It was an inauspicious beginning to the 2016 campaign, but it’s not completely surprising. For years, Clinton loyalists have had to account for the simple truth that Hillary does not possess her husband’s natural political gifts. That’s no disgrace; few politicians do. But she can be thin-skinned, defensive, tin-eared, needlessly confrontational, and susceptible to wild conspiracy theories. Bill has these traits, too, but hides them better.
The back-and-forth with Diane Sawyer was widely portrayed as a gaffe, which it was, but it was also indicative of something more disconcerting. Hillary has exhibited a grasping attitude about money dating to her time in the Little Rock governor’s mansion when a politically connected friend helped her reap profits of $100,000 on a $1,000 investment in cattle futures, an arcane subject she knew nothing about.
Then and now, she despised being questioned about either her motives or judgment. This week, she lashed out at liberal interviewer Terry Gross for having the temerity to ask if the Clintons had changed their minds about gay marriage or if they had changed their public position when it became expedient. It’s an interesting question, actually, and one I’ve wondered about since the night during Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign when he signed the Orwellian-named Defense of Marriage Act into law. Hillary also fudged on the date in the Gross interview, citing the year 1993, a reminder that another trait she shares with Bill is a willingness to bend the truth.