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Hillary Clinton to include reflections on her stunning loss last fall to Donald Trump in her New Book

Hillary Clinton focuses on her new book on personal essays that tells stories of her life and much more

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FILE - A supporter holds the book "Hard Choices" by then Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a campaign event at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, North Carolina, June 22, 2016. VOA
Hillary Clinton has a lot of plans for 2017, including some reflections on her stunning loss last fall to Donald Trump.

The former secretary of state, senator and first lady is working on a book of personal essays expected to come out September 26, Simon & Schuster told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The book, still untitled, is structured around hundreds of favourite quotations that have inspired her. The publisher said Clinton will use the quotes to “tell stories from her life, up to and including her experiences in the 2016 presidential campaign” and into her thoughts on the future.

“These are the words I live by,” Clinton said in a statement. “These quotes have helped me celebrate the good times, laugh at the absurd times, persevere during the hard times and deepen my appreciation of all life has to offer.”

“I hope by sharing these words and my thoughts about them, the essays will be meaningful for readers,” Clinton added.

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Clinton will also resume her relationship with the Harry Walker Agency, the speakers bureau she worked with after she stepped down in 2013 as secretary of state. Clinton’s lucrative career as a speaker, notably her talks sponsored by Goldman Sachs, were criticized by primary opponent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and others as a sign that she was too close to the financial industry.

Clinton does have some speeches arranged, but not through the Walker agency, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill told the AP. On March 8, she will address an International Women’s Day event organized by Vital Voices, the initiative Clinton and then-secretary of state Madeleine Albright founded in 1997. Clinton will speak at a gala for the LGBT Community Center in New York on April 20, and, on May 26, she will give the commencement address at her alma mater, Wellesley College. Her student address at the 1969 graduation ceremonies helped make her a national figure.

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Growing re-emergence

Wednesday’s announcements mark a growing re-emergence for Clinton, who ran twice for the White House, hoping to become the country’s first woman president. She lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primaries and, despite winning the popular vote, to Trump in 2016. Clinton, 69, was defeated in one of the harshest presidential elections in modern times, with Trump threatening to jail his opponent because of her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

She has made few public comments since the election, but attended Trump’s inauguration earlier this month and has been critical of his policies. She tweeted in support of the nationwide women’s marches held the day after his inauguration and condemned his recent executive order restricting immigration. Her pinned tweet quotes remarks she gave November 9, the day after Election Day: “To all the little girls watching … never doubt that you are valuable and powerful & deserving of every chance & opportunity in the world.”

News reports have speculated that Clinton may run for mayor of New York City this year, although her book plans and return to the Walker agency make that unlikely. Merrill declined comment.

Clinton has another project in the works: She will reissue her best-selling “It Takes a Village” in an illustrated edition for young people, Simon & Schuster told the AP. Clinton will collaborate with Marla Frazee, a two-time Caldecott finalist for the year’s outstanding picture book.

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The original “It Takes a Village” was Clinton’s first book and came out in 1995, when she was first lady. Clinton has since published “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy” and the best-selling memoirs “Living History,” which covered her life through her years as first lady and her successful Senate run in New York in 2000, and “Hard Choices,” about her years as secretary of state during Obama’s first term. If the 2016 campaign was her last, her book of essays would be her first written while she was neither in public office nor anticipating a future run. A Simon & Schuster spokesman said the book’s expected length was 384 pages, but declined to say how far along Clinton was with the manuscript. Simon & Schuster Carolyn Reidy said in a statement that she had been discussing such a book with Clinton since 1994.

“We are delighted that secretary Clinton finally thinks the time is right to share the words and thoughts that nourished and enriched her, and defined the experiences of her extraordinary life,” Reidy said.

Financial terms were not disclosed for her essay collection. Clinton was represented by Washington attorney Robert Barnett, whose other clients include Obama and Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton. Net author proceeds from “It Takes a Village” will be donated to charity. (VOA)

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“Let it Come Out, Let the People See,” Trump on Mueller Report

Trump’s Republican allies in Congress are also poised to leap to his defense

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U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he arrives at Akron-Canton airport in Canton, Ohio, March 20, 2019. VOA

Democratic congressional leaders have, for the time being, ruled out pursuing impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. That could all change depending on what is in the eagerly awaited report on the Russia investigation being prepared by special counsel Robert Mueller.

On his way to Ohio Wednesday, Trump told reporters outside the White House that the public should have access to the Mueller report.

“Let it come out. Let the people see,” Trump said. “Let’s see whether or not it is legit.”

The decision by Democratic congressional leaders to pass on impeachment seems to be mindful of recent history, especially the Republican-led impeachment effort against President Bill Clinton in 1998.

In announcing her opposition to impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said simply that Trump “wasn’t worth it.”

Pelosi is sticking to her position despite pressure from liberal activists.

“Impeachment is a divisive issue in our country, and let us see what the facts are, what the law is, and what the behavior is of the president,” Pelosi recently told reporters at the Capitol.​

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“Let it come out. Let the people see,” Trump said. “Let’s see whether or not it is legit.” VOA

Trump: ‘Great job’

For President Trump, the idea of impeachment is, not surprisingly, a non-starter.

“Well, you can’t impeach somebody that is doing a great job. That is the way I view it,” Trump said when asked about the issue in January.

Late last year, Trump told Reuters that he was not concerned about impeachment.

“I think that the people would revolt if that happened,” he said.

Trump’s Republican allies in Congress are also poised to leap to his defense.

“I don’t think it is good for the country,” House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters last week. “The Democrats made a decision (to want to impeach) on the day President Trump one.”

Some Democrats want to keep pushing, including former Hillary Clinton senior adviser Philippe Reines. Reines wrote recently in the New York Times that Democrats would be doing a “civic duty” to pursue impeachment.

“There is a mounting political cost to not impeaching Mr. Trump,” Reines wrote last week. “He will hail it as exoneration and he will go into the 2020 campaign under the banner, ‘I Told You So.’”​

Polls say no

Recent polls show most voters do not favor impeachment at this time. A Quinnipiac University poll earlier this month found that 59 percent of those surveyed do not think House Democrats should initiate impeachment proceedings against the president, while 35 percent support the idea.

Given that the 2020 election cycle is underway, Democrats may prefer to have the voters try to oust Trump during next year’s election, according to George Washington University analyst Matt Dallek.

“By the time impeachment proceedings were even to ramp up, you are talking about the end of 2019 or early 2020,” Dallek told VOA this week. “That creates its own complication because there is another remedy for removing a president and it is called the election.”

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FILE – Then-first lady Hillary Clinton watches her husband, President Bill Clinton, pause as he thanks those Democratic members of the House of Representatives who voted against his impeachment, Dec. 19, 1998. VOA

Political risk

Democrats clearly recall what happened to Bill Clinton in 1998. Clinton lied about and tried to cover up his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky, which led to his impeachment by the House. Clinton remained in office after he was acquitted in a trial in the Senate.

Historically, impeachment has been a rare event. Clinton was only the second president impeached by the House. Andrew Johnson was the first back in 1868. Johnson avoided removal by a single vote in the Senate.

Presidential impeachments have been rare and that is by design, according to University of Virginia expert Larry Sabato.

“They (the founders) did not want presidents impeached and convicted and thrown out of office for minor offenses. They expected Congress to do it only in extreme circumstances.”

Republicans paid a price for the Clinton impeachment, losing five House seats in the 1998 midterm elections. And Sabato said that lesson could have resonance for Democrats today as they mull impeaching Trump.

“Given the fact that the Republicans took a wounded Bill Clinton and made him almost invulnerable for the rest of his term, it should serve as a warning to Democrats,” he said.

Experts also note that the damage to Republicans from the Clinton impeachment was not long-lasting. George W. Bush narrowly beat Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, and the political fallout from Clinton’s scandal may have cost Gore the presidency.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 6, 2019. VOA

Senate obstacle

The biggest obstacle facing any impeachment effort of Trump is the Republican-controlled Senate. Democrats would have to bring over at least 20 Republican senators in any impeachment trial in order to get a conviction and remove the president from office.

A vote to impeach a president only requires a majority vote in the House, now controlled by Democrats. But in a Senate trial, it would take 67 of 100 senators to vote for conviction in order to remove the president from office, and Democrats concede that is not a possibility at the moment.

“It has less than zero chance of passing the Senate,” Sabato said. “Why would you go through all this in the House of Representatives, torpedo your entire agenda to impeach Trump in order to send it to the Senate to have him exonerated and not convicted?”

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FILE – President Richard M. Nixon and his wife, Pat Nixon, stand together in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Aug. 9, 1974. VOA

Nixon case

President Richard Nixon was not impeached over the Watergate scandal in 1974, but the process was well underway. The House began impeachment proceedings through the House Judiciary Committee and was preparing to move Articles of Impeachment to the House floor when Nixon decided to resign.

Several Republican senators including Barry Goldwater went to the White House and made it clear to Nixon that he had lost Republican support and would not survive an impeachment trial in the Senate.

Some analysts predict that President Trump could face renewed calls for his ouster depending on the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“I think if the Mueller report indicates some serious wrongdoing by the president and his campaign, it really empowers Democrats to begin deliberating how to move forward with impeachment proceedings,” said Brookings Institution scholar John Hudak.

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But other experts caution that it would have to be something quite serious for Republicans to even consider abandoning the president.

Given the lack of bipartisan support for impeachment at the moment, it does seem more likely that Trump will face the voters again in 2020 before he has to contend with a Democratic-led impeachment inquiry in the House. (VOA)