Perusing “What Happened”

I am not about to go out and purchase Hillary Clinton’s latest autobiographical book, “What Happened”. I have heard her talk about it on shows like The View. I have also leafed through it at Barnes and Noble. I know from the book reviews and the pundits that it is full of invective against the man who defeated her (Trump) and full of reasons why she was deprived of what she considered rightfully hers, the presidency of the United States. There is plenty of blame to go around, from James Comey to Bernie Sanders (who she cheated out of the nomination) to the Russians, right-wing radio, the New York Times (!!), and so on.


Mind you, I have not read the book, only perused it, but there is something else I have noted, especially in the final chapters. It is the tendency to use flowery quotes of others to wrap her own persona in. Gone is the angry, vindictive, screeching and lying Hillary we all know. What emerges in the parts I have read is an angelic figure full of love and compassion for her fellow man (except Mr Trump and Republicans, that is). There are quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt as well as an African proverb (which she dearly loves and cherishes).

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Then there is this: This May, Mrs Clinton gave the commencement speech at Wellesley University, which is her alma mater. It was a fiery speech attacking Trump. However, in her book, she quotes excerpts from a speech  given by a Wellesley graduating student who shared the stage with her, a young woman named Tala Nashawati. In this speech, Nashawati referred to emeralds and told her audience that many flawed emeralds were actually better than perfect emeralds. She compared herself to a flawed emerald.


That is all well and good, but in “What Happened”, Hillary applies the flawed emerald metaphor to herself pointing out that her critics often refer to her as “flawed Hillary”.


“Still, it’s nearly impossible to find a completely flawless emerald. Flawed emeralds are sometimes even better than flawless ones, because the flaws show authenticity and character.”



To which Hillary tells her readers that it is she who is the “flawed emerald”.


No, Hillary Clinton is just a piece of green glass more suitable to bottle Coca Cola. She is a phony. She is a liar. She is a dishonest person-a crook. The only emerald is her never-say-die tenaciousness, a quality even her worst enemies concede as Trump did during one of the debates. Everything else is flaws-flaws of character and judgment. There is no authenticity. There is no character. Hillary Clinton is a vainglorious megalomaniac, which her body language in public should have convinced everyone by now. Her writing merely reflects that. She is determined to create a legacy similar to Eleanor Roosevelt (an absurdity in itself) if not to rekindle her flickered out presidential hopes.


Hillary Clinton is no emerald. She is an empty and broken Coke bottle not fit for recycling.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Gary Fouse

Born 1945 in Los Angeles. Currently employed since 1998 as adjunct teacher at University of California at Irvine Ext. teaching English as a second language.
Education: BS in Police Science and Administration California State University at Los Angeles (1970)
Master of Education at University of Virginia (1993)
Served three years in US Army Military Police Corps at Erlangen, Germany 1966-68.
1970-1973- Criminal Investigator with US Customs
1973-1995 Criminal Investigator with Drug Enforcement Administration. Stationed in Los Angeles, Bangkok, Milan, Italy, Pittsburgh and Office of Training, FBI Academy, Quantico, Va until retirement.
Author of Erlangen-An American's History of a German Town-University Press of America 2005
The Story of Papiamentu-A Study in Slavery and Language, University Press of America, 2002
The Languages of the Former Soviet Republics-Their History and Development, University Press of America, 2000

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