January 8, 2008

"It was like one of those perfect flickers of sadness that won Helen Mirren an Oscar for 'The Queen.'"

Robin Givhan on Hillary's show of emotion. Yeah, I keep trying to guess what excellent actress is coaching Hillary on her vocal inflections — which have become quite good. I hear the voice of a specific actress. Not an English one though — the accent would be a calamity — so not Helen Mirren. Somebody more Californian.

Back to Givhan:
Over the past 17 years, Clinton has constructed a public face that is controlled and largely inscrutable....

She never has come across as wounded....

It's no great leap to wonder whether that cracking in her voice yesterday had been self-consciously conjured up. Clinton got teary-eyed? Really? The disbelief might be cynical, but not unreasonable.

How does she convince observers -- those pesky pundits, the annoying media, the relentless bloggers -- that her husky-voiced emotion was real?
Well, as a pesky, relentless, annoying blogger — especially on the subject of Hillary — I'll just say that to ask the question is to give up the game. If she's trying to figure out how to convince us she's real, she's not being real.

"Game," you say?
"Some people think elections are a game, lots of who's up or who's down. It's about our country. It's about our kids' futures. And it's really about all of us together."
I confess to being one of those people who think elections are a game. Of course, they have serious consequences and affect the real lives of many people, but getting yourself elected is still a game, and it's one that she's trying to play well. And she's losing. She tried to win, and when she found herself losing, she started asserting that for her — unlike those other, shallow people — it wasn't a game. But that was her move... in the game.


Mortimer Brezny said...

But that was her move... in the game.

Yes, yes. Preach.

AllenS said...

What's more authentic, Hillary?!'s loud laughter or her emotional almost-cry?

Middle Class Guy said...

Hillary complained to Diane Sawyer that the other candidates have been given a free ride and have not been under the same scrutiny that she has.

She has been given the free ride and enabled by the media. No one has wuestioned her claims of experience and thrity one years of public service. She has been enabled.

I feel so sorry for her. She is suffering from some type of distorted reality and should seek professional help. She is living in a fairy tale of her own creation. This is one person who should never hold public office.

George said...

Maybe she knows something that we don't know...

Crocodiles really do bawl while banqueting – but for physiological reasons rather than rascally reptilian remorse.

Roger said...

Exactly: you get in the game, you raise 100 million or so, you surround yourself with Bubba's ace consultants--it all works so well until the real judges in the game (that would be the voters) make their judgments. It's the likeability thing coupled with perceptions of shady practices which Ms Clinton has continued to reinforce with planted questions, plausibly deniable slams against her opponents, and opposition research the uncovers kindergarten essays.

I love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

What I saw was a control freak exhausted from doing everything she is supposed to do and still not getting the results she's entitled to get.

But she'd probably say 'yes' to the V.P. slot if Obama wins and offers it to her.

She can't resist being a historic woman. And she'd be the Cheney-esque gravitas to Obama's W light-weightedness.

blogging cockroach said...

i always like to watch tommy play chess
--tommy is the kid whose computer i use--
he is a chess whiz who wins all the time
its fun to see him checkmate somebody in 5 moves
he usually doesnt waste time
the other day he was playing someone
and the game dragged on for 47 moves
they were down to a few pieces each
tommy still had his queen and the other kid didnt
it looked like it was all over for the other kid
then --wham-- the other kid put tommys king in check with his remaining knight
came out of nowhere
tommy sacrificed almost all his pieces
and wasted a long time to get where he was
looks like hillarys end game needs some work too

rhhardin said...

Game is a figure of speech for it, which says only that activity is framed. But activity is always framed one way or another. That's how it makes sense.

That said, Erving Goffman on giving speeches :

He who says he is tearing up his prepared address to talk to you extemporaneously ... has torn up the wrong prepared address

_Forms of Talk_ ``The Lecture''

Bender said...

