Hillary may win—but she is twenty years too lateby Bronwen Maddox / April 21, 2016 / Leave a comment
Read more: Ted Cruz—a man as talented as he is despised
I’ve come late to a whole-hearted embrace of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President. Just when a whole flank of potential supporters—such as young women whom you might have assumed would back her—peel away and throw themselves into the campaign of Bernie Sanders, the blue-shirted, grey-haired senator from Vermont who describes himself as a socialist. She isn’t trusted, she’s not cool, is the chorus.
All the same, at this point in an extraordinary election year, it seems the most likely outcome that she wins the Democratic nomination and then the presidency. The prospect must then be though that she would have only one term in the White House, to be succeeded by someone more extreme.
I’ve liked Hillary since her husband was in the White House, while finding her, as many do, hard work to like. In contrast to Bill’s compulsively gregarious charm, she does politics by numbers; you can see the calculations in the phrases that stop a fraction short of cliché and convey nothing of character. But her early mistakes in Washington were forgiveable, I thought; the debacle of her healthcare reforms was the product of trying too ambitiously, with no political experience, to overcome an almost insuperable obstacle. The effort President Barack Obama had to make almost two decades later to modify the US’s healthcare system was a small vindication.
After that early, spectacular failure, her makeover—softer, sleeker hair, white silk shirts—and attempts to be simply First Lady were painful but not, it seemed to me, the indisputable sign of falseness as many took them to be. It seemed cynical too to hold that, when the Monica Lewinsky storm descended on the White House, she stayed with her husband only out of political ambition. Whatever their marriage lacked, the Clintons always had a…