DNC Day 4: Hillary Clinton Is Not Here to Entertain You

How do we measure HIllary Clinton's speech last night? She is not a great orator, like so many of the speakers who came before her at the Democratic National Convention. She has this terrible habit of slowing down to an almost laughable rhythm when she's coming to one of her big points, like a college professor who is sick of being asked to repeat herself. Every bit of natural charm and empathy that you see in the videos of her one-on-one with people around the country is drained out of her, replaced with a kind of fake folksiness that, at times, is transparently pandering. 

And maybe, just maybe, that's part of the point right now. You want an entertainer? Well, the Republicans are running the ne plus ultra of entertaining buffoons. There you go. Good luck with that. 

But let's not look at Clinton as merely the competent alternative to madness. No, because, see, you don't need to electrify large crowds to be inspirational. If we take the other speakers at their word, it is in those times with individuals, with staff, with the people who need her help or are looking to her for leadership, she so obviously inspires. And that's inspiration beyond being the first woman nominated by a major party, which, c'mon, is pretty damn inspirational. That's an investment of trust in someone who the GOP needs the public to believe is innately untrustworthy. 

That's the point to the Republicans' attacks on her (and the ex-Sanders supporters who won't shut the fuck up already). Anyone who has worked with Hillary Clinton knows she's someone they can rely on, someone who works above and beyond for the public good, someone who will make hard decisions (even if you and I disagree with some of those decisions). But because she can't break through to people trusting her on the same level as, say, Barack Obama, she is vulnerable. Or at least Trump's campaign of savage idiots thinks she is.

What Clinton did last night was tell us as clearly as possible that this isn't a TV show. It's flesh and blood. It's time we honor her and act like we know it.