Sunday, February 03, 2008

Liveblogging Hillary : Sunday's Interview on "This Week"

Exhausted. On the brink of tears. No doubt the national polls, the California numbers, and the sheer grind take their inevitable toll. The heart of it, however, is frustration, breaking through at what she regards as misstatements.

The anger when she says "...misstates what I have said." Now having to face George under these circumstances. Looks almost punch drunk from exhaustion.

When she says "I'm always a little amused" the tears almost break through. Angry frustration. "I really hope that Senator Obama will stop deliberately misstating what I said". She's furious about this.

George then rolls the "will you garnish their wages" Obama clip from the health care section of the Kodak debate.

She's a bit more confident here, rolls more easily, feels that this position has been less distorted than others, knows her position, hits her mark more surely, although still obviously covering rage. Some of the tightest smiles I have seen.

This really raises the question of how can a woman show anger as a political candidate. The simple answer: just show it. But we know how this will be regarded. How much of this is gender stereotyping--be genuine, but don't be genuine if it abrades our role expectations--and how much a reflection of her own limitations--her battle between expression of belief and tactical adjustment?

It surely raises the question of how to express anger for her in this interview. You can see that she is frustrated, angry, barely controlled, between feeling that it is fully justified to be outraged, to blast what she regards as Obama's mischaracterizations, and knowing--believing- that she has to appear unconcerned, unperturbed, smiling in the face of anger, well aware of what would follow from a genuine outburst of rage.

This struggle--the manifest fact of what, for her, are Obama's mischaracterizations, and the manifest inability to fully address it as she would like--is palpable.

She really looks ready to scream and storm out of the room. I have seen this before.

The exhaustion and frustration are underneath throughout the interview--she looks ready to throw up her hands in frustration and exhaustion.

Illegal immigration. Her voice is almost ready to crack. "It's not a fair statement". This is the message of this interview--her rage and frustration at the mischaracterizations.

Why would she be outraged? This is someone who has spent her entire adult life in politics--Arkansan politics, White House battles, the most extreme and delusional attacks from the far right. Again, knocked off of her typical stance of the reformer, and then being mischaracterized by what she must regard as the pretender to this position must seem to be a particularly frustrating dilemma.

The genuine smile and relief on the Ann Coulter support question. After this, she finds energy and strength for the closing statement--some genuine amusement mixed in with the obvious rage and pain.

-Dr. Alan J. Lipman