the character of Hillary Clinton

Edward Luce, the FT’s chief US columnist, interviews Robert McNeely, who for six years was White House photographer with the Clintons.

“People say she is only able to run for the presidency because she is married to Bill Clinton,” says McNeely. “That could be true. But I can’t imagine Bill would have made it to the White House without Hillary.” ….

I ask McNeely what Clinton’s years as first lady tell us about the kind of president she would be. McNeely evaluates what he sees as her core traits. “She is very quick to judge people,” he says. “If Bill senses someone doesn’t like him, he will spend hours trying to convert that person. Hillary doesn’t bother.” …. McNeely says the calibre of her hires was generally higher. But she is also less Socratic. “She would spend a lot of time selecting the right people,” he says. “But my sense is that any aide who disagrees with her on the big subjects won’t last very long in the job.” Most importantly, she will always know more about her brief than anyone else. Grasp of detail will never be her weak point, though lack of an overarching vision has been. “There isn’t a person in the world who can outwork Hillary Clinton,” says McNeely. “Isn’t it funny that her opponent in this election is the laziest mind in the western world?”

Edward Luce, “The making of Hillary Clinton: unpublished images of a would-be president“, Financial Times Magazine, 6 August 2016 (metered paywall).

This long column (with photos by McNeely) is interesting throughout. Robert McNeely’s book, The Making of Hillary Clinton: The White House Years, will be published in January 2017 by the University of Texas Press.



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