(ANTIMEDIA) – Ten months after her stunning loss in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton is back in the limelight. And she’s not holding back. Her new book, What Happened, hits bookstores nationwide this week, and she will be promoting it — and her impassioned belief that American democracy is in great peril — with a 15 city live tour.
“I’m letting my guard down,” she proclaims.
In her first post-election interview, conducted over the weekend, she discussed her decision to return to the public eye, as well as how painful it was to write the book, in which she identifies the many factors that precipitated her loss.
Many pundits and elected officials, include Minnesota Senator Al Franken, have criticized Clinton’s blame game, which has focused largely on Russia, former FBI Director James Comey, Bernie Sanders, and ubiquitous American sexism. However, Clinton has also suggested former President Barack Obama could have done more to deal with Russia’s alleged interference, and she even takes a shot at former Vice President Joe Biden. While Clinton does take personal responsibility for the loss, it’s clear she believes a perfect storm of socio-political vicissitudes deprived her of the presidency.
While in the months following the election, Clinton reserved her most heated criticisms for Vladimir Putin and Russian intelligence, claiming their (still somewhat apocryphal) meddling in the election represented an unprecedented attack on our democracy, as excerpts of her book trickled out in recent weeks, it became clear that Clinton considers her opponent in the Democratic primaries, Bernie Sanders, a saboteur who subverted the general election. His political revolution, she says in her book, has caused “lasting damage.”
In her Sunday interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Clinton spoke at length about the role sexism and misogyny played in the election.
“I started the campaign knowing that I would have to work extra hard to make women and men feel comfortable with the idea of a woman president,” she said. “It doesn’t fit into the stereotypes we all carry around in our heads. A lot of the sexism and the misogyny was in service of these attitudes.”
She also sounded off about President Trump’s behavior during one of the most spectacular moments in political history. Only days after Trump’s sexually explicit leaked gaffe, which at the time many believed would cost him the election, the two squared off on stage for the third and final debate. As Clinton answered a question, Trump seemed to loom over her shoulders as she addressed the audience.
She recounted the incident:
“After we heard him admitting and laughing about sexually assaulting women and being able to get away with it because if you’re a star, you can do anything. So in my debate prep, we practiced this. The young man playing Trump would stalk me. And I practiced keeping my composure. I practiced not getting rattled. Well, it’s one thing to practice it. It’s another thing to be in front of, you know, 50 million, 60 million, 70 million people and having him scowling and leering and moving up on me. And– it– it was so discombobulating.”
“And so while I’m answering questions, my mind is going, ‘Okay, do I keep my composure? Do I act like a president?’ Or do I wheel around and say, ‘Get outta my space. Back up, you creep’? Well, you know, I didn’t do the latter. But I think in this time we’re in, particularly in this campaign, you know, maybe I missed a few chances.”
Other revelations from the interview include her not having a concession speech ready on election night, that her biggest mistake was the handling of the email scandal, and that her days as an “active politician” are over. She added, somewhat paradoxically, that she will remain active in politics (perhaps she means to say she will be an activist).
“I literally believe our country’s future is at stake.”
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