Why do we assume Hillary Clinton is as politically skilled as Bill?

Why do we assume Hillary Clinton is as politically skilled as Bill?
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Based on her stumbles of the last couple of weeks, more than a few people have begun wondering if Hillary Clinton might have a harder climb to the presidency than is widely expected. Along those lines, the Washington Examiner's Philip Klein argues that Hillary's problem isn't that she's rich, it's that she's an overrated politician:

Because the Clintons are often viewed in tandem, a lot of people have mistakenly transposed Bill's political acumen onto Hillary. But in reality, her political career has involved winning a Senate seat in New York over a weak Republican opponent in a year that Al Gore carried the state by 25 points — and squandering a massive lead against candidate Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic nomination battle. [Washington Examiner]

Well, when you put it like that...

Nobody is suggesting that Hillary Clinton isn't smart or talented or accomplished, but Klein has a point: We tend to assume that Bill and Hillary share the same instincts and attributes. But this doesn't really make sense. We don't do this in other industries — we don't assume that the husband of a virtuoso performer could replicate his partner's musical performance. Likewise, political instincts aren't transferrable by marriage.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us