My affection for Hillary Clinton is hard to explain. It wins no fights and earns you no friends to admit feeling actual warmth, even protectiveness, toward this impossible, frustrating, contradictory, polarizing, disappointing woman. My finding Hillary intensely “likable” is weird. It doesn’t signify universal approval of her decisions. I can and do disagree with Hillary Clinton, regularly and strongly. But some part of me also hopes that Hillary Clinton is having a nice day.
I’ve come to believe that saying nice things about Hillary Clinton can be a subversive act. I recently spent some time sorting through Clintoniana dating back to the early 1990s, looking at the nasty things people have said about her and common narratives that have formed about her personality. I got a better sense of the pressures that she has to live with—even on days when Donald Trump isn’t using words such as disgusting and schlonged to describe her—and how those pressures have informed her decisions.