What Happened | Hillary Rodham Clinton

Summary of: What Happened
By: Hillary Rodham Clinton


Delve into the insightful account of Hillary Rodham Clinton as she takes you on an emotional journey through her shocking defeat in the 2016 US presidential election. In her intimate memoir ‘What Happened,’ she candidly reflects on some crucial aspects like coping with defeat, combating sexism and misogyny in politics, working on practical policies, and dealing with the email scandal. Unraveling the events and decisions leading to the election night, Clinton not only highlights her regrets but also shares thoughts on the vital role of women in politics and the powerful influence wielded by special interest groups like the National Rifle Association.

Overcoming Defeat: Lessons from Hillary Clinton’s Election Loss

In “What Happened,” Hillary Rodham Clinton relives the day of her defeat in the 2016 US presidential election. It was a tough loss, but instead of turning cynical, she learned that it’s essential to stay connected with friends and to keep motivated. Clinton also emphasized the importance of organizing an Irish wake, a celebration of life to chase away the sadness. Through it all, Clinton kept her anger under control, not letting it take over. She also kept busy by writing thank-you letters to her campaign staff and signing them up for continued health insurance coverage. Above all, Clinton learned that life goes on, even after a crushing electoral defeat.

Clinton’s True Motivation

Clinton’s campaign lacked an emphasis on her qualifications and achievements. However, her true motivation was to be an effective president who was on the side of working people.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was criticized for not highlighting her qualifications and reasons for running. Some believed that she wanted to be president simply because she felt entitled. However, Clinton’s true motivation for running was because she believed she had the skills and ability to be a successful president.

Clinton has never been one to boast about herself, preferring to focus on her policies and ways to improve the government. When she launched her campaign, she discovered that although people knew her name, they were unfamiliar with her accomplishments and story. Consequently, Clinton intended to seek re-introduction to voters and spotlight her long record of public service. In law school, she was one of only 27 women who became an advocate for human rights as a defender. Since then, she has prioritized standing up for those less fortunate who require a voice in government.

Despite her efforts, Clinton faced a challenging 2016 election marred by misinformation and manipulations. However, her true motivation for running was anchored in being an effective president who worked towards the good of the working people. Clinton’s campaign may have lacked an emphasis on her qualifications and achievements, but her passion for public service and her belief in her capabilities are a testimony to her genuine intent.

Women in Politics

Despite the sexism and misogyny in politics, more women need to enter the political arena to make a change. Clinton’s story as a successful woman in a male-dominated profession sheds light on this issue. Although women encounter double standards and cruelty, being a voice for the underrepresented is a thrilling experience that never gets old. It is important for women to be heard and experience this themselves to ensure that they have control over their reproductive rights.

Fighting Against NRA

Hillary Clinton’s campaign against the National Rifle Association (NRA) was influenced by the Mothers of the Movement, a group of African American women who lost their children to police or gun violence. The group wants stricter gun laws, a message that resonated with Clinton. While many Americans view gun ownership as a tradition protected by the Second Amendment, Clinton’s goal is to make it harder for people with bad intentions to obtain firearms, not to ban them altogether. Nonetheless, the NRA’s power is formidable. The organization helped defeat Al Gore in the 2000 election and prevented a bill aimed at preventing people on the federal no-fly list from buying guns. Despite the passion on both sides of the gun debate, the fear of the NRA has deterred many politicians from standing up to the powerful lobby.

Clinton vs. Sanders: Idealism vs. Realism

The difference between Donald Trump’s main opponents in the 2016 Presidential election was their approach to policy details. Clinton believed in crafting realistic policies that could be funded and put into action, while Sanders wanted big, exciting goals that may need more work before they can be fully realized. Clinton is recognized as a policy wonk, whereas Sanders wanted to make college education free for every citizen, even though the details of such a plan were unclear, including how much it was going to cost the middle class in raised taxes. Although Clinton represented the status quo, her platform was more progressive than Barack Obama’s ever was. However, she now acknowledges that her campaign could have benefited from the inclusion of more exciting ideas that looked to the future like the “Alaska for America” idea she almost rolled out.

Clinton’s Regrets

Clinton’s campaign blunder in 2016 when she said “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business” has haunted her. However, the full context of the quote was simply a proposal to create jobs and opportunities by fixing infrastructure and providing broadband access to West Virginia. Trump’s promise to reopen coal mines proved to be unfounded when his economic council director admitted that “coal doesn’t make sense anymore.” As president, Clinton would have been passionate about helping Flint’s citizens suffering from the poisoned water crisis.

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