Here’s part of Hillary Clinton‘s problem in the current polls: she doesn’t bake cookies. In fact, Clinton once denied baking cookies with such a passion that some women never listened to her again. (“I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas,” said Clinton in 1992,”but instead I entered my profession.”) Clinton may bake now — she certainly likes to give the impression that she does. But the overwhelming image of Hillary Clinton among women voters remains that of a non-cookie baker. And even though it’s now 2015, it seems clear that if a woman wants to be president — especially a woman as ambitious and accomplished as Hillary Clinton — she needs to be able to present as warm and gracious. That means, in part, she needs to be able to turn on the oven, at least for the kids. The cookie vote swing may be as key to the Clinton campaign as the Iran nuclear deal.
Millions of women who care about both cookies and Iran watch Ellen DeGeneres. Hillary Clinton will appear on Ellen Thursday to help her try to reach these women. DeGeneres specializes in warm and fuzzy, or warm and funny. She’s also probably the second most famous female pants-wearer in the US, after Clinton herself. The two should be able to dance a bit (look for cute and awkward, decidedly humanizing, and totally not improvised) and talk about families, inclusion, openness, middle class values (ahem, cookies), etc. Can DeGeneres get the predominantly female audience that so admires her to buy Ms. Clinton as a warm soul who knows from chocolate chips? That’s the goal. All in all, HRC would probably rather be on Face the Nation, but you’ve got to preheat the oven.