Leading feminist and cultural critic Camille Paglia has eviscerated her fellow Democrats for allowing Hillary Clinton to dominate the presidential field, saying Clinton has “accomplished nothing substantial” in her entire career. Simultaneously, though, she condemned Republican candidates such as Rand Paul for lacking the “gravitas” to be president.
“Hillary has accomplished nothing substantial in her life,” Paglia told the website Salon in the last part of a lengthy three-party interview. “She’s been pushed along, coasting on her husband’s coattails, and every job she’s been given fizzled out into time-serving or overt disaster. (RELATED: Top Feminist Issues Stunning Rebuke For Media’s ‘Total Silence’ On Planned Parenthood)
Paglia doesn’t let up, instead bashing Clinton at length as essentially a fraud:
Hillary constantly strikes attitudes and claims she’s “passionate” about this or that, but there’s never any sustained follow-through. She’s just a classic, corporate exec or bureaucrat type who would prefer to be at her desk behind closed doors, imposing her power schemes on the proletariat. She has no discernible political skills of any kind, which is why she needs a big, shifting army of consultants, advisors, and toadies to whisper in her ear and write her policy statements. There’s this ridiculous new theme in the media about people needing to learn who the “real” Hillary Clinton is. What? Everything they’re saying about what a wonderful person Hillary is in private tells us that she’s not competent or credible as a public figure! A politician, particularly a president, must have a distinct skill or expertise in communicating with the masses. It’s the absolutely basic requirement for any career in politics.
If you don’t have an effective public persona, if you’re not a good speaker, if you don’t like to press the flesh, if you’re not nimble enough to deal with anything that comes along, then you are not a natural politician! And you sure aren’t going to learn it in your late 60s! Get off the stage, and let someone else truly electable on! All this silly talk about how wonderful Hillary is in private. Oh, sure, she’s nice to the important people and the people she wants or needs something from! Then she’s Pollyanna herself! There are just too many reports stretching all the way back to Arkansas about Hillary’s nasty outbursts toward underlings when things aren’t going well. The main point is that the ability to communicate with millions of people is a special talent, and Hillary pretty obviously lacks it.
Paglia characterized Clinton as vastly inferior to several other leading Democratic women, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein. She also said that it was a terrible failure for the Democratic Party that other women weren’t willing to challenge Clinton.
“The Democrats have plenty of solid, capable women politicians who are just too timid to challenge the party establishment,” she said. “You sure won’t be able to deal with ISIS if you can’t deal with Debbie Wasserman Schultz! The paucity of declared Democratic presidential candidates is a major embarrassment to the party.”
She favorably pointed to Carly Fiorina’s run for the Republican nomination, saying that while Fiorina was too inexperienced to have any chance, she was still “impressively informed” and “bravely putting herself forward and speaking out.”
Despite her sharp criticism, Paglia is still a proud leftist, and she had ample criticism for the Republican field of candidates as well, both for their policies and their personalities.
“Rubio is widely praised for his intelligence, but he comes across as unsettlingly glib to me,” she said. “He seems oddly weightless, like a peppy young boy. I don’t see any depth yet.” Similarly, she criticized Ted Cruz as a “fanatic” and “smart-alecky horse’s ass” unfit for a serious office like the presidency.
Some of Paglia’s sharpest criticism was for Rand Paul, though, whom she attacked on a rather unconventional grounds: His shoddy appearance.
“Paul lacks gravitas as a physical presence,” she said. “The U.S. presidency has a highly ceremonial aspect. The president isn’t merely a prime minister, a political leader–he’s the symbolic embodiment of the nation. Therefore, physical attributes and vocal style are very important… It’s astonishing that [Paul] apparently has never given any thought to how he should dress or cut his hair or even stand in front of cameras.”
While Paglia also views Walker as lacking the gravitas needed to be president, she still described him as a “frontrunner” that it would be dangerous for Democrats to underrate.
“As governor of Wisconsin, Walker went to war with unions and won,” she said. “Walker still lacks seasoning, presidential temper, and a working knowledge of international affairs. But if Democrats try to use the union issue to take him down, they’re simply empowering him–and we’re going to end up with President Walker.”
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