with blindsiding her with the emails which I am not going to even touch. Balance once again makes sense in an interview and if Matt Lauer intended to ask Trump hard questions he had to make a show of grilling her first. Lauer harbored on her emails, not talking about North Korea, Iranian nuclear agreement of any major issues that would highlight her qualifications to help her win the election. I am also not going into Comey and Russia and the connection and the election it’s been done and overdone by many commentators and reviewers.
Focusing on the positive had she become president here are the points that many missed: First she states we need the biggest investment in good jobs since WWII including a massive infrastructure program. Next, to make the economy fairer, we need new rules and incentives to make it easier for companies to raise wages and share profits with their workers and harder for them to ship jobs overseas and bust unions. Next she states we need to modernize workforce protections with higher minimum wages, equal pay for women and paid family and medical leave and finally we can pay for all of this with higher taxes on the top one percent. She continues with her discussions with Bernie Sanders where on some issues they agree and others they don’t. Throughout the campaign Clinton handled herself with dignity and class even when giving her concession speech. What Happened: The American people in majority voted for her as President but the Electoral vote count did not meet the proper majority for her to win. What Happened: Hillary Clinton blazed the trail for other women to seek top government positions and positions in companies.