Shrill, Yet Shrewd
In today's WSJ, Peggy Noonan makes a convincing case of the path that Hillary is charting on her way to the Democratic presidential nomination. Peggy knows the woman well, having conducted interviews over the years with Mrs. Clinton's friends and enemies alike. To me, another Clinton presidency seems highly improbable. That is, until I read this.
My favorite selection from her own Q & A on the subject:
You make it sound like a Hillary candidacy is inevitable.
She is inevitable as a candidate, but not as a president. There will be serious drawbacks and problems with her candidacy. When she speaks in a large hall she shouts and it is shrill; she sounds like some boomer wife from hell who's unpacking the grocery bags and telling you that you forgot not just the mayo but the mustard.
That's fixable, to some degree. What may not be fixable is that many voters associate her with a time of scandal and bad behavior. I mean not Monica, which the Clintons always pretend is The Scandal, but every other scandal of the Clinton era: FBI files, illegal fund-raising, sleazy pardons, the whole ugly mess. There will be some who associate her with the cultural disaster that was the Clinton presidency. There will be those who remember she and he led the country down a path both dark and merry while Osama tapped out his plans on a laptop in a cave.
Are those all the potential impediments to her plans?
No. There is still, always, with Mrs. Clinton, the question of her deepest convictions and beliefs. Also known as What She Stands For, or What She Believes. She has been finessing all this for decades and will continue to attempt to, but it may not work in a national presidential run. What she believed did not seem all that important when she was running for first lady, and was easily finessed when she ran in liberal New York. But there is an old paper trail, there is a record of radical statements and writings by Mrs. Clinton. She could disavow what she has written in the past, but never has. In this she is like John Kerry, who could not disavow his youthful, radical statements about Vietnam. Why has she not disavowed, and why can't she? That will be a question.