No one could really question Bill Clinton’s seductive powers, even while casting a critical eye at his personal demons and the mess they led his presidency and his marriage into. No one can doubt that Hillary stood by her man, although the reasons seemed to be, and still seem to be, more about power than anything else. And what seems to be becoming more apparent with each passing week, is that Hillary Clinton has all the seductive powers of Richard Nixon. But Richard Nixon, sweaty forehead and all, gladly engaged with the press, duking it out to try and convince and to contain the damage that his electoral defeats produced in the early and mid 60’s. It was only later during his presidency that his tactics, fueled by the power of the office, became more cloaked and paranoid. Hillary has shared power with the then world’s most powerful politician. But now, despite the 2-for-1 First Lady, the Senate seat, and the Cabinet level experience, she has to seduce.

And when you barely meet the press, never mind engaging, the press goes looking for you. As in the New York Times, which has run several devastating lead stories in the past couple of months: the personal email address on a home server used for State Department business, and the troubling link between the Clinton’s foundation and donations from foreign “entities” in support of the foundation. Add a fistful of hard-hitting columns by the venerable Maureen Dowd, and you have Hillary practically under seige from a liberal paper in her adopted home town. The paper even has archived stories on Hillary Rodham Clinton – with a photograph of her trying to smile to be fair – for anyone who might want to dig up anything at all on her. So if Hillary is unwilling to engage with the media, the media will come looking for her regardless. One wonders whether it’s also her advisors who gently steer her away from any direct contact, perhaps thinking that a short-tempered crusty veteran who does not suffer anyone she thinks is a fool gladly, is not the best public persona to win the presidential race. Will Hillary be able to pluck the slings and arrows of perceived outrages from her public self, and present to the country her vision for the future? Or will her appearances be full of coded – and not so coded – counter attacks over past battles? The culture wars are still very much with us, but anyone hoping to walk into the oval office in early 2017 will have to offer a vision that transcends those cultural wars, even as they wage them effectively and convincingly. Is Hillary capable of that?

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