by James Ray Deaton 3/12/15
While watching Hillary Clinton’s Delete-Gate press conference in her tailored dress, coiffed look and pancake powder made-up face at the United Nations, I kept thinking back to those early photos of a younger and more dowdy and more idealistic and more authentic Hillary. And I felt sorry for this older, better prepped, stylish, constantly smiling, wrinkled but well-preserved, “Ready for 2016” version of herself.
I think we’ve all seen those funky circa 1970’s Hillary photographs that show Hillary as an ernest young woman with straight hair, high forehead, little or no make-up, sensible shoes, nerdy clothes and Coke-bottle lens eyeglasses. In all her policy-wonk, nerdy, ernest, shiny-faced, youthful glory, Hillary at least seemed real and capable of unscripted speech and honest discussion. I have a feeling anyone talking with 1970’s Hillary came away knowing her politics and worldview without question — take it or leave it. Not so with 2015 Hillary.
Forty years of toiling in the muddy vineyards of policy and politics, serial scandals, Bubba-marriage, Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, Bimbo-eruptions, Rose Law Firm billing records, backroom deals, blue dresses, subpoenas too numerous to count, speaking between the lines, parsed speech, Craig Livingstone, Vince Foster, failed reset buttons, Benghazi hearings, court admonishments, vast right-wing conspiracies, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, Gennifer Flowers, $100 bills dragged through trailer parks, the death of dear friend Chris and the soul crushing necessity of “informal conversations” using teleprompters were evident in every patched over crevice of Hillary’s old-woman face.
And I truly felt sorry for her. Would 1970’s Hillary sneer with scorn at this 2015 version? Would the young woman who admired and interviewed Saul Alinsky for her 1969 Wellesley College senior thesis think 2015 Hillary a sell-out? However wrong-headed her ideals may have been back then, at least they were truly her ideals.
How many Faustian deals with the devil did it take to go from shiny-faced 1970’s Hillary to powdered-faced 2015 Hillary? When did she stop saying what she really means? When did she start parsing nearly every word she speaks? At what point did not saying what she really wants to say start taking up so much of her time and effort and self?
“I want the public to see my emails” Hillary said last week in a tweet. That statement is patently false. It is the opposite of truth. It is the opposite of what she wants. What does it mean when someone is so capable of such public untruth? What kind of person does that? What is the cost?
Maturity changes us all and circumspect speech and false affect is sometimes necessary in an adult life. But to live that way publicly, day in and day out, year in and year out, must be truly soul crushing. And Hillary seems to me to be a woman with a crushed soul. Living by the creed of “the ends justify the means” takes a toll — and that toll was evident in every view of Hillary’s tired, but smiling face at her U.N. press conference.
James Ray Deaton, one of six known conservatives living in Berkeley, Calif., is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
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