When Hillary Clinton was running against Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, years ago, I described her as "a jumped up
hillbilly white woman attempting to obstruct a Prince of Color on his path to glory."
My aim was comedy, but you never know how such remarks will be taken.
Hillary lost that campaign but then, like a good Democrat soldier, she put her shoulder to the wheel and helped elect President Obama and went on to
serve in his cabinet as Secretary of State. This time around the President will be on the hustings slugging for Hillary. She will need him. She will
also need her husband.
Hillary is extremely competent, probably the most competent candidate for President since Richard Nixon. She is thoroughly familiar with the corridors
of political power in the United States, at the highest level.
One of the jarring realities of a democracy, though, is that voters don't vote simply for the most competent person. What attracts them to a
candidate are intangible factors that might be lumped under the category of "likability"
Do the voters like the candidate?
In the course of her political career, Mrs. Clinton has forged a character and a personality that dominates situations, that is in control, but, that
is not particularly likable. She succeeds by being in command of situations and by being very well prepared.
Her husband, President Clinton, was a very able administrator who balanced budgets and kept foreign entanglements to a minimum, but who really got
through the most difficult challenges he faced by being a very likable guy. Americans, by and large, liked Bill Clinton and were willing to cut him a
lot of slack on personal issues that might have brought a less likable personality down with a thud.
President Obama, he of the million watt smile, is very likable and the polls of approval ratings bear that out. He is miles ahead of President George
W. Bush at a similar point in his presidency, and President Bush was another very likable personality, but serving through a much more troubled
When Bill Clinton was elected, one of the slogans of the time was "two for the price of one."
Mrs. Clinton was that highly regarded.
That sale will be happening again this election.
With the very able Hillary, one gets the very able and very likable Bill. One hopes that by the end of the campaign that option will be obvious to the
voter, who will also have the alternative of the likable and picturesquely confident Donald Trump.
People who read my threads will know that I have a lot of reservations about Donald Trump, the most important of which is that I don't think he is
experienced enough in politics, national and international. I don't think he is ready for the responsibilities of the Presidency.
He is likable
though, and in a democracy, likability "trumps" all other cards.
One of the clichés of life is the hard working, very competent, very responsible, very caring person who can never seem to achieve the esteem she is
striving for. She can never do enough and doesn't know what else she can do and, most crucially, doesn't realize that she was loved all along,
but not for the things that she thought were important.
She was loved for all the other things, the throwaway things she did automatically. She was loved for just being herself.
She was loved for her baby holding ability.
She was loved for being a babe.
For being old fashioned enough and loving enough and strong enough as a personality, to go against the feminist grain, to take the pain it took,
and still might take
, to stand by her man.
I have no doubt that Hillary Clinton has no fear and no lack of confidence in her ability to take on the challenges of the Presidency. I do hope that
on the campaign trail she will give the voters plenty of looks at the professional Hillary and even more looks at the personal Hillary. I think Donald
Trump might find that the latter gives him a lot more trouble than the former.