Sunday, 18 September 2016

Hillary Clinton (LSI): Personality Type Analysis

Hillary Rodham Clinton is an American lawyer, politician and occasional book author who ran as the Democratic nominee for the 45th President of the United States.

A native of Illinois, Hillary met her future husband Bill Clinton (EIE) at Yale Law School. After graduating and working as a congressional counsel in a House committee investigating the Watergate scandal, she decided to move to Arkansas, Bill's home state, together with him and building up a professional career there, as a law professor at the University of Arkansas. They eventually got married and she later became a partner of the prestigious (in Arkansas) Rose Law Firm. During those years, probably it can be said, simplistically, that she was the stable breadwinner while Bill focused on his political career, somewhat shaky at first. Concisely, he was elected Arkansas Attorney General in 1976, then Governor in 1978. He lost his first attempt at re-election in 1980 (the term being then 2 years only), but managed to return as governor in 1982, being then continually re-elected Governor of Arkansas and remaining in that office until shortly after being elected US president in 1992, an office he occupied until January 2001. During those years, as Bill Clinton's wife, Hillary was therefore active as First Lady of Arkansas and then as First Lady of the US. In late 2000 Hillary was elected Senator for New York (a state with which she had had little or no previous personal or professional connection) and re-elected in 2006. In 2008 she ran for the nomination of the Democratic Party for the presidential elections, but despite being the favorite as first, she was in the end defeated by then Senator Barack Obama (IEI). Upon his becoming president, she was appointed as Secretary of State, in which position she served during his first term only, as apparently agreed early on. After a period in private activities, most recently she won the Democratic nomination for the 2016 presidential election.

As a major public figure during so many years, there is obviously a vast amount of written and video information on Hillary Clinton. Yet it is probably fair to say that a lot of it is politicized, in the sense of being carefully calculated to promote her politically (such as her two books of memoirs as well her husband's), as well as most of her interviews as a political candidate. Conversely, many books and eyewitness reports by individuals who oppose her politically should also be taken with a pinch of salt. So for this Socionics analysis, I will focus on very early evidence, hopefully less 'tainted' with politics, then on general traits that seem consensual and consistent about her, as seen by her admirers and detractors alike.

The earliest and probably most important evidence is her 1969 commencement speech at Wellesley College when she was 21 - the very first student speaker there, elected apparently unanimously by the students. Given the circumstances of her life and of the technology at the time, and that she was addressing people who knew her well, it's probably fair to say that that speech is representative of her inner thoughts. She refers to herself and her fellow students as a collective; she focused on the fact that their generation still lacked "leadership and power", and is rather dismissive of the "empathy and sympathy" they have received (as being in the end meaningless). She focuses on politics being about "making the impossible, possible" and how the "inspiration" they had received from the 1960s decade (civil rights movement, space program, etc.) led to disappointed expectations when they arrived at college (meaning, implicitly, that it wasn't really a place for high-expectation dreams), even implying that she considered leaving at times; yet also saying that it was "tragic" when people have no optimistic vision of the future.

I would argue that this speech already strongly indicates that Hillary has F and T as quadra values - the focus on power, the frustration of the sense of powerlessness of her generation, the longing for inspiration towards very lofty goals. Her overall tone is slightly bitter, certainly not one to create comfortable S emotions among those present; on the contrary, I would guess that she intended it to be a bit uncomfortable. I would say that this already suffices to put Hillary squarely in the Beta or Gamma quadras.

Fast-forwarding, there is this interview of 1979, when she was about 32, and just recently after becoming Arkansas's first lady for the first time. The interview is mostly a series of "softballs", giving her a chance to give mostly politically and socially "neutral", even bland answers (like saying that Arkansas is the best place to be, etc.). Yet, at one point she gets more animated and digresses at some length, spontaneously, on the matter of the "image" the public, and people in general, may have of her and Bill, which will not be necessarily true, etc, but in the end it is something that is there and she has no control over it. In my view, this suggests that she acknowledges the public longer-term perception of someone, the "image", as something "real" and that she is aware of, even concerned about, but at the same time she feels sort of helpless about it as well. This is an indication of weak E+T, although probably valued, since she is aware and concerned about it. By comparison: I think an EIE, for instance, would either feel in control of her image and so not worry about it, or if worried, not mention it as a concern (as that would mean revealing too much). This would nevertheless point to the Beta quadra.

That is interesting looking at this April 1992 interview i.e. during Bill's first campaign for president. This video includes snapshots of public perceptions of her at the time, which consisted of her being "aggressive" and "ambitious" and even "the power behind the scenes" with the implication that Bill Clinton would be more like a figurehead. This is also reinforced in this other video of the the same year: the press took for granted that Bill was the man who "softened the edges" when talking about any subject, and Hillary was the one who "used a jackhammer". This is of course easily confirmed by looking at the videos themselves (and I daresay it's pretty obvious to anyone who has observed the  Clintons for any longer period). I would say that again points to Hillary having very weak E (certainly much weaker than her husband's) and an overall perception, I suggest justified, of having strong as well as valued F.

Without going into specific examples, I think this is obvious from her style when campaigning: she does not seem to enjoy the handshaking, ground work of campaigning in the sense of  talking to individuals - compare that to more natural politicians like Bill Clinton himself, George W. Bush (ESI), Barack Obama to some extent, or John McCain (ESI): McCain started his primary campaign in 2008 with little money, campaigning almost alone, driving across New Hampshire in a bus and sleeping in cheap motels, "having some fun" as his campaign manager put it - and managing to build up momentum to win the nomination. I daresay that such a feat would be totally beyond Hillary's inclinations and ability as a politician. Again, I think that points to not only weak E but also not strong R.

On her apparent areas of confidence: Hillary Clinton is much more comfortable in other kinds of environment, even hostile ones, such as answering detailed technical questions on her original health care plan during the early years of her husband's presidency ("Hillarycare"), besides the fact that that was the role she chose for herself, with Bill's agreement, which points to having confidence on L and P. Likewise, in her 2008 primary debates against Barack Obama, it is clear that she saw her "heavy artillery" in  argumentation as being a master of detail and spotter of supposed logical and factual inconsistencies, not trying to compete with Obama at the level of "passionate guide to a brighter future" (as Bill Clinton could easily do).

What we seem to have is someone of strong and valued F, very weak (but I think valued) E, valued and somewhat strong T, strong L and P, not strong R (but also not obviously weak as R4 either). All of that points to a Beta logical type, so LSI or even SLE. Her level of activity and energy, which seems more constant and low-key rather than "in your face" points to an integrator rather than energizer type. Her approach to E - cautious, "rehearsed", artificial, mechanical - also fits much better E5 rather than E6 of SLEs. So all points to LSI as Hillary Clinton's type. As is sometimes the case with integrator types, her L1 is not immediately apparent as such in isolation; her true deeper worldviews and ideologies are probably something she keeps private. Her L is more visible in her approach to argumentation.

Sources: besides the videos linked to above, there are of course countless others. The reference to John McCain in 2008 came from Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's book on that years election, "Game Change". My general impression of Hillary Clinton as a person was first shaped by Carl Bernstein's biography, "A Woman in Charge".

To learn more about LSI click here.

If you are confused by our use of Socionics shorthand, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment