HILLARY AND A JURY OF HER PEERS
One of the negatives about being on the political stage is that, when judgments are handed down, they aren’t formed by a jury of 12 people but rather by an entire country. Sometimes by the rest of the world as well. That’s a big jury and a hard one to win over. It takes technique, but it also takes simple honesty and a willingness to be open and vulnerable — not easy attributes to master in the back-stabbing world of politics where defensiveness is used as a survival tool.
I watched Hillary Clinton’s press conference today, and I don’t think she won anybody over. The most generous I could be is to say ‘The jury is still out…” As in any court, facts are important. Hillary gave the impression that the State Department, apropos of nothing, asked for her e-mails and those of other government officials. The fact is, this request came about because of the investigation into Benghazi and a revelation that she had been using her own private server. And why are her own people the only ones determining which e-mails are relevant? Isn’t that a little too in-house to be considered open and honest?
More importantly, juries judge people not only on facts but on impressions. Is a person believable? Do they seem authentic and trustworthy? These are instinctual reactions that human beings have toward one another; these instincts aren’t right a hundred percent of the time, but they’re right a lot of the time. Hillary Clinton acted as if she had been roped into this press conference, dragged there against her will, and seemed as if she resented having to answer to anyone. To keep saying, “Other people have done it,” is childish and petulant. It’s also not the point. This is about what she did, and how she plans to handle things moving forward.
The most disappointing moment of her press conference was when Andrea Mitchell asked her about countries with horrible records when it comes to women’s rights giving money to the Clinton Foundation. She clumsily and gruffly did not even attempt to answer the question. She said that everyone knows where she stands on women’s rights. So? There is still such a thing as dirty money when it comes from countries that enslave and stone to death women on a regular basis. And whoever is horrified by such tactics shouldn’t take money from those countries.
The real tragedy here is that Hillary will undoubtedly run for president. And at this point, she hasn’t distinguished herself from all the others who will probably run, none of whom inspire trust.