Democrats know they have some problems with Hillary Clinton. A clear majority of Americans neither trust nor like her. So while the main purpose of the Democrats’ convention was to formally nominate Clinton and motivate her base, it was also clearly intended to address the likeability issue – to humanize Hillary.
During this fourth or fifth re-introduction of Hillary Clinton, we heard the obligatory political and military allies attesting to her dedication and competence. But many of the other tributes were delivered by friends and family, aimed at dispelling the widespread perception that Hillary is, in essence, a cold and calculating political machine.
Yet even those efforts seemed calculated and contrived. Though Clinton, herself, was certainly reveling in her ground-breaking accomplishment, she seemed to be straining to convince the audience she was actually having fun, like humans often do. The laughter and facial expressions seemed excessive for the Hillary we’ve come to know. The exaggerated gestures, the finger point, the eye-rolls, the wondrous fascination with those falling balloons, all seemed a bit too animated, like in those old-time silent films. They could only be believed by Democrats.
Who, but a deeply devoted husband can best express the humanity, the softer side of a presidential candidate? Bill Clinton did his best with endearing accounts of his first meeting with Hillary and their ensuing courtship. Surely, his musings suggested to even her harshest critics that there’s another side to Hillary. Listening to Bill extol her virtues must have filled the audience with a sense of nostalgia. It likely brought back memories of the last Clinton presidency, some fond, and some not so fond. After all, Bill was a ground-breaker in his own right, being the only U.S. President to be impeached for lying under oath. For better or for worse, his ringing endorsement offered no surprises.
And that long, emotional embrace between Hillary and Chelsea wasn’t necessary to understand they share a deep, trusting, and especially close bond. How can anyone forget that Chelsea was one of the few people entrusted by Hillary with the truth on the night of the Benghazi massacre? She told everyone else, including the families of the victims, a coordinated lie about a video.
So now Democrats have rolled out a new, more human candidate, one who sat for an interview with Chris Wallace on Sunday.
The interview showed that little has changed. Hillary Clinton continues to dispute the accounts of the Benghazi families. This new, humane Hillary no longer accuses them of lying, though. She now claims they’re just misremembering her words of “condolences” and her vow to prosecute the producer of that inflammatory video. It’s hard to fathom that under those circumstances, the comforting words spoken by a U.S. Secretary of State would be misremembered, especially since one of those family members made contemporaneous notes of the conversation. But, as they say, that’s her story, and she’s sticking to it. And astonishingly, she still contends that FBI Director Comey’s report on her email scandal somehow exonerates her. Even Chris Wallace argued that the American people heard something entirely different from Director Comey.
The Democrats’ effort to humanize Hillary may have an impact on one segment of society – not white males or females, not minorities, nor millennials, but castaways – all those who have been marooned on a deserted island for the past 25 years. They don’t know Hillary like everyone else does. Everyone else has listened to her relentless public lies, and witnessed her selfish disregard for our national security and for those who defend it. And everyone else knows that once trust and respect are lost, they cannot be restored with a “likeability” campaign. Even if Democrats succeed in humanizing Hillary Clinton, most Americans will always see her as the most conniving, self-serving, and pathologically deceptive human being to ever finagle the presidential nomination of a major political party.
© Peter Lemiska