NYT’s Galanes Commiserates With Hillary, 'Ugly Betty' Actress Over 'Future of Democacy'

September 18th, 2017 10:50 PM

The New York Times’ resident chatterer Philip Galanes took his usual perch on the front of the paper’s Sunday Styles for his “Table for Three” Q&A, with Hillary Clinton and “Ugly Betty” actress America Ferrara, “Pain and Progress After 2016 -- Hillary Clinton on the election’s emotional toll and a path forward.

These politicized Galanes noshes provide valuable and sympathetic publicity for liberal elites like presidential wannabe Sen. Elizabeth Warren, grazing in their natural element of ritzy Manhattan restuarants.

Among the many pretentious photo captions from the late lunch at the Lambs Club in Manhattan, which transpired a few days before Clinton’s book was released: “Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Ferrera and Philip Galanes discussed the future of democracy.”

This quote from Clinton stood out as a text box: “This has to be called out for what it is: a cultural, political, economic game that’s being played to keep women in their place.” No mention that Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump among white women.

Galanes’ questions to his guests were no less fawning.

Hiking, yoga, reading, prayer, chardonnay (but not Xanax): These are the things, along with family and friends, that helped Hillary Clinton after her stunning defeat in the presidential election last year. But these are gentle pastimes. What about kicking things -- or weeping?

“No,” Mrs. Clinton said ruefully, across the table. “I was more devastated than angry. Just overwhelmed. I tried to ground myself in what I was feeling. And what I felt was profound disappointment, worry for the path forward, and that I had let people down.”

She let people down? America Ferrera, the actress and activist sitting next to Mrs. Clinton, looked stricken.


Over late-afternoon snacks of charred shishito peppers, crispy brussels sprouts and cheese (iced tea for Mrs. Clinton, white wine for Ms. Ferrera) at the Lambs Club restaurant in Manhattan, the pair spoke candidly about the emotional aftermath of Mrs. Clinton’s loss; the deep national divides made plain by the election; and the paths they want to chart going forward.

Galanes really laid on the treacle: “'Letting people down’ ties to a theme that runs through your book: feeling like you were on a high wire without a net. No room for error, perfection required. Many of us who are different feel that way. How far back does it go with you?....And yet you’ve done about 17 things before any other woman.”

Clinton replied: “It’s difficult for me to see my story as one of revolution. But I was part of the women’s movement that led to a revolution not just in laws, but in attitudes and doors that had been closed to young women opening. I’m grateful for that, but I’m also conscious of the continuing double standard: I have to be better than everyone; I have to work harder. There’s no margin for me when others have so much leeway. It’s a pressure cooker all the time. I try to pull the curtain back so that young, dynamic women like America can see themselves in historic context and know they can overcome the obstacles in their way.”


Galanes: “Tucked into the middle of the book is a very gentle primer on being a woman in politics: No anger, no defensiveness, just laying out the story with data...Is your hope that education, not anger, gets this job done?”

Clinton, knowing a sympathetic voice when she hears it, treated Galanes as a sob sister, not a reporter.

Galanes: “You write that when people are mad, they want to vent. And they want a candidate who vents, not a 10-point plan to fix things.”

That gave Clinton an opening to vent at right-wing media: “You put your finger on one of my challenges. I understood that people were upset. They hadn’t fully recovered from the financial crisis. But I believed there would come a time in the campaign when people would say: “O.K., what are you going to do for me?” But there was so much anger, and not just from the candidate -- from Fox News, Breitbart, the Russians who were stealing information and weaponizing it, making stuff up, putting it into Facebook posts.”

Even a potential criticism of Clinton was frantically turned around by Galanes: “Another criticism of your campaign is that you relied too heavily on identity politics, to the exclusion of an economic message. But thinking about what you just said, it was the opposite: Trump relied on identity.”

The interview concluded with Galanes gushing: “So, neither of you plans to ‘shut up and go away already,’ as requested by several media outlets?”

Clinton took the bait: “You are right about that, Philip!”

Oh, joy.