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Rekha Dixit
Rekha Dixit


Clinton, Obama fail to bring out the lady behind mask

obama-clinton-hillary Both Clinton and Obama failed to bring out Hillary's soft side
  • As Clinton and Obama projected Hillary's professional image, they failed in bringing out her softer side—Hilary as a person, a wife and a woman.

One is the husband and the other a former political opponent-turned-colleague. Yet, as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama spoke for over 40 minutes each at the Democratic National Party convention seeking support for Hillary, the picture they sketched of the formidable lady was almost the same—an intelligent and well qualified go-getter, who doesn't take 'no' for an answer but is raring to go finding solutions for every problem, herself fixing whatever goes wrong.

Both Clinton and Obama together helped project Hillary's professional image with an HD clarity. Obama even went on to say that there was no man or woman, including him and Clinton, who were better qualified to be the president of the United States than her. Bill recounted an encounter with a farmer, who said they had voted for the wrong Clinton.

Ability is a great asset when you seek to be president, but the elections are as much about personality and popularity as they are about professionalism. Alas, as Clinton and Obama went on and on about Hilary's efforts at getting health insurance for children, rebuilding New York after 9/11, legal aid and a host of other benefits for the underprivileged, they failed in bringing out her softer side—Hilary as a person, a wife and a woman.

Clinton lauded her parenting abilities, but could provide no anecdote to highlight what was special about it. In fact, he came across better as an indulgent dad when he said he had taken a few days off to watch all the Police Academy flicks back to back with their daughter Chelsea.

Obama wasn't expected to throw much light on her personal side. She was his Secretary of State in his first term, and he recounted the toughness with which she took on her assignments, working relentlessly. But Clinton is her husband, who first met her in 1971 and succeeded in marrying her after three proposals. The 45-year-old relationship went through its share of ups and downs and it was at an all time low when the husband's infidelities and literally dirty linen were showcased before the whole world.

Clinton stood before the audience, tall and dapper, despite the ravages of age (the smart suit couldn't conceal the wrinkles at the neck), and was promptly adulated by the crowd. He never lacked the personal charm, which is, at the same time, a big deficiency of Hillary. The toughness of her facade was rarely breached and her vulnerabilities were never on display.

The public likes to see a bit of their leader's human side as it makes them connect better. Michele Obama brought out her human side when she expressed the nervousness at seeing her daughters go to school with a posse of security personnel. Since Hillary rarely projects herself in a position of doubt or nervousness, it's important for the people, who endorse her, to help bring out her softer side.

Clinton—his wedding ring was clearly visible on his finger—called Hillary his “best friend” and a go-to person when the chips were down. He mentioned one of those moments—when he lost as Arkansans governor, Hillary took charge of the fledgling family and assigned roles. He, however, didn't dare make any mention of the infamous Monica Lewinsky scandal, out of which, the couple would not have emerged as survivors without Hillary's support.

Clinton's position in her campaign, after all, is precarious. People, who see the husband and wife together, cannot brush away memories of Monicagate. "Why didn't she walk out of him if she is such a strong woman?" is a question one often hears at rallies. It's always followed by the same answer, "It's for power; She is power hungry." And then comes the usual conclusion : “The Clintons are not to be trusted.”

The race is getting closer. Donald Trump is a tad ahead of Hillary in popularity. A section of the Democratic camp is still seething that the popular Bernie Sanders lost out to Hillary as the party nominee.

Obama made a personal appeal to vote for Hillary so that she could continue the work he had started. Both he and Clinton dissected the Republican nominee's talk and compared his empty claims with the rock solid work that Hillary has to her credit. But pulling down Trump isn't going to be enough. Hillary's popularity has to be boosted. The voters need to know the lady behind the mask. Maybe her daughter Chelsea Clinton will able to give a little peek of that when she speaks.

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