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stanleybmanly's avatar

Is it possible that Hillary's real problem is just a lack of affability?

Asked by stanleybmanly (22381points) July 22nd, 2016

I’m serious about this, because I feel that is critical to look at her in as unbiased a fashion as I can manage. And unlike those who loathe her, I can’t objectively agree with the assessment of her as any more foul than her peers. What I see is a smart, tough, capable woman with a truckload of ambition. Shouldn’t that be enough? or rather, if she were a man, wouldn’t that be enough? I think her problem might be more readily appreciated by a peek at a more extreme example of the fatal flaw——Carly Fiorina. That’s right, I’m talking about the charm deficit. When it comes to charm, Hillary just ain’t got it, while Bubba Clinton is just crawling with it. It’s probably what drew her to the smart hillbilly in the first place. When you consider the rather extraordinary spectacle of the show in Philadelphia, the adoration of the know nothing megalomaniac against the vitriolic irrational wrath toward Clinton, you cannot help concluding that the superficial is the ONLY thing that circus was about. The entire affair amounted to an homage to cognitive deficiency. There wasn’t a nickle’s worth of substance in the combined 3 days. It was the cult or hatred of the personality, and nothing more. And if Hillary fails to carry the election in November, I think it will be the charm thing that sinks her.

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34 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Her problem is that, based on her history of ever changing stances on issues without ever acknowledging those changes and actively denying that these changes ever occurred, you can not believe a single word that comes out of her gob.

LostInParadise's avatar

It is certainly part of her problem, but the biggest issue is that she is not progressive enough. The attraction of both Trump and Sanders is that they both talk about overhauling the system. Sanders went so far as to talk about revolution. There are a lot of people who are being hurt by the status quo. The rich have gotten a lot richer and the middle class is being squeezed out of existence. Clinton is offering a band-aid approach. I will vote for her as the lesser of two evils. I am thinking of literally holding my nose when I push the vote button.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I think you are right @stanleybmanly she certainly has little charm,but she is still a million times better than king trump.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Plenty of presidents lacked charm but they were elected anyway. But they were men.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@Stanleybmanly. Affability wouldn’t hurt. But to me, I just don’t respect her. She seems to have one agenda in life, to be president. I think she decided at a very early age that would be her goal. She then paired with a wealthy Bill (no doubt even fanning the flames of his political ambition. ) Road his coat tails to the Whitehouse. There she let Bill run wild. I wager she was fully aware of most of his womanizing behavior, but wouldn’t divorce him because she thought it would hurt her politically. Then when his terms ended, she took the fast track to being a candidate. Obama was ,like Bill, a master politician who deservedly won candidacy and then the presidency. She then toughed it out again, waiting for her chance. Now she is the default candidate and luck, it would seem, is finally on her side. Bernie was too radical for most Democrats and Trump is a dumpster fire.She, in all likelihood, will be our nation’s leader. Then, who knows.

I don’t respect the fact she let Bill get away with so much public cheating (he clearly didn’t respect her either.) She seems to try and tell people what they want to hear too much, as evidenced by her flip flopping. She doesn’t seem to have a clear agenda, other than just getting to the White house. That’s her endgame. To be the first female president, and that seems to be it.

After witnessing Obama having to drag congress (like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum ) every step of the way, and the general futility of attempted bipartisanship, why would ANY person want that?

Most who view her in a positive light, seem to point to the perception that her being president would simply be an extension of Obama’s presidency. I think she’s no different from any other super sleezy, morally indifferent, corrupt, and over their head politician.

And so, the American people have yet another Kherry v Bush. Or lose, lose scenario.


BellaB's avatar

@MrGrimm888 – Wealthy Bill?

The guy grew up about as poor white-trash as you can get in the US.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What is wrong with wanting to be presiden?

SmartAZ's avatar

“just a lack of affability?”

Oh, that sounds SO obscene!

Çlinton – politician with questionable character.

(It’s hard to see the little question mark under the C in some fonts. Sorry.)

Jeruba's avatar

Well, I can’t help noting that she positively cannot deliver a sincere smile. It always looks forced, and it always seems to be concealing something. In my more charitable moments I can’t help wondering if she is simply an introvert who’s uncomfortable in the spotlight and can’t ever pull off the love affair with audiences and media that our more outgoing and charismatic politicians can. In itself that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. But who actually knows Hillary?

