The Associated Press tried to flog last week’s hostage drama at NY Sen. Hillary Clinton’s Rochester, NH, presidential campaign headquarters into a full-blown crisis that showcased Hillary’s ability to stay cool and levelheaded:

When the hostages had been released and their alleged captor arrested, a regal-looking Hillary Rodham Clinton strolled out of her Washington home, the picture of calm in the face of crisis.

The image, broadcast just as the network news began, conveyed the message a thousand town hall meetings and campaign commercials strive for – namely, that the Democratic presidential contender can face disorder in a most orderly manner. …

[T]he woman striving to move from former first lady to the first female president was eager to convey that she knew the traditional lines of command and control in a crisis, even if the events inside the storefront on North Main Street were far short of a world calamity.

Indeed, Hillary’s campaign storefront wasn’t lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001 and AP reporter Glen Johnson was unable to explain what, exactly, she did to “take charge” other than make a few phone calls to assure law enforcement that they had “free reign” (as if she had any say whatsoever in their tactical procedures):

Over the ensuing five hours, as a state trooper negotiated with the suspect and hostages were released one-by-one, Clinton continued to call up and down the law enforcement food chain, from local to county to state to federal officials. …

Along with taking charge while giving the professionals free rein, Clinton offered up a third dimension to her crisis character: humanity. She said she felt “grave concern” when she first heard the news of the hostage-taking.

“It affected me not only because they were my staff members and volunteers, but as a mother, it was just a horrible sense of bewilderment, confusion, outrage, frustration, anger, everything at the same time,” Clinton said.

Unlike husband Bill Clinton, who famously felt “your pain,” this quote unintentionally reveals that it’s all about Hillary and her feelings. And this is why she does not have the natural leadership ability Rudy does. In a crisis, true leaders never focus on themselves – they’re too busy acting to think about what they’re feeling.

A linguistic analysis of 35 press conferences during Rudy’s eight years as New York City mayor found that after 9/11 he focused on New Yorkers and on the families who lost loved ones, rather than on himself.

Writing in the peer-reviewed publication Journal of Research in Personality, James Pennebaker and Thomas Lay of the University of Texas at Austin note, “In the days and weeks that followed, Giuliani acquired hero status. In the eyes of most New Yorkers and United States citizens, he displayed strength, leadership, and selflessness.” Based on their data the researchers conclude these traits are not situational, but are imbedded in Giuliani’s personality and were brought out by the terrorism crisis.

Note: The Stiletto writes about politics and other stuff at The Stiletto Blog.

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