An unflattering portrait of Hillary Clinton by the NYT

The New York Times published on Saturday a somewhat scathing portrayal of Hillary Clinton by Peter Baker and Amy Chozik, focusing on her time as First Lady. Anger, paranoia, temper-tantrums, ego, ambition -- all there and more.  The paper points out that she has been peddling a line to her presidential bid that flatters herself as a working mom, juggling the demands of a young daughter and a career while championing women’s rights, supporting her husband during periods of economic growth and enduring withering personal attacks. The reality is far more complicated -- and interesting. She was, from an early time, very calculating, and nursed resentments, gaving into her anger. Apparently, those stories about temper tantrums were not just the creation of fabulists after all.

Lest we forget before here was Obamacare there was HillaryCare.


Now carefully controlled at 67, then she was fiery and unpredictable, lobbing sarcastic jabs in private meetings and congressional hearings. Now criticized as a centrist and challenged from the left, Mrs. Clinton then was considered the liberal whispering in her husband’s ear to resist the North American Free Trade Agreement and a welfare overhaul.  (snip)

She was an independent force within the White House, single-handedly pushing health care onto the agenda and intimidating into silence those who thought she might be mishandling it. She was prone to bouts of anger and nursed deep resentment toward Washington. She endured a terribly complicated relationship with her philandering husband. And yet she was the one who often channeled his energies, steered him toward success and saved him from himself.

“She may have been critical from time to time with temper tantrums and things like that,” said Mr. Nussbaum, who went on to become Mr. Clinton’s first White House counsel. (snip)

But the Clintons were fiercely protective of each other, acting at times as if it were just them against the world. “I remember one time in one of these meetings where she was blowing up about his staff and how we were all incompetent and he was having to be the mechanic and drive the car and do everything — that we weren’t capable of anything, why did he have to do it all himself,” said Joan N. Baggett, an assistant for political affairs.

She also is framed as a political partner of Bill Clinton who was so confident of his and their future that she introduced him to her boss in the early 70s as a future president. She may not have baked cookies at home as she put it back in 1992, but she was forcefully defending him and their joint political future when his worrisome women issue hit the airwaves again and again. The article certainly gives us insights into a politician who is farther to the left than Bill Clinton, who has an inclination to seethe and to vent when confronting critics and opposition. No wonder Barack Obama might have felt some kinship with her.

Well worth reading as her non-campaign campaign gears up for 2016.

Thomas Lifson adds: I see this as the Times realizing she would be a lousy candidate, and signaling Elizabeth Warren, Bill deBlasio and other Dems that she can be Obama’d again in 2016, as she was in 2008.

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