Philadelphia? Do you mean Cleveland?

kritiper's avatar

Hillary’s problem is just the same as everybody else’s: She’s only human and nobody is perfect.

Pachy's avatar

Me, I prefer to rate a person’s affability quotient in person rather than only by what I see and hear via the media.

We can more or less fairly judge a public figure by any number of objective criteria, but affability, I humbly submit, is not one of them.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Jeruba I did mean Cleveland. I was busy reading the grandson’s essay on the Liberty Bell. But I do appreciate that you get what I’m talking about. It seems that it just isn’t natural for Hillary to be “folksy”, and forcing it is probably a mistake, but it’s a mistake that many a man could get away with & did. Tricky Dick for instance.

flutherother's avatar

She doesn’t give the impression of being a warm, sincere person but I think she would make a competent president nonetheless which is a lot more than I can say for the opposition.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Expanding on BellaB’s observations, I think Bill & Hillary met in college and HERS was the family of means. And from what I can recall, she not only has a considerable track record for idealism and extensive involvement in progressive causes, but was quite outspoken in the process. And hooking up with dirt poor Bill was hardly a smart move for one possessed by craven ambitions. I really do believe that that idealism was still with her when she had the courage (probably born of ignorance) to tilt vigorously at the windmill of universal healthcare. I mean she really put it out there and in so doing was punished mightily for her efforts. Her advocacy for the cause was initially so forceful and relentless that it generated massive revenues from corporate interests which conservatives gleefully employed in effectively tearing her down. And boy did it work!

stanleybmanly's avatar

And has anyone noticed that no amount of money devoted to tarnishing Bill’s patina seems to have the slightest effect on his adoring fans? That guy as FIRST DUDE is going to give the right some genuine fits with his popularity

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Dutchess III I suppose you can’t fault anyone wanting to be President, but Trump’s nomination severely tests the wisdom in that platitude that “In America, anyone can BE President”

Dutchess_III's avatar

If you’ve sen the movie A Time To Kill you’ll remember the defense attorneys closing argument. He had everyone close their eyes while he repainted the rape and torture of a 10 year old black girl by disgusting white supremists in Alabama. He repainted it in horrifying detail. The all wjite jury was frozen. Then he paused. Everyone’s eyes were closed.
Then he said ,‘Now imagine that the little girl is white.’

I kind of wonder if these questions and comments, adjectives such as ‘charming’ ‘warm’ ect would be questioned if she was a man?
Would the comment about wanting to be the president all of her life be an insult if she was a male, or a compliment on a man’s ambition and determination?

I’m trying to do this exercise myself and I do view her actions differently.

Would her demeanor, intelligence and confidence be viewed favorably if she was a man?

gorillapaws's avatar

Her real problem is that she’s bought-and-paid for and willing to sell her position to the highest bidder. She’s a political insider with a status quo platform in a time when the status quo means the rich getting richer and the middle class evaporating into poverty. The middle class is fed up with both the increasing gap in wealth and insider politicians fucking around in DC with billionaires and lobbyists while ignoring the will of the people. She is more conservative than Nixon was, a war hawk, and she’s untrustworthy.

She may be a million times better than Trump, but she’s still a million times worse than Jill Stein.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

If it were not for her multitude of critical, essential, basic problems I could easily overlook her near total unrelatability.

Hard to relate to? Oh yes:

Her entitlement, her belief that she should win simply because she is she bleeds from every pore, can be heard in every single syllable she utters.

She is positively bewildered that she should have to work for it.

lynfromnm's avatar

Nixon was notably without affability or any social charm, yet he was twice elected.

Zaku's avatar

“Is it possible that Hillary’s real problem is just a lack of affability?”
No. It’s not possible at all. Her list of problems go on and on and on.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@Stanleybmanly, When Hillary met Bill he was a Rhodes scholar, fresh from Oxford and they met at Yale. It wasn’t exactly two poor people meeting at a soup kitchen.

