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Krugman on Hillary

Lynn left, and Toronto collapsed – the weather has been unremittingly gloomy and damp after days of brilliant sun. Ah well – Brucie is from Vancouver, so this dark wet is nothing for him.

A bit of boasting, as it’s so welcome when a lonely writer receives a pat on the head: two readers have emailed to tell me how much they’ve enjoyed “All My Loving.” The first: It’s really terrific, Beth. I love it and have laughed out loud. I figure we’re very close in age and sensibility as so many details, such as the brush rollers and what we were taught that girls do, I deeply identify with.

And the second: a student wrote, “I am LOVING your book about Paul,” and then sent me a story of her own about Ringo. Yeah yeah yeah!

Yesterday, oh the drama – my eagerly-awaited new washing machine – a Consumer Reports Best Buy, no less – arrived, only it would not fit down the narrow stairs to the basement and went back on the truck. All the appliances in this house are ten years old, bought in 2006 after the big fire here in 2005, and now they are all breaking. The repairman for the washer told me the computers inside are programmed to break after ten years, so I shouldn’t be surprised, but still, there I was with an overflowing basket of dirty clothes and no washer. John to the rescue – he came over and hacked off part of the drywall covering the walls to the basement, and soon there was drywall dust everywhere and an inch to spare. But of course, the washer had gone off somewhere and it’ll be a week before it comes back. Neighbour Monique let me bring a pile of clothing next door to wash.

First world problems, I know. A bit more importantly – the planet is saved from the giant orange blowhole, who has self-destructed hooray! Again, no surprise, the only surprise being that he was there on the public stage, being taken seriously, to begin with. How did that happen? The Republican Party has some ‘splaining to do. In the meantime, Paul Krugman has written a succinct analysis of Hillary’s strengths. Thank God someone has finally said it.

When political commentators praise political talent, what they seem to have in mind is the ability of a candidate to match one of a very limited set of archetypes: the heroic leader, the back-slapping regular guy you’d like to have a beer with, the soaring orator. Mrs. Clinton is none of these things: too wonky, not to mention too female, to be a regular guy, a fairly mediocre speechifier; her prepared zingers tend to fall flat.

Yet the person tens of millions of viewers saw in this fall’s debates was hugely impressive all the same: self-possessed, almost preternaturally calm under pressure, deeply prepared, clearly in command of policy issues. And she was also working to a strategic plan: Each debate victory looked much bigger after a couple of days, once the implications had time to sink in, than it may have seemed on the night.

Oh, and the strengths she showed in the debates are also strengths that would serve her well as president. Just thought I should mention that. And maybe ordinary citizens noticed the same thing; maybe obvious competence and poise in stressful situations can add up to a kind of star quality, even if it doesn’t fit conventional notions of charisma.

Furthermore, there’s one thing Mrs. Clinton brought to this campaign that no establishment Republican could have matched: She truly cares about her signature issues, and believes in the solutions she’s pushing.

I know, we’re supposed to see her as coldly ambitious and calculating, and on some issues — like macroeconomics — she does sound a bit bloodless, even when she clearly understands the subject and is talking good sense. But when she’s talking about women’s rights, or racial injustice, or support for families, her commitment, even passion, are obvious. She’s genuine, in a way nobody in the other party can be.

So let’s dispel with this fiction that Hillary Clinton is only where she is through a random stroke of good luck. She’s a formidable figure, and has been all along.



5 Responses to “Krugman on Hillary”

  1. theresa says:

    Fingers crossed for her — though it shouldn't come down to luck, should it? She is so obviously the best candidate in this particular race: prepared, aware, diplomatic, smart, experienced…

  2. beth says:

    She has won, Theresa. She will be the next POTUS. A new era – because despite Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi et al, this one counts most as a victory for us.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oh, please. Hawkish Hillary is a warmongering, pro-Netanyahu, conservative Democrat who seeks foreign policy advice from neoconservative friends like Henry Kissinger. Give me a break. Of course she's the best candidate…it's either her or Trump! What kind of choices are those? It will not be a new era, not with her in charge. There's nothing new about Hillary. You will see. For just one example, read this blog post again as a reminder.

  4. beth says:

    On this as on a few other things, Juliet, we will have to disagree. She is a pragmatic woman who is facing an incredibly conservative country. There is no question, however, that she has spent her life fighting for the rights of women and children, and I assume will continue, to the best of her ability in a very divided country, to do so. As the full article says, she is not just the better of two bad choices, she is a very impressive woman, politician and leader.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


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