When answering, Clinton sometimes opens her eyes wide as she emphasises a phrase; at other moments, seemingly at random, she pulls her hands apart as if demonstrating the size of a fish.That's from from Daniel Dombey's long profile of Hillary Clinton, as he watches her interact patiently with 700 Brazilian students. It cracked me up.
It's curious, how Clinton has segued from the punishing Presidential campaign to an "endless campaign" abroad -- and that's not meant in a bad way. When she said, following her upset win in New Hampshire in Feb. '08, "Over the last week, I have listened to you, and in the process I found my own voice," it was true in some fundamental sense -- notwithstanding her workaholic's 5,000+ public appearances as New York's senator, she learned to engage on a whole other level in the last four months of that grueling campaign. And strange to think that while Bill Clinton was the preternaturally gifted people person in the pair, Hillary has by some measures been on a national-international stage longer than Bill was.
Other takeaways: Clinton has been an incredibly engaged and hyperactive public diplomat and a loyal enforcer, if not a prime shaper of Obama administration policy (but give her time on the latter). Note too Gideon Rachman's caustic assessment in the assorted views at the profile's bottom.
Oh yes, and let's not assume she'll never run for President again. Though her repeated references to how grueling her 10-countries-day routine has been recalls a refrain from The Grapes of Wrath that's long been a watchword in my family: "Grandma's tar'd, Rose-a-Sharn..."