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Jewish World ReviewJune 1, 2000 /27 Iyar, 5760

Don Feder

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Consumer Reports

Should New Yorkers give Hillary another fix? -- OUR POOR LITTLE FIRST LADY just can't get a break.

Plagued by prostate cancer and marital woes, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani dropped out of the Senate race, and in days his successor, Rep. Rick Lazio, zoomed to within 2 points of Mrs. Clinton in a preference poll.

Lazio started on the right foot, berating Hillary as "far left."

Ms. Rodham shot back that she was shocked and saddened that her opponent "seemed to be running a campaign of insults" -- then implied that because Lazio isn't as fanatically anti-gun as she, he probably wants to distribute AK-47s to toddlers and serial killers.

There are many ways for Lazio to run against the first lady. But, there's really only one issue in this race.

It's not the carpetbagger issue. Though, frankly, my dog (whose master was born and raised in the Albany area) had more contacts with the Empire State than Hillary before the Clintons bought a house there.

It's not Hillary's radical ties, stretching from her involvement in the Black Panther trial as a Yale law student to her early choice of Dr. Johnetta Cole (a Castro worshipper) for secretary of education. It's not about the fact that she's a big-government groupie, who longs to manage our health care, raise our children and repeal the Second Amendment.

It isn't even her personal corruption -- that she's a Porsche pinko who will do anything for a buck, witness her $99,537 profit on a $1,000 investment in cattle futures.

Forget her lies to Whitewater investigators, including the claim that she did virtually no legal work for Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan (whose default cost taxpayers $4 million) when those Sigfried and Roy billing records showed she'd performed 60 billable hours of work for the S&L with state regulators.

Her fingerprints are all over the travel office purge (former White House aide David Watkins says Hillary told him five days before the firings, "We need those people out -- we need our people in") and the misuse of 900 FBI personnel files. Deborah Perroy, a former National Security Council aide, reported "everyone knew" that Security Chief Craig Livingstone "was really working for Mrs. Clinton."

There's also credible evidence that Hillary put Beijing bag man John Huang in the Commerce Department, where he'd have access to hundreds of classified documents relating to technology transfers, in return for cash for the president's legal defense fund.

No, the paramount issue in the race is Mrs. Clinton's role as first facilitator.

In return for political power, she shielded her husband from charges of sexual impropriety. She lied for him. He lied under oath; she covered up for him. She led the campaign to smear his accusers. Bill Clinton wiped his feet on the Constitution, and Hillary tidied up the mess.

One of the rake's Arkansas trooper bodyguards testified to procuring over 100 women for him. Hillary never knew -- and the World War II German general staff had no idea that genocide was afoot.

From the "60 Minutes" Gennifer Flowers interview, where she held Bill's hand as he confessed to causing "pain" in their marriage (making it seem a momentary aberration) to the "Today Show" appearance when the Lewinsky scandal broke ("a vast right-wing conspiracy" was out to destroy the co-presidency), she was his rock and his redeemer.

She orchestrated the hits on Flowers (a floozy), Paula Jones (trailer-park trash) and Monica Lewinsky (a stalker). During the impeachment crisis, she rallied House Democrats as a "wife who loves and supports her husband." She is a woman in love with power. She backed him because he gave her the clout she craves like a drug. She got a West Wing office, Cabinet appointments, leadership of the effort to remake health care and more input than Al Gore.

Bill got cover, the facade of a loving (if at times long-suffering) wife and a bareknuckles political combatant, adept at deflecting inquiries and ruining reputations, in his corner.

After Hillary's eight years at the nucleus of national government, should New York voters give her another fix? Are there not enough manipulators, corrupters and power whores in the Senate without sending another to that body?

JWR contributing columnist Don Feder's latest book is Who's Afraid of the Religious Right. Comment on his column by clicking here.


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© 2000, Creators Syndicate