Hillary Clinton is no stranger to embarrassment.
As a public figure she’s been embarrassed as first lady (Lewinsky), upstaged and surpassed in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary by an upstart, embarrassed as secretary of state (Benghazi), and, finally, humiliated by losing the 2016 presidential race to a Reality TV star.
To Clinton’s credit, she has reinvented herself after each embarrassment, and now she has re-entered public life, after her defeat to Donald Trump, with a new book called, “What Happened.”
I guess Clinton’s literary goal was to explain how the most qualified candidate in general election history, as she was advertised, lost to a man that never held public office. But instead of acknowledging her blunder of assuming ascension to the presidency, and miscalculating the battleground states, Clinton claimed she lost because she was a woman.
Clinton believes she was put in her place by American patriarchy.
Critics of Clinton’s book complained it was full of excuses, and her unwillingness to take responsibility for running a poor campaign is embarrassing. Clinton’s former colleagues, aides, and supporters were silent after the book’s publication. But some wondered if Clinton built up such an immunity to embarrassment over the decades that she doesn’t realize when she’s embarrassing herself.
Recently, Clinton has been on a worldwide promotional book tour.
Her latest stop was India.
I saw two headlines that were blatant attempts to embarrass her. One stated Hillary slipped down the steps. The website even provided footage. The other stated Clinton fractured her wrist after she slipped in the bathtub. We all know there’s no shame in slipping and falling, but Clinton made some Freudian slips in India that has caused a fallout with supporters and angered many other Democrats.
Clinton said, “There’s all that red in the middle, where Trump won. Now, I win the coasts, I win Illinois, Minnesota, places like that. But what the map doesn’t show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product. So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward, and his whole campaign, ‘Make America Great Again,’ was looking backwards.”
Notice, Clinton associated gross domestic product (wealth) with forwardness and the rest of America was backwards. That’s no different than her favorite phrase “middle class values” which implies morality is economically determined, suggesting “the poor” have no agency.
Then Clinton described Trump voters as people that don’t like Black people getting rights, don’t like women getting jobs, and since she was in India, she emphasized they didn’t want to see Indian Americans succeed.
In other words, everyone that didn’t vote for her was racist, sexist, or both.
But the comment that disturbed the Democrats the most was when Clinton claimed, Democrats have been losing the vote, including White women. Democrats don’t do well with White men and we don’t do well with married White women, because White women face ongoing pressure to vote the way their husbands, their bosses, or their sons believe they should vote.
In other words, married White women that didn’t vote for her, also, have no agency.
The Hill reported, “For months, some Democrats have been arguing that Clinton’s sentiments have been counterproductive to the party’s rebuilding efforts.” One Clinton supporter said, “She’s annoying me. She’s annoying everyone as far as I can tell. Who lets her say these things?” One op-ed writer titled her piece about this very subject: “Just Stop, Hillary, Please.”
But if Clinton’s really immune to embarrassing herself, and if she continues in this fashion, the next best-selling book by some obscure journalist is going to be called: “What happened to Hillary?”
(J. Pharoah Doss is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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