‘You’ve got to hand it to Trump,’ and other quotes from Hillary Clinton’s book

A selection of the best barbs, laments, zingers and warnings in 'What Happened'

 (Jim Young/Reuters)

Hillary Clinton’s reflections on the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign have drawn visceral reaction—so strong a response that it drowns out the wry humour and brutal honesty punctuating the book. A sampling, then, from What Happened, Clinton’s account of a ground-shaking election race:


“I don’t have all the answers, and this isn’t a comprehensive account of the 2016 race things I’d do over. If the Russians could hack my subconscious, they’d find a long list.”

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“I had no precedent to follow; and voters had no historical frame of reference to draw upon.”


“Nobody psychoanalyzed Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, or Bernie Sanders about why they ran.”

“One thing I’ve learned over the years is how easy it is for people to say horrible things about me when I’m not around, but how difficult it is for them to look me in the eye and say it to my face.”


“I heard it again in the 2016 campaign: that “we must have an arrangement” (we do, it’s called a marriage”)”

“You’ve got to hand it to Trump—he’s hateful, but he’s hard to look away from him.”

“Donald Trump didn’t care about policy at all. He seemed proud of his ignorance and didn’t even pretend to come up with plans for how he’d build his wall, fix health care, bring back the lost jobs in the manufacturing and coal mining, and defeat ISIS.  It was like he’d just wave a magic wand.”

READ MORE: No, Hillary Clinton should not ‘Shut the f–k up and go away’

“I am proud to be a Democrat, and I wish Bernie were, too.”

“In previous elections, there was always a moment where candidates had to show they were serious and their plans were credible. Not this time.”

“It’s dangerous to make big promises if you have no idea how you’re going to keep them. When you don’t deliver, it will make people even more cynical about government.”


“If it’s all my fault, then the media doesn’t need to do any soul-searching. Republicans can say that Putin’s meddling had no consequences. Democrats don’t need to question their own assumptions and perceptions. Everyone can just move on.”

“The most urgent need right now is to stop the Trump administration from making things a whole lot worse.”

“Solutions are going to matter again in politics. Democrats must be ready when that time comes.”

“Will we have a woman President? We will. I hope I’m around to vote for her—assuming I agree with her agenda.”