Some people claim Hillary Clinton is an ice queen. But most of us know now after the massive success of the movie “Frozen,” that even ice queens show their real emotions sometimes.
People say a lot of things about Hillary Clinton. A lot of critical, nasty things. Some are deserved and some aren’t.
She’s cold. She lacks the charisma her husband possesses. She’s distant. She won’t talk to the media. She doesn’t even like campaigning, which anyone with an inkling about politics knows is essential to win an election. If only she was more “human” – whatever that is.
She momentarily showed a more feminine side in her first White House run during the New Hampshire primary in 2008. As The Guardian reported at the time: “Hillary Clinton, the icy control queen of the Democratic party welling up with emotion – and it may have won her an improbable victory over Barack Obama.” However, her critics cried wolf, accusing her of just another calculated Hillary moment, even though it could hardly have been orchestrated, since it was in response to a very particular, impromptu question, “How do you get out the door every day?”
“Icy control queen” is a bit harsh, even for a woman who knows how to stay on script with the best of them. But if you buy the argument that Hillary is an ice queen, most of us know now after the massive success of the movie Frozen, that even ice queens show their real human emotions sometimes. The good news for Hillary is that there is a pre-2008 teary, candid moment on film that could be a secret weapon when critics attack her, as the will, on that whole likability thing.
During the recent Little Rock Film Festival, Harry Thomason, movie producer and “Friend of Bill”, showed his 2004 documentary The Hunting of The President to film goers at the Clinton School of Public Service. That film is based on the book by journalists Joe Conason and Gene Lyons about the witch hunt in the 1990s, starting with the Whitewater scandal, to bring down the Bill Clinton presidency. That search ultimately climaxed with impeachment proceedings over the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Yes, the film is totally biased and 100 percent pro-Clinton except for the part where old Clinton allies confess how angry they were at the president because he succumbed to the allure of Monica – hook, line and cigar.
But within that walk down Clinton memory lane was an ace in the hole, a secret video weapon, that the Hillary campaign could use if they are smart. Footage shows Hillary – in her trademark ’90s bob – crying. It’s quick, and if you blink, you might miss it. But that day, it certainly stood out to the crowd at the Clinton School as many gasped when they saw Hillary with tears rolling down her face. She wasn’t crying about her husband or the “vast right-wing conspiracy” that loomed in the 1990s. No, she was talking about children.
Hillary has long felt a deep passion about children. When she was Arkansas’ first lady, she secured funding for the state’s first neonatal clinic at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. She also brought the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program to the rural state for children to have early education help at home.
Thomason, whose wife Linda Bloodworth Thomason was the mastermind behind the successful sitcom Designing Women, is an Arkansas native and a close friend to the Clintons. He produced The Man from Hope, the still talked about centerpiece of the 1992 Democratic National Convention and helped with image consulting for the campaign. Later, he got wrapped up in the Travelgate scandal in the Clinton White House.
After the film screening, Thomason told the audience that he plans to release an updated version of the movie through various streaming media and on DVD to tell the rest of the story of what happened to some of the key players in the various Clinton scandals. Many have died or retired from politics. Some may be plotting now to undermine another Clinton White House run.
Ultimately, however, the real jewel in the documentary, even though at times it seems a bit dated, is that brief humanizing, relatable footage that someone on the Hillary campaign should be making a note of for a possible “Woman from Park Ridge” convention biopic.
Having more unscripted, candid moments from her past out in the public eye could win voters for Hillary. Hillary herself already knows that she needs to embrace more of her grandmotherly, advocate for women and girls side in her second bid for the White House.
If she does, Queen Elsa of Arendelle would be proud.