‘Maybe it’s a byproduct of a self-effacing Midwestern Methodist upbringing, or a fear of failure and a defensive instinct instilled by a father who was demanding and hypercritical. Part of it is she’s been beaten up for a long time and that accentuates her fear of making a mistake,’ says David Axelrod, chief strategist for Barack Obama‘s 2008 presidential campaign.
(During her 2008 campaign) Her unhappy history with Republican attacks and media coverage of controversies from the Whitewater Scandal to Monica Lewinsky was an understandable explanation for her defensive posture. But it translated into a reluctance to go off-script and expose herself to the public, which cost her a strained relationship with voters.
She’s made an effort this time to open up to voters in a way that Americans crave from their leaders—referring to her faith, to obstacles women face, to her mother’s influence in her life, to problems in her marriage, and appearing on comedy shows early in the campaign to showcase her humorous side.
‘I watched my husband (President Bill Clinton) campaign, I watched President Obama campaign – it is poetry… That’s not necessarily my forte’,’ says Hillary.
When I ask a couple of bystanders why they’d waited hours for a glimpse of a U.S. Cabinet secretary, they looked at me as if I were a moron: ‘She’s the most famous and powerful woman in the world. Who wouldn’t want to see her?’