Designed by someone else to be someone else

AP Photo/David Goldman

AP Photo/David Goldman

The Washington Post has reported on an interview in which former Daily Show host Jon Stewart described the problem with Hillary Clinton. And he nailed it precisely. Which is to say, he described precisely what I think about her every time I see her speak. She’s not genuine. The person at the microphone is a robot, a much better one than Marco Rubio but still a robot. Every word is carefully scripted and rehearsed. Every gesture carefully practiced and deliberately executed. It’s terribly distracting. Especially when she triumphantly delivers a punchline as though expecting a reward (or at least a few votes). Like her response to Trump’s “woman’s card” accusation. She said, “… if that’s playing the woman card, then Deal. Me. In!” I groaned so loudly they probably heard me in Washington.

The hand gestures really bug me. The tight little fist punching the air. (Don’t let that thumb loose, and don’t you dare point with that index finger!) The magnanimous open arms pose, with the fingers glued tightly together and rigid. (Reminds me of the SNL bit with the tiny hands lady and her inflexible little plastic hands.) And of course the excited pointing to imaginary friends spotted in the audience (as taught in Performing 101).

But I digress. Stewart went straight to the why of it all. Why does Hillary speak so carefully and unnaturally? Why is she so rigid and carefully rehearsed?

In a recent podcast interview with Democratic strategist David Axelrod, Stewart described Clinton: “What I think about Hillary Clinton is — I imagine to be a bright woman without the courage of her convictions because I’m not even sure what they are. So I would suggest that when I watch her campaign it reminds me of … Magic Johnson’s talk show … It never seemed authentic and real to his personality. It seemed like he was wearing an outfit designed by someone else for someone else to be someone else. … maybe I’m wrong. Maybe a real person doesn’t exist underneath there.”

Nailed it!

The Post’s Chris Cillizza summed it up:

Regardless of the reasons (and how justified they may nor may not be), the Clinton that voters meet tends to be someone who comes across as overly cautious and too political — afraid to say what she thinks about anything for fear of alienating this or that constituency.



Categories: Clinton, Election 2016

45 replies

  1. So true…perfectly stated and you have to say like him or not, Trump is who you see

  2. On the other hand, Donald Grumpf seems to be popular because he is not rehearsed. Everything he says has a shelf life of about 24 hours, so how could it be rehearsed? Between the two of them, I’ll take Hillary in a New York minute.

    • I said the same thing to my son not an hour ago. Hillary is so overrehearsed and scripted it’s ridiculous. And Trump is the polar opposite. Who wants to entrust the nuclear codes to someone who has absolutely no script at all, no firm position, platform, convictions, voting record, etc?

  3. Well, a real person does exist underneath there. That’s who you want to fathom.

    • On rare occasions I’ve seen her speaking casually to someone, one on one, and she seemed pretty normal. (She actually can speak without a script.) But I haven’t seen enough of her like that to make me like her.

  4. So practiced and rehearsed. All staged. So queenly arrogant. Despite not being up to speed with technology herself.) And how goofy is it that she changes her accent to match as closely as possible to those in the location where she’s speaking? A liar and a millionaire hypocrite. Many people didn’t like her in Arkansas either…but were afraid to say so – best to not upset the ruthless Clintons.
    (GADS what a nightmare.)

    • Oh yes, arrogant. I forgot to include that, and it’s a big one. That air of entitlement. Gag! I can’t be too critical of the accent changes. Obama does it too.

      • I know, I hate it. People, just be yourself – why do you think that makes you more trustworthy or comfortable to be with? So fake…the accents, all the rest is TBD.

      • On the accent thing… Everyone does that. At least, anyone with an ounce of empathy in their bodies. We all adjust to the people around us. My Texas accent was non-existent in college, but comes out in force and family gatherings. At work, it’s much less, and a bit European at times (the boss is German).

        • Hi, Clancy. Welcome to PT.

