Hillary Clinton’s Fake Sincerity

Clive Crook writes in Financial Times:

When Texas and Ohio vote in Tuesday’s Democratic primaries, they may bring Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency to an end. If she loses either of those states, her bid is over barring the formalities. This is a position few expected her to be in. Not long ago, success in the primaries and victory in the general election were regarded as almost inevitable. What went wrong?

For the answer, one should turn (as always) to the teachings of Marx. “The secret of success in life is sincerity,” Groucho once famously observed. “If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

This truth about the human condition applies with particular force to politics. Mrs Clinton tries hard to fake sincerity – so hard it is painful to watch. Sometimes, in fact, I suspect that she really is sincere and only looks as though she is faking. Barack Obama, on the other hand, may actually be sincere – and if he is not, he fakes it so well it makes no difference. Elections are won and lost for many reasons, but if I had to point to just one in the present case, this would be it.

Exactly. As I wrote on Saturday, it all comes down to acting: Obama has chosen the right part to play, and is playing it well. Clinton, on the other hand, has muffed it up.

Having said that, in her latest campaign commercial, she plays a Republican quite convincingly. Watch:

And here’s Obama’s brilliant reply:

Some readers have got the impression from my recent posts on the American elections that I’m supporting Barack Obama. Not yet. I’d love him to get the Democratic nomination, but I have reservations about some of his positions—in particular, on NAFTA. Check out this excellent piece by Steve Chapman on why Obama and Clinton are wrong on NAFTA.

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