Books, not votes, bringing Clinton back to New Hampshire

  • Hillary Clinton in Concord last April. Paul Steinhauser — For the Monitor

For the Monitor
Monday, December 04, 2017

Hillary Clinton is returning to New Hampshire for the first time in more than a year, but this time she’s selling books rather than trying to win over voters.

The former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee will be at Gibson’s Bookstore in downtown Concord on Tuesday to sign copies of What Happened, her book about her unsuccessful run for the White House last year.

The 1 p.m. book signing, which is sold out, is expected to draw approximately 1,000 people.

“It will be great to see her and welcome her back. I think it’s highly appropriate that Concord’s on this book tour,” said Terry Shumaker, a longtime adviser and friend to both Hillary and Bill Clinton. “This is another nod by the Clintons to how important New Hampshire has been to them in the last three decades.”

Shumaker, who said he’s attending the book signing, reminisced that the first time he met up with Hillary Clinton in Concord was in December 1991, when they went to the secretary of state’s office at the State House to file paperwork to put her husband’s name on New Hampshire’s presidential primary ballot.

The then-Arkansas governor’s second-place finish in the Democratic primary lifted up his campaign, making Bill Clinton the “comeback kid” and sending him on his way to the Democratic nomination and ultimately the White House.

Fast forward 16 years, and a come-from-behind victory in the primary for then-U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York was the infusion she needed after a disappointing third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. The 2008 New Hampshire primary triumph propelled the former front-runner back into an epic but eventually unsuccessful battle for the Democratic nomination against then-Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.

While she had the backing of much of the Democratic establishment in her 2016 bid, she ended up losing the Granite State primary by a whopping 22 percentage points to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

But Clinton narrowly won the state in the general election. She edged out GOP nominee Donald Trump to capture the state’s four electoral votes. While she topped Trump by some 3 million votes in the national popular count, he topped her, 306-232, in the all-important electoral college vote.

The visit to the Granite State is the first by Clinton since she headlined a large rally in Manchester on Nov. 6, 2016, two nights before the presidential election.

Clinton’s book tour stop in Concord figures to be well-scripted. She will sign a maximum of two books per attendee, but won’t personalize her inscriptions or sign any other memorabilia. And Clinton won’t take any questions from the crowd or the media.

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

Hancock, 98, 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.