Well, there are many differences, of course, and few–if any–make Hillary Clinton look good. But one difference worth noting is that Jeb Bush is remarkably accessible and substantive, and Hillary Clinton is remarkably not:
Howard Kurtz reported on Sunday night that the Hillary Clinton campaign has decided to open itself to more press interviews. Kurtz quoted the campaign’s communications director, Jennifer Palmieri: “By not doing national interviews until now, Palmieri concedes, ‘we’re sacrificing the coverage. We’re paying a price for it.’”
Meanwhile Jeb Bush chatted July 2 with the conservative website, the Daily Caller. The Daily Caller interview broke an unusually protracted no-interview period for Bush. It had been more than two weeks since he appeared on the Tonight show with Jimmy Fallon. Bush spoke that same day, June 17, to Sean Hannity’s radio show and ABC News. Five days earlier, he’d spoken to Germany’s Der Spiegel—altogether, five interviews in the month of June. That brought his total, since the beginning of February, to 39, according to the Bush campaign.*
Over that same period, Hillary Clinton has given six interviews, including a paid appearance before the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.
In the summer of 2014, when she released her memoir of her time as secretary of state, Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton gave a clutch of interviews. Like the book itself, those revealed only her skill at speaking without saying anything.
Jeb Bush’s many, many pre-candidacy interviews—some of them very long—revealed a great deal. He talked about his family inheritance, his marriage, his faith, and his often-controversial principles with risky candor. The book he released in 2013, Immigration Wars, inserted him into the Republican’s most contentious internal debate.
Agree with it or not, Jeb Bush’s immigration book was detailed, specific, and provocative. Hillary Clinton’s post-cabinet memoir, by contrast, was described by even its friendliest reviewers as “faintly robotic”; “campaign mumbo-jumbo”; “clunky, cursory”; and “boring and dreary.”
I have written before that in a just world, Hillary Clinton would be laughed out of the presidential race. Let me add that in a just world, all those who currently embrace Clinton in the belief that she actually is a smart and substantive candidate who would encourage governmental transparency, would leave her in droves and flock over to Bush’s campaign. After all, Bush is far more substantive and far more willing to encourage and bring about transparency.
The non-substantive, non-transparent side of Hillary Clinton–i.e., the real Hillary Clinton–was on display recently in a rare, but very revealing press availability session:
Earlier, the Democratic contender had asked reporters if they wanted some ice cream. A CNN reporter shot back, “How about instead of some ice cream, a question?”
“Aww,” Clinton pretend groaned, according to the pool report.
A photographer then asked her if she would name her favorite flavor ice cream.
“I like nearly everything,” Clinton responded.
Of course she does. I mean, God forbid that the Clinton campaign should offend anyone by stating that it dislikes a particular ice cream flavor.
Relatedly, for those wondering why Bernie Sanders is attracting interest and excitement, wonder no more.