12/20/2007 12:16 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

23/6 Ladytorial: Humanizing Hillary

On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that Hillary Clinton's campaign is engaged in an effort to "humanize" her to unconvinced Iowans. Husband Bill explained, "We want to give people a good sense of her, not only as a leader but as a person."

Sit down, Bill. Our own Laurie Kilmartin will take it from here.


Iowa, allow me to give you "a sense" of Hillary. I've never met her, I may not even vote for her, but I've been her, or at least a version of her. Hillary Clinton was a geek. You've seen the pictures from Wellesley. Mr. Magoo glasses, mousy hair, Sears catalog outfits. Any geek will tell you that it hurts to be plain, and most geek girls would trade an A in calculus for a pair of DDs in a heartbeat. But Hillary Rodham gamely accepted her strengths and weaknesses, and became valedictorian. She probably figured if she got married at all, it would be to a fellow dweeb.

Then along came Fonzie.

Most geek girls have secret crushes on the popular guy. You think he will see past your dull clothes, your AP classes and your junky trunk. He'll gaze into your squinting, astigmatic eyes and fall in love with you because you're special, just like your mother always said you were. It never happens in real life. But it happened to Hillary.

She only stopped pinching herself during the Lewinsky scandal. And her astonishing luck also explains why a particular constituency--women just like Hillary--have not responded to her. The LA Times recently reported that half of college-educated, female Democrats do not support her. Said Clara Oleson, a 65 year old retired lawyer and Obama supporter, "[Hillary] seems to feel she needs to be a social male--aggressor, commander in chief."

Jealous much?

Look, Iowa, Hillary got blindsided by big love at grad school. She's cold and distant because that's what Bill likes about her. She's guarded because a part of her fears that the last 32 years have been a practical joke and that, like Sissy Spacek in "Carrie," when she finally takes the oath of office, someone will dump a bucket of pig's blood all over her pantsuit.

And that's pretty human. So cut her some slack.