What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton [Book Summary]


April of 2015, when Hillary Clinton declared her 2016 presidential campaign, Democrats all over the United States were delighted. She could now complete what she had started in 2008 when she didn’t win the Democratic Party nomination that Barack Obama won.

From the outset, Clinton’s campaign was a smooth-running machine. However, as the election day got closer, and Donald Trump won the Republican Party nomination all of a sudden, the cracks began to show. In comparison to Trump and Bernie Sanders, Clinton was seen as unfriendly and impersonal by a lot of people. And what was her message precisely?

In spite of these problems, the majority of polls had her as an obvious winner until the actual end. Therefore, what occurred? These book chapters provide a comprehensive study of Clinton’s campaign and reveal the forces and situations that ultimately destroyed it.


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Chapter 1 – Different from the Women’s March, Trump’s inauguration was not at all uniting and inspiring.


In an election, if you lost to Donald Trump, you’d most likely want to jump standing in the cold to hear him being sworn in and giving a speech. However, if you’re Hillary Rodham Clinton, it’s your responsibility to be present, even if there are a lot of other places you’d rather be.

There are a lot of proud and honorable cultures in American politics, and having a calm and honorable change of power is part of them.

A lot of Clinton’s friends warned her not to go for Donald Trump’s inauguration; however, as both the previous Secretary of State and the First Lady to the previous President Bill Clinton, it would have been a bad thing if she didn’t attend. Before the inauguration, Clinton had talked to previous presidents Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush, two people who also didn’t like the newly elected president. Because both former presidents would also be there by her side provided Clinton some much-required support.

After Trump delivered a strange and miserable inauguration speech that had terms “American carnage,” George W. Bush had the ideal response by saying: “That was some weird shit.”



Obviously, Clinton’s speech would have been different from Trump’s speech. Clinton views the culture of a presidential inauguration as an opportunity to inspire and unite the people. Anything she imagines the United States, the upsetting terms like “American carnage” doesn’t come to her mind.

Rather, she sees the type of people who went out the next day to partake in the Women’s March that concealed the inauguration of Trump’s. The Women’s March was the only largest united protest the USA had ever witnessed, with millions of marchers in cities of the country, from New York to Los Angeles and Wyoming to Alaska.

From her home in Chappaqua, New York, Clinton enjoyed the protest from there, and according to her, it was an excellent solution for the inauguration. Clinton would have liked to take part in the march; however, she trusts that it was the appropriate decision not to steal the attention from what the country required at the moment: fresh voices.


Chapter 2 – Election night brought about a phase of recuperation and attempting to resist turning cynical.


The day that Hillary Rodham Clinton won’t forget immediately is the 9th of November 2016.

Mostly, everyone started the day feeling really positive; however, by 1:00 a.m., situations had taken a bad turn. Everything boiled down to three states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Then, the last damage came at 1:35 a.m. when Pennsylvania was declared for Trump by the Associated Press

It was hard to call Trump to congratulate him on his victory; however, maybe even harder was calling President Barack Obama to make an apology for disappointing him. Clinton’s throat constricted as she said those words; however, Obama was kind as usual. He said to her that she shouldn’t feel bad about anything and that life after the election would continue.

Clinton understood that the solution to handling a turn is not to become cynical. Also, it is significant not to detach yourself and allow your friends to offer some support and reassurance.

This assisted her a lot as she heard from friends who mentioned how inspired they were to move forward after the discouraging outcomes. This hindered her from going dark.



She actually spent a day hiding; however, after that, she was back to work, and the first wok was signing her thank-you letters to her 4,400 campaign staffers and to ensure they all of them got paid and were receiving their health insurance until the end of the year.

A different method to keep the cynicism at bay is to have a thing such as an Irish wake, where sadness is encountered with celebration, just like Clinton did by hosting a post-election staff party. As a friend recommended to her: seeing the first season of Friday Night Lights with a glass of good chardonnay isn’t a bad remedy too.

Clinton had her fair share of raging; however, she ensured that her anger fuelled her, and not took charge of her. Also, she had many long walks with Bill to talk it over and understand what transpired.

In order to get to the root of this, let’s begin at the beginning . . .


Chapter 3 – Clinton had a good, selfless aim for starting her campaign.


Many people have an idea of what happened with Clinton’s campaign, and one popular idea is that her campaign didn’t do good work of telling people the reason she was contesting for president. Some people mentioned that it felt as well Clinton wished to be president because she felt entitled to it.

To give the true version of the story: Clinton didn’t have any power-hungry or self-serving desires for the presidency, and she definitely never felt it was certain she would get it.

No, the actual cause Clinton wished to be president was that she genuinely felt she would do well with the position.