I tend to think, based on hearing the incident in question on radio, is that it was both acting and authentic. Hillary is insincere to the highest degree, so faking it would not be a surprise, but I also think that she sees her sole reason for existence slipping away, and when the only thing that you live for and have lived for for over 16 years is taken away, and you finally begin to realize that even your "friends" don't like you, that is bound to cause many folks, women or men, to choke up a bit.

Ron said...

more Californian? Goldie Hawn, perhaps?

Bender said...

And then, in commenting on the incident, Hillary goes and says this --

“It was just so touching when this woman said, ‘Well, what about you?’” Mrs. Clinton said. “I just don’t think about that, I think about what I can do for other people I have spent a lifetime trying to help others; I’m very other-directed. That’s maybe why people don’t get me in the political world.”

What a load of typical Clinton crap. Never thinks about herself. Always thinks about other people and how she can help them. Totally other-directed. You know, folks really should not take such hubris-like pride in their self-described humility.

Oh, we get you alright.

Bissage said...

Here’s my guess.

Maxine Weiss said...

You can always tell, because
cake mascara will run when you cry.

michael farris said...

Let's assume she faked it in the most calculated way possible. So what?

Are there really people who believe that the emotion in other politician's public appearances is all spontaneous and real?

They're all acting, all. the. time.

Why is she getting nailed for it?

former law student said...

I was shocked at the Post's negligent racism :) A Chink in the Steely Facade What next?

Lindsay said...

Why do you keep insisting that she is being coached by some actress? I truly believe that her display of emotion was completely real, it's just that her explanation for it was fraudulent. She's crying and upset BECAUSE SHE'S LOSING. She can say she's crying "because this country has given her so much" or whatever her absurd explanation may be, but the truth is, she's upset because she thought she had this race won, and it turns out, she's done. It's no act - just a completely artificial explanation.

AllenS said...

I can't wait for the South Carolina primary, so we can hear Hillary?! talk like a stereotypical southerner/black. She has a lot to give. Gotta love that.

Meade said...

Bissage, are you suggesting that the Crocohillarydile needs to leave her marriage in order "to find herself?"
That would be SO second-wave.

Meade said...

For what it's worth and for the record, I think Lindsay at 10:23 nails it.

Chip Ahoy said...

Do you realize how hard it has been avoiding seeing Hillary's perfect flicker of sadness?

I bought extra remotes and positioned them strategically. When my spidey-sense alerts me, BAM, mute. I have about 150 scores.

PatCA said...

Flicker? I would call it a bath.

JackDRipper said...

AllenS said...I can't wait for the South Carolina primary, so we can hear Hillary?! talk like a stereotypical southerner/black. She has a lot to give. Gotta love that.

It's even better when Obama tries to sound black, especially the Southern Fried style like he grew up in "The Movement" as a small colored child in Mississippi.

former law student said...

It struck me that Hillary is a hybrid of the Scarecrow and the Tin Man: An empty pantsuit needing to be stuffed with personality and heart, but possessing a robotic brain.

Ann Althouse said...

Bissage, yes, I thought of Meryl Streep too. You know, people thought she based her character in Manchurian Candidate on Hillary. The question is: is she a Hillary fan? Because connecting Hillary to that character wasn't very pro-Hillary.

Roger said...

You gotta figure there are going to be a whole lot of honky democrats crowding into black churches across SC shouting hallelujah and preach it brother this sunday. Black congregations should make them eat a plate of chittlin's before they get to go inside.

Trooper York said...

Dennis 'Cutty' Wise: The game done changed...
Slim Charles: Game's the same, just got more fierce.
(The Wire 2005)

Back on HBO, best show on TV bar none.

reader_iam said...

I'd like to quietly note that today was the original date for another important election (now postponed to Feb. 18), one which I would have been following with at least as much interest as, and probably more than, the New Hampshire primary.

I don't consider this entirely off topic to these threads, by the way.

Trooper York said...

What the baseball hall of fame?

Trooper York said...

The Golden Globes?

Trooper York said...

