In What Happened, Hillary Clinton alternates between discussing her political and personal life. The more personal chapters are the ones that I find the most touching and interesting. Regardless of her politics, if you just boil Clinton down to a human being with a life and a family and wants and feelings, she’s a fascinating individual. And no matter where you stand on the political front, there’s something everyone can gain from just learning about the inner workings about another person’s experience.
The story of Chelsea Clinton’s birth and childhood was immensely touching. I can feel both Bill and Hillary’s love for their daughter through the pages. All that Hillary Clinton wanted to do was to create an environment where their daughter can grow and flourish into a self-assured and healthy woman. I can respect that. And it can’t have been easy juggling a life in public office, law practice, political advocacy, and all of the things that the Clintons are involved in, as well as making time for their daughter.The healthy medium that the Clintons seem to have found is that they used the opportunities that Chelsea Clinton would have to travel and experience the world. She had an unusual childhood, but she managed to stay grounded.
She also talks her relationship with Bill Clinton. I loved her description of their marriage. She did leave out one particular elephant in the room. Though, I really don’t blame her. I think that Hillary Clinton probably wants to let that just go to rest after all these years. Instead, she described Bill and Chelsea’s relationship and both of them tried to encourage Chelsea’s spirit and passion.
Clinton talks about how she and Bill met in the library at Yale Law. She talks about their differences in temperament. She considers herself to be more careful and practical, while her husband is more intense. Despite their seemingly oil and water personalities, they’ve managed to build a strong marriage. She talks about the different conspiracy theories that her marriage was built on more dubious intent or political motivation. Frankly, I feel inclined to believe her. In any profession, people should be able to take criticism. Without fair criticism in the workplace, from a teenager’s first job in a fast food restaurant to the leader of your country, without investigation and criticism, there is only stagnation. But when it comes to people’s private lives, just leave them alone. Every person is entitled to have a personal life. And nobody should be forced to go into the details of their private lives. Yes, if you disagree with a policy or decision, make your voice known. Yes, if you feel that something is wrong with the way things are, work to do all you can to fix it. But once someone goes home, what happens there isn’t anyone’s business but their own.