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A self-care book written by a serial killer – Huffington Post.

It would fain be a person with a heart of stone, whom on reading Hillary Clinton’s book on her recent election defeat, did not weep tears of pure hilarity.

As an avid reader of political biographies and history I can happily say that I have never read such a personal, sorrowful, angry, snotfest of blame shifting in years.  Seriously it has some laugh-out-loud passages.

Part of the fascination is the sudden mood shifts in the text.  At once Hillary is being sweet, coothie and all honeyed gingerbread and gemutlich, and the next she rages with a cold sour fury like some bug-eyed Gollum.  She segues from gushing artlessly about her grandchildren and finding some Zenlike inner calm, to next wailing how it was all so unfair.  It was her turn she was entitled.  No one had worked so hard so long to be denied!  I won the popular vote!  Yessss I did by three million!  The popular vote.  You can hear the panting, the gasping!  There is  real anguish reaching out from every page.  This author really hurts.

It’s a very odd style.  Its both muddled and self contradictory.  It is by turns insipid, silly, gauche and guarded.

And, of course, its everyone else’s fault it did not work out.  At one point Hillary says she met more than two dozen women “who apologised for not voting.  “You didn’t vote!  How could you not vote?  And now you want me to make you feel better?”  It’s their fault see?

Her unquestioning belief in her own righteousness did not serve her well as a politician and it is not a quality in a writer either.

There are some truly joyous moments of helpless pain.  Her recovery from this existential disaster is beyond satire.  It has all the sterile chatty falsehood of a blogger desperately, desperately needing to be relevant.  The sudden urge to clean the cupboards and wipe down the surfaces rings a bit hollow.  At 69 years old its all a bit, well adolescent.  “Deep breath, feel the air fill my lungs.  This is the right thing to do….I’m imagining I’m anywhere but here, Bali maybe?  Bali would be good.”

Like we all relate to walking on the beach at Bali?

The bit with her yoga instructor giving her some therapy is magnificent, as Hillary comes out with nostril breathing as a road to recovery “If you’ve never done alternate nostril breathing, it’s worth a try…”

Oh, and those bloody awful inspirational quotes at the start of each chapter.  Oh yuk.  Its like a new age self-help tome rather than a cool analysis of her defeat.  The whole work is peppered with anodyne aphorisms like “There is nothing like friendship” or “I just love children”.  Really?  Hillary always came over as the sort of old witch who would curdle their milk in the bottle.

One of the best sections is how in recovering from the ordeal of losing out to the worst candidate to take the political stage in generations she finds her ground in “reaching out” or taking a walk with Bill and just accidentally bumping into some total stranger who gives her a hug.  An accident?  The pair of them surrounded by security guards and she just happens to bump into a total stranger with a back-pack.  Hmm.  Dogs and home-made stew suddenly appear, as does sitting of an evening tucked up with Bill on the sofa, a bottle of Chardonnay, and Downton Abbey.  We are invited into her ordinary everyday middle-class world as she retreats from dreams of world domination to the honeyed joys of being a simple multimillionaire.  Seriously though Chardonnay?

Did she have a ghost helping her?  Perhaps who knows.  But this book will be worth a fortune.  Hillary sold her last book for an advance of was it $14 million?  This one $20 million?  She has book tours all over the place and internationally.  One will be in London shortly.  That and the lecture circuit will she old Hills right.

It is clear, that despite the title of the book (no question mark, therefore it implies her definitive answer), she has no real idea how it happened.  We have to wait until page 400 before we even get this little glimmering “So, yes I had my shortcomings as a candidate”.  No shit?  But her mood quickly reverts and despite these deficiencies we are still supposed to see the gold hidden in the chaff.  It was our fault we failed to see her divine qualities. Too often in her account we are given the quick-fire repartee, the smart return, the stinging rebuke, the effortless putdowns that she should have given but never did.  You see she worked too hard on solutions rather than emphasising with the poor.  Calling them deplorable probably didn’t help either.

Trouble is if she had been as open during the campaign as she is in the book she would have done better.  But of course, someone else had advised her not to be.

