Written and read by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Published by Simon and Schuster Audio
I think it is obvious that the acceptance or rejection of this book and its contents will pretty much split down the same lines as the last election although I would not be surprised if the book itself received more electoral votes than either of the two major candidates. For the most part, if you supported Hillary Clinton you will like this book and agree with what she says within it and if you were part of the forty-seven percent of a “landslide” that voted for the… >sigh!< other guy you will probably say that she is whining and blaming everyone but herself for how the election went. In the latter case, you probably have not read the book either, relying on the negative reviews to support your feelings.
I make no secret of the fact that when it comes to social issues I generally stand somewhere to the left of Beta Lyrae and when it comes to financial issues, I think the whole lot of Congressmen and Women and Senators ought to be forced to pay back all the money they have wasted over the years. I also have problems with anyone who perverts personal freedom into a justification for bias and bigotry against others, but I’m climbing up on to my high-horse a bit too readily (said high-horse all too obligingly stoops to give me easier access most of the time). However, I have some observations I would like to share about this book none the less.
I would like to take issue with the majority of reviewers who got to this book ahead of me. After having listened to it I can state with complete assurance that most of them did not read or listen to the whole thing. In fact, it is obvious the majority did not see any more than the snippets that were released to the news media ahead of the official publication date – most of which were from the authors’ foreword. And given some of the almost word-for-word repetition of what other reviewers said I wouldn’t be surprised if one or two just plagiarized each other’s commentary on the Foreword. Now that is truly pathetic.
I have promised that I would review no audiobook without listening to the whole thing. If I can’t finish it, it gets no review. That’s the only way to be fair, in my mind, but I cannot say that for some of the other reviewers especially the ones who had undisguised political axes to grind. Many of them probably could have written their reviews without having read a word. And as for “He who must not be named”… oh, the heck with it… Mister Trump (NB: readers experienced with my reviews may have noticed that I most often use the honorifics when I am struggling to be polite), well, he had a lot to say about this book in 140 character bites, but it is obvious he never even read the bits that were released in advance since all his commentary was directly in response to Hillary’s tour of the chat show circuit and not the content of the book itself. Then again, the only book we have a report of Mister Trump ever reading is the second memoire of Adolph Hitler and even then, only that he kept it on his bed stand – possibly he didn’t read that either and expected to absorb it by osmosis.
In any case, does Hillary Clinton really blame everyone but herself? Emphatically not. She blames herself more frequently within the book that anyone else although James Comey does come in second and justifiably so. Jeff Session said Comey was fired for his mishandling of the Clinton emails insincerely in front of the Senate just yesterday. I seriously doubt that was why he was fired since I am sure Trump danced off two or three pounds when the investigation was publicly reopened just eleven days before Election Day, but the action on James Comey’s part was so reprehensible that Trump and his lackeys have attempted to use it as their reason (although careful observers will notice that these same people have floated other excuses that conflict). Mister Comey himself has said he feels “mildly nauseous” at the thought he might have influenced the election, but, really, he should be feeling a permanent and terminal case of indigestion. Any long-time political bureaucrat like Mister Comey has to have known exactly what he was doing and what the probable consequences would be. (Ooops, that darned high-horse again).
Who else does Hillary blame? Well she does blame Bernie Sanders once (maybe twice), but mostly for starting a movement that he not only had little control over but provided divisive arguments against Hillary’s platform to so that the chance of their every fully reconciling at or after the convention was slim. Bernie encouraged people to vote anti-establishment Democrat. By itself, I do not entirely disagree, but he ignited a fire he could not extinguish so that rather than be drawn in after the convention, so many of them looked toward third-party candidates. It is possible that they might have voted third party even had Bernie not run, but this time they were more activist about it Is that Bernie Sanders’ fault? Darned if I know. I’m not sure any normal Democrat could have brought those votes in, but the perception of Hillary as a long-time political insider prevented her from doing so.
Does she blame Trump? Doesn’t everybody??? Face it. Whether you like or loathe the guy, Hillary losing the election IS his fault. He’s the guy who won more electoral votes. Remember all his whining about how the election was rigged? Remember how he claimed millions of illegal aliens voted for Hillary? Remember his claim that thousands of people were bused from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to vote for Hillary? Actually, I’d like to briefly address that claim.
Thousands were bused from Massachusetts to New Hampshire? Seriously? And no one saw the hundreds of buses that suddenly crossed the border on that one day? I think it might have been noticed, assuming anyone could have rounded up that many Greyhounds for a one-day charter. Not sure how much that would have cost, but I’m sure there has to have been a monetary paper trail if it happened and one even a blind tracker could follow the smell of. And if you can’t find the record of hundreds of buses being chartered on election day, just subpoena the record of liquor sales in the highway-side stores in New Hampshire.
If you have never driven through New Hampshire you might not be aware of it, but the state has placed liquor stores in the rest areas closest to their borders. You can drive a few miles across the border, load up on wine and whiskey (because New Hampshire has not sales tax this can be a big savings) and then drive home – incidentally bootlegging hooch across state lines. But in fairness you will also be reminded in small, but polite signs as you leave the rest area to “Please do not drink while driving.” My point being that if you cannot find a record of upticks in either bus charters to New Hampshire or upticks in their liquor sales, the chance of an extra few thousand day-trippers from Massachusetts is nil.
Hillary reads her own book which I enjoyed listening to., Then again, I had no problem listening to her speeches on the campaign trail either. I guess it’s a matter of whether you like listening to her talk.
In all I think the book opened a window on Hillary Clinton’s inner thoughts and feelings that may have come out a bit too late. More of that might (or might not) have made a difference. The only thing I can say for certain is that for the first time in my life I find myself waking up most mornings thinking I have somehow fallen into an improbable alternate reality because even a year ago (just before Mister Comey reopened his investigation for a few days) the possibility of Trump as president seemed unlikely. For that matter even now, the idea of a president who routinely alienates all his allies, picks fights with all his enemies in the hope of nuclear war and yet kisses up to Russia for no obvious gain, the idea of a president who boasts of sexually assaulting women, who rushes storm relief to states that voted for him but has only done a half-assed job in territories that do not have the right to vote for a president, who dodged the draft on multiple student deferments and “temporary“ bone spurs in his feet, a person who refers to the KKK and assorted other NeoNazis and white nationalists as “fine people,” that a person like that can be elected president really seems unlikely in any rational universe. So, no wonder I occasionally look around for the portal back into the real world where Hillary Clinton has been president for several months and where, I have no doubt, I would be criticizing everything she has accomplished as well.
However, I promise that when the Trumpster writes his account (or farms it out to a ghostwriter, more likely) of how his victory was the biggest, most beautiful ever in all of history, I’ll review that one too. I want to be fair after all.
I will be fair with extreme prejudice…