The WaPo’s Ruth Marcus notes that George W. Bush, who allegedly is insulated from all contact with anyone who might say anything even the slightest bit unsettling, has been more available for unscripted exchanges with the press than Clinton and Obama have.
O.K., it’s the campaign and it’s easier to stay on message if there’s no informal give-and-take with reporters. But the only semi-plausible defense of our intolerably long campaign season that I’ve heard is that it’s an audition for governing (well, if governing is the same as campaigning...woe be unto us!). This doesn’t bode well for the availability of a President Clinton.
While I’m at it, will a future President Clinton be able to assert that men are ganging up on her at, say, a G-7 meeting or in something less than casual conversations with folks in Beijing, Moscow, or Tehran? How will Vladimir Putin react if Bill comes riding to her rescue? I’d expect more efforts to emulate or evoke Margaret Thatcher or Golda Meir--even Benazir Bhutto--than I’ve seen from HRC. If she keeps it up, and manages to get herself elected, we run the risk of some serious efforts to push her around. While she may have it in her to push back, I wonder what sorts of awful things could happen before she does.