Potential EntitiesHillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, 2016
Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, 2008
And now we enter the Period of Parsing. What you are about to behold will make all prior textual analyses — of scripture, of scrolls — look like halfhearted child’s play. Hillary is speaking. And oh how the world will be scrutinizing those words. With a book to promote, the former secretary of state and the future presidential candidate (maybe, probably) is shelving her profound distaste for the news media and sitting down for interviews that will be as inventively interpreted on our end as they are meticulously constructed on hers. Diane Sawyer’s coming up. CNN is coming up. Fox News is coming up. From journalists, there will be mentions of Monica, questions about Benghazi and an attempt to put her on the defensive and extract something other than anodyne sound bites. From Hillary, there will be talk of yoga and an imminent grandchild, at least if one of the first interviews, in People magazine, is any indication. The People interview was released today, the latest step in a sequenced rollout of her book, “Hard Choices,” that already included an article in “Vogue” about her relationship with her mother and a preview in Politico of the book’s passage on Benghazi. Baryshnikov never saw choreography this painstaking. From the People interview, one comment of hers in particular struck me, as I myself pivoted into parsing mode. Asked about Monica Lewinsky’s recent essay in Vanity Fair, she said that she hadn’t read it. “I think everybody needs to look to the future,” she said. It’ll be interesting to see how many references to “the future” she makes over these coming weeks, because one of the central liabilities of her presidential campaign, should there be one, is that it might seem to many Americans like a glance backward, into the past. How does she tout the Clinton administration while presenting herself as a candidate of tomorrow, not a holdover from yesterday? How does someone so exhaustively well known come across as fresh and brimming with new ideas? How does she claim the future? Perhaps, for starters, by invoking it.
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