The Corner

Film & TV

Who’s Itching to Watch a New Documentary about Hillary Clinton?

Hillary Clinton speaks during the Women In The World Summit in New York City, April 13, 2018. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters )

Hulu has unveiled the trailer for its upcoming Hillary Rodham Clinton documentary, Hillary. The trailer suggests the film will attempt to be a complete biography of the former first lady, senator, Secretary of State and presidential candidate — and some people are groaning about it already.

For most people who follow politics, this appears to be well-trod territory; the trailer features her meeting Bill, the criticism of her as First Lady, Pat Buchanan, Bill Clinton’s impeachment, Donald Trump, “emails,” and the 2016 campaign.

We’ll see if there’s anything interesting, new, or surprising. If you had to make a documentary about Clinton, maybe the most interesting and under-explored question about her is how the very best campaign staff that money could buy, all of the breakthroughs in data analytics, with a huge fundraising advantage and every resource that any campaign could ever want . . . could be so blind to her actual standing with the electorate. The key question is not merely, “how could she lose?”, it’s “how could she and her team have so little recognition that she was at risk of losing?” Remember, her campaign spent money and scheduled a late campaign stop in Arizona, and famously never visited Wisconsin after the convention in late summer. Bill Clinton reportedly told one aide the Friday before the election that Florida was “in the bag.”

There’s a really fascinating story to be told there; much as the Titanic was supposed to be unsinkable, the Hillary Clinton campaign was supposed to be unbeatable — certainly not by a candidate like Donald Trump. Hillary might cover it, or the film may not.

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