OPINION: ‘What Happened,’ By Hillary Rodham Clinton

By John Diaz
San Francisco Chronicle

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) John Diaz of the San Francisco Chronicle says “What Happened” contains anecdotes that will be alternately uplifting and heartbreaking to Hillary’s most ardent supporters.

San Francisco Chronicle

On the second page of “What Happened,” Hillary Rodham Clinton accepts responsibility for her loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. “I couldn’t get the job done, and I’ll have to live with that for the rest of my life.”

She then proceeds to spend many of the next nearly 500 pages apportioning blame on others for the result of an election that she was so confident of winning.

She had spent the closing days of the campaign polishing her victory speech and devouring memos on the impending transition.

“There had been no doomsday scenarios playing out in my head in the final days, no imagining what I might say if I lost,” she says of election night. “I just didn’t think about it. But now it was as real as could be, and I was struggling to get my head around it. It was like all the air in the room had been sucked away, and I could barely breathe.”

Clinton is hardly alone in her shock, or in the struggle to assess how a man she described as unqualified, immature and even dangerous became leader of the free world, which helps explain why “What Happened” shot to the top of the best-seller list in its first week.

“What Happened” contains anecdotes that will be alternately uplifting and heartbreaking to her most ardent supporters. Detractors will seize on ammunition for affirmation of her sanctimony and inauthenticity.

Yes, there is no shortage of score settling and excuses in this book. But let’s face it: The book would be much less interesting — and, frankly, less honest — without her sometimes caustic airing of grievances.

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