At a town hall meeting this week, the first question posed to Hillary Clinton was from a first-time caucus-goer called Taylor Gipple.
âIt feels like there are a lot of young people like myself who are very passionate supporters of Bernie Sanders,â he said. âAnd, I just donât see the same enthusiasm from younger people for you. In fact, Iâve heard from quite a few people my age that they think youâre dishonest, but Iâd like to hear from you on why you feel the enthusiasm isnât there.â
Clintonâs response sounded like a mix of Edith Piaf and Sir Elton John: Je Ne Regrette Rien blended with Iâm Still Standing; stern resolve with a touch of telegraphed theatricality. âLook, Iâve been around a long time,â she told him. âThey throw all this stuff at me and Iâm still standing. But if youâre new to politics, if itâs the first time you really paid attention, you go âoh my gosh, look at all of thisâ. And you have to say to yourself, âwhy are they throwing all of thatâ? Well, Iâll tell you why. Because Iâve been on the frontlines of change and progress since I was your age.â
Not for the first time, Clinton finds herself in an existential battle with a rank outsider â Bernie Sanders cast in the role of Barack Obama â which threatens to derail her anticipated processional journey to the White House. Her experience and ever-presence on the public stage seem to be equal parts hindrance and help.