CLAIM: Clinton’s new book sets record with best opening sales for any nonfiction book in five years


Twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s new book, “What Happened,” has sold 300,000 copies since its release, according to publisher Simon & Schuster. The book, a memoir that details her excuses for losing the 2016 election, has been at or near the top of Amazon’s best-seller list since its publication on Sept. 12.

In the past, Clinton has not seen the same level of success. According to Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy, “What Happened” is doing so well because people want to hear what went wrong from the candidate herself.

“The remarkable response to ‘What Happened’ indicates that, notwithstanding all that has been written and discussed over the last year, there is clearly an overwhelming desire among readers to learn about and experience, from Hillary Clinton’s singular perspective, the historic events of the 2016 election,” Reidy said in a statement. “In its candor and immediacy, ‘What Happened’ is satisfying that demand.”

From Clinton’s perspective of the campaign, the book seeks to explain her team’s strategy, and blames her loss on multiple factors.

With hardcover sales topping 168,000 copies–the best opening sales for any nonfiction book in five years, according to NPD BookScan–Clinton has been on a whirlwind promotional tour, appearing everywhere from “The View” to Costco.


During her book tour, the former secretary of state expanded on the reasons she lost her presidential bid in 2016. Here are some excerpts from the book and her subsequent interviews:

  • Former President Barack Hussein Obama: “I do wonder sometimes about what would have happened if President Obama had made a televised address to the nation in the fall of 2016 warning that our democracy was under attack. Maybe more Americans would have woken up to the threat in time. We’ll never know.”
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Democratic rival: “[Sanders]resort[ed] to innuendo and impugning on my character.” The attacks “caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ campaign.”
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden: “Joe Biden said the Democratic Party in 2016 ‘did not talk about what it always stood for—and that was how to maintain a burgeoning middle class.’ I find this fairly remarkable, considering that Joe himself campaigned for me all over the Midwest and talked plenty about the middle class.”
  • Former FBI Director James Comey: He took her image of a leader, and “turned that picture upside down.”
  • Vladimir Putin: Putin had a “personal vendetta” against her. “I never imagined that he would have the audacity to launch a massive covert attack against our own democracy, right under our noses—and that he’d get away with it.”
  • NBC’s Matt Lauer, for asking questions about the emails during a presidential forum
  • The New York Times: For its coverage of her e-mail scandal.
  • Sexism: “What makes me such a lightning rod for fury? I’m really asking. I’m at a loss…I think it’s partly because I’m a woman.”
  • Fake News: She blames social media of spreading fake news. “We’re going to make Facebook own up to everything. They’ve just begun to own up. They have a long way to go before they get to where they need to be, in my opinion.”
  • Women: She complains that women didn’t turn out for her as they should have, and wrote that there was a lack of “solidarity, outrage, and passion” during the election. Of those that did not vote, she says, “You abdicated your responsibility as a citizen at the worst possible time!” For women that voted for President Donald J. Trump, she wrote, “We all have to live with the consequences of our decisions.”
  • Americans: “I think it’s fair to say that I didn’t realize how quickly the ground was shifting under all our feet. I was running a traditional presidential campaign with carefully thought-out policies and painstakingly built coalitions, while Trump was running a reality TV show that expertly and relentlessly stoked Americans’ anger and resentment.”

Within the book, Clinton did take the time to point out another contributor to her loss: herself.

“Every day that I was a candidate for president, I knew that millions of people were counting on me and I couldn’t bear the idea of letting them down. But I did. I couldn’t get the job done. And I’ll have to live with that for the rest of my life.”

The video below is a compilation of some of the interviews she’s given after the election, as she discusses the reasons for her loss.

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