Cher is talking about getting to know Hillary through much experience doing teas with her, and Cher says she told Hillary, "You are so much fun and you are so warm and you are all these things I've never seen when you speak."
Cher asked Hillary why and, as Cher tells it:
She said because she got so crushed — I hope she doesn't mind my telling this story — too late now!— and she said because she got so crushed by the G.O.P., just for trying to set up health care, and she never thought it would be so personal, and she said it made her kind of pull in and she's shy, so it was difficult, and so she kind of kept that with her, but, you know, she is shy, and she's not the greatest speaker in the world, but...and this is what I believe, and this is what I know: She will work every moment of every day.... This chick is just tougher than Chinese algebra.So she's tougher than Chinese algebra, but she got so crushed when the GOP opposed her health care plan. Which is it? Maybe she's tough in private, after she kind of pulls in. She's so shy and kind of kept that with her. Kept what with her? That crushed, pulled in feeling that she got when Congress didn't go along with that plan she worked so hard on?
She might not be that good at speaking, but she'll pull back into herself and work every moment of every day. Work work work! She may not talk too much — and we know she won't take questions from the press. It's just so crushing when they don't go along with everything she worked so hard on. But she will pull in and turn that crushing into hours and hours of work work work and if only you really knew her, as Cher does, you would know she's so much fun and so warm and... all these things.
But let's take a closer look at that Chinese algebra. Is that racist? Is that sexist? Math class is tough...
... as Barbie said long ago, outraging feminists. And I guess you throw "Chinese" on top of that and get some kind of reference to the stereotype that Chinese students are especially good at math. Why carelessly throw "Chinese" around to try to be funny?
But Cher didn't put those 2 words together all on her own. "Chinese algebra" is enough of an expression that it has an Urban Dictionary definition going all the way back to 2003: "a hard type of math." But I don't know if it was ever used to talk about math. It seems all along to have been a way to talk about erections. It looks as though the original use of the word was from Tom Waits, back in 1976, "Pasties And A G-String":
She's a-hot and ready, creamy and sugaredSo Cher thinks Hillary is as hard as Tom Waits watching an erotic dancer. But shy, too! Very very shy. Shy and crushed and pulled in. It's so difficult! So keep it all deep within you and work — work every moment of every day.
And the band is awful and so are the tunes
Crawlin' on her belly, and shakin' like jelly
And I'm gettin' harder than Chinese algebra-ssieres...