WASHINGTON, D.C. - On the topic of Hillary Rodham Clinton, a possible candidate for president, let’s grab a Conventional Wisdom Freeze Frame.
Two action sequences set the stage for the snapshot. First, news stories report that the Clinton Foundation has taken money from foreign sources and governments when it promised it wouldn’t. Cut to The New York Times, which breaks the story that as Secretary of State, Clinton used her private email for official business instead of the government email system. Drip, drip, drip.
Off screen to the right, Clinton-haters, now into their second-generation, see even more proof that Mr. and Mrs. Sneaky and Sleazy haven’t changed one iota. If it weren’t for the liberal media and slush funds fed by hedge fund moguls, sheiks and billionaires from the Orient, the Clintons would be bunking in Club Fed.
Off screen left, Team Clinton girds for Wave XXIII of the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy, enabled by Fox News and bankrolled by hedge fund moguls, sheiks and billionaires from the Orient.
“They know what the caricature of them is and they play right into it,” says Frank Bruni in The New York Times. “They’re familiar with the rap against them and generously feed it.”
“Hillary Clinton may not have a serious opponent for the Democratic nomination — except herself,” writes Ruth Marcus at The Washington Post. “The Clintons’ unfortunate tendency to be their own worst enemy is on display again, with reports that, as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton conducted official business solely from a personal e-mail account.”
These are elegant expressions, almost literary. There is something riveting about the drama of this Shakespearean couple, their insatiable ambition and prodigious talent; their idealism and their hubris; their celebrity and their secrets; their heroic stature and tragic flaws. Foreign donations and secrets emails are things that happen to those who fly so close to the sun.
Are these two people really so much larger than life, so complicated, so epic?
I suppose the answer has to be yes, since we’ve been arguing about this couple now for 23 years. We have to invest them with magical powers.
My kids went to the same place from nursery school through high school. By senior year, they were desperate for a new group of kids, teachers and grown-ups to talk about and fuss over. Get me out of Dodge, they felt.
I feel the same way about the Clintons. I resent that Clinton the Female is running simply for the fact that I am sick of hearing about them and listening to theories about what makes them tick.
Maybe part of the allure of Clinton-watching is that they are really the first couple to rise so high in America.
Or maybe it is just that Hillary herself is the most powerful woman in our history. We can more easily understand Bill. He is a type – the lovable rogue. There is not an archetypal American Hillary.
Whatever. I’m sorry, but I have serious Clinton fatigue and the election is a year and a half away.