Carol Platt Liebau: Hillary: "Smug and Entitled"

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hillary: "Smug and Entitled"

Peggy Noonan discusses Hillary's tendency to resort to a gender-based victim status when her political adversaries come after her.

There are political dangers for Senator Clinton in whining about her treatment at the hands of "the boys' club", as I noted here and here. Because it's worked before for her in other contexts doesn't mean that it will work when she's auditioning to become the nation's Chief Executive -- and Commander-in-Chief.

But Mrs. Noonan hits the nail on the head precisely when she concludes that the entire episode is simply another manifestation of Hillary's membership in the club of the "smug and entitled." Another issue that came up in the debate -- namely, the Clintons' reluctance to release relevant correspondence from Bill Clinton's term -- is a similar example of Clintonian arrogance, and yet one more example of Hillary Clinton wanting it both ways.

As I put it in the post linked directly above, "her prominent sense of entitlement when it comes time for difficult questions and accountability" constitutes a huge stumbling block for Hillary's presidential ambitions. Hillary engenders particular opposition because her rise to power was so totally based, not on her own merits, but on her husband's political acumen (there are many, many other intelligent and accomplished women in America, contrary to the myth the Clintons propagate that Hillary is uniquely gifted).

That's another reason she must be particularly careful not to let her "air of entitlement" get the best of her. I (and no doubt most other Republicans) wouldn't support candidates like Senators Barbara Mikulski or Dianne Feinstein simply because we don't agree with their policies. But because they have come up through the political fray on their own, they wouldn't be playing the gender-victim card, and thus wouldn't elicit the kind of reaction Hillary is getting from women all across the political spectrum from Peggy Noonan to former NARAL head Kate Michelman.


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