The third topic that was covered was unstated and overarching: that Clinton is approachable and appealing. That’s the whole point of the thing, of course, the point of her appearing on live television at midnight (with the full understanding that the critical audience will watch it streaming the next day). But the bit couldn't help but point it out explicitly, as when McKinnon-as-Clinton told Clinton-as-Val that she was “easy to talk to,” prompting Clinton-as-Val to say, “That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that.”
The conceit of the bit — which, you’ve seen by now, I assume — is that McKinnon-as-Clinton is only imagining the conversation with Clinton-as-Val. Cecily Strong, playing Huma Abedin, enters after a brief (bad) song interlude to point out that there is no “Val.” “No,” McKinnon replies. “She was real. And smart, and really nice in person.”
The most important point to make here, though, is probably that this appearance will be included for years in reminiscences of the 2016 election. But by itself, it will not tilt the scales in one direction or the other. If you see someone say to you, Wow, that Hillary appearance probably really helped/hurt her, you have my permission to report them to the authorities.Au contraire. The most important point to make here is that NBC and SNL are in the tank for Hillary, and so is the gushing WaPo TV hound. Try getting an unscripted Clinton to come clean about, say, her Benghazi misadventure or her unclassified/classified emails or her husband's sketchy fundraising and you'll see how "nice" and "easy to talk to" she really is.
Update: From Politico:
The skit made no mention of the email scandal that has been damaging Clinton’s campaign so far. Nor did it deal with her main rival for the Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders, or Vice President Joe Biden’s potential entry into the race. Instead, the appearance handed Clinton an opportunity to be self-deprecating, winking at her own stiffness and acknowledging some of her own weaknesses in a manner that seemed to score her points with the audience.Hillary? Self-deprecating? Now, that really does take talent.
Update: My favorite funny Hillary moment so far was when, asked whether she had deliberately wiped clean her email server she suddenly went all blonde and, Marcel Marceau-ing a circular wiping motion, said, "What? Like with a cloth?"
Oscar-worthy, was that one.