Jack Ohman

Getting real with Hillary Clinton on the presidential campaign trail

johman@sacbee.com

Now that former Secretary of State (I had to throw that in, to make sure you knew who she was) Hillary Clinton has formally announced her presidential candidacy, one of the problems her managers have had to address is this:

How do we make Hillary Clinton into a Real Person?

Good luck, because she isn’t a Real Person anymore, and hasn’t been since her husband was elected governor of Arkansas in 1978.

Oh, sure, she has DNA, puts on her pants suit one leg at a time, and all that other stuff that real people do, but she is no longer You ’n’ Me. Oddly, we insist that people who want to lead the free world are also fun people just like us. You know, behind on taxes, with weird moles and ear hair.

It’s not Clinton’s fault. In order for someone to be perceived as a leader, they have to have certain leadership qualities. Those qualities can range from intelligence and good looks to a talent for sociopathy. But being a Real Person isn’t really part of the job description when you’re president of the United States.

Certainly Clinton has been a leader her entire adult life. When she was growing up in Illinois, she was an actual Real Person, although I have a strong suspicion she was the kind of child who raised her hand too often in class and had a terribly neat school binder with five (5) sharpened No. 2 pencils at the ready.

Here are several reasons why Clinton is no longer a Real Person:

1. Married to Bill Clinton for nearly 40 years.

2. Went to Wellesley undergrad and Yale Law, where they specialize in teaching students that they are uniquely bred to lead the free world.

3. They are.

4. Was the first lady of a state. Arkansas, but still.

5. Was the first lady of the United States.

6. Made the president of the United States sleep on the sofa. For months. That’s real power.

7. Was a United States senator from a state that is, shall we say, grumpy.

8. Was humbled greatly by being defeated for the Democratic nomination for president by someone who had served in the U.S. Senate for 15 minutes.

9. Had to take the position of secretary of state, which she viewed as a kind of demotion.

10. A DEMOTION.

11. Surrounded by men wearing sunglasses driving black tinted-window SUVs and carrying AR-15s, and she bosses them around.

12. People put up an American flag and a lectern wherever she speaks.

13. Given $250,000 to speak for an hour. An hour.

Do you see why Hillary Clinton is no longer a Real Person? Do you see why she might need Real Person training again? Can you imagine what her campaign people had to do to get her ready to drive to Iowa?

“Madame Secretary, this is a Chipotle burrito. You will have to eat these on the way, if you’re lucky. If you’re not lucky, you will have to eat things from McDonald’s, which is the restaurant that your husband used to go to a lot before he went on the South Beach diet.”

“Is there a steward to serve me?”

“No. No, Ma’am. There is no steward. You will have to eat these sorts of things on your own. With your hands.”

“OK, can do. What else?”

“Well, Madame Secretary, you will have to talk to Real People in their Native Habitat.”

“Where?”

“Oh, you know. Flyover states like Iowa. You will find Real People in places like diners, gas stations, hardware stores, malls, high school gyms and auto body repair shops.”

“OK, very good. Sounds like fun!”

“Sometimes Real People will ask you tough questions, ma’am. Questions that sear into your soul. Questions that have no rational answer.”

“Like what?”

“Like, why the heck would someone like you eat at Chipotle when you could eat at McDonald’s?”

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