I asked a friend last week how she liked the debates. “Did you see Hillary shimmy? She did a move like this!” and shows me. This was the first thing out of her mouth. I asked, “Was it good or bad?”. “I think it was bad,” she answered.
Now I missed the shoulder shimmy so I looked it up. It came after a long rant by Donald Trump on Hillary Clinton’s temperament that did not reflect all that well on his own. Clinton just smiled and when it was over she took a deep breath, said “woo, okay”, did a shoulder shimmy and got a big laugh from the audience. The internet loved it and it was a clear ‘winning moment’ for Clinton.
This is why Clinton is in trouble. My friend is a middle class senior citizen and lifelong Democrat. One would think she would be a supporter, but instead she has a visceral dislike of Hillary Clinton. She won’t even give Clinton credit for something that was clearly a win for her. Will she vote for Trump, I asked? “No way!” But later she says, “It wouldn’t be so bad if Trump won. The country would still be here.” I mentioned that the country still existing was a pretty low standard for a successful presidency, and she reluctantly gave a bit of ground there.
There are many Americans like her. Their hatred of the Clintons, and Hillary in particular, is amazingly powerful. Why? Here are a few reasons:
- Bill Clinton was a popular president in a time when partisanship skyrocketed. A popular president is a threat, and he, and his wife, were constantly under attack and when the search for substance failed the attacks went personal. They have stayed that way.
- If you repeat something often enough and long enough, people will start to absorb it. The attacks on the Clintons have been going on for 25 years now. Never mind that Politifact scores her as one of the most truthful politicians
- The Clintons, and particularly Hillary, have built up defensive walls around themselves and therefore appear to be hiding something and dishonest.
- Hillary is a woman and she is trying to break the ultimate glass ceiling. People of a certain age / background / culture still feel more comfortable with a man in the top spot. Hillary is not the woman we picture when we think of a president, mostly because we don’t think of a woman when we think of a president.
- And finally, if a woman is to break the glass ceiling, is Hillary the best representative of womanhood to do this? She is far from perfect and every one of her real and imagined flaws have been spotlighted for so long that to many people it seems wrong that she should be the first woman president.