The dog days of summer are in full effect and filled with popsicles, vacation, beach days, and -- oh yes -- the 2016 National Conventions! If you have't had enough of politics yet this year (I know I am quickly reaching my limit) then this week definitely delivered.
Vox.com, Understanding Hillary
This article is so interesting. You have to read it. It's written by Ezra Klein of Vox.com, who also hosts one of my favorite podcasts, The Weeds. Klein is interested in the disconnect between Clinton's likability by the average American (particularly during election times) and people that work closely with and for her. Even those that disagree with her really, really respect her. His overlying hypothesis is that Hillary Clinton is a fantastic listener, which has both benefitted her career and created challenges. I am still thinking a lot about this article and might write more about it later as I digest it. In the mean time...
Some of my favorite points from the article:
“I love Bill Clinton,” says Tom Harkin, who served as senator from Iowa from 1985 to 2015. “But every time you talk to Bill, you’re just trying to get a word in edgewise. With Hillary, you’re in a meeting with her, and she really listens to you.”
We ran a lot of elections in the United States before we let women vote in them. You do not need to assert any grand patriarchal conspiracy to suggest that a process developed by men, dominated by men, and, until relatively late in American life, limited to men might subtly favor traits that are particularly prevalent in men.
One way of reading the Democratic primary is that it pitted an unusually pure male leadership style against an unusually pure female leadership style. Sanders is a great talker and a poor relationship builder. Clinton is a great relationship builder and a poor talker. In this case — the first time at the presidential level — the female leadership style won.
“That’s what they’re finding so appealing. When people don’t know her well and they encounter her, people are taken with the fact that she is interested in them.”
MS: I find this point fascinating. This is something that author Elizabeth Gilbert talks about consistently in interviews: "I think a definition of an interesting person is an interested person. I've never met an interesting person who's not also an interested person."
Former adversaries feel awkward when they first meet her — they expect bad blood, bitter feelings, sniping. Instead, she’s friendly, charming, interested in them. She treats them like an old friend. She — here it is again — listens intently to what they say and tries to find common ground.
Vox.com, Ruth Bader Ginsburg vs. Trump
Because apparently I can't get enough of Vox.com this week, here is my next reading recommendation in the pile of Badass Washington Women news. Ginsburg recently made it very clear she is not a fan of Trump (shocking!) and her statements have many people up in arms. Historically, judges are expected to remain impartial in political matters so that they may preside over challenging cases brought to the court. Clearly this has never really been the case, highlighted in my favorite few lines from the article.
On the one hand, this seems like an absurd pretense. Everyone knows there are liberal and conservative justices. If you’re honestly shocked to learn that Ginsburg would prefer Hillary Clinton to Trump, welcome to the world, you beautiful newborn baby.
Barack Obama, PhD?
This week, Barack Obama became the first president to publish a scientific paper. Um, what, you say? Yes, you read that correctly. His paper, entitled United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps. I think it's pretty cool that the president is communicating in this way, but next time Barack, include the awesome scientists who assisted you with these analyses in the author list and not just the acknowledgements? Don't worry, I'm sure they'll let you be first author ;)
One of the primary figures from the paper: