November 6, 2016


What It Took : How a lifetime of compromises and concessions brought one woman to the brink of history. (MICHAEL KRUSE November 04, 2016, Politico)

In early 1979, on a community access television program called In Focus, the wife of the new governor of Arkansas was peppered with question after question about all the ways in which she was an untraditional woman.

"The thought occurs to me that you really don't fit the image that we have created for the governor's wife in Arkansas," the host, a self-described "newsman," said to 32-year-old Hillary Rodham. "You're not a native, you've been educated in liberal Eastern universities, you're less than 40. You don't have any children. You don't use your husband's name. You practice law. Does it concern you that maybe other people feel that you don't fit the image that we have created for the governor's wife in Arkansas?"

She looked through her large, thick-lensed glasses and smiled.

"No," she began, "because just as I said before ... "

She had made a choice. In 1974, she had moved to Arkansas to be with her boyfriend, Bill Clinton. It was a decision that would dictate so many others, big and small, for decades to come--and here, in this spartan studio, on this rinky-dink show, was one of them. How to respond to this man?

This issue of wifeliness was being put to the first female lawyer at the finest firm in Little Rock. Rodham had been 1 of just 27 women among the 200-plus students in her law school class at Yale. She was one of only three on the staff of 44 attorneys on the Watergate impeachment team. She could have responded to the interviewer by pointing out any of these things. It was the '70s: She could have responded with an impassioned lecture about feminism, or chauvinism, or women's lib. But she didn't. She responded with an equanimity that must have been a challenge to muster. "That doesn't bother me, and I hope that doesn't bother very many people," she said.

Rodham by then was already hugely accomplished. But it also was true that she had arrived in the governor's mansion not as a governor but as the governor's wife. And when she arrived at the White House, 13 years later, it would be in the same way--as the unelected half of a couple, attracting more questions about her role, not only from traditionalists, who queried her all over again, but also from feminists--even some fellow Wellesley grads--who believed she should have gotten there under her own power. "We should not take a second seat to our life partners," one alum would write, "and Hillary should not be applauded for having reached her position by doing so."

So here, now, is Hillary Clinton--168 years after the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls in New York, 96 years after women in America gained the right to vote, 37 years after that community-access interview--poised to be elected president. The 45th president of the United States. And the first woman. If the polls are right, she is on the verge of an outcome that would be no less historic than the election of Barack Obama. If she wins on Tuesday, she will be, forever, the woman who shattered the highest, hardest glass ceiling.

If she wins on Tuesday, she will be, forever, the woman who shattered the highest, hardest glass ceiling.

A deep look at her record of her pursuit of power and interviews with people who have known her throughout her adult life suggest that the Hillary Clinton who sits at that cusp--the guarded 69-year-old woman Americans have watched so closely on this year's campaign trail--is a personality forged through a career-long collision with the constantly shifting set of gender-based expectations people have put on her. To get here, she has done for so many years so many versions of what she did on In Focus: adjust, compromise and concede where necessary, never letting pure ideology interfere with the progress her ambitions required. She has done what she needed to for her husband to win elections, then for her to do the same, making repeated course corrections along the way.

...just imagine the 29-year-old Hillary meeting the 69-year-old.  Building a political career in a conservative state and then a conservative country has moved her so far to the right she'd barely recognize herself.

Inside Donald Trump's Last Stand: An Anxious Nominee Seeks Assurance (MAGGIE HABERMAN, ASHLEY PARKER, JEREMY W. PETERS and MICHAEL BARBARO, NOV. 6, 2016, NY Times)

In the final days of the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump's candidacy is a jarring split screen: the choreographed show of calm and confidence orchestrated by his staff, and the neediness and vulnerability of a once-boastful candidate now uncertain of victory.

On the surface, there is the semblance of stability that is robbing Hillary Clinton of her most potent weapon: Mr. Trump's self-sabotaging eruptions, which have repeatedly undermined his candidacy. Underneath that veneer, turbulence still reigns, making it difficult for him to overcome all of the obstacles blocking his path to the White House.

The contrasts pervade his campaign. Aides to Mr. Trump have finally wrested away the Twitter account that he used to colorfully -- and often counterproductively -- savage his rivals. But offline, Mr. Trump still privately muses about all of the ways he will punish his enemies after Election Day, including a threat to fund a "super PAC" with vengeance as its core mission.

His polished older daughter, Ivanka, sat for a commercial intended to appeal to suburban women who have recoiled from her father's incendiary language. But she discouraged the campaign from promoting the ad in news releases, fearing that her high-profile association with the campaign would damage the businesses that bear her name.

Mr. Trump's campaign is no longer making headlines with embarrassing staff shake-ups. But that has left him with a band of squabbling and unfireable advisers, with confusing roles and an inability to sign off on basic tasks. A plan to encourage early voting in Florida went unapproved for weeks.

The result is chaotic. Advisers cut loose from the campaign months ago, like Corey Lewandowski, still talk to the candidate frequently, offering advice that sometimes clashes with that of the current leadership team. Mr. Trump, who does not use a computer, rails against the campaign's expenditure of tens of millions on digital ads, skeptical that spots he never sees could have any effect.

Not even staff members who volunteer to be dismissed are let go. The senior communications adviser, Jason Miller, offered to resign after he was spotted at a Las Vegas strip club the night before the final presidential debate. The offer was rejected.

This inside account of the Trump campaign's final stretch is based on interviews with dozens of aides, operatives, supporters and advisers, many of whom were granted anonymity to describe moments and conversations that were intended to be confidential. 

Posted by at November 6, 2016 8:12 AM