It’s correct that she didn’t do the best thing of being honest about her skills; however, she has never been good at showing herself off. She likes to discuss her policies and tactics for improving the government.



When the campaign of Clinton started, it was revealed by the polling data that although people knew her name, they still didn’t know her accomplishments and who she was as a person. This is a thing she had plans to solve by reintroducing herself to voters.

She wanted all the voters to understand that she’d committed her life to public service since long time ago, that as one of the only 27 women at Yale Law School, she started to work as a defender and advocate for human rights. Since her time working for the Children’s Defense Fund, her main reason in life has been supporting the less fortunate.

Although Clinton wanted to acquaint voters with her long background of public service, the discussion was usually being redirected to another direction by people who wanted to cast her as a criminal evil-doer. It was difficult to get truths and realities to people during the 2016 election; however, the actual motive for her campaign was that she was aware that she had the quality be an effective president who would support the working people.


Chapter 4 – In politics, it is not an easy thing being a woman; however, there are some benefits.


Clinton didn’t wish to make her sex the center of her campaign. She’s well conscious that her story of being a woman who has succeeded in a male-dominated profession isn’t acceptable to everybody.

People like it or not, politics is prevalent with sexism and misogyny.

You only have to check the fact that millions of people voted for a person who boasted about sexually assaulting women as proof of how fixed these features are in American society.

Or, you could check the comments on YouTube or Twitter under any post written by a woman talking about her political view. It’s an understatement to mention that it’s hard to be a woman in politics; men will try to lessen all the words and knowledge you have.

Eleanor Roosevelt the former First Lady mentioned one time that a woman requires to possess the skin of a rhinoceros to get by. Clinton has gotten some really thick skin; however, the harsh things people say can still hurt. When the people at the rallies of Trump shouted “Lock her up!” and “Guilty!” it felt as if witch hunt from the Middle Eras.



However, the only means transformation is going to appear is if more women get into the political argument. They’ll still meet double standards, such as how crying is an indication of compassion in men, and a sign of weakness in women; however, there are also benefits.

A thrill that never becomes old is being in the room where choices are made and being a voice for the underrepresented in your society.  Maye it’s the Oval Office, senate chambers or your local town hall, more women have to be heard and go through this for themselves.

 In nations such as China and Romania, men are still in total charge of a woman’s reproductive rights, and the only means to ensure that isn’t the case in the United States is for more women to campaign for office.


Chapter 5 – One of Clinton’s main ambitions was to control the gun lobby.


There are some political forces against which the majority of the politicians are scared to stand, irrespective of how high their office. One such kind of force is the National Rifle Association (NRA).

After being with the Mothers of the Movement for a while, which is a group of African American women whose children had been murdered by police or gun violence, and seeing as apparently unending mass shootings happened in America, Hillary Rodham Clinton was resolute not to bow down to the NRA.

Mothers of the Movement wish for the United States to enact stricter gun laws. They’ve accepted their loss and changed it into a strong force. Clinton took their message seriously; it had a huge part in her campaign platform.

Certainly, people on both sides of the gun issue feel passionate about their beliefs. Gun ownership for the reasons of self-defense and hunting are customs a lot of Americans view extremely woven into the fabric of their country, and certainly, the Second Amendment of the Constitution warrants the right to possess weapons.

However, Clinton didn’t have any intention of prohibiting guns; she wants it more difficult for people with bad aims to have their hands on the gun.



Clinton is conversant with the influence of the NRA: they assisted conquer Al Gore in the 2000 election, and lately, they succeeded to take down a bill targeted at making people on the federal no-fly list unentitled to purchase guns. Of course, that’s true, people who aren’t permitted to board a plane should still be entitled to a handgun as far as the NRA is concerned. And they succeeded since politicians are really afraid to challenge this strong lobby.

This is the reason the United States requires a leader such as Clinton who isn’t scared to challenge big money. Donald Trump made it obvious from the onset that he was courting the gun lobby. After the mass shooting that happened in Orlando nightclub, he assumed it was a shame everybody in the club wasn’t carrying weapons.


Chapter 6 – With her experiences in 2016, Clinton has learned the significance of big aims.


One of the main differences between Bernie Sanders and Clinton was how they handled the information about their policies. Bernie Sanders wanted to make college education free of charge for all US citizens, despite the fact that the information of that kind of a plan was uncertain, as well the price it was going to cost the middle class in increased taxes.

And this is the difference between realism and idealism. Clinton constantly felt it was of great significance to have realistic strategies that could be passed the next day, even if they aren’t as thrilling as free college.

Clinton is regarded as a policy wonk. In Brooklyn, which her campaign headquarters, there hung a sign that says, “Wonks for the Win!” Her team had a lot of like-minded hard workers who liked making realistic policies that could be sponsored and implemented.

