Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday

Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday.

I'm still knitting on my Fading Tardis hitchhiker, wondering when I'll start to see the beginning of the gradient appear (and wondering how long before I bore you to tears with the same knitting project week after week). It's been hot enough recently that my knitting motivation has waned, but it's finally supposed to cool down a bit on Friday, so hopefully my knitting mojo will return along with cooler temperatures.

Several of you have already read my thoughts about What Happened, and I know some of you have read the book yourselves, but it felt like kind of a big deal in my reading last week, so I'm going to also post the review here. I was anxious to read what Hillary Clinton had to say, but also a little apprehensive that reading it would make me angrier, sadder, and more resentful. Readers will have to judge for themselves if it's a book they are interested in, but I was pleasantly surprised. I thought that Secretary Clinton had written as hopeful a book as possible under the circumstances, and at the end, I thought that if Mrs. Clinton could pick herself up and go on, then I certainly needed to do the same. It gave me a much-needed reminder that I could not wallow in hate, anger, and fear, but need to persevere and keep making phone calls and taking action. 

"For of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these: 'It might have been.'"

I supported Hillary Clinton and voted for her, so of course I wanted to read her take on What Happened. I'm not sure that question will ever really be answered, but in What Happened, she offers her views on the campaign, the election, and her life afterwards. I found the book to be an interesting combination of Secretary Clinton's own recounting of her life, personal and professional, and her take on politics, agendas, policies, and action. 

One of the things I found most surprising was that she blames herself for letting down her supporters. I personally think there is plenty of blame to be laid upon others, but perhaps naively, I do not blame Hillary Clinton for the loss. 

"Every day that I was a candidate for President, I knew that millions of people were counting on me, and I couldn’t bear the idea of letting them down. But I did. I couldn’t get the job done, and I’ll have to live with that for the rest of my life."
Mrs. Clinton does talk about how she misread the climate in the country and campaigning on fact-based policies and well thought out plans on how to fix things may not have been best strategy. Hindsight may be 20/20, but it still saddens me immensely that reason, logic, facts, and truth were not what the electorate wanted.
"Still, in terms of fighting the previous war, I think it’s fair to say that I didn’t realize how quickly the ground was shifting under all our feet. This was the first election where the Supreme Court’s disastrous 2010 Citizens United decision allowing unlimited political donations was in full force but the Voting Rights Act of 1965 wasn’t because of another terrible decision by the court in 2013. I was running a traditional presidential campaign with carefully thought-out policies and painstakingly built coalitions, while Trump was running a reality TV show that expertly and relentlessly stoked Americans’ anger and resentment."

"Usually when I meet people who are frustrated and angry, my instinctive response is to talk about how we can fix things. That’s why I spent so much time and energy coming up with new policies to create jobs and raise wages. But in 2016 a lot of people didn’t really want to hear about plans and policies. They wanted a candidate to be as angry as they were, and they wanted someone to blame."
While reading, I couldn't help but wonder if the Hillary Clinton that wrote this book could have won the election. She writes about the details of her life, walks in the woods with her dogs and Bill, watching HGTV, the books she has read and enjoyed, dinner and time spent with good friends, and most of all, her enjoyment of her grandchildren. She has presented a much softer side than we are used to seeing.
"There are times when all I want to do is scream into a pillow. But slowly, on a personal level, it has gotten better—or at least less terrible. I did quite a bit of thinking and writing, some praying, some stewing, and, in time, a good deal of laughing. I went on a lot of long walks in the woods with my husband and our dogs, Tally and Maisie, who took all this much better than we did. I surrounded myself with friends and caught up on some of the shows that people have been telling me about for years, as well as a lot of HGTV. Best of all, I spent time with my wonderful grandchildren, making up for all the bedtime stories and songs in the bathtub I missed during my long months on the campaign trail. I believe this is what some call “self-care.” It turns out, it’s pretty great."
I voted for her not because she's a woman, but because I thought that she was the most qualified candidate with a lifetime of broad and deeply relevant experience for the job of President of the United States. I'm fairly confident that I would not be worrying about nuclear war every day if Mrs. Clinton was President. I'm not nearly as sure as Secretary Clinton is that the fight was worth it, but only time will tell.
"Will we ever have a woman President? We will. I hope I'll be around to vote for her--assuming I agree with her agenda. She'll have to earn my vote based on her qualifications and ideas, just like anyone else. When that day comes, I believe that my two presidential campaigns will have helped pave the way for her. We did not win, but we made the sight of a woman nominee more familiar. We brought the possibility of a woman president closer. We helped bring into the mainstream the idea of a woman leader for our country. That's a big deal, and everyone who played a role in making that happen should be deeply proud. This was worth it. I will never think otherwise. This fight was worth it."

