Political Odds: What Will Happen in Hillary’s “What Happened”?

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore (flicker) CC License

How did the most qualified presidential candidate in American history (according to Barack Obama) lose to the most inexperienced, most despised presidential candidate in recent memory, a real-life personification of hot bologna on a stick?

Hillary Clinton hopes to answer that question in her upcoming book, What Happened.

Scheduled for a September release, What Happened will be Clinton’s third memoir, following Living History (2003) and Hard Choices (2014). The upcoming book promises to be “her most personal memoir yet.” While the other two were standard-issue, cliche-riddled political memoirs, What Happened is supposedly a more candid take on what really happened behind the scenes.

In a recently released excerpt, Clinton reveals what it was like to debate Donald Trump:

It was the second presidential debate, and Donald Trump was looming behind me. Two days before, the world heard him brag about groping women. Now we were on a small stage and no matter where I walked, he followed me closely, staring at me, making faces. It was incredibly uncomfortable. He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled.


It was one of those moments where you wish you could hit pause and ask everyone watching: ‘Well, what would you do?’ Do you stay calm, keep smiling and carry on as if he weren’t repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye, and say loudly and clearly: ‘Back up, you creep, get away from me! I know you love to intimidate women, but you can’t intimidate me, so back up.’


As far as political memoirs go, this is a significant one. It’ll be interesting to get Clinton’s take on one of the biggest upsets in the history of American politics. But will it truly be something different? Will it give us more than the usual political-memoir fare? 





Based on the excerpt released, we’re in for a ton of Trump-bashing. His name will come up more frequently than a banned substance in a Jon Jones drug test, and with the book running over 500 pages, we’re looking at a count that could easily exceed four bills. After all, if you were to answer the question “What Happened?” in two words, it would probably be “Donald Trump” (or maybe “Hillary Clinton”).

If you’re taking the under, you’d reason that Clinton may also want to talk about her campaign, Russian interference, James Comey, and maybe even Bernie Sanders. Also, at the end of the day, this is still a political memoir. So there’s a good chance we’ll have to comb through long passages about inspiring, hardworking Americans she met along the campaign trail. Yet she promised us something different with this book, and a politician wouldn’t lie to us, right?


  • Russian intervention: 1/50
  • James Comey: 1/19
  • Misogyny: 1/3
  • Poorly run campaign: 1/1
  • Bernie Sanders: 5/1

Hillary Clinton has already blamed her loss on Russian intervention and James Comey, so it’s quite likely that she’ll continue to do so in the new book. Russian meddling is still a hot-button topic at the moment, and I imagine a lot of people will be purchasing What Happened just for Clinton’s take on the Ruskies.

There has been a lot of criticism dished out at Clinton’s campaign, so I don’t think she will feel compelled to add to the onslaught. But What Happened may take a moment to admit a few miscalculations, like never setting foot in Wisconsin and taking the rust-belt states for granted (and ultimately losing because of it).

It would be hard to pin much blame on “the Bern,” who fought a tough fight during the primaries but was quick to endorse Clinton for the general.


By 2020, Hillary Clinton will be 73 — younger than Donald Trump, who will be 75, but still very old for a presidential candidate. After two failed attempts at the presidency, it may not be good for her, the Democratic Party, or the country for her to run again. While Trump is remarkably unpopular at the moment, Clinton somehow still manages to be even less liked. But hey, would anyone be truly surprised if she tried one last time?