Expect to hear a lot from Hillary Clinton this week as she officially releases What Happened, her own account of her defeat in the US 2016 Presidential Election.
But don’t expect a political comeback, at least not any time soon. She says that her time as “an active politician” is over. She’s done with being a candidate, but not done with politics. “I literally believe that our country’s future is at stake.”
Instead, you can glean a little about how she coped with her own surprise at her defeat, and the enormous disappointment and loss she felt — as well as how she dealt with having to watch Donald Trump being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.
Clinton told CBS This Morning that she had an “out of body” experience while sitting on stage at Trump’s inauguration in January this year.
“I’m a former first lady, and former presidents and first ladies show up [to inaugurations],” she said . “It’s part of the demonstration of the continuity of our government. And so there I was, on the platform, you know, feeling like an out-of-body experience. And then his speech, which was a cry from the white nationalist gut.
“What an opportunity [he had] to say, ‘OK, I’m proud of my supporters, but I’m the president of all Americans.’ That’s not what we heard at all.”
Clinton said she hadn’t prepared a concession speech for the November 2017 election, having instead worked extensively on her victory speech. “I just felt this enormous letdown, just kind of loss of feeling and direction and sadness.
She said weeks went by following the election as she struggled to cope. “I couldn’t feel, I couldn’t think. I was just gob-smacked, wiped out.
“Off I went, into a frenzy of closet cleaning, and long walks in the woods, playing with my dogs, and, as I write– yoga, alternate nostril breathing, which I highly recommend, tryin’ to calm myself down. And you know, my share of Chardonnay. It was a very hard transition. I really struggled. I couldn’t feel, I couldn’t think. I was just gob-smacked, wiped out.”
She also sat at the dining room table to write What Happened.
She told CBS she started the campaign knowing she would have to work harder to ensure men and women would feel comfortable with the idea of a woman president. “It doesn’t fit into the– the stereotypes we all carry around in our head. And a lot of the sexism and the misogyny was in service of these attitudes. Like, you know, ‘We really don’t want a woman commander in chief.'”
She added she found Trump’s appeal to voters as “deplorable”, although she also shared why she believes Trump’s message cut through. “He was quite successful in referencing a nostalgia that would give hope, comfort, settle grievances, for millions of people who were upset about gains that were made by others.”
And when asked about the Access Hollywood tape that revealed a recording of Trump boasting about sexually harassing women, Clinton said there was a large amount of people who just didn’t care about it.
She writes in her book that she had planned to wear white on the night of the election, the colour of the suffragettes, “While standing on a stage cut into the shape of the United State under a vast glass ceiling.”
But alas, the white suit stayed in the garment bag.