I dreamed it would be low key, perfunctory, and offered only after every other means to defuse the scandal, including an apologetic-sounding non-apology, had been tried first and failed. Because with Hillary that’s the best you can hope for, even in dreams. In fact, if not for her campaign team collectively deciding that it’s time for another reboot and that Hillary 5.0 should be warmer, more humorous, more vaguely … human-seeming, I doubt this would have happened at all. It’s part and parcel, I assume, of Hillary wanting to project greater relatability. Apologizing for mistakes is something the average joe does, especially when the mistake involves leaving state secrets grievously exposed to foreign spies, so here’s Hillary mimicking that. Says comedian Patton Oswalt:
Dear Hilary Clinton's aides: Announcing she plans to show "more heart and humor" is what you say about a Terminator you've reprogrammed.
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) September 8, 2015
She spent months treating the prospect of an apology like Otto in “A Fish Called Wanda,” now Biden’s rising in the polls and she’s losing New Hampshire to Bernie Sanders so it’s finally time to bite the bullet. Does it help at all, though? The special “charm” of candidate Hillary, especially this year’s version, is that everything she says is so obviously scripted and carefully focus-grouped that the sincerity that’s supposed to appeal to you in the apology evaporates instantly upon utterance. She’s checking a box here and you know it, and she knows that you know it, in which case what’s the point? It’s like her showing up to those equally carefully scripted roundtable sessions with handpicked “average voters” and nodding thoughtfully as everyone presents the issues that are important to them. It’s something she’s obviously doing because she feels obliged, not because she wants to, and everyone understands that, yet she insists on doing it anyway and we sort of insist that she do it even though the whole thing is a charade and is known to be such. Why is that? My theory is that it’s Hillary concession to the idea that you need to work to win the presidency, even if your nomination is a fait accompli and no one’s impressed at all with your retail skills. It’s a way for a wealthy dynastic candidate to genuflect towards democracy, which makes the feeling that she’s entitled to the nomination a bit less grating. The pro forma apology here is the same sort of charade except vis-a-vis accountability: She’s rilly, rilly sorry about taking a dump on national security for her own personal convenience, okay? Can we all move past this now and nominate her, please?
Update: Wait a sec. Here’s what Hillary told Ellen DeGeneres in a new interview. Looks like we’ve moved back from “I’m sorry” to “I’m sorry you guys are so confused.”
— Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN) September 8, 2015