Hillary Clinton's show of emotion struck me as so calculated you've got to wonder if the questioner was a plant.
Let's go where a gullible and compliant—Clinton chokes up, is applauded, at campaign stop— national press corps refuses to go—to HRC's history.
Monday's performance was not the first time she played the victim card, oh, no. In fact, in January 1992 it was very much Hillary the victim who saved the Clintons' political dreams. The pair's "pain in our marriage" sit-down on 60 Minutes stopped Bill Clinton's free-fall caused by the Gennifer Flowers scandal.
The interview told voters that Bill was sorry, Hillary was sad, but that the couple was together, resilient, and remade. A few days later, Bill "won" the New Hampshire primary by besting low expectations and finishing second to Paul Tsongas. Thus was born the "comeback kid," got Bill out of the Northeast with momentum and on to blacker and bluer-collar electorates. The rest is history.
With a pinch of fake bottle-blonde self-deprecation—she just did whatever Jim Blair or Jim McDougal said—a dollop of amnesia—Hillary could not remember just how the darn money got there—and heavy closer of persecution and guilt-tripping—"We don't fit easily into a lot of our pre-existing categories . . . And I think that, having been independent, having made decisions, it's a little difficult for us as a country, maybe, to make the transition of having a woman like many of the women in this room, sitting in this house"—further reporting on the topics was ruled out of bounds. The DC press swooned.
By 1998 it was "the vast right wing conspiracy" at work against her and Bill. Today it is not widely recalled that phrase was initially deployed to pre-empt the wild notion that the President of the United States had bukkaked an intern in a White House butler's pantry.
In 2000, the on-the-rebound and righteous Hillary was running a Senate campaign so buttoned-up and repressed that reporters openly doubted a candy basket from Hillary was really meant as a gift and not some dark manipulation.
Yet when making the press rounds for her 2003 autobiography, everyone was more than willing to help Hillary wallow in her victimhood. It all started at Wellesley, you see, where she just did not fit in.
And a year ago it was the VRWC Mk. II messing with the phone lines in New Hampshire. To the extent the sneak-and-peak Bush administration was involved, we are all victims here—but Hillary especially so, because those were Democratic phones, dammit.
In short, it is impossible to have been even slightly aware of politics in America the past 15 years and miss this trend. As such, the tears, properly understood, were far from "an uncharacteristic display."
Just more of Hillary Rodham Clinton saying and doing anything for power.