For those who have ever visited Clintonland, it’s sometimes hard to recognize the slickly-scripted, post-White House media personalities of the Clintons: the affable, smiling Hillary seen on the campaign trial or the laid back, take-it-as-it-comes Bill who periodically surfaces for softball interviews.
But every once in a while, there’s a rare moment of clarity. That happened last year when Wallace interviewed the former president. At the end of the interview, Bill lost it. Suddenly the veneer was off, exposing the enraged, snarling, lunging Bill accusing Wallace of “do[ing] his nice little right wing hit job” when he forced Clinton to address his inability to capture or kill bin Laden.
Not a pretty sight.
And Wallace did it again in his recent interview of Hillary. Asked about the extreme partisan politics espoused by her and her husband, the real Hillary challenged Wallace. “Well, Chris, if you'd walked even a day in our shoes over the last 15 years I'm sure you'd understand."
Hillary preceded her passing moment of reality by a loud, inappropriate and mirthless laugh – a scary sound that was somewhere between a cackle and a screech. She was quick to follow it with a scripted recitation about how she wants to rise above partisanship. (Of course) But, in between, we saw a fleeting glimpse of the pervasive sense of victimization and self-righteousness that even now underscores the vicious partisanship with which both Clintons play the game of politics.
Amazingly, they seem to genuinely believe that they are still the targets of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” and that they are alone and under attack despite their manifest virtue and singular desire to do good.
You don’t see this authenticity very often. Hillary’s handlers have taken great pains to teach her the art of concealment, hiding her raw partisanship behind a smile and, when necessary, even a forced laugh. A laugh that’s often too long and too loud.
And so, at the beginning and the end of the Wallace interview, Hillary sounded just like a laughing hyena. Watch the video on FOX News or YouTube. You won’t laugh.
It’s part of the Hillary defense. Just as Hillary’s answers are scripted, so is her "spontaneous" laughter. This is truly learned behavior — laughing — or pretending to laugh at will. Over the past 15 years, she’s perfected the art of responding to people, questions and networks that she doesn’t like. In the past, she would sneer and answer sarcastically, as in, “Maybe I should have stayed home and baked cookies.” But those days are over. Now she smiles constantly and dissolves into a flood of loud giggles. It’s been a big part of her media training.
The mainstream media hasn’t had much to say about the laughing candidate. But can you imagine if Rudy Giuliani responded to a network interviewer by laughing loudly and hysterically for five seconds? No doubt The New York Times would seriously wonder about his state of mind. But they don’t find it odd with Hillary.
It’ll likely be a long time before we see the real Hillary again. So next time you hear her special laugh, think about what it really means.
Dick Morris served as Bill Clinton's political consultant for 20 years, guiding him to a successful reelection in 1996. He is the author of New York Times bestsellers Because He Could, Rewriting History (both with Eileen McGann), Off with Their Heads, and Behind the Oval Office, and the Washington Post bestseller Power Plays.
Copyright Eileen McGann and Dick Morris 2006. To obtain free copies of all of the columns and newsletters by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann for non-commercial use, please sign up at www.dickmorris.com.
Dick Morris is a Fox News contributor and author. His latest book is "Here Come the Black Helicopters: UN Global Governance and the Loss of Freedom." Visit his website: www.dickmorris.com and follow him on Twitter@DickMorrisTweet. Click here to sign up to get all of Dick's videos emailed to you.