While I remain convinced that Secretary Clinton could serve us well as President, I am uncertain that she can win an election in her current state of being. She hasn't done her personal "work" yet, despite claims about having rested up after a grueling stint as Secretary of State. She still needs refinement. When her buttons get pushed, she too often reacts in ways that many are uncomfortable with. We've seen it doom her before, and it could happen again. Additionally, she doesn't look well and up to the charge.
(Not to confuse things, I found the Secretary's firm "with all due respect" response at the Benghazi hearings to be appropriate and admirable. That's not what Bill Maher or I are talking about. I have no complaints about that or other examples of her capacities to think and communicate smart and fast. We need that skillful, quite presidential, aspect of Hillary.)
So, is the book tour really that important? If so, can Hillary stick to signing copies and avoid the stress of the media? Can her agent guide her to stay on point with book promotion and avoid the conflicts? Or should she simply get out of the public light for awhile?
The more important advice for Hillary is exactly what she should be doing while she is "away" (besides being a new grandmother). I suggest that she engage as much advice and support as possible to re-program how she responds to unpleasant questioning and button-pushing. Whether it is accomplished with behavioral therapy, media training, or a guru - this is something extremely important to her success in a presidential campaign. And, on whom does she currently rely to help frame issues and finesse prepared answers? She needs a new one of those, for sure. In the ABC interview, why did she bumble on about the Clinton's finances rather than summing up with something admirable like "yes, and now we've had the blessing of becoming major philanthropists through our foundation." Even worse, where were her clean, smooth responses to what should have been easily anticipated questions about Benghazi? Clinton stumbled terribly, as evidenced by the Washington Post headline "Diane Sawyer destroys Hillary Rodham Clinton on Benghazi." Inexcusable for someone who's already lost a presidential run and wants to try again.
Indeed Hillary has a lot to do while she is away. And, yes, she needs to lose weight. Yup, I said it. She is already being bombarded with rumors about her health, and her age is an increasing disadvantage. More and more, Americans vote for people who are attractive and healthy (that goes for men and women). For herself, and for those of us who'd like to vote for her, she needs to get her health and inherent attractiveness back into place. It's all part of the game, and she must play it if she wants the job.
I hope she'll hear us and respond by retreating and regrouping. This is essential if she is to be our first woman President. If not, then the task may fall to the future, perhaps with a courageous spirit named Elizabeth Warren.