However, since the election, Clinton has realized the benefit of having big, exciting aims that may require extra work before they can be completely attained.



No doubt that Bernie Sanders managed a successful campaign that made people really happy, while Clinton’s campaign was framed as signifying the status quo –although her platform was very progressive than Barack Obama’s ever was!

Nevertheless, she now knows that her campaign could have gained from some interesting concepts that looked to the future, such as the “Alaska for America” idea she nearly introduced. Alaska for America was the term of a profit-sharing plan that could one day be used all around the nation to share the riches from natural resources with taxpayers. It’s working already in Alaska through a fund that shares royalties from the state’s oil reserves to citizens.

Clinton’s team wasn’t able to device a real idea for how this system could be utilized on a federal, nationwide level; however, maybe, that shouldn’t have prevented her from making it part of her platform. It might have stirred people, and she could have figured out the information afterward.


Chapter 7 – Clinton was resolute to assist the people who didn’t vote for her, particularly in Michigan and West Virginia.


Saying the statements, “We’re going to put many of coal miners and coal businesses out of business”  was another remorse Clinton has from her 2016 campaign. It seems really harsh, right? Also, the press, particularly, Fox News, repeated those statements on a limitless loop.

Although Clinton feels remorseful about saying those words in that particular order, the statement has been taken out of context and changed to mean the complete opposite of the message she was delivering. Due, when Clinton visited the people of West Virginia and the people in Appalachia, she was encountered by annoyed protesters. However, these were people she had the intention of assisting, even though they weren’t going to vote for her.

In West Virginia, she was welcomed by people holding signs that say “Go Home Hillary” however, she succeeded to speak to some people and tell them she had all the aim of assisting them better their lives. The fact is that coal mining has been reducing since the 1950s.



Trump guaranteed to reopen coal mines; however, in May of 2017, his economic council director, Gary Cohn, acknowledged that “coal isn’t reasonable anymore.” This is the reason Clinton mentioned those words; however, the complete statement was a bid to form jobs and opportunities for people in West Virginia by mending tunnels, bridges, and roads and getting the region wired with broadband in order for small businesses to have a fighting opportunity at thriving.

Also, she was ardent about assisting the people of Flint, Michigan –a thing she feels remorseful not being able to do as president. 

The resident of Flint has been managing for several years with poisonous drinking water and the unkind indifference of politicians. Since the year 2014, people have been becoming ill, having seizures and dying as a result of the water supply. They’re still drinking bottled water and waiting for the issue to be solved.

That’s the type of issue the federal government should prioritize, which is precisely what Clinton had intention do.


Chapter 8 – Clinton had a huge problem making her message heard over the obsession with her emails.


Therefore, what went wrong? What is the reason for her loss? It’s a question Clinton goes back to regularly, and one of the responses that continue coming back is “those damn emails”.

Deciding to make use of her private email account while she was a Secretary of State is at the top list of Clinton’s regrets.

However, this is the thing: since email use started, each Secretary of State has utilized a private email account. While General Colin Powell, the secretary under George W. Bush was working as the Secretary of State, he made use of an AOL!

However, the discussion stayed stuck on the topic of Clinton’s emails for the time of the whole campaign.

As stated by Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, nightly television news used three times more minutes discussing her emails than about the policies in her campaign platform. Generally, in 2016, when you add the main nightly news shows, they used just 32 minutes a night talking about the policies of the presidential contenders. In 2008, they used 220 minutes each night on policy!



With this focus on her email, it was next to unlikely for Clinton’s message to get to as many voters as she’d wished. She worried over her platform, which was formed after listening to people and discussing one-on-one with families who required assistance. However, television and newspapers were much more interested in enquiring about her use of a private email account.

One of the scandals was that her email account was directed to a server in her Chappaqua, New York apartment, which was established by Bill Clinton and secured by members of the secret service. The twist here is that while all the servers at Pentagon, White House, and State Department have been hacked, the server at her home has been examined and discovered to be uncompromised.

Therefore, what has been referred to as a threat to national security really made her e-mail safer.


Chapter 9 – Having to contend with Trump was hard enough; however, it was even worse dealing with Russian influence.


Clinton is glad that a lot of the government’s leading officials spoke up on her behalf during the email scandal. They assisted to explain that making use of a private account isn’t an offense neither was it a crime to national security.

These are truths – something for which Trump has displayed a bit of concern. And because there’s never been a presidential candidate with really little concern for truths, it made campaigning against him an extremely annoying and hard experience.

Trump was the most dishonest contender ever assessed according to the independent fact-checkers PolitiFact. All along, Clinton was ranked the most honest in 2016 – still more than Bernie Sanders.

Before Trump, contenders didn’t come for debates not prepared and mention obvious lies; therefore there was no playbook for how to handle a person like Trump. However, Clinton’s team did an excellent job in getting her ready for those debates, particularly Philippe Reines, who was an advisor that did a really pitch-perfect parody of Trump that she was never diverted by the actual deal’s strange act.



Question yourself, what would you do if a person who boasted about groping women went on to creep around behind you and breathe down your neck while replying to questions on a televised debate?

This was definitely an unprecedented area, and that feeling increased extremely when news came out that Russian hackers were trying to interfere with the election.

It has never happened before that a foreign power really directly meddled with a US election. The first indications arose when the email servers of the Democratic National Committee and also the email account of John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, were hacked.

These emails didn’t have anything bad about Clinton; however, they were published at calculated periods to divert voters and the press in the days before the election, as well as the day Trump’s comments on molesting were publicized

However, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Facebook and Twitter had a lot of fake accounts posting anti-Clinton messages, and a minimum of 21 states had their election systems targeted by hackers.


Chapter 10 – The most destructive setback to the campaign was the unprecedented impact of the FBI director.


This is a fascinating truth: The CIA and FBI were completely informed of a likely Russian cyberattack by at least three months before the election which is August of 2016

But, while the CIA sounded the alarms, the FBI was reluctant. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until after the election that the FBI confessed that Russia had assisted Trump.

When James Comey the FBI director was asked about his unwillingness to take action, he mentioned that he didn’t want to excessively manipulate the election, which is surprising because that’s precisely what he eventually did.

On the 28th of October 2016, with only a few days before the election, Comey wrote a letter to Congress stating his agency had found new emails that might relate to Clinton’s closed case. After a week, Comey confessed that the emails weren’t new and that the FBI already knew about them. The case is still closed with no proof of the offense.

Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General of the Justice Department, wrote a letter rebuking Comey’s action, referring to it “profoundly wrong and unfair.” And there’s no evading the fact that it had a severely destructive consequence.



Before the 28th of October, the information of Nate Silver, one of the most esteemed and truthful statisticians in the United States, revealed that Clinton had a commanding lead and an 81% likelihood of a win. However, after the letter of Comey, it reduced to 65 percent. Corey Lewandowski, the former campaign manager of Trump, quotes Comey’s letter as “reversing fortunes” of his campaign.

With the case closed for several months and three obvious debate wins behind her, momentum was certainly in Clinton’s favor. With Comey’s letter concerning the email disclosures in combination with the bombardment of fake news on social media naming Clinton a criminal and also a killer, everything started to fall.


Chapter 11 – The 2016 election left a lot to think through and investigate; however, the people of the US need to progress and remain involved


Therefore, what’s next? Well, just like a lot, Clinton is keen to find out the full detail of what occurred during the election. Surprising things are still being exposed, and Clinton’s concern in this information is anything but self-centered. If anybody is to prevent another invasion of the democratic process, it’s significant to know precisely what happened.

Although the investigation into what Trump’s campaign team and Russia did is still going on, there is a lot of proven evidence to ponder on.

From the unclassified documents published by the intelligence community, people from the Trump team had a meeting with Russians and got in touch with them via email, phone calls, and text. A lot of the meetings were made through Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador



Trump’s campaign advisor, Roger Stone, has confessed to being in touch with the Russian hacker who is referred to as Guccifer 2.0. And we understand that the son-in-law of Trump’s, Jared Kushner had a meeting with Sergey Gorkov, the director of the Kremlin bank associated with Russian intelligence agencies. Also, we have an e-mail from Kushner suggesting the use of Russian diplomatic channels as a means of not being detected.

Also, the Trump administration is presently sending encoded messages, which infringes federal law on the open nature of White House correspondents.

Positively, everything will be shed light on in time, and we’ll be able to ensure that this type of invasion never occurs again.

Meanwhile, it’s more significant than ever to go forth and use any disappointments or rage you have to positive means. This entails taking part in politics and making a difference.

Clinton has been remembering four words: Resist! Insist! Persist! Enlist!

The lessons in these chapters are: know your local politicians and what they represent. If you are not okay with their policies, tell them, resist and insist on change. And do not take no for an answer – persist and recruit your friends to support your cause.

This is how you can make a change, and glass ceilings are broken, beginning at the local level and going up from there.


What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton Book Review


The loss of Hillary Clinton’s in the election that happened in 2016 came as a surprise to a lot of people. Some of the answers as to what went wrong are still being discovered; however, according to Clinton’s view, a lot of unprecedented occasions added to her loss. These comprise an out-of-control FBI director, organized Russian hackers and a few errors from her side that she extremely regrets.


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Savaş Ateş

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