The Campaign Spot

The Coming Effort to Persuade You That You Really Like Hillary

In the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:

The Coming Attempt to Persuade You That You Really Like Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton is already making a preemptive strike against any critical media coverage in the coming years:

Hillary Clinton, eyeing a second presidential bid and constantly at the center of intense press coverage, lamented Tuesday that modern media scrutiny has made it more difficult to be a leader today.

“We have created very difficult hurdles for people who want to serve, who believe they can lead, to do be able to do so. And the media has intensified that,” the former secretary of state said at the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, sponsored by the tech company Salesforce.

Clinton said she had watched Ken Burns’ documentary on the Roosevelt family, noting that reporters kept hidden Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s handicap. Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio at age 39 in 1921 and was largely confined to a wheelchair as president.

“Instead of, in a democracy, doing what we should to be doing, which is giving people information so they can be decision makers,” Clinton said reporters today are only interested in “the best angle, quickest hit, the biggest embarrassment.”

@Drawandstrike offers a series of Tweets, preparing us for the two years of the media “build[ing] Hillary up into the Awesome Special Champion You Can Trust With Ever-Growing Government Power.”

Every presidential campaign tries to build a heroic narrative around the life story of their candidate. Sometimes the material is there – think John McCain enduring the years of torture as a POW in Vietnam, and not coming out embittered or enraged or broken with despair. Sometimes the campaign has to stretch. I tried to lay out a heroic narrative for Mitt Romney back in August 2012; I think his campaign really didn’t try particularly hard in this area, other than some portions of his convention speech. (He was a young, barefoot, street-brawling vigilante who later in life gave away his inheritance, physically grabbed state officials who tried to skip out on hearings after accidents, and rescued drowning people on his jetski. He’s Ward Cleaver crossed with Bruce Wayne.)

The media tends to do this in a rather ham-handed way. Sometimes it comes in the cookie-cutter “This Democrat in a Red State Smashes All the Stereotypes” profiles. Sometimes it comes in increasingly heavy-handed attempts to persuade you that the offspring of the Chosen Messiah Candidate is particularly special and admirable:

That particular cover story in Fast Company tried to dance around its obvious mission of glamorizing a young woman whose adult life consists mostly of stepping through doors opened by her parents’ power and meandering through the highest levels of high society without actually doing much.

Over on NRO this morning, I look at the intensely depressed national mood and point out that the country could use someone with a bit of a heroic shine these days.

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