What Happened


It's no secret that I'm a progressive. It's no secret that I supported Hillary Clinton in the campaign -- yes, even above Bernie. I've been a Bernie fan for years, but I didn't think he would have made a good president, and I still don't think he would. (Better than Trump? Absolutely.)

On the other hand, I've always thought Clinton got a bad rap. She's been around for 30 years, and three decades of negative propaganda is bound to seep into people's minds, whether they realize it or not.

When I picked up this book, I expected to read a lot of excuses about what happened, about how it was someone else's fault that she lost.

I was wrong.

She examines the 2016 election from all angles, telling stories and anecdotes about her life, the campaign, her policies, and the reasons why she did what she did. Occasionally, she'll point out something someone else did. For example, Bernie went way to the left of her, and it didn't matter how far left she went, he could go further.

But the book isn't about placing blame. Rather, she examines the circumstances, the people, the qualities, the policies, the media coverage, and every other little variable in a methodical, calculating way. She looks at what she did and ruminates on what she might have done differently. She looks at what she didn't do and wonders what would have happened if she had done that. She looks at what other people told her would happen versus what actually happened, and she talks about what she would have done had she won the presidency.

To be perfectly honest with you, it sounds fantastic.

It was a hard book to read. Every once in awhile I'd scoff. "Really, Hillary? You just said that?" And then I'd stop myself. Did I scoff at Al Franken's book? Or Kirsten Gillibrand's book? Or Bernie's book? Did I scoff at their ideas or the way they said things? No, I didn't. I read with my full attention and gave serious thought to the things I had to say. Don't I owe Hillary the same?

And it occurred to me that after all this -- after fervently supporting Hillary for the last four years, after defending her relentlessly online and in real life, that I had bought into at least some of the negative propaganda of the last thirty years. I had bought into the idea that Hillary had her time in the spotlight and she blew it, and now she needs to go away. I had bought into the notion that she was sticking her nose in a political arena where she didn't belong.

But Bernie lost, and I don't think that about him. John Kerry lost, and I don't think that about him.

And I can point to a hundred other instances where whatever I felt, I felt for Hillary alone.

So I pushed through. I read it.

And you know what? I loved it. I love Hillary. I would vote again for her in a heartbeat.

For the record, I think, had she been given a fair shot, she would have been one of the best presidents of all time.