She wolf blog mistress of the vast right wing conspiracy?

Trooper York said...

Dinty Moores' twenty fifth annual Mulligan Stew cook-off?

reader_iam said...

Trooper, you make me laugh. I only wish it were the latter.


In case I really am being too obscure, I was referring to Pakistan.

Lawgiver said...


It will be the Giants stewed in big D this weekend and Dinty Moore will have nothing to do with it :)

Trooper York said...

My secret weapon. It's really tough to beat the same team three times in one year cause the law of averages catches up with ya. We need to double up our bet. Dinner in New York if you win baby. You have to get me the collected works of Jessica Simpson if the Boy's tank. I think it's an uphill battle for Big Blue, but you never know. Lets get it on!!!!!!!!!!

John Stodder said...

So, what Linday is saying, her words and her tears were disconnected.

I tend to agree. It was extremely dramatic for that reason.

Hillary wasn't crying like Muskie, who cried because his wife had been slandered by the local newspaper. She was crying because the question touched at her extreme disappointment and fear of failure. This is of a piece with her character. She thinks of herself as selfless, but in reality, she has an overwhelming appetite for power and what goes with it.

Now she is being told by the voters that she can't have this thing she wants, and the emotion is just swelling inside her like a child's. But she dare not speak the reason for it, so her subconscious covers it with this incoherent blather about not wanting the see the country fall behind.

Taken literally her words during that moment make her seem almost messianic, about the nation's stake in her election. We'll inevitably lose ground if she's not our president? If you had a friend who said something like that, you'd worry about his or her mental health.

If she ends up losing tonight by 10 or more points, the reaction is going to be extreme. Either she'll drop out, or she'll continue but with a fierceness we haven't seen yet. Watch out, Obama, if that happens. And Mark Penn, you better not stay in Washington for awhile. She's going to go medieval on your ass.

Trooper York said...

Reader you are the best. I could change my screen name to
readerofcookbooks_Iam because that is among my favorite things to do, read up and try out new reciepes. I have a great cassoulet receipe to send you that would give Grandma Mulligan a stroke.

Michael_H said...

Hey! It's NFL playoff time. Forget all that annoying political stuff. This Saturday afternoon it's the Packers versus the Seahawks at beautiful Lambeau Field. Football the way it should be played - outdoors in crappy weather.

This battle will be a football classic. Mike Sherman brings his Seattle team to Green Bay to play the surprisingly resurgent Packers, whose most recent Super Bowl victory came when Sherman was head coach.

Forget that thingie in New Hampshire. It's Brett Favre against his former mentor and coach at Lambeau Field.

Pack by 7.

Pogo said...

When She who wants to be the girl with the most cake doesn't get the most cake, there will be tears.

After that, watch out, because someone will pay. The "most-cake" girls don't just slink away like John Kerry. They wait for you behind the garage on the way home from school. One day, she's there, seeking payment. But what will she take from you?

My own sense is mixed. I saw the tears being shed only for herself as well. But, there were no actual tears. It reminds me of how sociopaths and autistics try to live in the human world, and can sometimes imitate it remarkably well.

But when you get the sense that she knows the words but not the music of human emotion, as I did here, it made me wonder. Time to bring out the Voight-Kampff machine.

Lawgiver said...

Ah! Well a-day! What evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the albatross
About my neck was hung.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

It's a bet. Jessica and Tony spent a 3 day weekend in Mexico. He's done with her now. I hope.

Trooper York said...

Yeah but she might have sucked all the juice out of the lemon if you know what I mean. Big Blue in a defensive struggle. TO has 3 drops and lots of excuses. Jacobs runs wild. Giants 13 Dallas 10. Down to the last play of the game. Then we can go to the frozen tundra and beat up that old dude.

Blake said...

Ha! We beat you to it, Pogo.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Michael_H: Head Coach Mike Sherman? I'm sure you mean Mike Holmgren.

Chip Ahoy said...

Here's my guess.