Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign retrospective, What Happened, will cost you around $20. To me, the idea of forking over $20 or so on 500 pages of the worst presidential candidate in modern history blaming everyone but her wardrobe assistant(s) for her humiliating defeat seems sillier than thinking that dressing like Dr. Evil’s older sister will resonate with people who buy their clothes at Wal-Mart. I suppose I’d be fine if someone gave it to me for Christmas, but I’d rather get a Cabela’s gift card. Hell, I’d rather get an ugly sweater. However, should you decide to burn a Jackson on Hillary’s latest screed, you’ll be subjected to chapters devoted to all the people that she thinks cost her the election. By all accounts, you’ll likely feel like you’re reading a teenage “mean girl’s” diary. Furthermore, there’s nothing in What Happened that you don’t already know. Hillary was awful. Hillary didn’t get it. Hillary ran for president. Hillary lost. Hillary is still awful. Hillary still doesn’t get it.
As expected, Clinton singles out her usual boogeymen: Russian President Vladimir Putin and his secret army of election hackers have a starring role, aided and abetted by Julian Assange and Wikileaks. She describes Putin as “a growing threat” who’s like a “manspreader” on the subway; she then weaves an elaborate fantasy in which Putin lives in “a petri dish where science is denied, lies masquerade as truth, and paranoia flourishes.” According to Hillary, the petri dish of evil misogyny also houses Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes and Charles and David Koch, her beloved “vast right wing conspiracy,” which returns as “the far reaches of the internet” and “sexism,” because if a woman loses in Hillary’s America, sexism is to blame*. (*Some restrictions apply. Offer not valid if you’re not on Planned Parenthood’s mailing list.)
But Clinton doesn’t just girl-slam the Democrats’ go-to list of bad boys. In fact, her latest book tour bait moves a few surprising names from the “so bae” to “no way” list.
She shrieks at Senator Bernie Sanders, whining that his “presence in the race meant that I had less space and credibility to run the kind of feisty progressive campaign that had helped me win Ohio and Pennsylvania in 2008,” It’s Bernie’s fault Hillary didn’t run farther to the left? Sure, Nana. And it’s his fault your “feisty progressive” 2008 campaign was also a loser.
The guy who buried that “feisty progressive campaign” gets his own pages. President Barack Obama didn’t give a nationally televised address on Putin’s sinister machinations, and that cost Hillary, too.
“(W)hat would have happened if President Obama had made a televised address to the nation in the fall of 2016 warning that our democracy was under attack? We’ll never know.”
She swipes her claws at former Vice President Joe Biden. According to her Hill-arity, Joe’s suggestion that the Democrats were losing touch with the middle class hurt her feelings and her odds of winning. She neglects to mention that the middle class showed up in November to remind her that they remembered her just fine.
Stupid men didn’t do enough to help her strong woman-ship. Maybe they were afraid he’d be accused of “mansplaining.” We’ll never know.
We do know that there’s no gender bias in Hillary’s blame game. She says Green Party candidate Jill Stein “wouldn’t be worth mentioning,” but then blames her for exerting a “Ralph Nader” effect on 2016, appropriating Al Gore revisionists who claim Nader cost Gore the 2000 election. She does not blame herself for failing to give Stein’s menagerie of fringe-left wackos a better offer.
She even manages to impugn the women of America. They didn’t demonstrate the appropriate levels of “solidarity, outrage and passion” until after nominee Donald Trump became President-elect Donald Trump. If only a woman likeable, trustworthy and competent enough had inspired “solidarity, outrage and passion” before nominee Hillary became loser Hillary. Such a woman probably wouldn’t cap off a finger-pointing rant with what might be the weirdest story you’ll read all year, in which she shares an only slightly less than believable tale of a woman who force-marched her own child into cowering before Her Mighty Hillaryship like a convict facing the gallows:
“I wanted to stare right in her eyes and say, ‘You didn’t vote? How could you not vote? You abdicated your responsibility as a citizen at the worst possible time! And now you want me to make you feel better,’ “
Presuming the incident actually occurred, it’s all you really need to know about “What Happened.” Hillary was awful. Hillary didn’t get it. Hillary ran for president. Hillary lost. Hillary is still awful. Hillary still doesn’t get it.
— Ben Crystal