We could say that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sat down for an interview with Vox.com founder Ezra Klein, which is true, but that would be doing a disservice to the 30 or so people credited in the “Vox Media Storytelling Studio collaboration” that resulted in this lengthy piece promising a look at the Clinton that her friends and colleagues know, not the one America sees (and largely dislikes and distrusts).

Spoiler: Hillary Clinton is a very, very good listener (if a bit difficult to have reached via her official state.gov email address), and Klein wants America to know that just might be her greatest strength.

He refers to the work of Deborah Tannen, author of several books (or, if you prefer, author of one book, published several times under different titles) on the differences in the way men and women communicate. Men talk, women listen — a disadvantage for Clinton in a political system dominated by standing and talking.

Not that Clinton has a problem speaking confidently; after all, she told CNN back in May that her nomination was “already done, in effect,” and there was no way she wouldn’t be her party’s nominee. The problem is that the public sees only that Clinton, and misses out on her very special skill as a listener, something that only comes across in private exchanges with individuals and intimate groups. It’s a woman thing.

A campaign ad? Just because it was so utterly one-sided that the Clinton campaign saw no downside in linking to it?

In effect, yes, it’s a campaign ad, just as much as the front page of the New York Times every single day. But someone had to crow about Clinton’s most likable trait: in America’s male-dominated society, she can’t just come out and brag about herself.

After a couple of reboots by the campaign itself, America still might not like or trust her, but at least it now understands Hillary Clinton, courtesy of Vox Media Storytelling.


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