“What happened” in a nutshell

Hillary Clinton’s book about her 2016 defeat is called What Happened. Her answer, apparently, is that Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Barack Obama, the Russians, Joe Biden, James Comey, Anthony Weiner, the Electoral College, apathetic voters, and assorted misogynists behaved badly and/or let her down.

A better answer can be gleaned from this account by Maureen Callahan of a book signing event in New York City. Callahan writes:

Among the enduring criticisms of Hillary Clinton: Her sense of entitlement is limitless. She’s tone-deaf and doesn’t understand the average American — nor does she care to. Her greed is insatiable.

Add to this a gaping lack of self-awareness, and you have all the ingredients for the New York City launch of Hillary’s nationwide book tour Tuesday morning.

Callahan reports that thousands of people lined up outside the Barnes & Noble at Union Square hoping to meet their idol. Some even slept outside the night before.

They were willing to follow whatever directives were handed down by the apparatchiks. Here, in part, is what they were told:

A limited number of wristbands for entry will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis with purchase of the featured title at Barnes & Noble Union Square. Hillary Rodham Clinton will sign copies of her new release, “What Happened” and the 2017 illustrated children’s edition of “It Takes a Village,” no exceptions or personalizing. She will sign up to two books per customer, one of which must be “What Happened.”

No other books or memorabilia please. Posed photos or selfies will not be taking place . . . Book purchase and wristbands are both required to meet the author, no exceptions. Customers without wristbands will not be allowed to participate in any capacity.

In other words, observes Callahan, attendees were to serve two purposes: To make sure What Happened debuts at No. 1 on the bestseller list and to line Hillary’s pockets. But at least she wasn’t charging $89 to $3,000 per head, as she is at upcoming events.

Clinton’s announced arrival time was 11:00 a.m. She arrived just before noon. According to Callahan:

[There was] no hello to the crowd, no thanks for the hours of waiting — let alone decades of support — no apology for or acknowledgment of being an hour late, or losing the most consequential election in American history. Not a single word. She just started signing.

I have a hard time imagining Donald Trump behaving this way. No apology, yes. Not a single word, no.

The wheelchair bound seniors near the stage were forced to move or, in some cases, wheeled away by staff. “We’re going for a ride,” one staffer explained.

If Donald Trump had treated his admirers the way Clinton treats hers, he wouldn’t have won a single primary. If Trump were as people-averse as Clinton, he would have lost the general election as badly as many of us expected him to.

What happened in 2016? The electorate rejected, albeit narrowly, a candidate who professes love for “the people” but doesn’t seem to like people much and has no idea how to connect with them.

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