Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Clinton's Catharsis: Book Lays Blame in Multiple Places for Defeat to Trump

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Clinton's Catharsis: Book Lays Blame in Multiple Places for Defeat to Trump

Article excerpt

Clinton book lays blame for loss to Trump


WASHINGTON - It's inauguration day and the loser of the last U.S. presidential election is daydreaming about being anywhere but here -- she's imagining vacationing on a beach, speaking with past election losers, anything but watching Donald J. Trump raise his hand and take the oath of office.

Hillary Clinton begins the first chapter of her 2016 election memoir, "What Happened," by describing how she agonized over whether to attend the January swearing-in, fearful she might be booed and heckled with chants of, "Lock her up!"

"Deep breath. Feel the air fill my lungs. This is the right thing to do,'' she writes in the book, released Tuesday.

''Breathe out. Scream later. ... I'm imagining that I'm anywhere but here. Bali maybe? Bali would be good.''

She said she imagined Barack Obama sharing the limousine ride over with a man who built his political following on the lie that he was born an African. She said she shared a rueful look with Michelle Obama -- ''It said, 'Can you believe this?'''

She said she'd known Trump for years and initially assumed he was running for president as a joke: ''Now here he was, with his hand on the Bible, promising to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution...

''The joke, it turned out, was on us.''

Clinton's anguish was compounded by whom she'd lost to.

She said she still considers Trump a threat to the country, with dangerous, anti-democratic impulses: "Look, if I'd lost to a Republican, a normal Republican, of course I'd be disappointed... But this is beyond anything I'd imagined,'' she told an interviewer during her book tour.

"I'm not saying he's going to start killing journalists. But I am saying that he likes the idea of unaccountable, unchecked power. We've never had to face that in a serious way in our country."

The book dissects her defeat.

It blames the following:

-- Herself. She's often accused of being inauthentic and she admits that she stifles her feelings: "I wear my composure like a suit of armour, for better or worse.''

-- Sen. Bernie Sanders. She says her primary opponent unfairly maligned her, then half-heartedly rallied to her side: ''I didn't get anything like that respect (I showed Obama in 2008) from Sanders and his supporters. And it hurt. He dragged it out. And he was so reluctant,'' Clinton said in an interview on her book tour this week, on the podcast, ''Pod Save America.

''But why would we be surprised? He's not a Democrat.''

She said Sanders ran on simple solutions like universal medicare and she couldn't: "If I had said, 'Okay, we're going to have universal health care! …

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