Hillary Clinton Almost Had A Cameo On 'Home Improvement:' 3 Takeaways From Released Clinton Archive
If Hillary Clinton does run for president, Friday could be described as the first in an upcoming sequence of headaches. Thanks to the Bill Clinton Presidential Library's publishing of over 4,000 previously-restricted documents, former Secretary of State Clinton and her team now face the prospect of countless details about her time as First Lady hitting the Web, with more to come.
The release is just the first wave of an estimated 33,000 documents that the National Archives and Records Administration will be letting loose in the coming weeks — exactly the kind of unknown, potential exposure that people in the nascent stages of a campaign are loathe to consider.
The leaked documents thus far shed some light on Clinton's everyday political concerns as a high-profile First Lady. Lest we forget, Hillary's role in the administration's failed push for healthcare reform was far more politically entrenched than the way Michelle Obama has inhabited the position. So here are the 3 major takeaways from Friday's release...
The Internet Is Not As Old As We Think
Some memos discuss varyingly curious or amusing ideas to raise Clinton's media profile, which positively drip with their age — 1995, the era, of course, of TV powerhouse Tim Allen.
I know this may sound like a wild idea, but I think it is an interesting one to discuss. 'Home Improvement' would very much like to have Hillary make a guest appearance on its show. 'Home Improvement' is the most popular television show on the air. They are willing to do a show on women, children and family issues or a show on whatever issues Hillary would like. The outreach would be enormous and it would present Hillary in a very likeable light I believe.
And, of course, that weird box in your computer called Internet.
...Internet has become a very popular form of communication. Hillary could speak to young women through Internet. I think Hillary would have a fun time with this, and I believe it would not be too difficult to organize.
"Hillaryland" Urged to "Humanize" Clinton With The Press
In 1995, the Clinton administration was nowhere near the scandal that would result in the President's second-term impeachment, but it was in the midst of the persistent and ongoing Whitewater investigation. This examined the Clintons' pre-presidential investments in a failed Arkansas real estate development plan of the same name.
In the midst of the scandal, a memo was sent calling for a "Hillaryland Staff Outreach to Media," appearing to seek damage control from some a negative perception of Clinton:
I believe it would create enormous goodwill for Hillary since we can all tell wonderful Hillary anecdotes that humanize her and show the press the good person she is. (For example, Lissa always tells the anecdote about Hillary loving to have her twins come to the office.) I believe if we were all out there consistently, we would erode the notion in the press that sometimes exists of Hillary being in a bunker mentality.
Staying On Message While Being Real
A memo from July 1999 details advice to Clinton from adviser Mandy Grunwald as she mulled the end to her time in the White House, and a possible Senate run. The advice? To take chances at humor; to avoid seeming defensive under questioning; and to be "real," yet also staying on message, rather than "answer just the question asked."
It's hard to do the last two at once, but that's why the perfect balance is so exhilarating when achieved. It's a place Clinton famously reached during a desperate moment in her 2008 campaign against then-Senator Barack Obama.
During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, trailing in the polls, Clinton choked up in the midst of a very on-message, spontaneous, and fluidly emotional answer about what her campaign meant to her, and how she handles the stress — more or less encapsulating in two minutes the full range of tact, emotion, and indefatigability which have hallmarked her political career.