Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Queen Hillary Blown Away by Hurricane Camille

Camille Paglia notes the momentary disarray of Hillary's campaign with a few acerbic asides. First on Hillary's hijacking of the Senate seat in New York & its methodology:
Hillary's stonewalling evasions and mercurial, soulless self-positionings have been going on since her first run for the U.S. Senate from New York, a state she had never lived in and knew virtually nothing about. The liberal Northeastern media were criminally complicit in enabling her queenlike, content-free "listening tour," where she took no hard questions and where her staff and security people (including her government-supplied Secret Service detail) staged events stocked with vetted sympathizers, and where they ensured that no protesters would ever come within camera range.

That compulsive micromanagement, ultimately emanating from Hillary herself, has come back to haunt her in her dismaying inability to field complex unscripted questions in a public forum. The presidential sweepstakes are too harsh an arena for tenderfoot novices. Hillary's much-vaunted "experience" has evidently not extended to the dynamic give-and-take of authentic debate. The mild challenges she has faced would be pitiful indeed by British standards, which favor a caustic style of witty put-downs that draw applause and gales of laughter in the House of Commons. Women had better toughen up if they aspire to be commander in chief
Camille then points out the convergence of that "compulsive micromanagement" with old-fashioned feminism of the bra-burning emotionality that simply should absent itself from presidential campaigning---especially when more-heat-than-light Ann Lewis gets involved. Ann is an old sparring partner of Camille's who lacks Camille's deft touch and her brother Barney Frank's brains and wit:
Aside from the stylish Huma [Abedin], there's definitely something weird and cultish in the sycophantish cathexis onto Hillary of the many nerds, geeks and vengeful viragos who run her campaign -- sometimes to her detriment, as with the recent ham-handed playing of the clich├ęd gender card. I suspect the latter dumb move, which has backfired badly, came from Ann Lewis (Barney Frank's sister), a fanatical Hillary true believer who has been spouting beatific feminist bromides about her for the past 15 years. (The transcript of my tangle with Lewis about Hillary on CNN's "Crossfire" in 1994 is reprinted in my second essay collection.) Hillary seems to have acolytes rather than friends -- hardly a reassuring trait for a potential president whose paranoia has already been called Nixonian. Isolated monarchs never hear the bad news until the people riot and the lynch mob is at the door.

Paglia then jump-shifts to the larger perspective of why the Democrats or anyone has fielded a more capable female presidential candidate. After she notes Nancy Pelosi's grandmotherly charm [I say nothing about Pelosi's ham-handed wrong-footed political
clumsiness] and Mediterranean warmth, Camille switches to Dianne Feinstein's political dexterity & interesting combination of expertise and gravitas without Hillary's self-righteous screechiness.

Unmentioned by Paglia is the fact that Feinstein has her husband's enormous profits from military-related contracts she herself engineered and maneuvered through Congress. This ginormous baggage has gone un-noticed by the vigilant investigative sleuths in the MSM, particularly the LAT, but in a campaign would be an elephant in the boudoir of a Feinstein candidacy.

Camille finally dodges what I believe is Hillary's mortal flaw, her inability to project Pelosi's skill with family relationships and Feinstein's expertise/gravitas. Hillary appears too brittle and too wonky without redeeming character assets to overcome these obvious character deficits.

Until she can overcome her compulsion to control and micromanage, she will be a sort of Jimmy Carter without the smile. Ultimately, a confection rather than a rich nutritious multi-course dinner.

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