Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hillary Clinton: Blonde Obession and the Media Hounds

Since the first of the year, we have seen Hillary Clinton only twice.  Both appearances were at inaugurations of candidates for public office who had worked for her in the past and whom, out of loyalty and friendship,  she had endorsed and campaigned for: N.Y.C.Mayor Bill de Blasio and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. There should be nothing surprising about that support. She knows who her friends are even if staffers perceived the political field to be so complex that they needed to develop a nuanced spreadsheet.

She has been keeping a very low profile for weeks to the infinite frustration of the media. News outlets appear to be convinced that without Hillary somehow in the spotlight print outlets will receive no traffic and cable channels no viewers, and so Hillary's fate, at present, is to be ever-present even while she very likely works hard on the draft of her book behind closed doors.  Her "shadow campaign," her "hit list," and, of course, "Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi" currently dominate the rumor mill that perpetually spins thanks to a stream swollen with concern, rumor, and possibly fear.  What's she up to?  Why isn't she speaking out? Where is she? etc. etc. etc.

At some point in the future we may read what she considers to be her ultimate statement on Benghazi which is unlikely, given her consistency,  to differ much in substance from this one in October 2012. 

On CNN to Elise Labott:
QUESTION: You say you don’t want to play the blame game, but certainly there’s a blame game going on in Washington. In fact, during the presidential debate, Vice President Biden said, “We didn’t know.” White House officials calling around saying, “Hey, this is a State Department function.” Are they throwing you under the bus?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, of course not. Look, I take responsibility. I’m in charge of the State Department, 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. The President and the Vice President certainly wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They’re the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision.
What exactly is it that the media wants from Hillary Clinton?  What is it that the public wants?  Certainly her critics appear to want their pound of flesh and blood.   Among her fans, there are those who similarly would exact additional blood, sweat, and tears beyond what she has already donated over 40+ years of public service whether or not she decides to take up the standard once more.  (Others more patiently await her deeply personal decision to be made in her own good time.)  And then there is the press.

Their blonde obsession with Hillary,  no matter what the story, sells, brings on traffic and viewers.  So it should come as no surprise that keeping her in the headers and on the covers becomes the story in the absurdist world that is called mainstream media.

Can Anyone Stop Hillary?

Why Clinton's 2016 candidacy-without-a-campaign dominates the political galaxy

The truth is that this life as a private citizen is eminently distinguishable from life as a candidate.  Through her Clinton Foundation outlet she does, in fact, keep us informed of her issues and initiatives.  Her public speaking events provide her a platform on current events as she chooses to address them (or not, as is her prerogative since she is neither a public servant nor an announced candidate for anything beyond grandmotherhood).  Yet the media continues to focus, not on what she actually says and does,  but rather on the issues she selects not to address (e.g. the Iran deal) and the initiative she has not resolved to assume.  There is only one possible outcome to this media frenzy, and that is invention.  Reportage becomes a creative process and fiction ensues.
Clinton has not decided whether to run for President because to do so would only slow her down. Indecision serves her well by preserving flexibility in her schedule, by shielding her from answering every Internet controversy and by allowing the Republican opposition to take shape and draw fire.

Really?  Mr. Von Drehle knows why she has not yet decided?  File under "fiction."