HIllary Clinton (AP/Seth Wenig)

Hillary Clinton isn't Darth Vader -- she's General Leia, hard at work because she has to be

New York's Rebecca Traister reevaluates her opinion on the presumptive Democratic nominee because she was wrong


Scott Eric Kaufman
May 31, 2016 6:29PM (UTC)

In New York's latest profile of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Rebecca Traister offers an honest confession that despite the candidate's occasionally awful optics, Clinton's interpersonal relations and ground game might just win her the White House.

Traister opens by recounting an encounter with a family whose middle child was murdered at Sandy Hook. She notes that Clinton leaned in, "low and serious," and said "We have to be as organized and focused as they are to beat them and undermine them. We are going to be relentless and determined and focused … They are experts at scaring people, telling them, ‘They’re going to take your guns’ … We need the same level of intensity. Intensity is more important than numbers."

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Clinton then outlined the legislative measures already undertaken, described the differences between regulatory and legislative solutions, explained the implications of District of Columbia v. Heller, and ended up "practically sweeling, Hulk-like, with her desire to describe to this family how she’s going to solve the problem of gun violence, even though it is clear that their real problem — the absence of their middle child — is unsolvable."

This is not the Hillary Clinton being portrayed by the media, and Traister is well aware of that, writing

She has been around for so long — her story, encompassing political intrigue and personal drama, has been recounted so many times — that she can seem a fictional character. To her critics, she is Lady Macbeth, to her adherents, Joan of Arc. As a young Hillary hater, I often compared her to Darth Vader — more machine than woman, her humanity ever more shrouded by Dark Side gadgetry. These days, I think of her as General Leia: No longer a rebel princess, she has made a wry peace with her rakish mate and her controversial hair and is hard at work, mounting a campaign against the fascistic First Order...

Read the rest at New York...


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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