Monday, July 11, 2016

Hillary: The Listener


Ezra Klein at Vox has brought us a terrific Hillary twofer today that you simply cannot miss.

Watch "Hillary Clinton: The Vox Conversation" above and read the full transcript here. In one key highlight of the 40-minute interview, she responded to her high negatives:
Saying something negative about somebody, whether it was a negative ad 30 years ago or a negative tweet or other allegations today — there’s just a really rich environment for that to capture people’s minds and change their attitudes.

There’s a lot of behavioral science that if you attack someone endlessly — even if none of what you say is true — the very fact of attacking that person raises doubts and creates a negative perspective. As someone Exhibit A on that — since it has been a long time that I’ve been in that position — I get that. I get it.

And it’s always amusing to me that when I have a job, I have really high approval ratings; when I’m actually doing the work, I get reelected with 67 percent of the vote running for reelection in the Senate. When I’m secretary of state, I have [a] 66 percent approval rating.

And then I seek a job, I run for a job, and all of the discredited negativity comes out again, and all of these arguments and attacks start up. So it seems to be part of the political climate now that is just going to have to be dealt with.

But I am really confident that I can break through that and I can continue to build an electoral victory in November. And then once I’m doing the job, we’ll be back to people viewing me as the person doing the job instead of the person seeking the job.
Continuing along these lines, Klein today also published one of the year's most interesting (and lengthy) articles about her with "Understanding Hillary". In it, he asks why the public views her so much differently than her colleagues do...and finds a startlingly simple reason:
There is something about her persona that seems uniquely vulnerable to campaigning; something is getting lost in the Gap. So as I interviewed Clinton's staffers, colleagues, friends, and foes, I began every discussion with some form of the same question:What is true about the Hillary Clinton you’ve worked with that doesn’t come through on the campaign trail?

The answers startled me in their consistency. Every single person brought up, in some way or another, the exact same quality they feel leads Clinton to excel in governance and struggle in campaigns. On the one hand, that makes my job as a reporter easy. There actually is an answer to the question. On the other hand, it makes my job as a writer harder: It isn’t a very satisfying answer to the question, at least not when you first hear it.

Hillary Clinton, they said over and over again, listens.
Listening, huh? How very revolutionary...and just what our fractured country needs the most in the years to come.

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