Hillary Rodham Clinton, long the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic party, cannot seem to shake her “shady politician” image among both undecided voters and the left wing of her own party. Clinton has been dogged by the controversy around the possibility that she compromised national security by receiving classified State Department transmissions through her personal email account.
On Tuesday, the former First Lady and Secretary of State at long last offered an apology for the “Emailgate” conundrum. Mrs. Clinton expressed regret over the entire controversy that centered around her mixing of personal and official state use of the same email account, as well as the FBI indicating that some of her email messages marked as classified may well have been handled improperly.
Hillary 2.0 . . . Or, 3.0?
Regardless of who was involved, it's likely that a scandal over the compromised security of government emails containing sensitive information would stir up some public displeasure. Yet, it's no doubt that a combination of Clinton's past and her handling of the email scandal have made the ordeal particularly damaging.
From the time that her husband took office as president over 20 years ago, Hillary has attracted attention to herself for apparently being on the wrong side of certain media circuses, from her failed attempt to spearhead healthcare reform as First Lady to her leaving major campaign donors jaded during her 2000 election win to become one of New York's two senators. This doesn't even mention her role in managing (or lack thereof) the diplomatic failure at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
Beyond the apparent litany of "skeletons in the closet" for Mrs. Clinton, there is the aloof manner in which she approached the email scandal. Rather than getting out in front of the issue, Clinton chose instead to hide behind her power and privilege, delaying any acknowledgment of the controversy until the headlines screamed too loudly for her to ignore them. Worse than this, Clinton was dismissive and, at times, evasive about the nature of her personal use of her government email account as Secretary of State.
The reaction from Hillary's campaign has been disappointing given the already-skeptical perception of her forthrightness and willingness to be honest. She simply did nothing to combat the belief that she is a "slimy politician" who cares only about the accumulation of power, at any cost. It's a bad sign that she is already attempting "a make-over" to try and salvage her image, and we haven't even reached the first primary contest. By retreating further into the enclave of the political class in order to deflect the negative publicity, Hillary is only making herself seem more and more entitled.
What everyone seems to be picking up on is the fact that Hillary's 2016 presidential campaign is already looking a whole lot like her first one in 2008. She continues to lack an emotional connection with voters (even in her own party) who want to see her be "more human"—oftentimes a death knell for candidates who make it as far as the general election. If you can't convince people that you're, y'know, a person yourself, then it becomes even more difficult to persuade them that you're both politically fit and trustworthy enough to be made president.
Hillary Clinton doesn't want for political fitness, having spent 5 decades involved in government. Where she "Needs Improvement" is in her people skills—and her willingness to admit when she's wrong.