Hillary Clinton has now finished her memoir of her time as President Obama’s secretary of State. That’s what she said Wednesday at the Simmons Leadership Conference in Boston, in any case.
“I literally just turned in my book,” Ms. Clinton told the conference crowd.
That’s fairly fast writing. She resigned from the Foggy Bottom post on February 1, 2013. Clinton probably kept a detailed daily diary and undoubtedly had the help of aides to some unknown extent, but she’s also been giving lots of speeches and traveling the world for the Clinton Foundation. In that context a year or so to write a complicated memoir about running US diplomacy is moving quickly. There are people who’ve had that job who would still be polishing Chapter Two.
Of course she had to work quickly given that publisher Simon & Schuster says the book, titled “Hard Choices,” will be available beginning June 10. She has to earn that reported $14 million advance, after all.
Clinton did not say anything new in regard to her post-book political plans at the Simmons event, which focuses on the development of a new generation of female leaders. But she did tell attendees that “as you leave this conference I hope you think about the ways you can dare to compete,” according to the official conference Twitter feed.
Her supporters can think of a way they would like her to compete, of course. It remains to be seen whether she’s up for that in 2016. Of her 2008 run, Clinton said it was “challenging” but that she would never regret any part of it.
As to the role of women generally, Clinton said it is time to get serious about equality in US society. “It’s a glass that’s half-full at best,” she told the Simmons crowd.
“Too many women trying to build a life and family don’t just face ceilings, but feel the floor is also shaky,” said Clinton.
Clinton noted that in her travels she found some impressive female leaders, particularly in Latin America, but that in general world politics is a man’s world. Women hold less than 21 percent of the world’s parliamentary seats, according to Clinton.
“We have work to do,” she said.
She said her advice to young women was to stress education and develop habits of treating people well. Asked by an audience questioner how she developed the resilience to keep going in the face of personal attacks, she said a lot of it had to do with her parents.
They “never really focused on the difference between boys and girls,” she said.
“We have a long way to go with stereotypical language, and everyone needs to participate,” Clinton said.
In wrapping up, the former secretary of State said it is also time to end age discrimination, as well as gender discrimination. She’s faced some criticism this week that she is too old to run for the draining job of US president.
“There’s an army … of older women who could make a difference to America’s corporations, America’s business, academia, politics, you name it,” she said.