By Abby Shine
On October 23, Hillary Clinton visited Montreal to promote the release of her new book “What Happened.” The event, which I luckily had the opportunity to attend, took place at the Palais des Congrès.
The event began with Mrs. Clinton opening with a few remarks. Her speech mainly dealt with the idea of gender inequality within the realm of politics. When men gain power, they gain respect. The opposite occurs with women. It seems as though the more power they get, the more negative traits (aggressive, bossy, annoying, etc.) they begin to be associated with. Something she said, which stood out to me, was the fact that whenever she’d serve for others, such as when she was senator or first lady, the public adored her. When she finally asked for the opportunity to lead, however, people quickly shut her down.
Following this, the remaining time was spent with Clinton answering questions. Various topics were brought up, two of which I really liked.
The first one was about the suspicious events that took place during the election campaign, specifically concerning Russia. Mrs. Clinton explained that Russia had fabricated commercials and advertisements on social media in order to spread information about Hillary. She also pointed to the odd timeline of events regarding her email leak, they had been released a day after Trump made a horrible, sexist claim.
The second topic brought up was about reality television. Mrs. Clinton argued that this was the first ever election not about actual ideas, but rather how to work a crowd on and off line. She explained that she simply wasn’t good enough and that Donald Trump, being on The Apprentice, excelled at this. After she lost, she looked back on videos of her debates and muted their voices, admitting that Trump did come off as more vibrant and exciting. “Donald Trump was reality TV and I was just the reality.”
The reason why this event was such an amazing experience lends itself to the fact that Hillary Clinton was honest and transparent. She maintained the perfect balance of letting go and holding on. By this, I mean that she does not want what happened to her during the election to be forgotten or go unnoticed. The problems she faced during the election will only end up harming the country in the long term. At the same time, she acknowledges the fact that she was not perfect during the campaign, and that, even though the leaked emails were twisted versions of the truth, she should have never allowed herself to be in such a situation.
With no intention of running again, she is now calling herself an activist and mentor. In fact, she purposely avoided partaking in the Women’s March, as she wanted a new generation of leaders to arise from this event.
It may seem like Mrs. Clinton is taking a step back from the spotlight, but this is most certainly not true. Her new book is clearly just the beginning of something new, and Mrs. Clinton will be there to teach it and lead all the way through.