First she had to change her name. Accomplished in her own right, independent, she was offending the sensibilities of the electorate. So she did.
She had to stand by him, embarrassment after embarrassment. Let him be a loving husband after his behaviour indicated anything but. Time and again, the women appeared. Time and again, she stood by him.
She had to find a policy issue to make her own. But Healthcare failed. She failed. So she focused more on the Lady part than the First part. It worked.
She had to represent a state with rural and urban voters. New York Democrats wanted a high profile Senator. She dared to compete, and she won.
She had to run away from her womanhood the first time. She was not ‘demographically significant’, she was a candidate. A Senator. It didn’t work.
She had to stop the delegates voting to project unity – to Democrats, to America, to the world – and it worked. She played her part, the loyal soldier in the fight for change.
She had to keep going. He picked up a Doris Kearns Goodwin book and decided that being like Lincoln meant putting vanquished foes in your cabinet. So she said yes, and got to work.
She had to be the kindly grandma, but also project a ‘commander in chief’ image (without the appendage traditionally a prerequisite). So she did.
She had to win the primary, a primary that wasn’t seen as tough. She had an opponent to vanquish. But it was, and she did, so she did.
She had to stage a convention that was a celebration of America, a condemnation of hatred, and an example of unity and party loyalty. She did.
She had to win all three debates – something the candidate of the incumbent party hadn’t done. (And which no candidate had ever had to see their husband’s infidelity in the flesh whilst doing.) She did.
She had to convince the majority of voters that she was the best candidate for the job. She did.
It didn’t work.
In hindsight, she probably could have kept her name.