Consider this the answer to Hillary Clinton’s frustrated cri de coeur, “Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?” The Washington Post reports this morning that Team Hillary has a new campaign message this week — meet the real Hillary. Well, it’s not exactly new …
The real Hillary Clinton — the funny, kind, passionate woman her friends and colleagues insist actually exists — has been missing from public view for so long that even some of her most admiring defenders wonder whether she will ever emerge again.
On the eve of the first presidential debate, Clinton’s campaign is launching a drive to convince voters that she is, well, human. The move, coming just six weeks before the election, is a frank admission that whether it traces to her embarrassingly public marital traumas, or to the arrows aimed at her during the White House years by conservative activists and news reports, or to a lifetime playing the role of the serious, responsible daughter, sister and wife, Hillary Clinton still struggles to be even “likable enough,” as candidate Barack Obama put it during the 2008 campaign.
“It is something that we’re aware of, and it’s a gap that we are seeking to eliminate at all times,” Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said. “Every week, we are rolling out a new video introducing people to somebody that’s gotten to know Hillary Clinton in a personal capacity.”
Call this Operation Who You Gonna Believe, Us or Your Lying Eyes. Hillary Clinton, one of the nation’s most well-known and public women, has had more redefinitions than the Urban Dictionary. Even the introductory paragraph belies the desperation behind the campaign. No, she really is funny and kind and passionate and the most wonderful person you’ve ever met, no matter what you think you know after seeing her in action for 24 years!
The headline says Hillary 7.0, but that’s an understatement rather than an exaggeration. Her aides and Clinton campaigns have tried redefining and reintroducing Hillary every couple of years since the Clintons first emerged on stage. It never works; in every election cycle going back to 1992 (except 2006), Hillary’s favorables go underwater. The only time they go up is when Hillary stays out of the public eye.
Operation Who You Gonna Believe is doomed to failure, but for a clear reason that the Post doesn’t mention in their list of reasons for her troubles. Simply put, Hillary Clinton is as dishonest as the day is long. People who lie constantly — as Hillary has done about the e-mail server, the reasons behind it, and her actions in regard to it, as well as about the influence-peddling at the Clinton Foundation — find that their attempts to redefine themselves will usually fail. People don’t trust people who lie constantly, regardless of whether they’ve suffered “arrows aimed at her” by conservatives or not.
Of course, moments like this don’t help with the “she’s funny and charming” argument, either:
Don’t forget that this isn’t just a candid, unfortunate moment — Hillary and her team deliberately chose to use this unfortunate 58 seconds as a campaign message of the day. And they wonder why we don’t trust them …