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Hillary Clinton: Path-breaking Pain In The Ass

Rebecca Traister has a great reflection on Hillary over at Salon (via Ben Smith sidekick Avi Zenilman):

But while we may all wish that our groundbreaking leaders came in prettier packages, and that high butterfat cheese was good for us, the reality is that we get what we get. And we got Hillary Clinton. In no small part, we probably got her thanks to the very reasons so many can't abide her: her ambition, her ruthlessness, her gift for triangulation, her marriage, her centrism, her hawkishness. It's an exceedingly uncommon alchemy; in more than two centuries of American history, no woman has been able to break into the presidential boys club, and I can't think of many women of sterling liberal character who would have succeeded where she failed to satisfy all feminists. Wake me when Barbara Ehrenreich can win Ohio, you know?

Like it or not, Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first female battering ram to rattle the Oval Office door, and while sorrowful Hillary-heads may lyrically and lovingly catalog her many achievements, her bravery and grace, I'd prefer to think of her as she actually has been: a pain in the ass to support, an often inept and ungainly campaigner. She was ill-behaved, she made mistakes, and waged an often dirty and tone-deaf campaign, performing precious few electoral pirouettes. But she also pulverized any quaint notions of what presidential races are supposed to look like and how girls might compete in them. ...

And, yes, it's terrific that generations of little girls will grow up knowing that women can run for president. But count me as gratified that those who do so will also know they are not responsible for bearing the highest expectations for their gender's morality and politesse, because one hell of a difficult dame has been there before them and knocked everybody around pretty hard.

I kinda think this is how she'll be remembered once everyone gets over last Tuesday's terrible non-concession. At least if Obama wins...

--Noam Scheiber