"I prayed that my worst fears about Donald Trump wouldn’t be realized, and that people’s lives and America’s future would be made better, not worse, during his presidency. I’m still praying on that one, and I can use all the backup you can muster."

What are you making and reading this week? 


  1. I think the book sounds really interesting. At the end of it all it's nice to see that she is enjoying the really good things in life...a good walk, a couple of dogs and family.

  2. I have an ache in my heart and tears in my eyes reading your review and excerpts. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about what should have been. I have long loved Secretary Clinton for so many reasons and it appears that once I read What Happened I will have all kinds of new reasons to love her even more. She makes me profoundly proud to be a woman today, in this time, and I agree someday we will have a woman president - and it is my hope as well that it will happen in my lifetime so I can join the Secretary in voting for her as well.

    I must admit, there is a deep seeded longing inside me that hopes that they find that the meddling in the election was (as we all know) real and that the Cheeto's presidency is overturned. I know this is a pretty big wish, and as my mother would say, wish in one hand...

  3. I am planning on reading Clinton's book but I don't know if I'm ready yet! I feel like I owe it to her, though. I am reading George and Lizzie and I am hoping to finish the caterpillar cocoon set today - one week til baby!

  4. Your review really captures the essence of the book. After reading it I admire her even more and have renewed energy to continue to speak up and act for what is right.

  5. I feel the same as you. This woman should have been President! And every day, with all that is going on around the world - I wish every single minute that it could have been!

    Love your yarn for your hitchhiker! What brand is it? I want some!

    Linda in VA

  6. I am not ready to read this book. Reading this post made me cry again. I have come to realize that listening to the news every day has begun to really affect me, so I have quit. I do check in on google news, and I watch bits and pieces with my husband, but when he-who-shall-not-be-named comes on, I exit the room. He just makes me crazy, literally. I hope that I can read this soon, but time will tell. It is so painful to know that our country faces all these needless challenges and that things that could actually help citizens are not being done because of the lack of priorities and chaos. Having said that, Bonny that's a great book review. We will never tire of your joy in knitting your Fading Tardis. Be brave, and carry on, and keep us informed. Happy Wednesday!

    1. I completely understand why you are not ready and can't watch news. I used to listen to NPR all the time, but like you say, news makes us crazy, and we can not live in a state of crazed anger for the next several years. I do a quick perusal of BBC online in the morning, choose the stories I want to read, and that's it for news to preserve my sanity. I hate that something I wrote made you cry, but take heart that there are many, many people that care about our fellow human beings and we will (we must) persevere.

    2. Oh, Bonny, you didn't make me cry! The state of things makes me cry if I pay too much attention, I think. I know that this too shall pass, but it is tragic for a lot of people, and honestly, I am not one of them. I live a privileged life with plenty to eat, a nice place to live, and money to buy yarn, so I am trying to remember to count my blessings. Your blog is a source of pleasure.

  7. Thanks for writing your thoughts about Clinton's book. I rarely read books about current political persons or events but I plan to read this one. This week I am reading Eleanor and Hick. The nonfiction work is an interesting view into the life of Eleanor Roosevelt, another strong, courageous woman. I am in between knitting projects with only the ever present socks on the needles. Time to get going on a few holiday gift knits.

  8. Your review was all I need to read on the political situation. I appreciate your review of the book and what HRCs views of the election are. I've moved and thing my energies are best spent on helping people to get through the day to day of living without. It's the only way I know how to change what is reality, even if it is only one person at a time.

  9. You are not boring me! I talk about the same project over and over (and over)again. That is just what happens with knitters. I'd love to read that book.


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