Sunday, June 03, 2007

Heard About the Lindbergh Baby? Hillary Did It

Why on earth would anyone read a book about Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.)? The only possible excuse would be if you were getting paid to review it.

I understand why people write books about Clinton. They want to make money. Publishers have so far resisted the impulse to put out campaign biographies of Joe Biden or Mitt Romney, and one can see why. Barack Obama spoiled things by writing his own damn autobiography, closing out a lucrative option for slothful top-shelf Washington political reporters.

I understand why people BUY books about Clinton. They hate her, for whatever reasons, and purchasing new "tell-all" tomes is a way of demonstrating their commitment to that emotion. The human impulse one's nose to spite one's face is eternal. The U.S. is a very big country, and if only one-tenth of one percent of its adult citizens are willing to plunk down $29.95 in order to vent, the author has a best-seller and a down payment on a second home in Nag's Head, N.C.

But read the damn thing? That I don't get. What could there possibly be in it we don't already know. What could be in it the most remote resident of the most remote village in New Guinea doesn't already know? Through little fault of her own, Clinton stands as the world's symbol for the phrase "too much information." Or rather, too much bullshit packaged as information.

This paragraph contains every bit of actual knowledge about Clinton we have and frankly, need to have, at this stage of the presidential campaign. Clinton is an intelligent, ambitious, hard-working American politician whose views are slightly left of center. She's respected by if not wholly popular with her Senate colleagues. As an American woman near the top of our society, she arouses strong emotions pro and con a male colleague of identical views would not. She keeps her own counsel, and prefers to err on the side of caution. Her marriage has had its ups and downs.

That's it, gang. The attempt of the U.S. political press to turn those facts into "Grey's Anatomy" caliber melodrama is merely proof of said press' corrupt irrelevance. Subtract the sniggering and the sexism and what's left is Hillary Clinton, run of the mill boring American pol.

Which is not to say Clinton couldn't be an effective and popular President. A little tedium in the public sphere sounds pretty good right now. A Chief Executive who looks before they leap has his/her virtues, as we've learned the hard way recently. But that doesn't explain why Clinton is deemed so endless fascinating. She's not.

The truth is, many people in Washington, the ones who blight cable news and the Sunday talk shows, hate, fear, and are obsessed with Clinton because she beat them. They caught her hubby with Monica Lewinsky, and he was supposed to resign. He would've too, if Ms. Clinton had kicked Bill's philandering ass to the Pennsylvania Ave. curb.

She didn't, For reasons known only to herself, Clinton stuck with her husband through the most public humiliation possible. And in the most sensible decision the great American public has made in my lifetime, the citizenry examined her decision, which got a fair amount of press coverage, and concluded, "if SHE doesn't think this is worth dumping the big lug, I sure don't."

The rotted elite at the top of our political discourse will never forgive nor forget Clinton for beating them, and worse, for revealing the public doesn't listen to a word they say. Clinton is too reserved to use her most potent campaign appeal, the just plain fun it would be to see so many pompous heads explode on January 20, 2009 when she takes the oath of office.

Her loss. In the meantime, stand by for more doorstops, I mean, books.


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