Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made it clear she is not going to run for public office again, although she vowed to continue trying to make a difference on the issues she cares about. “As an active politician it’s over. I am done with being a candidate,” Clinton said in an interview with CBS that was broadcast on Sunday morning, two days before the release of her memoir about the 2016 campaign. “But I am not done with politics, because I literally believe that our country’s future is at stake.”
The interview to promote her memoir What Happened made it clear Clinton is still not over her shocking electoral defeat in November. “I am good,” Clinton said. “But that doesn’t mean I am complacent or resolved about what happened. It still is very painful. It hurts a lot.”
The former candidate said she was “gobsmacked” by her loss to Trump. “I went, into a frenzy of closet cleaning, and long walks in the woods, playing with my dogs, and, as I write—yoga, alternate nostril breathing, which I highly recommend, tryin’ to calm myself down. And—you know, my share of chardonnay. It was a very hard transition. I really struggled,” she said. “I couldn’t feel; I couldn’t think. I was just gobsmacked, wiped out.”
Clinton also used the interview to harshly criticize President Trump. “We have a reality show that leads to the election of a president,” Clinton said. “He ends up in the Oval Office. He says, ‘Boy, it’s so much harder than I thought it would be. This is really tough. I had no idea.’ Well, yeah, because it’s not a show. It’s real. It’s reality, for sure.”
When asked to explain her loss, Clinton described it as a “perfect storm” of “grievances” from white voters, misogyny, and problems from her campaign, including her use of a private email server. And she does recognize that Trump “was quite successful in referencing a nostalgia that would give hope, comfort, settle grievances, for millions of people who were upset about gains that were made by others,” Clinton said. Although she knew “there was anger” and “there was resentment,” she thought her responsibility was “to try to offer answers to it, not to fan it.” But in the end that “was a mistake, because a lot of people didn’t want to hear my plans. They wanted to share my anger.” And while she does criticize her own mistakes, she also has plenty of blame for other people, including former FBI Director James Comey and her primary challenger Bernie Sanders.
After such a bitter loss, attending Trump’s inauguration was “an out-of-body experience,” particularly after hearing Trump’s speech that was “a cry from the white-nationalist gut.”
Clinton’s memoir will be published Tuesday, and the former candidate will embark on a 15-city lecture tour. Many Democrats aren’t quite thrilled with the idea of rehashing the party’s failure in last year’s election. “I love Hillary,” Sen. Al Franken said a few weeks ago. “I think she has a right to analyze what happened. But we do have to move on.”