I had the sudden, strange realization today that for as long as I’ve been alive, Hillary Clinton has been somewhere in the universe, trying to become President. She was the first serious female politician I was ever aware of, and she was always reaching. My political awakening, which happened as a teenager in the late 1990s, is forever imprinted with disjointed images of Hillary and Bill Clinton in the post-Monica period: she refused to hold the president’s hand, he looked sheepish every time a photo appeared of them together, and Chelsea Clinton.. I can’t even imagine what she was going through.
The Hillary Clinton time in the White House was marked by scandal and that is what I remember of it. I never hated her the way others seemed to. I did think she was a shrill female, the very worst kind, but it didn’t seem to be personal. It was almost as if she was a cardboard cut-out of a 1960s feminist and so it was easy (perhaps too easy) to dismiss her. I found the unflattering pictures of her to be unfair, but I think all pictures that show women aging and looking less than perfect are unfair. What is their crime? Just aging? Failure to be beautiful at the exact moment somebody pulls out a camera? So sue them. Sue me.
Rush Limbaugh’s remark during the 2008 primaries that people don’t want to see a woman age in office struck me as intensely painful because it sounds true. If there are websites dedicated to all the unflattering pictures of Hillary now, I could only imagine the proliferation if she were president. I think the media’s treatment of both Hillary and Sarah Palin were deplorable. They treated Hillary like she was not even there, and they treated Palin with scorn.
She had always insisted on being part of the political discourse, but I only started to dislike Hillary when she ran for Senator of New York. It seemed like (and was) a cheap political ploy – a really silly thing for a former First Lady to do. But she campaigned and won, and so kudos to her. At this point, I knew that I was a conservative and her socialist ideas were anathema to me. She seemed like a relentless political monster, much more so than even Bill, and I actually respected her for that, even if I did find such a gluttony for power a little off-putting.
After serving her time in the Senate, she made it known she was running for President. I’m not a Democrat, of course, but if I were, I’d have voted for Hillary to be the candidate for 08. I can honestly say if the choice was Hillary or Obama, I’d take Hillary. Here is why: Hillary would not have passed the monstrous health care bill that Obama did, and Hillary’s political aims are much more in line with liberals and Democrat’s views. She is coo-coo about child rights, all that It Takes A Village crap, but I think there is really nothing she could have done, no policy she could have implemented that would have the huge, sweeping change that Obama has wrought. She’s in bed with the feminists and abortion advocates, but could she do, make Roe v. Wade super-legal or something? Extra legal? Even expanding abortion to the maximum would not have affected as many people as Obama is affecting. Her economic policies would have been much more financially stable and sustainable for the country. She would have probably had a very similar response to Iraq and Afghanistan as Obama (and Bush), and she’d have the cache of being the First Woman President.
Instead she is the Second Woman Secretary of State, or put another way: the first white female Secretary of State. And she’s been a weird one. She’s not very vocal, she’s not seen on tv very much. I think she might be secretly plotting to run for President in 2012. Another thought occurs to me just now. I wonder if Obama will decide not to run in 2012, and run Hillary instead, thereby giving the Democrats a shot at holding the presidency for a full eight years. He’d have to fall on his sword to do that though and I just don’t see Obama subjugating himself or giving up power willingly. Still, Hillary’s silence brings up the question: what’s she doing?
Plotting, no doubt. But what?
In a weird way, I like having Hillary around. There’s a certain comfort in knowing every day that the sun will rise gloriously over Manhattan and set over Malibu, the pyramids will stand for a thousand more years, and Hillary Clinton will still be thirsting for power.