Jewish World Review June 16, 2003 / 16 Sivan, 5763
Debra J. Saunders
Feeling sorry for Hillary
For some time now, I've lived by a hard-and-fast
rule: Never criticize the people around Bill Clinton
more than you criticize Clinton himself. Bashing
those around him only takes the heat off the guy who
abused the presidency.
Unless Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., runs for
president -- and I don't think she will -- or unless I
move to New York, I see no reason to change that
rule. The release of her new book, "Living History,"
Don't get me wrong. I don't mean to paint Mrs. C as a
victim. Why should I buy into the victim act when it
allowed H.R.C. to parlay her husband's cheating into
an out-of-state Senate seat and an $8 million book
Life gave her lemons; she made lemonade. Now,
because of her husband's philandering, suckers are
lining up to pay $28 for a pack of half-truths and
outright lies. (As in her statement: "I was
dumbfounded, heartbroken and outraged that I'd
believed him at all," on the morning Clinton allegedly
'fessed up to Monica.)
The worst of it is her customers must know that La
Hil never intended to tell the real story -- she always
was going to deliver the most spin she thought she
could get away with -- but they queue up anyway.
Love is blind.
So is hate. Critics put too much of the bad juju on
her, not him.
To start with, how many times have you heard people
say of l'affaire Monica,
"Well, if she didn't mind . . ." (That's a favorite line of
They talk as if Clinton cheated, not because he's a
heel, but because Hillary put up with it.
The right won't forgive Hillary Clinton's 1992
performance on "60 Minutes" after the Gennifer
Flowers affair came to light. They complain that
during that pivotal interview Hillary appeared
supportive as her husband pooh-poohed Flowers'
claim that they had been involved.
OK, Hillary nodded her head in support, but Bill
Clinton said Flowers lied for the money -- and he had
been a lot closer to Flowers.
(We now know he lied on "60 Minutes," because he
told Ken Starr's team he had sex with Flowers
Besides, while critics say Mrs. C. tried to smear his
women, it's expecting too much to demand that the
erstwhile feminist former first lady show such a
strong sense of sisterhood that she stand up for
Flowers. Not when Flowers has told the world she
had sex with Hillary's husband in Hillary's house
while Hillary was at home.
Be clear on this: Clinton not only used women; he
conducted smear campaigns against them. Before
he ran for president, he made sure that other people
knew what he was doing. He didn't just cheat; he
advertised. Isn't that behavior worse than her enabling
Besides, if she was an enabler, so were the
In part, Hillary Clinton fascinates us because people
want to know what glue holds the Democratic Duo
together -- ambition or a pathetic conviction that a
man who steps out on his wife is more interesting
and desirable? I suspect that she started with the
latter, but that feeling waned until only ambition was
It doesn't speak well for the senator from New York
that to this day, she blames the right. During her
book tour, La Hil keeps warning that the "right wing"
wants to "turn back the clock" in this country. Turn
back the clock? Does she mean back to the days
when pols fooled around while those around them
covered up? Back to the double standard when men
roamed and women, well, stayed home and baked
cookies? Back to the days when the "other women"
were bad, while the husband was forgiven? No, she
helped turn that clock back.
No matter. Hillary's reward for tolerating abuse is a
Senate seat, the adoration of liberals and a
best-selling book. Her punishment is the knowledge
that she got everything she has, not on her own, but
as a sop for allowing her husband to, well, date.
I feel sorry for her.
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© 2000, Creators Syndicate