Everyone’s fault but hers: Media reviews Hillary Clinton’s ‘What Happened’
The New York Times’ review admits there is nothing new about the campaign in the book, but it does tell a story of what it is like running as a female nominee for the president of the United States, “a first in American history.”
“It is worth reading,” writes Times critic Jennifer Senior. “Winning by the popular vote by nearly 3 million may not have been enough to shatter the country’s highest, hardest glass ceiling. But it seems to have 2,864,974 extra cracks in Clinton’s reserve.”
Clinton complains of misogyny and sexism and that she suffered disproportionately from charges of untrustworthiness or inauthenticity because she was a woman. Senior considers the arguments controversial and complicated, but accepts that presidential politics are about “arena-filling showmanship” rather than being a “workhorse.”
“I was running a traditional presidential campaign with carefully thought-out policies and painstakingly built coalitions,” Clinton wrote, “while Trump was running a reality TV show that expertly and relentlessly stocked Americans’ anger and resentment.”
The conservative-leaning Washington Examiner review thinks the book will keep the Democrats “divided and focused on the past.”
The Examiner’s W. James Antle III focused his review on Clinton’s attacks against Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), her rival for the nomination during the Democratic primaries.
“His attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ campaign,” Clinton wrote of Sanders.
The Examiner agreed that she took “friendly fire from Sanders supporters” but argued that Sanders was “slow to attack her” and said he was “sick of hearing about her ‘damn emails’.”
Noting that Sanders turned into an unlikely hero for millennials, Antle argued that it was Sanders who was warning Clinton she wasn’t populist enough, and that she became a divisive figure within her own party.
The Guardian’s Sabrina Siddiqui and David Smith highlighted Clinton’s parallels between between Trump’s “war on truth” and the Soviet Union and George Orwell’s ‘1984’.
“Attempting to define reality is a core feature of authoritarianism,” Clinton wrote. “This is what the Soviets did when they erased political dissidents from historical photos. This is what happens in George Orwell’s classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, when a torturer holds up four fingers and delivers electric shocks until his prisoner sees five fingers as ordered.”
“The goal is to make you question logic and reason and to sow mistrust,” Clinton added. “For Trump, as with so much he does, it’s simple dominance.”
Siddiqui and Smith found that Clinton “peppers the book with insults aimed at Trump” referring to him as “a clear and present danger” and remaking himself from a “tabloid scoundrel into right-wing crank.”
Clinton devoted a lengthy section of the book complaining about the lack of media attention toward reported attempts by Moscow to interfere with the presidential race. She has followed every twist and turn of the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of being out to get her personally.
“Putin doesn’t respect women and despises anyone who stands up to him, so I am a double problem,” wrote Clinton and argues that Putin had developed a “personal vendetta” against her.
Clinton’s critics say she blames everyone but herself.
Fox & Friends ran a segment on Tuesday asking “Why can’t Hillary accept defeat and move on?” in which they argued that she blames the Russians, Comey, (former head of the FBI) Wikileaks, Facebook and misogyny, by interviewing Jonathan Allen about his book called Shattered: Inside the Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.
“She is putting out these excuses one after another that do nothing but refocus the blame on everybody but herself,” said media critic Lionel, of Lionel Media. He called Clinton’s account a “cotton candy matrix” and “a lattice-worked fiction.”
One of the reasons Clinton neglected the critical Rust Belt states is that she didn’t even handle her own polling, Lionel noted.
“Trump paid for the best polling there was. Polling is critical. She is so cheap…that she used these fraudulent polls that underestimated Republican voters that were put out to create the momentum that she was winning,” Lionel said, adding that Clinton can’t accept fault or apologize for “letting her people down.”