The Washington Post is once again kissing a Washington posterior. Two days after lauding liberal Sen. Patty Murray, the Post hailed Hillary Clinton with the dominant headline on Monday’s front page: “The secretary of 1,000 things.”
Like any other Hillary superfan, Post reporter Stephanie McCrummen could only wonder whether Mrs. Clinton would now prepare a 2016 presidential run or – perish the thought – “this might really be it for one of the most iconic figures in American political history.” Benghazi? That’s a small speed bump on the Road to Gush-gush:
What is clear is that despite lingering questions about Benghazi, Clinton is more beloved than at any point in her long and at times controversial career, commanding soaring approval ratings, a vast fundraising machine and supporters who gush more than ever that she should run for president again.
McCrummen began the story just like a Clinton lover would: at September's Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York, where all the world’s biggest Clinton suckups gathered to honor her. “On a recent Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walked with her husband onto a stage at the New York Sheraton to cheers and whoops and a standing ovation that only got louder as she tried to quiet things down.”
She looked tired, the poor dear, said one.
“She’s just looked so sad and so tired,” said Ritu Sharma, a women’s rights activist, referring to Clinton’s appearances in the days after the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
They wanted to defend her, to rave about her, to say how sick they were of people talking about her hair, and then to talk about her hair, which, several men and women offered, definitely looked best in a simple chignon.
There it is, the mark of a feminist reporter, the kind who wants to fuss that anyone would care about Hillary's hair, and then pronounce an opinion on it in the same sentence as if to say, "You go, girl." Supine Stephanie went on to discuss just how wonky Hillary was as she talked to the press:
A reporter mentioned that she was scheduled to visit with the Mongolian president in his ceremonial yurt, the traditional Mongol dwelling. Clinton smiled.
“It’s not a yurt,” she corrected, noting that Mongolians prefer not to use the Turkic term. “It’s a ger.” [Italics hers.]
When discussing Hillary's character, every liberal reporter knows that you skip the 800-pound gorilla in the room, how she tolerated (and tolerates?) her husband's legendary cheating. The Post went to the paint-by-numbers kit and talked to the same old Hillary friends who've offered valentines for her sticky profiles for 20 years now:
Of all the things that Clinton’s friends say about her, opinions bend toward two essential facets of her character.
The first is that in the time they have known her — as a student leader in the 1960s, as a first lady, as a U.S. senator or now — Clinton has not really changed except to become more of the person she has always been: a deeply optimistic Methodist who believes that government can advance human progress and a hopeless wonk who knows her yurts from her gers.
The second is that while Clinton is a famously shrewd political operator, she is never more energized or relentless as when she is pursuing a cause that she believes will improve people’s lives, however incrementally.
This has often been Clinton’s most polarizing quality. It is what her detractors have at times interpreted as self-righteousness and a precursor to classic big-government liberalism. It is what her admirers have viewed as the doggedly pragmatic, in-the-trenches quality that makes Clinton an almost heroic, if also at times tragic, figure.
“This job has just amplified things that have always been there,” said Betsy Ebeling, a friend of Clinton’s since their childhood in Chicago, when they read novels about knights in shining armor, heard the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. speak, and canvassed Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. “It’s given her a great stage for the many things she’s always cared about, only now she has the whole world.”
Next in the paint kit: discuss just how much Hillary loves Jesus, and never mind the global campaigning to make the world safe for abortion:
“As a Christian, part of my obligation is to take action to alleviate suffering,” she told the United Methodist News Service in 1992. “Explicit recognition of that in the Methodist tradition is one reason I’m comfortable in this church.”
Sitting in her office two decades later, Clinton said her faith still drives her.
“It is very much fundamental as to who I am and how I see myself,” she said.
Wow, what a tough interview that must have been for Hillary. Supine Stephanie knows her assignment is to prepare some journalistic bunting for Hillary's next campaign. The story ended where it began with the whoops and cheers of the Clinton worshippers, and McCrummen threw her own bouquet urging Hillary to go for the White House again:
It was a speech she did not have to give, one filled with the kind of in-the-weeds detail that only a wonky Methodist who believes she is supposed to make good things happen would spend an hour giving. Clinton barely looked at her notes. She seemed to be having a blast.
“Thank you for devoting your energy, your efforts and your resources to improving our world one day at a time,” she said before heading off.
All of which explained that the answer to the question of whether Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016 — whether she will seek the job with the most power to do the most good of all — is another question: whether she can keep herself from it.
Previously, from Savage Stephanie McCrummen: the Post "expose" on Rick Perry's painted-over "Niggerhead" rock