Magazine October 2, 2017, Issue

Excerpts from What Happened

(Jim Young/Reuters)


Excerpts from What Happened, by Hillary Clinton

(Simon & Schuster, 512 pages)

Publisher’s Note: In this honest, searching memoir of the most controversial and unexpected presidential campaign in modern history, Hillary Rodham Clinton describes the triumphs — and the setbacks — in blunt, no-holds-barred terms. Please use the excerpts below for all of your marketing and editorial needs.

Free from the constraints of running a general-election campaign, Hillary Clinton reflects on politics, feminism, and the mistakes she made in the 2016 presidential race, all with her trademark frankness.

From Chapter 2:

“Why I Lost (And Why It’s Your Fault)”

. . . many of whom obviously had a big problem with a woman running for president and preferred a slightly batty older white-haired socialist man with odd stains on his one good suit. And it’s hard, I know, to reframe the past, but it was clear to a lot of observers on the day after the election that Bernie and His Bros had done a lot to put Donald Trump into the White House.

I bear a lot of the blame, too, of course. After all, I was the candidate, and I should have been more attentive to the numbers coming out of Wisconsin and Michigan (though I’m not sure I know how I could have been, but whatever) and I should have tried harder to connect with ordinary Americans (though at times it seemed I made meaningful eye contact with every obese voter in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, and let me tell you, that’s not a small number), and I suppose I could have done a lot of things differently, but let me ask you a question: What did you do to get me elected? Because whatever it is you did, it wasn’t enough. You should have tried a little harder, gotten up a little earlier, gone the extra mile. The simple truth is, you let me down.

From Chapter 7:

“Being My Funny, Zany, Unpredictable, Grandmotherly, Totally Normal Self!”

. . . making sure that Chelsea’s current speaking fees — about $150,000 plus travel — and her consulting duties at the Clinton Foundation remained part of her regular outreach and active life. I was merely trying to take what I thought was a perfectly fair “management fee” from the cash flow she was generating for the operation, but in talking it over with her and her attorney, it was clear we needed to reach some agreement vis-à-vis cash outlays from the core business and the long-term-value split we had agreed upon. So it was a complicated Christmas dinner, to say the least!

From Chapter 13:

“But When a Man Does It . . .”

. . . hard not to see it for what it was: sexism pure and simple. For all the cries of “Lock her up!” I had a hard time believing that they would treat a male candidate the same way. “Obstruction of justice” is really just another way of saying “guilty of being female,” and everyone knows it.

From Chapter 22:

“Ya Gotta Know When to Fold ’Em”

. . . which is obviously the last thing on my mind at this point, but then I’ll run into young women at the local yoga studio, or sometimes grandmothers like me, out with their granddaughters, and they’ll approach me (I’m very approachable) and touch me on the arm (I’m very touchable and squeezable and huggable) and say, “You just have to run again!” And I’ll smile (I smile a lot) and thank them for their good wishes (because gratitude is very important to me), and I’ll say something like, “Oh, well, thanks, but it’s really time for me to step aside.” I don’t always say it the same way (I’m spontaneous!!) because I haven’t worked out the words yet with my team (love you guys!!), but that’s usually my response: Thank you but not gonna happen.

But then at some point I’ll be in the back seat of the Escalade and looking out the window and I’ll think to myself, “You know, you could do it, one more time,” and of course that’s silly, but then, isn’t that what life’s all about? Being silly and approachable and squeezable and spontaneous and also the goddam president of the United States?

From the Epilogue:

“Let’s Stay Connected!”

Please fill out the enclosed card with your name and email address and indicate by checking the appropriate box your preferred level of support, from the Silver Level to the Platinum Premium Plus Level, which includes all of the premiums and gifts associated with the Silver Level, with the addition of a “Private, Exclusive Dinner Opportunity” with Secretary Clinton in an American hotel function room (to be scheduled) and a “Premium Event Invitation” for a photo-op and VIP “in conversation experience” with Hillary Rodham Clinton via group Skype.

In This Issue



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