Thursday, June 1, 2017

Quote of the Day

Have you read Rebecca Traister's piece at New York magazine on Hillary Clinton's post-election life?  Even though some people notoriously want her to go away, I'm glad that she's not.

There's a lot to say about Traister's piece, which I think is great, but one part in particular highlights how low the bar now is for what counts as presidential:

"Clinton checks with her communications director, Nick Merrill, about what’s happened in the past hour — she’s been exercising — and listens to the barrage of updates, nodding like a person whose job requires her to be up-to-date on what’s happening, even though it does not."
The act of being engaged in current events while also understanding these events and the relevant nuances is a low-level base criterion for president, or should be. And yet, by several accounts, Trump simply does not have this level of engagement, becoming impatient and irritable when sitting for more than a few minutes at a time, which foreign leaders are prepped on how to deal with.

It also speaks to a deep frustration of the 2016 election: many people are more moved by a white man's anger than a woman's quiet, nerdy competence. While Bernie and Donald could both channel anger, a female candidate and a person of color has to walk a fine line with emotion.

"But was she right that she couldn’t have expressed her anger in that debate? There are plenty of people who yearned for Clinton to get mad; during the campaign, an imagined litany of Clinton’s fury titled 'Let Me Remind You Fuckers Who I Am' went viral. 'Oh, I am [pissed],' she says. But as a woman in public life, 'you can’t be angry for yourself. You just can’t. You can be indignant, you can be annoyed, you can be frustrated, but you can’t be angry … I don’t think anger’s a strategy.'
You mean it’s not a strategy for you, I clarify. 'For me, yeah.' She pauses. 'But I don’t think it’s a good strategy for most people.'
But this was an election that was, in many ways, about anger. And Trump and Sanders capitalized on that.
'Yes.' Clinton nods. 'And I beat both of them.'”
And, going forward, I don't think it's a winning strategy for the Democrats to try to re-invent themselves to tap into, and center, white male anger, as it's being from time to time suggested.

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