Jewish World Review March 15, 2004/ 22 Adar, 5764
Here comes Hillary, but not to rescue
You never can tell what Bill Clinton is
up to, since little boys in Hot
Springs learn early to mark the
cards. When the ex-prez sounds
honest, forthright and
statesmanlike, a cautious man
consults his darkest suspicions.
Mr. Clinton told his fellow
Democrats the other day to give
George W. Bush a break. He doesn't
think the Bush administration will
meet its June 30 deadline for
transferring political control of Iraq
to a native government, but he
warns that throwing rocks at
George W. isn't helpful.
"If this political campaign is about
what we were told about weapons of
mass destruction," he told a
business breakfast in Manhattan,
"that's a legitimate political issue,
but we are where we are. And if the
president cannot keep to the
timetable he said, I don't think we
ought to give him any grief about it.
I think we ought to say, 'Let's just
follow through.' "
We've learned not to read Bill
Clinton's lips, but to diagram his
sentences. You're never in doubt
about the subject of the sentence,
which is always a familiar proper
noun, but you never know where
the predicate will lead. George and
Laura might want to hold off on
inviting Bill to sleep over in the
Lincoln Bedroom the next time he's
in town. The kind words were not
meant for George W. (or even the
national interest), but for the
interests of the Clintons.
His remarks only appear to have
been a warning to the Democratic
partisans to ease up. The remarks,
high-minded though they sound,
even undiagrammed, were actually a
warning to John Kerry: "Just to remind you that it's a long
way to November. Hillary and I have knives for every occasion,
and they're all sharp."
The 2004 election is pivotal in the ambitions of the
Clintons, who have successfully embedded sleeper agents
across the party landscape. If Hillary has ambitions to recover
the White House for the fun couple, it's necessary to make
sure there is no Kerry presidency unless she is a part of it.
If she is a part of it, as the putative vice president, she will
allow Monsieur Kerry only a share of the limelight. If she is not
a part of the "Love-bug ticket" emulating the tiny Gulf
coastal marshflies (Plecia nearctica) who fly locked in
permanent embrace, the smaller male backward with the
larger, stronger female in control of the flight plan there
probably won't be a Kerry presidency. There might not be one
even with her help. Life can be unfair, flying backward.
The controlling arithmetic is simple and cast in iron. Hillary
is 57 now. Four years hence she will be 61, moving swiftly
past the shady side of prime for Hollywood leading ladies,
high-fashion consultants and female presidential candidates.
If Monsieur Kerry runs without her, and wins, that leaves
her on the sidelines cruising toward 65 and becoming eligible
for Social Security in 2012, when the second Kerry term ends.
She would probably have to contend then with the vice
president to succeed Monsieur Kerry. Who might that be?
Dick Gephardt? Bill Richardson? Bob Graham? Dennis
Kucinich? The good news is that by 2012 the Clinton years
will have long since faded in the public mind. Bill will have
achieved rogue status as good ol' Bill, the rascal uncle in the
nation's attic, Monica Lewinsky will be nothing but a name for
Trivial Pursuit and Hillary might no longer have the highest
negatives in American politics. The bad news is that by 2012,
she would be just another senator getting a little long in the
tooth, trying to hang on to the congressional perks for one
September is lovebug season along the Gulf Coast, when
the not-so-lovable little flies splatter by the billions against
windshields, clog radiator grills and ruin picnics, and the picnic
they would damage most this year would be the Kerry picnic.
Not all 57 of the Heinz sauces could save it. The
correspondents of press and tube salivate at the prospect of
Hillary as Monsieur Kerry's running mate, and why not? The
monsieur would be the also-ran of the campaign, more
compelling than only Ralph Nader, foreshadowing a Kerry
administration when political celebrities all over the world
would be dying to attract Hillary to the funeral.
Monsieur Kerry finds himself in a true dilemma, with every
alternative (to use the word loosely) worse than the others.
Bill and Hillary, who hold all those marked cards, are
determined to make the choice for him.
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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor in chief of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.
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