The for­mer US pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, now with a new book, calls put­ting 2016 and the tyranny of daily pantsuits be­hind her ‘ lib­er­at­ing’

WHO - - In this Issue - By San­dra So­bieraj West­fall

For­mer US pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton puts 2016 and the tyranny of daily pantsuits be­hind her.

What hap­pened? That’s what much of the United States won­dered on Nov. 8, 2016, and it’s the ques­tion Hil­lary Clin­ton’s mem­oir of the same name pon­ders as well. If she has no firm an­swers, she does re­veal how her dev­as­tat­ing loss to Don­ald Trump made her feel. “Mil­lions of peo­ple de­cided they just didn’t like me ... It hurts,” she writes. And the mis­takes she made “burn me up inside.” As Clin­ton tells WHO in an in­ter­view, “I’m sorry to say, Trump is ex­actly who I thought he’d be.” How has she coped? Dis­re­gard­ing the anx­i­ety pills-and-ther­apy ad­vice of friends (“That wasn’t for me. Never has been,” she writes), Clin­ton, 69, has kept busy at home in Chap­paqua, New York—tack­ling her house­hold clut­ter (“It’s never-end­ing!”) and launch­ing On­ward To­gether, a group to sup­port the Trump “re­sis­tance” and train young pro­gres­sives to be ef­fec­tive ac­tivists and can­di­dates. She has tracked the de­tails of Rus­sia’s sup­port for Trump’s elec­tion so ob­ses­sively, she writes, that at times she’s felt like Carrie Mathi­son on Home­land, “des­per­ately try­ing to get her arms around a sin­is­ter con­spir­acy... not a good look for

any­one, let alone a for­mer Sec­re­tary of State.” And while she’s done be­ing a can­di­date, she sees plenty of work ahead—like help­ing to shat­ter the glass ceil­ing to the White House. “I plan to live long enough,” she writes, “to see a woman win.”

What does a typ­i­cal day look like now?

Af­ter so much travel, it’s a rare plea­sure to be at home with Bill. We’ve been spend­ing time with Chelsea and Marc, and our per­fect grand­chil­dren. I’ve been for­tu­nate to see a lot of good the­atre— Come From Away was one of my favourites. I even have time to read for fun. I was riv­eted by his­to­rian Ti­mothy Snyder’s On Tyranny and fi­nally fin­ished the Elena Fer­rante nov­els, which I loved. What’s the nicest thing a ran­dom stranger said to you af­ter the elec­tion? “I’m not giv­ing up.” I love meet­ing young peo­ple—es­pe­cially young women—who tell me they’re vol­un­teer­ing for a cause they care about, do­nat­ing to an or­gan­i­sa­tion that’s do­ing good, or even run­ning for of­fice. It’s en­cour­ag­ing to see that my de­feat hasn’t

de­feated them.

Who gave you the best ad­vice on mov­ing for­ward?

Some of the best ad­vice came from one of my favourite books The Re­turn of the Prodi­gal Son by the Dutch priest Henri Nouwen. Nouwen writes about prac­tis­ing the “dis­ci­pline of grat­i­tude.” It’s up to us to make the choice to be grate­ful even when things aren’t go­ing well. Over time, with ef­fort (and more than a few

“What makes me such a light­ning rod for fury? I’m re­ally ask­ing”

full nights of sleep), I started to re­dis­cover my grat­i­tude.

You write about yoga be­ing your “ther­apy.”

I’m still work­ing on the ba­sics! War­rior II is my favourite—it dou­bles as a great “power pose.”

Do you stay as in­formed about the news as ever?

I’m ter­ri­ble at un­plug­ging. It can be nice to just tune it all out for a few hours, but that’s about as long as I can last! I do make a point of read­ing be­yond the bar­rage of alarm­ing head­lines. A friend re­cently sent me an ar­ti­cle about some brave young women play­ing bas­ket­ball in So­ma­lia.

What is it like for you to watch the un­rest in Char­lottesville, the De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals de­bate, Hur­ri­canes Har­vey and Irma or North Korea un­fold on the news?

I’ll be hon­est: it’s pretty dis­heart­en­ing. I’ve spent a lot of time since the elec­tion and es­pe­cially th­ese last few weeks, think­ing about the Dream­ers and DACA re­cip­i­ents I’ve got­ten to know. I’m heart­sick over Char­lottesville. And I’m deeply con­cerned about ev­ery­one in the path of the hur­ri­canes, not to men­tion the fact that some peo­ple within the ad­min­is­tra­tion would rather turn a blind eye to cli­mate change than con­front this cri­sis. There are times when all I want to do is scream into a pil­low. And don’t even get me started on North Korea.

Late-night comics pic­ture you at a bar, or­der­ing an­other stiff drink. How do you cope with the what-ifs?

You know, as an Amer­i­can, I’m pretty con­cerned. But as a per­son, I’m OK. I’ve never been one to sit around and mope. I’d rather stay busy. That’s what helps me most. And yes, Chardon­nay helps, too. What have you learnt about your­self? I’ve strug­gled for years with the sense that I had to re­strain my­self from say­ing what I was re­ally think­ing and feel­ing. Be­ing a woman in the pub­lic eye is a lit­tle like be­ing on a high­wire with­out a net. I’m learn­ing how cathar­tic it is to fi­nally let my guard down! What does it feel like not to have to be in per­fect hair and make-up and a pantsuit ev­ery day? Lib­er­at­ing!

Are you open to run­ning for of­fice again?

No. I plan on stay­ing ac­tive in other ways. How is your re­la­tion­ship with the Oba­mas now? I spoke with Barack just two weeks ago and I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing him and Michelle when we can work it out with our sched­ules. What’s the sil­li­est thing you’ve done with your grand­chil­dren lately?

Let’s just say there’s a lot of singing and goofy voices. And Char­lotte and I have been do­ing some gar­den­ing. What do you want your legacy to be?

I’m not quite ready to speak about my­self in the past tense just yet!

Bill (Aug. 6) “lis­tened to me vent,” Clin­ton says. He is “good com­pany in happy times and sad.”

Clin­ton, stopped by a fel­low hiker two days af­ter the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, says ex­er­cise and home­im­prove­ment projects are her “ther­apy.”

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