Hillary Clinton’s Debate Shimmy of Confidence
That the dubious quality of “authenticity” became a major liability for Hillary Clinton is a case study in the gendered metrics we have set for our politicians. She was often criticized for being stiff on the stump, but found a moment of clearly unrehearsed, unfiltered physical freedom during the first presidential debate. After Donald Trump stated that he had the temperament to be commander-in-chief, Clinton took a breath, closed her eyes, smiled, and shimmied her shoulders. It was an unexpected, almost playful and giddy gesture of confidence, as if her entire body were revving up for a battle she was not only prepared to fight but, at least in that moment, seemed even to relish. In retrospect, we can appreciate it as a “moment of levity” (to quote her in those marathon Benghazi hearings) in a toxic and ultimately fatal brawl.