At some point near the one-hour mark, wooziness strikes. It’s that voice, that shrill drone. You can only take so much before the mind constricts and the room spins into a hall of mirrors. You’ve got to get out, go for a walk, get some fresh air, because there’s still two more hours left of Hillary Clinton’s Masterclass, titled “The Power of Resilience,” and we’re still unsure if anyone has yet managed to hobble across the finish line.
We love resilience — but as a quality, not a lifestyle. Hillary fits the latter. Masterclass, a sort-of TED Talk platform that will ring you nearly $200 a year for a subscription, appears to be, like TED, a place crafted for those who live perpetually with their nose against the glass at Davos — less of a Who’s Who and more of a Who? of grasping neo-liberalism, self-conscious black excellence and people who get their personality from their choice in eyewear.
It’s perfect for Hillary 8.0, or whatever version we’re on now. With donations to the Clinton Foundation down nearly 75 percent from their peak in 2016, to an anemic $16 million in 2020, the Clintons are back on the hustle. Hillary’s creepy vegan husband will also be hosting his own Masterclass soon — on what, we’re unsure, but hopefully Chris Hanson doesn’t have to show up.
I’ll save you $200 to let you know that Hillary doesn’t share the insider secrets of what’s alleged to be her most beguiling skill: there’s no lesson on how to make it look like a suicide. Instead, you’re left with three hours of a generic How To Succeed in Business paperback — and not even one of the bestsellers.
Hillary is uncharacteristically composed during the three-hour-long lecture — she doesn’t cough once — and that maniacal, woman-on-the-verge-of-shattering-some-furniture side to her personality only rears its head twice, both times when she mentions those irksome “lock her up” chants.
“When people say the ridiculous things they say about me, and accuse me of, and chant, ‘lock her up,’ and all the nonsense that they do, I’m like, get a life, what is wrong with you,” Hillary says, seated in her purple pantsuit, with all the composure of an ensnared hyena. “I know it’s not true and they’re not going to convince me otherwise just by all their yelling and screaming and carrying on.”
“The chants of ‘lock her up,’ which were rooted in a real disdain for aggressive, ambitious, pushy women, as we are characterized, it was quite chilling,” she later says, as visions of Harvey Weinstein fundraisers, burning consulates, raped women, smashed cell-phones and destroyed hard drives dance around the viewer’s head.
When she’s not whining about sexism, Hillary is here to let you know how she manages her day-to-day. “I keep lists. I’m a list maker because I find it so satisfying to cross things off,” she says.
Like names?, you wonder.
She also wants to let you know she’s a master negotiator, and none of her tactics involve threats of violence or intimidation. Want to be a great negotiator like Hillary? Just follow this example, she tells her students, from immediately after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when she was a freshly minted carpetbagging senator in New York. The Bush administration was preparing a $20 billion federal aid package but none of it was specifically earmarked for New York, which had been hit hardest by the attacks.
“I didn’t know how much money [New York] needed. I just knew the rest of the country was getting twenty billion and it sounded like a fair amount to me,” she says. So she marched up to President Bush as the nation was reeling and mourning and asked for $20 billion for New York, and he said, “OK.” Helluva negotiator, that Hillary.
But first, she needed an ally, in case things didn’t go well, and she found one in Senator Robert Byrd. Byrd, a former Exalted Cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan, is praised many times in the Masterclass. He was clearly an important mentor for Hillary’s generation of Democrats, but times were different during his hood-donning days and so we forgive him.
Hillary’s Masterclass is a reminder of why left-wing talk radio fails — no one wants to listen to envious losers bitch about why they don’t have more, and who’s to blame. But Hillary still manages to do this when she reads the acceptance speech she would have given, had she won in 2016. Just so everyone is aware, we’re now two presidents beyond that, but Hillary still can’t let it go — and that will never stop being funny.
Hillary, however, for most of the class, sounds like the Barry Goldwater Republican of her youth. She talks about devotion, she emphasizes hard work, personal responsibility, perseverance and holding on to values. Getting up when you’re knocked down, not feeling sorry for yourself. This is Boardroom Hillary and a far cry from the entity we saw running for president in 2016. But that rhetoric is roach spray to the social-justice goblins that have overrun her party, which is probably why it’s kept safely locked away behind such a pricy paywall.
When, as a “bonus feature” Hillary is joined by former chief of staff Huma Abedin — who, we’re told, is not Hillary’s lesbian life-partner — Abedin immediately recounts her first impression of Hillary, as being so much “smaller and prettier” in real life. This follows Hillary’s earlier kvetching about how women are unfairly judged on their appearance, which can’t possibly be because they relentlessly, uncontrollably, pathologically do it to each other.
Towards the end, Hillary reminds us about the truly chilling thing regarding her life, as we watch her getting older and sicker and more bitter every time she pops up on the television.
“In the end, you have to live with yourself,” she says.