As this election cycle has rolled on, we have witnessed a plethora of oddities from Hillary Clinton. From her obviously disingenuous statements to her myriad scandals, Clinton is the newsroom’s gift that keeps giving. One thing came to the nation’s attention during the first presidential debate, and it’s doubtful Clinton is happy about it.
In some of her mannerisms and facial expressions, Hillary Clinton projected vulnerability in confidence. Clinton exhibited a rigidity throughout the debate to the point where she had to execute an elementary relaxation exercise, doing it right on stage and in full view of the cameras. What many thought was an odd “happy dance” was, in fact, a purposeful reminder to “relax.”
That Clinton was obviously coached and conditioned to recognize she was being too rigid, robotic, or rehearsed says volumes about her true leadership abilities. Someone so nervous and so inflexible as to need fundamental relaxation exercises would be a disaster as the leader of the free world.
Debate viewers recognized the typical Hillary Clinton: measured and slowly purposeful in both motion and speech. She was very well rehearsed, and her incessant referencing of her notes on her podium proves that.
However, at several points in her performance – a very good description of what it was – she exhaled hard and shook her shoulders. It was reminiscent of a sixth grader’s actions after correctly spelling a word at a spelling bee.
— Mashable GIF (@mashablegif) September 27, 2016
Each time she executed this relaxation technique it was directly after making a detailed point she felt was important. Had she not openly executed the relaxation technique, we would have been left to believe that her response was spontaneous, but the relaxation move gave it away as a scripted, rehearsed response tailored for the occasion.
Understanding that she was using this relaxation technique, one is prompted with visions of Clinton as a little girl (she brought her childhood up, so it is fair game) running to her mother and father and asking, “Did I do good?”
I will give credit to both debate participants that it was a high-stress situation. Estimates have the viewership of the debate – around the world – at over 100 million people. That’s Super Bowl level viewership, so I get there may have been butterflies.
But Clinton isn’t going on Dancing With The Stars where a slip-up or a fall is just a deduction in points. She is vying for the most high-stress, high-visibility job in the world—the presidency of the United States. She needs to possess a self-confidence born of ability and aptitude, not nepotism and privilege.
Clinton’s overt display of insecurity and nervousness illustrates a void in those qualities—a void of aptitude and ability or at least a vote of no confidence in those qualities.
Our nation doesn’t need a leader who requires on-the-job bolstering of her self-esteem. We need a leader with confidence and a willingness to learn, adapt, and execute without needing the approval of mommy and daddy.