So where does she feel the problems lay?  So far those include:

  • The FBI   Sticking their bloody noses in where they are not wanted.
  • James Comey, then FBI director.  Doing his job they say.  “Hah don’t fool me with that old one”.
  • Bernie.  How very dare he!  And getting larger crowds.  And then not being swift enough to honour her candidacy after she stitched him up at Convention time.
  • The Russians.  A Thousand Russian agents!  She knew!  She had counted them. All whilst they crawled up the walls of the DNP.  Really, honest, they were there.  They were there in the middle of the night crawling along the ceilings……and led by Trump in a Ninja suit and a cat-like grin.  They had messages did she mention that?  Yes, they did.  And how did they know what messages to deliver?”. “Who told them? Who were they colluding with?”
  • Vladimir Putin.  Skulking in the shadows.  Hillary never trusted him.
  • ‘Anti-American forces’   Hillary doesnt have their names but she knows they were there.  That nasty Mr Putin was putting them up to it.
  • Low information voters.  Hillbillys, hicks, trailer park trash, and ah that must also be some of the deplorables? They were too stupid to see how well thought out her policies were.  Intellectuals too they were as bad, being too damn clever by half.
  • Everyone who assumed she’d win.  So, people thought it was a done deal and stayed home.
  • Everyone who said she was a dead loss. So, people thought it was a done deal and stayed home.
  • Bad polling numbers.  Again here was another clear example of where Hillary had been let down by others.

  • Obama, for winning two terms.  By winning so often Obama had made it difficult for a third Democrat term and so Obama should have stood down last time to let our Hills have her rightful place in the sun.
  • People wanting change.  Did they not understand that what they really wanted was Hillary?

  • Misogynists.  Anyone who didn’t like her or could not bear that smug sanctimonious sense of entitlement.
  • Suburban women.  They were women, had no-one told them? They owed her!
  • The New York Times  I mean seriously?  For covering the story about her own sloppy use of a server?  The injustice.  Vile.  We get a whole chapter on the e-mails but only three pages on disenfranchisement.  We just must do something about this press freedom nonsense.
  • Television executives.  Smug self-satisfied elitists all of them.  They probably went to a foreign college and drink imported wine.  Media types eh huh.
  • Russians again for hacking.  By hacking, Hillary seemed to think they were able to sway voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  But not it seems in Virginia, Nevada, New Mexico or Colorado.
  • Netflix

  • Democrats for not making the right documentaries.
  • Democrats for having poor research information.  Again, and again, she was let down by poor staff.
  • Democrats for being poor, appallingly badly managed, virtually bankrupt, in a terrible mess.  I mean did she have to do EVERYTHING herself?
  • Democrats for not telling her about Wisconsin and Ohio.  See hopeless staff above.  And considering just how much of her own money, HER OWN MONEY she had needed to pour in.
  • Democrats for the appalling state the party machinery was in before she had to turn it around.  Fools, Ingrates. Bastards the lot of them.
  • Facebook   No particular reason just FACEBOOK.  People speaking to each other?  We’ll fix that next time.
  • The Electoral College.  I mean why bother with that old thing when she won 3 million more votes.  (Just let’s not go anywhere near the sheer size of dud votes on electoral rolls round the country.  See my post here).
  • Twitter.  For laughing fit to burst and passing round unflattering photographs of Hills falling up flights of steps or passing out beside her car.  No one must ever laugh at Hillary!
  • Wikileaks.  No one must ever tell the truth, or worse show the world the evidence of that truth.  That Assange monster.
  • Fake news Actually, any news was pretty bad for Hillary’s death crash of a campaign.
  • “Content farms” in Macedonia.  Terrible this, a bunch of foreign student types making up silly stories to pass about on the news.  Did they not realise IT WAS HER TURN.  SHE WAS ENTITLED!
  • Victim.  Victim, victim, I am the victim she screeched.
  • The Republican Party.  Opposition!  The very idea.

In truth she lost because she was (as so many who start their Presidential run from the Senate) laden down with decades of political baggage, and worst she was lazy and looked tired.  She is right to the extent Trump never did win, the campaign was always Hillary’s to lose.

Copyright David Macadam 2017

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