Dutchess, there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with wanting to be president, as Stanley pointed out, Trump wants to also.
In my mind, they both have very similar motives for their candidacy. I feel like Trump was bored one day ,so he decided to run. Not because he had any new ideas, or care for the country, or its people.
Hillary doesn’t seem to have a go to agenda either. She just thinks that she should be president. Healthcare reform was Bill’s thing. She soap boxed for children’s well being while 1st lady, something it seems every 1st lady does.

I don’t think she would be viewed different if she were a man. She still would be boring, and she still says what she thinks people want to hear.

A real question for many women is, Would you support Hillary if she were a man? I doubt it. I would like to see a woman hold the presidency one day, but she should be the best person for the job, not just a milestone. If people really want a female to be a serious candidate they should hope for a female that will do a good job. That way it would add validity to future female candidates.

olivier5's avatar

Her main issue as I see it is she’s a consumate politician, Washington insider, close to big banks and big oil, remote from “the 99%”. The fact that her husband was president also counts: there’s an air of dynasty here.

As usual, her weaknesses are the flip side of her strengths: she’ll be good at manouvering Washington, she won’t rock the economy as Bernie could have, and she’s well prepaired to (re)enter the white house.

Then there’s her hawkish foreign policy: in AIPAC’s pocket, voted for the Iraq war… Not sure that amounts to a significant political weakness in the US, but it worries me a bit.

In summary, she’s not a change agent by any mean, but she’ll keep the boat steady. A good candidate if you’re satisfied with the general state of affairs, not so good if you want significant change.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@MrGrimm888 “I feel like Trump was bored one day ,so he decided to run.”

Long ago Trump stated he would run “If things got bad enough.”

Jesus, just how bad do things have to get?

Things are fine… OOH A POKEMON!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@MrGrimm888 if Hillary were a man and her only opponent was Trump then absolutely I’d vote for her. Gladly.
Are you suggesting I’m only voting for her because she’s a female? I hope not because that would be ludicrous.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Hey Dutchess. Yeah, if I voted, I would vote for anyone but Trump.

I’m not suggesting any of ‘your’ motivation for voting for her. But to think that there are zero women who will vote for her because she is a female isn’t ludicrous at all. I know there were black people who voted for Obama, just because he was black. Hell, there were white people who voted against him, just because he was black. My query was aimed at getting a female, who likes Hillary , to honestly consider how big a role her gender plays in their support. I felt it reasonable to pose the question, much like it was reasonable to consider her as a man, as you suggested. I took a second to think about it, and I felt her gender had nothing to do with my personal opinion of her. Come to think of it, I don’t really think of her as a woman. She’s not feminine, (that may be something she strives for though) and I almost view her as a -sexual… To me, a person’s genger, sexual orientation , or appearance are irrelevant in regards to qualification to be president. But I already kinda saw her as a man.

You don’t have to have a reason to vote, or explain why you voted for whom. That’s part of the ‘fun’ in a democracy. I know of some people who vote to cancel out other people’s votes.

olivier5's avatar

Michael Moore sums up Hillary’s problem. I pasted the jist of the argument below. This is well worth your time.

5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win



I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I gave it to you straight last summer when I told you that Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee for president. And now I have even more awful, depressing news for you: Donald J. Trump is going to win in November. This wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full time sociopath is going to be our next president. President Trump. Go ahead and say the words, ‘cause you’ll be saying them for the next four years: “PRESIDENT TRUMP.” [...]

I can see what you’re doing right now. You’re shaking your head wildly – “No, Mike, this won’t happen!” Unfortunately, you are living in a bubble that comes with an adjoining echo chamber where you and your friends are convinced the American people are not going to elect an idiot for president. You alternate between being appalled at him and laughing at him because of his latest crazy comment or his embarrassingly narcissistic stance on everything because everything is about him. And then you listen to Hillary and you behold our very first female president, someone the world respects, someone who is whip-smart and cares about kids, who will continue the Obama legacy because that is what the American people clearly want! Yes! Four more years of this!

You need to exit that bubble right now. You need to stop living in denial and face the truth which you know deep down is very, very real. [...]

