The Corner

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Hillary’s Weak Week


It is astonishing to watch the continuing inability of the Clinton campaign to sustain a modest blow. Her debate performance last week wasn’t that bad, and the attacks against her weren’t so harsh, and the questions she got weren’t unfair at all. She didn’t handle them very well, which happens. But since then she, her husband, and her campaign team have been in a kind of panicked stupor about it which has not abated much in a week and has continued (needlessly) to draw the worst kind of attention to the candidate and provide fodder for her opposition. Potential Republican candidates are certainly taking notes on this. When (or rather, if) she faces a Republican in the fall, she’ll get pushed around a lot more frequently and forcefully than this (I hope), and she and her team seem terribly ill-equipped for it at the moment.

Not that it’s easy to take a beating and keep moving, but easy or not it is absolutely essential to the task she has set out for herself: essential not only to running for president, but to serving as president effectively, as the current president could surely tell her.

Senator Clinton is in one respect astonishingly disciplined (unlike her husband). But when she does get a little off balance, it seems she has very serious trouble “moving on” (again, unlike her husband). Not a winner’s trait in politics.