With two weeks left until "What Happened,” Hillary Clinton’s post-campaign memoir, is slated to hit the shelves, excerpts from the book are starting to leak. And, in order to build the pre-launch buzz, the first chapters to emerge focus not on the mistakes Clinton made during the campaign, but target the man who some believe stole her presidency with the help of the Russian government.
Audio of Clinton reading from “What Happened” was leaked to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe." Here, Clinton describes how her “skin crawled” during a moment during the second debate with President Donald Trump when the "creepy" Republican nominee loomed behind her while she spoke – a moment that was roundly mocked by “Saturday Night Live.”
Clinton noted the timing of the debate, which took place two days after Trump’s “Grab her by the p***y comment emerged, in a transparent effort to make Trump's supposedly "aggressive" behavior look shadier than it was.
“In audio clips of Clinton reading from the book, "What Happened," which were first obtained by MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Clinton recounted her thoughts as she toyed with the idea of telling her Republican rival to "back up, you creep" as he stood behind her during the second presidential debate.
"My skin crawled," Clinton said. "It was one of those moments where you wish you could hit pause and ask everyone watching 'well, what would you do?'"
Just two days prior, Clinton said, ‘the world heard [Trump] brag about groping women.’”
Clinton briefly contemplated telling Trump to "back up," decided against it – a decision she now regrets. In hindsight, it would’ve been “great TV.” Instead, she says she gripped the microphone "extra hard."
“Clinton said during the debate she decided against telling Trump, "back up, you creep, get away from me," and in order to keep her composure, she gripped the microphone "extra hard." But, in hindsight, Clinton wondered if she should have taken the time to tell Trump off for following her.
"It certainly would have been better TV. Maybe I have over-learned the lesson of staying calm, biting my tongue, digging my finger nails into a clenched fist, smiling all the while, determined to present a composed face to the world," she said.”
"What Happened" has been marketed as a mea culpa – a chance for Clinton to talk about some of the mistakes she made during the campaign. With the Clinton campaign a disaster on many levels, there should be plenty of material to fill 200 pages, allowing Clinton to avoid exploring the real, underlying issues. Alas, that won't happen: Clinton has already told NBC that the book won’t be a “comprehensive” account of the campaign.
“Clinton's memoir is slated to be a postmortem on mistakes she made along the campaign trail and the “devastating” and unexpected loss to President Donald Trump, according to a press release.
"In this book, I write about moments from the campaign that I wish I could go back and do over. If the Russians could hack my subconscious, they’d find a long list," Clinton said in one part of the book.”
We have no special insight into the exact nature of these confessed “mistakes” that will appear in the book. However, given Clinton’s penchant for minimizing blame since the election, it will likely be filled with specious insights like “we should’ve hit more campaign stops in Pennsylvania.” Of course, ultimately none of that mattered and Clinton lost the election after the electorate ultimately decided that she was untrustworthy and a continuation of a failing status quo. Furthermore, a mea culpa that doesn’t involve some honest introspection about how her embrace of the status-quo, her militant hawkishness on Libya and other US conflicts and her rejection of populist values ultimately doomed her campaign, would not only be meaningless but could further harm the Democratic cause into the midterm elections.
Then again, who knows? Perhaps the twilight of Clinton's political career has engendered within her a newfound appreciation for candor, and there may be surprises when the book is released on Sept. 12. In the meantime, brace for more hype-generating "leaks."
We have three words after reading all this from Hillary... But Bill didn't?