          Politicians are suspected of deliberately, consciously emphasizing the accent most appropriate for their audiences. Understandable if not commendable. With me it’s just a subconscious reaction to being immersed in a particular culture for a while. Unfortunately my years in the Northeast and the South failed to completely erase the Oklahoma accent I acquired as a child …

  5. Perhaps she thinks this is the only way she can get elected, after all she is really breaking new territory in the US,and she hasn’t got a model, of any description, to give her some clues as to how voters expect a woman presidential candidate to act. I think once she becomes President then she can relax the guard a bit and be her natural self.
    As for this alien I’ve always liked Hillary, especially afterher putting up with Bill, she had to have something there, XD

    • Well, you’ve got a point there about her not having a model. But I like to see something of a person’s “natural self” before I vote for them, not after they’ve become president.

      As for her putting up with Bill’s philandering, I’ve criticized her for doing it. I think she did it only because she had political aspirations of her own that she thought would be hurt if she bailed on Bill and the White House.

      The sad part of all this is that I may have to vote for her anyway because I’m so afraid of having Trump as president.

  6. The amount of nonsense written about Hillary Clinton would fill several bookshelves.

  7. She probably got coaching from her husband. The fist was his trademark. I’ll vote for her if she gets the nomination, but honestly? I think she’s the wrong woman to be the first woman President. Too much history, too much rancorous political water under the bridge. If the GOP hindered progress for Obama with their obstructionist partisan b.s., imagine what will happen to her.

  8. Sadly the choice between (sometimes among) Presidential candidates often boils down to picking the lesser of two evils. Obama may have been an exception for some – his stated views elicited some of the fringe enthusiasm that Sanders and Trump do now. Plus he had that “historic first” thing going for him. Odd that Hillary does NOT seem to evoke that same “historic first” feeling.

    • I don’t consider being an “historic first” a qualification for any office. I voted for Obama because I liked the ideas he presented and what he said he hoped to do as president. Hillary, then and now, does try to evoke that “historic first” thing (first woman), and I still don’t buy it.

  9. As for Hillary, I think the disconnect is that she has the overweening ambition that any Presidential candidate MUST have these days – Trump and Sanders too. But she hides it less well. When you see the fire in her eyes, you feel it’s that personal ambition, not her desire to do good things for the country.

    Husband Bill was no exception but – as the best of politicians have always done – he disguised it so well that no one ever saw him that way. And just yesterday I saw a survey that indicated that he still has a higher popularity rating than either Hillary or Donald.

    • I disagree. I think her “fire” is very much personal ambition and a sense of entitlement. When she references her gender as a reason to vote for her, I am repelled. When she mentions Bill, I am repelled. Neither her gender nor her husband qualify her to be president. At this point, they are distractions.

  10. Seems we do agree. Her fire is her personal ambition, as we both have said. But Bill, and Barack, and even Dumbya had the same ambition. Unlike Hillary, they each had ways to obfuscate that, and make voters believe in them. With her, the ambition is too naked. She has nothing else in her quiver. The same is true of Donald. So we are stuck with two candidates who have no qualifications except their desire to have the job. Should be interesting!

  11. Voting for Hillary is like voting for the Manchurian Candidate. Voting for Trump is like voting for Howdy Doody or maybe Clarabell the Clown. For pity sake, forget these two pretentious wannabe’s and vote for someone that’s intelligent, real and principled.

  12. I can respect that, but… not voting for someone who seems right but whom you believe can’t be elected simply insures that one of the undesirables will win. And… I know that you watched and listened to the Libertarian candidates debate. A gentle nudge maybe?

  13. Pretty good analysis. I’d say that Gary Johnson is “Libertarian Lite.” More able to compromise libertarian principles in an effort to accomplish small steps in the right direction. Austin Peterson is more like me… he believes the principle of non-aggression is more important than achieving small (mostly meaningless) small steps toward achieving true constitutional rights. McAfee is… way out there in his rhetoric and therefore something of a loose cannon. Just my take.

    • Well, you’re older than Petersen. I hope you’re a little more realistic than he seems to be (the idealism of youth). McAfee is just … strange. Johnson could, I think, appeal to a lot of voters who’ve yet to realize their ideas are as much Libertarian as they are anything else. I’m increasingly frustrated that the media are choosing to ignore third parties and in doing so are effectively consigning them to non-existence. It was mentioned in this debate that Libertarians are currently polling at 11% of the electorate, and yet as far as I know the MSM haven’t mentioned it. It seems deliberate and irresponsible to ignore a block of voters that large.

"There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees." ~ Michel de Montaigne

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