There is no doubt in my mind that if people could vote from their couch at home on their X-box or PlayStation, Hillary would win in a landslide. But that is not how it works in America. People have to leave the house and get in line to vote. And if they live in poor, Black or Hispanic neighborhoods, they not only have a longer line to wait in, everything is being done to literally stop them from casting a ballot. So in most elections it’s hard to get even 50% to turn out to vote. And therein lies the problem for November – who is going to have the most motivated, most inspired voters show up to vote? You know the answer to this question. Who’s the candidate with the most rabid supporters? Whose crazed fans are going to be up at 5 AM on Election Day, kicking ass all day long, all the way until the last polling place has closed, making sure every Tom, Dick and Harry (and Bob and Joe and Billy Bob and Billy Joe and Billy Bob Joe) has cast his ballot? That’s right. That’s the high level of danger we’re in. And don’t fool yourself — no amount of compelling Hillary TV ads, or outfacting him in the debates or Libertarians siphoning votes away from Trump is going to stop his mojo. [...]

Let’s face it: Our biggest problem here isn’t Trump – it’s Hillary. She is hugely unpopular — nearly 70% of all voters think she is untrustworthy and dishonest. She represents the old way of politics, not really believing in anything other than what can get you elected. That’s why she fights against gays getting married one moment, and the next she’s officiating a gay marriage. Young women are among her biggest detractors, [...] the kids don’t like her, and not a day goes by that a millennial doesn’t tell me they aren’t voting for her. No Democrat, and certainly no independent, is waking up on November 8th excited to run out and vote for Hillary the way they did the day Obama became president or when Bernie was on the primary ballot. The enthusiasm just isn’t there. And because this election is going to come down to just one thing — who drags the most people out of the house and gets them to the polls — Trump right now is in the catbird seat.[...]

While the average Bernie backer will drag him/herself to the polls that day to somewhat reluctantly vote for Hillary, it will be what’s called a “depressed vote” – meaning the voter doesn’t bring five people to vote with her. He doesn’t volunteer 10 hours in the month leading up to the election. She never talks in an excited voice when asked why she’s voting for Hillary. A depressed voter. Because, when you’re young, you have zero tolerance for phonies and BS. Returning to the Clinton/Bush era for them is like suddenly having to pay for music, or using MySpace or carrying around one of those big-ass portable phones. They’re not going to vote for Trump; some will vote third party, but many will just stay home. Hillary Clinton is going to have to do something to give them a reason to support her — and picking a moderate, bland-o, middle of the road old white guy as her running mate is not the kind of edgy move that tells millenials that their vote is important to Hillary. Having two women on the ticket – that was an exciting idea. But then Hillary got scared and has decided to play it safe. This is just one example of how she is killing the youth vote.[...]

SmartAZ's avatar

“The catbird seat” is an American English idiomatic phrase used to describe an enviable position, often in terms of having the upper hand or greater advantage in all types of dealings among parties. According to the Oxford English Dictionary,[1] the first recorded usage occurred in a 1942 humorous short story by James Thurber titled “The Catbird Seat,”[2] which features a character, Mrs. Barrows, who likes to use the phrase. Another character, Joey Hart, explains that Mrs. Barrows must have picked up the expression from Red Barber, the baseball broadcaster, and that to Barber “sitting in the catbird seat” meant ”‘sitting pretty,’ like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him.”

LostInParadise's avatar

@olivier5 , I am not making any predictions, but I think Moore oversimplifies things. He leaves out the fear factor. I am not enthusiastic about Clinton, but I am terrified by Trump, and members of minorities have even more to fear. Trump, like Romney, will most likely get a majority of the white vote, but that may not be enough to overcome the deficit he is going to get among the various minorities.

olivier5's avatar

@LIP He leaves out the fear factor.

On the contrary, he sees that as the only possible chance to avoid catastrophy, and that’s why he wrote that letter.

