On Hillary’s ‘Careful’ Comment and the Big Picture

On C-SPAN Friday, Hillary Clinton revealed, “I am totally done with being really careful about what to say because somebody might think this instead of that, it just gets too exhausting and frustrating. And it just seems a whole lot easier to just put it out there and hope people get used to it.”

Here are some reasons why she may have gone that route:

1) She wants to appear genuine and not pre-programmed. People can’t stand phony politicians. What they like are politicians who come off regular, simple, and real. That means that you aren’t afraid to speak without self-editing. It means that you abandon talking points and just talk instead. It means that you stop worrying about how your words will be received and start saying what you really think.  She wants people to think, especially after her “dead broke” comment, that she’s just a regular gal.

2) It’s been gaffe after gaffe on the book tour. What better way to respond to it all than with a nonchalant version of “I’m just an average person telling you what I really think.” Flawed is real, and once again, the hope is that she’ll come off less like a politician and more like an honest, regular lady. It’s also much easier than explaining mistakes.

3) It’s possible that Hillary isn’t running after all. This may be her way of indicating that her days of playing political candidate are done. She needs the world to think she’s running to stir up media attention for her book, but I’m not convinced just yet that she has both eyes on the prize.

Regardless of the above, if you’ve been watching or listening to her interviews, the biggest challenge for Hillary is that she’s not coming off terribly likeable and has even gotten defensive.  If you look back at 2008, she had the same problem. Barack Obama was far more charismatic and likeable a candidate. He was the newcomer, sure, and there’s a certain charm in that. But he was also a guy many voters would want to grab a beer with. I’m not so sure Hillary was–or is–the kind of person many identify with. I’m not so sure they’d want to get to know the woman behind the candidate.

Based on the voting patterns of many, Hillary’s lack of personal likeability, even more so than her policies, might her biggest obstacle.

Follow Jedediah on Twitter @JedediahBila

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