The now-day-old Hillary Clinton presidential campaign wants you to know one very important thing about the former First Lady, New York Senator and Secretary of State: She's just like you!
The video her campaign released Sunday places Clinton firmly in this just-another-person-with-some-plans-and-challenges-in 2015 space.
Clinton barely appears in the video -- she is neither seen nor heard from until 90 seconds in -- and, when she does appear it's to say this: "I'm getting ready to do something, too. I'm running for president."
Then there is the fact that Clinton is taking a bus -- it's nicknamed the Scooby van! -- to Iowa to visit with regular people as her first stop as a presidential candidate. And she's stopping at gas stations. And taking pictures. Just like you!
Or the error message you get on her campaign page when you type in a broken URL.
You can bet there will be more tweets, Instagrams, videos and quotes in the days to come about Hillary eating in places like The Machine Shed (just like you!) and stopping by the Field of Dreams (just like you!)
There's, obviously, a strategy behind all of this emphasis on averageness. One of the major failures of her 2008 presidential campaign was that people didn't believe that Clinton cared or understood much about them. Look at the 2008 Iowa caucus entrance poll. Among people who said the most important trait in a candidate was someone who "cares about people like me", Clinton placed a distant third behind John Edwards, who dominated among that group, and Barack Obama.
If 2008 was about "Me" for Clinton, 2016 is supposed to be about "Us."
Here's the problem: Hillary Clinton hasn't been "us" for, well, almost her entire adult life. She was featured in Life magazine in 1969 after making history as the first student to give a commencement address at Wellesley College. By 30, she was married to the Arkansas attorney general and by her mid 30s she was firmly ensconced as the first lady of the Natural State. Then, starting in 1991, Clinton was (and is) an ever-present figure on the national and international stage -- first as the most powerful First Lady in modern memory, then as a Senator, then as a presidential candidate and, finally, as the nation's top diplomat.
There is no one in political life with a resume as deep, unique and varied as Clinton. No one. But, the fact that she has been "Hillary Clinton" for the better part of, well, forever makes it extremely difficult to re-package her as just like the rest of us. The truth is that Hillary hasn't been a regular person in a very, very long time. She has been famous for decades on end -- instantly recognizable since back in the days when cell phones looked like this.
Yes, she can ride a van to Iowa. And, yes, she can (and almost certainly will) eat deep-fried butter on a stick. But, she will never stop being "Hillary Clinton" for almost everyone who votes for her and who doesn't. It's an almost-impossible task to re-shape public perception about someone like Clinton who has not only been famous for decades but also about whom people have had strong opinions for almost that entire time.
That reality speaks to the fundamental truth of this race for Hillary: Her greatest attribute is that she's Hillary Clinton. Her greatest weakness is that she's Hillary Clinton.