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Sunday, 10 January 2016

Clinton vs. Clinton

By Jackie Atkins
[WC News Service]
It was touted as the pivotal event of a lackluster political season for the former First Lady of Arkansas, the USA, Senator from New York,and Secretary of State. No longer would she have to exert enthusiasm to the masses in stump speeches before hand select interns at Town Hall Meetings on Junior College campuses in Iowa and New Hampshire.
The big cannon would be fired. Watch out Donald, you’ll meet your match now. 
The American people (those old enough) we were told looked forward to this. William Jefferson Clinton, forty second President of the United States would unleash his charismatic glance, known to have enticed twenty-one-year-old interns under the desk in the Oval Office, and legendary maestro at the podium, was to hit the campaign trail in support of his wife for President of the United States.

People would flock to him, wait in fridged weather in Massachusetts, the way they lined for a chance to glimpse “the Donald.” For, in President Clinton, we had a true American hero. The man from Hope, Arkansas, the Rhodes Scholar, the student who was smitten with Hillary Rodham all those years ago, back in the Yale Law School Library, "by her brain.”
Look out Trump. Your days of garnering the headlines are limited!
So they came. The old, the tired, the women (lots of women). Hand selected for their loyalty (the Big Dog's first event, curiously enough, was not an open-door one), and enthusiasm for electing the first female President.
I couldn’t wait. After eight months of monotonous drool from Mrs. Clinton, snide barbs from Trump and Jeb Bush, finally some sophisticated give 'em hells! Let’s see you top this one Trump.
The stage was set. The audience prepped by a twenty-something metrosexual student from Nashau, New Hampshire.
I’m psyched. He we go!
Or so I thought, but how can I put down what happened when I saw this frail guy? That he needed a walker, a service dog, a senior citizen assistant? What a let down. He reminded me of countless stories on finding a long lost love on Facebook, meeting up, to only find the man that got away has a pot belly stomach, bald head, bad breath, and hair jutting out from his nose. Now, Mr. Bill was better groomed than this but much older than the Nordic God, Hillary talks about in her biography. Passages of A Death in Venice came to mind as I struggled to hear the meek offerings from the quiet man scrambling to remember his next thought.
Perhaps his ghost is a metaphor for  Mrs. Clinton campaign but she is in no need of symbols of her past indiscretions defending this man. Unfortunately, Donald Trump is  all too eager to point them out. I was promised some injection of enlightenment here instead I got a dose of heroin. Heroin and its usage in New Hampshire was a key point (I think) of Clinton’s speech. Why? Because it is an epidemic in New Hampshire or because he needed some more? Look, this primary has been full of surprises but I wasn’t prepared for the shock of seeing the glorious muse of my salad days reduced to an etiolated reed in need of arm assistance. This is Hillary’s big gun? 
What’s next? Jeb Bush wheeling out his father? Come to think of it, this could only energize the JEB! rallies.
Someone should tell the very well organized, dotting-I's-and-crossing-T's Mrs. Clinton how to wing it again. I know she got into Wellesley the old fashioned way (she had good SATs), but the she knew how to act truly audacious and seized the valedictory speech away from the highest-ranked girl in her senior class by a campaign to speak before the graduating student body because “she was relevant.” Her moxie brought her to Yale Law in the days when (as her husband pointed out) women were an oddity. She went to Washington and promptly got kicked out of the Watergate Committee because of too much aggression. Then -- and here her story takes a left turn -- having suffered alone, she decides to drive to Arkansas and learn from a master schmoozer. She needed him to smooth her rough edges. History followed. He became a governor. Lost re-election, ran again, got re-elected. Through a myriad of his sexual indiscretions, she hung in there. Cynics say out of desperation to stay relevant. He campaigned for the presidency. He won. She came along and preceded to take credit for all his accomplishments. Monica and the dress, and she stood by her man even though at the end of his term they went their separate ways. She runs for the Senate seat from New York State. She wins. She sets up house in DC and he stays in Chappaqua, New York. She runs for the presidency in 2008. She measures the drapes. Obama wins. He appoints her as Secretary of State, and Bill has all the free time in the world. 
Her ability though to be a good student to Bill’s steady hand in politics has hampered the brashness of her earlier years and rendered her something of a grind on the campaign trail. While she was a trailblazer before their marriage, all she achieved since then is because of it. Hardly a figurehead for the modern woman and more of a throwback to the Margaret Chase Smiths and Claire Booth Luces because, like them, she needed the 'Mrs.' in her name to get ahead.
And in the end, while still leading in the nomination for the Democrats, she fails to inspire without the help of her husband who, unfortunately, is too old to bring on any swooning from the peanut gallery. Poor girl -- and after giving him the best years of her life.