“Sometimes a reporter, he looks right at you,” she said, a gloomy smile fading from her lips. “You know the thing about a reporter, he’s got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. Until he asks a question and those black eyes roll over white.”
We haven’t yet seen Hillary Clinton deliver this impromptu take on Quint’s speech from Jaws, but if a new report from journalist Edward Klein is to be believed, it could be coming. Klein has a new book called Unlikeable that takes readers inside the laborious effort to make Clinton into someone that doesn’t irritate voters every time she opens her mouth. So monumental was this task, says Klein, that Clinton even brought Steven Spielberg on to help her out.
Hillary was taking lessons on how to be more likable. She was doing it for Bill, not for herself. It was all his idea. One evening while they were having drinks with friends, he turned to Hillary and said, “Let’s ask Steven for help.”
Klein says that Hillary fought the process every step of the way, complaining to her husband that she was making $250,000 a speech and needed no Hollywood help. Bill insisted that she needed to repackage herself for 2016 and use her granddaughter “to emphasize how you’re all about women and children.”
The HillBot 2000 finally relented, setting up a video camera so she could practice being a human being from the comfort of home. She sent the tapes off the Hollywood. The professionals said she looked “irritated and bored.” She decided she knew better and tossed the advice in the nearest trash can.
There was one thing about the process that she thought was worthwhile: working on her facial expressions. If she got the facial expressions right, she believed the rest would fall into place.
There may be a solution that Hillary is overlooking. If CGI technology can make Arnold Schwarzenegger look like he’s 30 years old, after all, maybe it can help her on the campaign trail. Just have a holographic Hillary Clinton proxy do all the interviews and speeches, with the real Hillary just off-screen, feeding the character lines like the Wizard of Oz. This may seem improbable, but hey…the Clintons…uh…find a way.
“My coaches tell me I’m supposed to pretend when I speak,” Clinton reportedly told a friend who asked about the tripod setup in her Whitehaven home. “Pretend that I actually like the audience.”
Hillary probably isn’t the only politician contemptuous of the voters, but she’s more obvious about it than most. It’s all too easy to imagine her losing her temper on stage one of these days, ripping an arm off her pantsuit, and screaming, “I’m better than all of you! How dare you judge me! I deserve to be the president of the United States, damn it!”
In the end, Klein says, Clinton scrapped the likeability lessons altogether. It turns out that it’s easier to bring a dinosaur back to life than it is to teach charisma. So if you were hoping that we might get to see a Spielbergian Hillary change the game, don’t hold your breath.
For now, the better bet is that she will end this campaign with a close encounter of the FBI kind.