Jay Cost has an op-ed up at OpinionJournal about why Hillary Clinton is a terrible politician; it is also posted at Redstate.org. He focuses his critique on something I've also pointed out, namely that Hillary's moves are so obviously calculated that she can't possibly be fooling anyone, which means she isn't a good politician. The only factor Mr. Cost doesn't account for is that Hillary is getting a lot more coverage than most freshman Senators do -- her political positioning may be easy to interpret, but is that because she's a fool or because she's much more visible? Mr. Cost says she's more visible because she's less subtle, but c'mon, her high profile is owed almost entirly to Monica Lewinsky.

If her political accomplishments are unimpressive, why is she so feared? Why is she seen to be a political genius? The answer to this question eluded me for a long time, perhaps because it is so simple. The plain fact is that Hillary Clinton is actually one of the worst politicians in national politics today. She is feared as a brilliant politician only because she is such an obvious politician, which is actually the key mark of a bad politician. ...

This is Hillary's fundamental problem. She is a bad politician because she has a lousy style. She seems, always and everywhere, like an affected, calculating politician. This, by the way, is not simply the perspective of a conservative who has always been suspicious of her. The generally sympathetic MSM speak to the general truth of this argument; they have all been on to Hillary for a long time. People have been talking about her for 2008 or 2012 since the day she announced for the Senate. Everything she does is filtered through that prism. It is an operating assumption for everybody--liberal or conservative--that Hillary calculates in almost exclusively political terms.

That everybody assumes the political when it comes to Hillary is a sign that her style is ineffective. Style is supposed to convince people that this guy (or gal) is one of the "good ones." It is supposed to build the idea that while most politicians act according to strategic calculations and follow the maxims of pragmatism, my congressman does not. Hillary actually has the opposite effect. People think that Hillary is more political than the average politician!

I do agree that Hillary is a bad politician, a poor leader, a poor administrator -- even a poor alleged crook -- and has no chance of becoming president. I sure hope she runs.



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