Clinton is known for taking a draft of a speech and changing it some indelible way to make it more literal and less readable. (The joke at her Brooklyn campaign headquarters is that she would take the public safety slogan “If You See Something, Say Something,” and, in her literal-minded way, change it to say, “If You See Something, Alert the Proper Authorities.”)
The entire episode illustrated Clinton’s paradox: on the one hand, she’s a deeply involved candidate who trusts her own instincts. But on the other, she still struggles, after all these years, when it comes to messaging — and remains almost hostile to the idea of a narrative that Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and even Donald Trump seem to craft so naturally.
Interviews with more than half a dozen Clinton allies inside and outside of her campaign reveal a candidate who remains deeply insecure when trying to commit to a message about her campaign, and reluctant to indulge in the rhetorical flourishes that make for the rousing poetry of campaigns.