At book event, Clinton praises Mary Louise Hancock as ‘amazing person’

  • Hillary Clinton greets attendees and signs books at an event for her latest book, “What Happened,” at Gibson’s Bookstore on South Main Street in Concord on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

For the Monitor
Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Hillary Clinton says she always loves coming back to New Hampshire.

But the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and former secretary of state passed on weighing in on President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that voter fraud contributed to Clinton’s narrow popular vote victory last year in the Granite State.

“You can read my book and find out what I think about it,” Clinton quipped when asked about Trump’s claims.

Clinton made her comments while briefly speaking with reporters Tuesday at Gibson’s Bookstore in downtown Concord as she signed copies of What Happened, her new book about her unsuccessful run for the White House last year. The book has been on the New York Times best-seller list for 11 straight weeks.

Clinton topped Trump by some 3 million votes in the national popular count. But he defeated her, 306-232, in the all-important Electoral College vote. In New Hampshire, Clinton slightly edged Trump to capture the state’s four electoral votes.

Soon after winning the White House last year, then-President-elect Trump claimed, “I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

And he singled out New Hampshire as one of a handful of states with “serious voter fraud.”

Instead of picking a fight with Trump, Clinton said she was just happy to return to the Granite State.

“It’s great being back. I love coming to New Hampshire and I love the friends that I’ve made over 25 years now. So any chance that I have to come back I’m anxious to take it,” Clinton said in response to a question from the Monitor.

The book tour visit came one day after the passing of former state senator Mary Louise Hancock, a legend and trailblazer who was viewed as a matriarch of state Democratic politics.

Hancock, 97, lived on Washington Street in one of Concord’s oldest neighborhoods. Clinton visited Hancock at her home in April 2015. It was one of Clinton’s first stops during her first trip to New Hampshire after announcing her candidacy for president.

Clinton praised Hancock as “an amazing person. A life that was lived with energy, intensity, and real concern for our country and everyone in her community.”

“I was privileged to know her as a friend, and I’m so grateful to her,” Clinton said. “I would go to visit her, and she would sit me down and tell what I was supposed to think and do and say. You just always knew you were in the presence of somebody who was very special. And it’s a sad day not only for those of us who knew her, but maybe people who never knew her.”

Prior to the book signing, Clinton met at Gibson’s with approximately two dozen friends and advisers from the Granite State. Participants of the meeting described it as “a nice little gathering” that gave them a chance to “visit with her and catch up.”

The sold-out book signing drew hundreds of people who were lined up for blocks in the chilly late-autumn rain, waiting their turn to have Clinton autograph their books.

Protesters across South Main Street from the bookstore included supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who easily beat Clinton last year in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary and battled her until the end of the Democratic nomination process.

Perennial presidential candidate and political provocateur Vermin Supreme also made the rounds outside the bookstore, with a pony, protesting Clinton’s appearance.