Trust Your Own Heart, Write Your Own Story and Fight On

Amy Chozick in The New York Times:


An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World
By Jennifer Palmieri
180 pp. Grand Central Publishing. $20.

BookNot long after Hillary Clinton’s unexpected defeat to Donald J. Trump, her campaign’s communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, shopped around a book idea. “I was advised that if I didn’t have something juicy to share about Hillary, there wouldn’t be interest in me,” she writes in “Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World.” But, she adds, using Clinton’s frequent description of herself, “there aren’t any juicy things to share about Hillary because she’s a simple and serious person.”

In any other election year, an advice book from a high-ranking campaign official on the losing candidate’s side wouldn’t have much coin. But 2016 wasn’t like any other election year, and as it turns out Palmieri has plenty of wisdom — and even a little dish about Clinton — to dispense. In this slim volume, Palmieri neatly weaves her heartbreaking personal story of losing her sister to Alzheimer’s weeks after losing the election with lessons learned from her long career in Democratic politics and Mitch Albom-style wisdom (“When the unimaginable happens, imagine what else may be possible”). Palmieri had been President Obama’s White House communications director when she agreed to join the Clinton campaign. She (like most of us) thought Clinton would win and didn’t think her gender would be much of an obstacle, especially after Obama had broken racial barriers. Clinton warned Palmieri otherwise. Before the race started, Clinton “held forth for more than an hour” to recap each scandal, from the uproar in Arkansas when she resisted taking Bill Clinton’s name to the White House and her doomed 2008 presidential campaign. “She was as bewildered as anyone by the phenomenon of ‘Hillary Clinton,’” Palmieri writes.

More here.