But many can, which is why some people are saying the country is suffering "Hillary fatigue," as in chronic fatigue syndrome, but with an identifiable root cause. Hillary has been in the public eye since she was Bill's first lady in Arkansas, but she never projected the roguish charm of the original. Carl Bernstein observed in "A Woman in Charge," his biography of Hillary in 2007, that when she was put before the public she was either "elaborately prepared or relatively soulless." She was trapped in an emotional girdle of her own construction. That hasn't changed.
Critics blame a poor rollout for her book and the accompanying interviews for the bad weeks since, but Hillary's problem runs deeper than skin deep. She's spent more time in public life than in private and has had little time to "know thyself."
Self-perception is difficult for most of us, and even more difficult for politicians surrounded by hanger-ons who shower them with praise and adulation while at the same time constantly confronted with hostility from those who don't like their politics. Hillary's dilemma was compounded in her last job as secretary of state, where she couldn't disagree in a profound way with her boss without resigning. President Obama knew what he was doing when he put her in a high-profile job where she couldn't talk back.
In her book she hints at policy differences between them, but she played it safe in her book "Hard Choices." That's why those who have read it describe it as bland, gluten free and low calorie, something Winston Churchill would recognize as his famous "pudding with no theme." What we want is for Popeye to tell us to eat our spinach, or at least to scream out, "I yam what I yam and tha's all what I yam."
That's not Hillary's style. In her evasive interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC News, she said she takes "responsibility" for what happened at Benghazi, but tried to hide behind girlish ignorance. "I'm not equipped to sit and look at blueprints to determine where the blast walls need to be, where the reinforcements need to be," that's why we hire people who have that expertise." That's boy stuff. But the buck stops at the blast wall.
She says young women question themselves more than young men do, before tackling a new task. "They ask: 'Do you think I can?' or 'Do you think I'm ready?'" Those are just the questions we're asking her.
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