“I have never seen anything like that. I have covered the UN for decades…It was madness today. It was a circus.” – Andrea Mitchell
YESTERDAY during the predictable conventional wisdom gaming of Hillary Clinton’s U.S. press conference, I called Jake Tapper out for delivering yet another predictable soundbite on CNN. He tweeted back his objections to my mentioning that Hillary Rosen basically schooled him, writing, “not quite; referred to bleak & dreary episode of “I Love the 90s,” but your continued support of Secretary Clinton is noted.” Support for the first potentially viable woman who could be U.S. president isn’t a small reason to be in this dogfight, which is how Clinton’s coming candidacy is still being treated.
Later yesterday I started hearing from Hillary supporters calling journalists “hacks,” including Chuck Todd and Ben Smith, both gentlemen beyond this labeling, because they do their jobs seriously, admit when they’re wrong, and continually work to give it to their audience straight, whether Ready for Hillary fans like it or not. That doesn’t mean I always agree the them.
Here’s a hack, Frank Bruni starring, so you know the difference, giving the Republican, anti-Hillary line, one syllable at a time.
It was all so very yesterday.
And elections are about tomorrow. Yes, that’s a cliché, but it’s also unassailable political truth.
Cliché? Ya think? Because being the first woman to be in contention to be commander in chief and America’s first president is so, you know, yesterday. Women’s full equality around the globe, the full employment part of the world’s economic engine and what it could mean the the global economy, it’s all just old news.
The punctuation mark was the sloppy photoshopping of the Hillary Clinton picture on Bloomberg Politics, pictured at the top, could have come straight out of the 2007 campaign, when even progressive blogs used ugly pictures of Clinton to create a negative image.
To the credit of Bloomberg Politics they apologized, so even though Mark Halperin is a conventional wisdom access journalist, he moved a notch up by admitting the mistake for his team.
Bad call on the Hillary promo graphic. Should have taken the time to find the right original image. We take full responsibility.
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) March 10, 2015
Even Bill O’Reilly on Fox News Channel last night was fair to Clinton, because he’s smart enough to know that access depends on what he says when Secretary Clinton is up against it.
Chris Cillizza is a bastion of conventional wisdom hackery, but pointing to this poll question is understandable.
This brings me to the foundational challenge Hillary Clinton faces that goes beyond whatever Republicans and other adversaries can drum up. It’s not her competency. It’s what all elections come down to and that’s the emotional connection people have with her.
The best politicians have a little bit of Hollywood in them. They don’t tap it all the time, but they know how to when the going gets tough. This requires being able, no, willing, to open yourself up, be a bit vulnerable and let people in. Hillary Clinton came close to getting there when she said, “Looking back, it would’ve been better if I’d used a second email account.” A smile crossed her lips and there she admitted she’d created the issue herself. It just didn’t last long before the wall came back down and she shut down, too.
There’s a reason for this, the same reason Hillary Clinton opted for a private email protocol and server. Maybe it harkens back to the pink sweater press conference, which Karen Tumulty first brought up on Twitter, as did Andrea Mitchell later with Rachel Maddow, when as First Lady she took questions on Whitewater, cattle futures and everything else, only to learn that no matter how much you give, the U.S. media always wants more.
There is no one on planet earth, regardless of gender, that has the celebrity of Hillary Rodham Clinton. If you saw the pictures of the stunning array of press gathered at the United Nations yesterday, “the madness… the circus,” as Andrea Mitchell characterized it, you may begin to appreciate what her next political move means to America and the world.
Republicans are bracing for what it will mean to their 2016 chances, with their no model to predict what a woman running for president will do to young people, as well as women of all political stripes, who want to be part of this history. It’s the unknown quotient in every 2016 poll that scares the crap out of the GOP.
For Hillary Clinton it also means an endless barrage of media follow-up questions and second questions on the same subject, and more questions about what was just asked, while the issues that give her life purpose remain ignored, and the insatiable appetite of press dissatisfaction is constantly refueled.
But where’s the fun in running for the presidency, to make American and world history for women, if the spotlights, camera and media that trail behind you don’t also fuel you, even while often infuriating you, too? You have to get off on the show you’re starring in!
So, I have to ask, are we having fun yet, Hillary?
It doesn’t look like she is at all and that’s a challenge for her, as well as her supporters, who are struggling mightily to be happy warriors amid incessant media hackathons.
Andrea Mitchell asked a tough question of Clinton about world leaders who gave to the Clinton Foundation who have abysmal human rights records, which Hillary knocked out of the park. There’s no tough query HRC cannot handle. She’s just got to find a way to do it with a lot more joy.
If there was a difference from the old ones, it is that this won’t be a Clinton campaign where the Clinton in question seems to be having a perverse kind of fun feeding on the chaos. Tuesday, Hillary Clinton projected the stoicism of a person who really, truly hates what she’s doing, and does it anyway. – Ben Smith [BuzzFeed]
Hillary Clinton doesn’t “hate what she’s doing,” because she obviously loves her work, the purpose behind her politics. What she hates is the task of being a politician and answering to the American people. And since she’s running for president that’s a really big obstacle, because she’s doing it in the social media era, which she absolutely cannot control and will always have the last word.
The Associated Press filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the State Department to force the release of email correspondence and government documents from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. [Associated Press]