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Schedules, Shmedules: Hil's Still An Enigma

Beyond any salacious tidbits, what reporters and political watchers seem to be looking for most desperately in Hillary's newly released White House schedules is some sense of who she is. The WaPo's Libby Copeland has an entire piece about her/our frustration at the document dump's revealing "all mechanics and no feeling."

On the one hand, I find this obsession with a candidate's inner life bizarre and annoying (especially after all the absurd heart-gazing we've endured during the Bush years.) Sorry, but I don't feel compelled to know what my presidential candidate is feeling any more than I crave a candidate who seems like a regular guy with whom it'd be fun to hang out and have a beer. I like a commander-in-chief who can keep his/her emotions under control--possibly even under wraps--and who is a damn site more dignified and qualified for the job than I, my friends, or any other Average Joe. I want a president who is better than I am, not one who makes me feel better about myself. That's what Oprah's for.

But American politics being what they are, the fact that, god knows how many months into this campaign, Team Hillary still hasn't managed to make the public feel like we know its gal strikes me as a not insignificant problem. Despite this great national "conversation" that Hil has been holding, despite all the attempts to humanize her and even the occasional moments of spontaneous emotion she has shown, the enduring sense is that she remains opaque and inscrutable. Now, I've never regarded this aspect of Hillary to be particularly sinister. (I mean, is it really reasonable to expect different from a woman who is intensely private and possessed of as much Midwestern reserve as her husband has Southern effusiveness?) But mine is not the majority opinion. And Team Hillary's inability to make much headway on what even it acknowledges to be a problem seems cause for concern in and of itself.

--Michelle Cottle