Dems and Independents must wake up to the very real possibility that Trump will win. They must get out of their bubble. Hillary must stop trying to be congenial and likeable—nobody buys that and nobody even needs that. She must start behaving as the ruthless political animal that she IS. She must tell the kids: “I know you don’t like me, i know you like Obama and you prefer Bernie and that I’m not as cool as they are. I know you feel depressed. But politics is not a popularity contest. It’s not about being likeable. It’s about getting the job done. And I can get the job done. That’s why a majority of primary voters chose me, and that’s why I went out of my way to strike a workable deal with Bernie. I’m not asking you to like me, I’m asking you to grow up. To toughen up. I can’t guarantee you will like my presidency 100%, but I guarantee you that if Trump even becomes president, you will regret forever not having voted for ‘crooked Hillary’.”

georgeob1's avatar

It’s tempting to assume we can analyze the inner thoughts and motives of others, but we really can’t know these things. That said one can over time and with a gread deal of observation infer some at least likely insights to their behavior and possible motivation. In the public perception Hillary has had a “likeability” problem since she first appeared on the national scene as First lady in Clinton’s first term as President, now 24 years ago, in her ill fated effort to force a national Helath Care system on a then unwilling Congress. she
demonstrated a truly remarkable arrogance and very tone deaf lack of perception of the reactions of the elected legislators to a program she cooked up with a collection of political hacks under Ira Magizener and simply recommended they enact. That quality has been a persistent element of perceptions of her ever since.

There has also been a persistent odor of ambition and self aggrandizement theoughout her career, even while in Arkansas. The White water land deal and some remarkable commodities “investments” she made netted some quick almost unbelievable profits. She later started preparing herself for a White House run first by transforming herself into a New Yorker and in Queen like fashion claiming the NY Senatorial seat of aretiring, but very skeptical, Senator Pat Moynihan and then embarked on a “listening tour” to give the lucky citizens on NY State a taste of her august presence.

Since then a pattern of self-serving deceptions on a multitude of issues has tarnished her reputation among many folks. Many involved the competence (or lack of it) she
displayed as Secretary of State (overall an OK but not perticularly distinbguished job). Overlaying all of this is a very Clintonian and very focused effort to acquire money and power that appears to trump every other consideration.

She is indeed hard to like. Her supporters focus on a supposed compertence that she will one day unleash on a grateful public. Many others aren’t so credulous,

olivier5's avatar

I must have missed all the modest and self-effacing politicians out there.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Trump does have the enthusiasm advantage over Clinton. ALL of his supporters are going to vote. And it would be a grave mistake to underestimate the capacity for stupidity defining the American electorate.

But I still contend that Clinton’s patina is no more fouled than that of the average career politician. The only thing distinguishing her from the usual corrupt politician is the extraordinary and unprecedented 40 year nonstop all out effort from the right to besmirch and smear every aspect of her. In my lifetime, I cannot name an individual subjected to even a tiny fraction of the vitriol consistenly heaped upon the woman and not a single aspect of her life goes unpunished. For example, I can remember the coordinated nationwide right wing rollout on the ugliness of her daughter shortly after the announcement of her engagement. So intense and relentless has this background drone been in those 40 years that I actually don’t trust my resistance to the undeniable subliminal effects. As Coca Cola has more than amply demonstrated, we would be fools to believe ourselves immune to ceaseless unrelenting propaganda, and no one has been negatively propagandized to the extent of Clinton since Adolf bought it in the bunker.

georgeob1's avatar

It’s true that Hillary herself first noted “the vast right wing conspiracy” that (at the time) was reacting to Bill Clinton’s conduct as President with White House Interns. Was it a vast left wing conspiracy that brought President Nixon down after a burglary at a Washington office of the DNC? I don’t recall any Republicans claiming that.
There is a certain detectable Clintonian pattern of blaming and retaliating against accusers and sometimes critics that I believe has excited the opposition’s mistrust. Moreover, while the energy and tenacity of the opposition cannot be denied, neither can the continuing stream of provocations on which it feeds.
Security at the Bengazi consulate was indeed an issue in the State Department. The preelection coverup of the organized attack that killed our Ambassador is a fact. The unprecedented conjunction of the Clinton Foundation’s fundraising and employment of political assistants, with Hillary’s position as Secretary of State and with highy paid speeches by her and husband Bill has flown in the face of all past practice, even by the most ambitious politicians.
Lastly the evasions, half truths, and careful parsing of words that both Clintons have continuously used to evade acdcountability for their actions have indeed set a new low standard, even for politicians. I believe all that has fuelled her oppositin,

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