In recent months, a series of article have appeared on the changing personas of Hillary Clinton and the different aspects of her personality and history that she’s highlighted at different points in her career. Not that there is anything wrong with catering to different constituencies, but given that Reality Check is about consistency, it’s only appropriate to take as look back at the five or six different Hillaries.
A March 6 New York Times article discussed that
“Over the years, Mrs. Clinton has evolved through a series of female personas. Her outspoken feminism and perceived putdown of cookie-baking mothers provoked fierce criticism. She became the classic ‘woman wronged’ after the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
As a Senate candidate in 2000, Mrs. Clinton embraced the role of an attentive ‘listener’ as opposed to the power-hungry climber many had suspected. In the Senate, Mrs. Clinton has applied herself to winning over colleagues and becoming one of the boys.
In Mrs. Clinton’s campaign now, her operative conceit is ‘the conversation.’ It is impossible to attend a Hillary-for-president event and forget you are joining a ‘conversation,’ instead of hearing a conventional political speech. Mrs. Clinton relentlessly repeats the catchword, and for those who missed it, there are huge ‘Let the Conversation Begin’ signs on the wall.
After each presentation, Mrs. Clinton engages in a frenzy of 20-second conversations with the rhythmic efficiency of an assembly line.
…In appearances in Washington and around the country, Mrs. Clinton — Version 08, Nurturing Warrior, Presidential Candidate Model — is speaking more freely of her gender than she has in years. Her campaign knows that Democratic women are her most loyal supporters”
The entire article discusses her various personas in great detail, so I recommend you take a look.
An article Saturday in the Belleville News Democrat discussed her recent emphasis on middle class roots.
“One of the most recognizable women in America is trying to re-introduce herself, and some of what she has to say might come as a surprise. Americans who formed their opinions of Clinton during her time as first lady are seeing a different side of her as she campaigns to become the nation’s first female president.
Image is everything in politics, and Clinton is blessed and cursed in that regard….Now Clinton is writing her own story, in a verbal autobiography that serves as the centerpiece of her stock campaign speech. During a swing through New Hampshire last weekend, she presented herself as a child of the heartland, steeped in traditional American values and the can-do spirit of the 1950s.
Her personal history, related at town hall meetings in Hampton and Manchester, is a story straight out of ‘Father Knows Best,’ an idealized world where parents protected their children without pampering them, where neighbors looked after each other and where public officials were held in high esteem.
In addition to highlighting her middle-class roots, Clinton’s campaign narrative makes a larger point about her view of government as a force for good. She tells audiences that she grew up knowing that she could count on support from her parents, her neighbors and her government.”