Clinton’s Anne Hathaway Problem
Emma Lindsay

Ms. Lindsay:

I have been reading all of your posts and love your writing and your insights. What you say about Hillary is certainly valid, but there are other dimensions than just the one that you explored, that dimension involving the intersection of gender and social success or accomplishment. There are now a considerable number of successful female officeholders in the US, and of course other countries have been there earlier than us — Theresa May is the UK’s second Prime Minister, even Pakistan has had a female president (Benazir Bhutto). Here in the US there are women of the Left such as Elizabeth Warren, and those of the Right like Michelle Bachman, Sara Palin, and Nikki Haley. There is now even a successful female campaign manager of the Right — Kellyanne Conway.

My daughter asked me to vote for Hillary, and I did so. I have issues with the way she conducts herself as a leader, the primary one being that she is, forgive the strong language, a coward. She has conducted her career in an expedient way, and is seen by the American public, and not just the loony Right, as inauthentic. You may reply that this is because she is female, but I would disagree. Seventy years ago, Eleanor Roosevelt was widely loved and supported, and in my view this is because she read as completely authentic, that what you saw of her was the real deal, not a pose. Even Shirley Chisholm, who did not have a prayer of winning the Presidency, did as relatively well as she did due to her fierce authenticity.

Whether Hillary could have gained the Presidency with guns blazing or not, this being the America that you write about with such eloquence and effect, it is impossible to say. But she made choices in her conduct and posture that from my vantage point doomed her from the start. She was whooped first by an upstart of the Left, and then by a similar counter-force from the Right (I know I know, both were men).

Bernie Sanders probably had a better shot at defeating Trump, simply because (even though I disagree with most everything he proposes or believes) he is to my eye the most honest office seeker ever — he has conducted his political life fearlessly, and makes one feel that he means every word that he says. That is why the Millenials love him so. Hillary tried to co-opt his message in the most nakedly expedient fashion possible.

Thanks again for your work — it is great.

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