The time has come for me to admit it: I don’t like Hillary Clinton. In an earlier blog entry I wrote that she has two personalities, one that is calculating and phony and one that appears to be sensitive and genuine. The former personality has been dominant during the campaign so far, no matter how hard she and her campaign staff try to shift to the latter. But I don’t blame her for having two personalities, obviously she cannot help that, and it’s not why I don’t like her. It’s not everything that has happened in the past either. I believe that Whitewater and travelgate were hogwash and that she had nothing to do with Vince Foster’s death, other than persuading him to come to a place where he didn’t belong. It’s not her fault that her husband is a philandering hick, and I have some respect for the way she stood by him in spite of her humiliation, even though she was probably thinking about what would be best for her own political career before that career had effectively started. I actually began to like her a bit as a US Senator from New York, when she did her best job so far, and I get why she attended Donald Trump’s wedding. And although she was not a great Secretary of State, she didn’t cause the deaths in Benghazi.
I don’t care much about emailgate either. It was not smart of her to use a private server, but at worst it was a violation of a policy, not a criminal offense, and even that is unclear. It doesn’t appear that she transmitted any classified information, and she had every right to delete her private emails, knowing that otherwise Republicans would rummage through them like a stray dog through a garbage can. I don’t think she had any reason to apologize, but the way she and her campaign initially responded to the allegations made an unnecessary apology inevitable. That is just stupidity, however, and the product of typical Clinton paranoia, but again, it’s not why I don’t like her. She started her campaign talking about her mother, whose plight as a child had motivated her to be in politics, but she dropped that message rapidly, except for one moment in the interview with David Muir, when it gave her a chance to tear up and re-enact her New Hampshire moment. I don’t believe for a minute that her emotion was not planned, but it fits in with a campaign that announces that from now on the candidate will be spontaneous and funny. Still, it’s not why I don’t like her.
So why is it that I don’t like Hillary? It’s that one moment in the interview with Andrea Mitchell, when Andrea asked her if she should apologize for using a private server. Her answer didn’t interest me, but what I found intolerable was the way she briefly produced a joyless laugh and the tone at which she said “I don’t think so.” There was a lot of disdain in that tone, and immeasurable arrogance. The message I heard was: “All you dumb people, you think you understand anything and that you can judge me, but I’m Hillary Clinton and I’m way out of your league.”
That may be so, but that attitude won’t get her elected. Bernie Sanders is closing in on her in the polls, and Joe Biden would be another threat to her candidacy if he decides to run, especially if Elizabeth Warren teams up with him. Now that she is beginning to lose the female vote she’ll badly need the firewall she’s building in the South. Hillary is still the prohibitive favorite for the Democratic nomination, but it will be closer than anybody expected and another stumble could end her campaign.
And yet I’ll vote for her, maybe not in the primary but definitely in the general election. She’ll always be a flawed candidate, but she’ll make a better US President than any of the bigots, clowns, and supply siders who will be on stage during the second Republican debate tomorrow night. At least she’s not a travesty like Trump, as cuckoo as Carson, or as boring as Bush.