Barbara J. Stock
January 26, 2007
Why is it Hillary Clinton's turn?
By Barbara J. Stock

Is it possible for Hillary Clinton to separate herself from her infamous husband and now claim center stage for herself? America was told it was getting "two for the price of one," when Bill Clinton won the presidency in 1993. If Bill and Hillary were truly co-presidents for eight years, why then, does Hillary even deserve her own personal presidency?

The question is whether anyone knows the real Hillary Rodham Clinton. Is she the feminist who refused to take her husband's name until it became apparent the down-to-Earth folks in Arkansas wouldn't understand if she didn't?

In a conversation with Susan McDougal, Hillary related that she once had to show her disappointed parents where Arkansas was on the map. She then bitterly told Susan, "They thought I would end up in Washington, D.C. doing something with my life." Instead, she was stuck in what she considered to be a backwards hick state full of chauvinistic, red-necked, uneducated, sod-kickers. There was never any love between Hillary and Arkansas. Hillary had no intention of ever returning to the home of the Razorbacks which is why she headed for suave and sophisticated New York when she decided to run for the senate.

Hillary was married to the attorney general of Arkansas, Bill Clinton and Bill's pay was about $26,000 a year. It was hardly the wealth and fame that Hillary Rodham was seeking. While she worked at the Rose Law Firm, Hillary tried to ignore the rumors of her husband's womanizing. As Bill walked around without a single dollar on him, allowing his aides to pay the tabs, Hillary had to worry about the bills.

Hillary Rodham was the woman who had been featured in Life magazine as the commencement speaker of Wellesley College. She was a graduate of Yale Law School and a staff member of the House Judiciary Committee that forced a president to resign. Her friends were taking prestigious law clerking jobs in some of the most famous and important law firms all over the country. The woman, who had declared that corporate America's greed was the cause of all of America's problems, was now making $24,000 as a token female associate in an Arkansas law firm and was looking for ways to make more money.

When Bill Clinton was elected governor of Arkansas, becoming the First Lady of Arkansas should have raised Hillary's status considerably. What actually happened was her roving husband had more opportunities for one-night-stands. Hillary had to suffer the embarrassment of watching the new governor, her husband, sneak off from his own inauguration party with an attractive blonde. Many at the party saw the departure and tried to be discrete when they whispered and giggled, but by that time, Hillary had apparently learned how to look the other way in public and just act like none of it ever happened. In short, Hillary had learned early on as Mrs. Bill Clinton, how to lie. She not only lied to herself, but she lied to the public to protect her husband's political image. This talent would serve her well when she and Bill appeared on "60 Minutes" a few years later and conned Americans into believing that Bill Clinton's womanizing days were over.

The staff at the Arkansas governor's mansion often took the brunt of Hillary's anger as did the Arkansas State police assigned to protect the governor, Bill Clinton. When Hillary would wake up to find her husband gone, she would set out to find him and word would quickly go out for the wandering Bill to get home to face the wrath of Hillary. Their fights became so legendary, that they would later be parodied on "Saturday Night Live" in skits portraying a battered Bill promising never to do it again and police warning Hillary that they just couldn't allow her to pound on the governor like that.

But through it all, Hillary stayed with Bill Clinton. Why? No doubt, Hillary gave up her bright future because of love. An attractive, popular young man swept her off her feet promising her that he had a bright future. He was man going somewhere and wanted her to come along with him. The plain-Jane girl with the big glasses and dirty blonde hair was probably in awe of the charismatic Bill Clinton who had such big dreams.

Bill Clinton's mother was not terribly impressed with Hillary. She asked her son why he didn't find a more attractive woman to marry. He told her when it came to his wife, looks didn't matter but brains did. Where he planned to go, he needed a smart wife; the looks could be worked on. It seems that Bill wasn't looking for a wife as much as he was looking for a political partner and, in the end, that's what he got.

When Bill Clinton's presidency was threatened by yet another foray into adultery, Bill needed Hillary to stand strong, in public anyway, with him. Hillary blamed the evil "right wing conspiracy" for all the lies about her husband. Everyone probably remembers Hillary's well-rehearsed shock when the truth could no longer be denied nor blamed on Newt Gingrich or Rush Limbaugh. In light of Bill's history and Hillary's knowledge and acceptance of his behavior, one would have to be pretty nave to believe that she didn't know about Bill's affair with intern Monica Lewinski. However, by this time, Hillary didn't care much about Bill's reputation, but she did care about her own and she cared about their legacy.

It was often rumored that as a reward for the "60 Minutes" academy-award-winning performance, Hillary was given the job of reforming America's ailing health care system. It was a disaster. Hillary's plan was pure socialized medicine. Americans were not the least bit interested, and Hillary's leadership qualities certainly did not come to the fore. Hillary made it clear she wanted no real input from the health care industry and people began to realize their choices would be very limited. Doctors learned that if they dared practice medicine outside Hillary's plan they could be jailed. It was so bad that even Democrats abandoned her to distance themselves from her plan. It was quietly and unceremoniously shelved, never again to see the light of day. Some blamed the unexpected and stunning Democratic loss of the House and Senate in 1994 on the abomination dubbed, "Hillarycare." If this was what a co-presidency looked like, Americans made it well known that they wanted no part of it.

After the Hillarycare debacle, Hillary retired to the more mundane First Lady obligations and seemed to fall off the radar screens for a while. She then became the long-suffering-but-faithful wife as the Whitewater and later the impeachment proceedings went forward. Bill had destroyed their dream. His legacy would now be a stained blue dress and not much more. Hillary knew this. All of her humiliation and looking the other way to protect him had been for nothing. Their co-presidency had been a total failure. Under Bill's watch, their party had lost power in both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years. To add insult to injury, Bill's vice-president, Al Gore, lost to Republican George W. Bush.

At some point in all this political commotion, Hillary made a decision. She would become president and she would do it the way she wanted to do it. As president, she could assign men to watch her wayward husband and keep him out of embarrassing trouble. All of her socialist dreams came alive once again. Bill had had his chance and now, it would be Hillary's turn. Hillary had paid a high price to get Bill Clinton and herself in the White House and Bill, unable to control himself, had ruined everything.

The "Rodham" surname appeared once again in her public name. One does not jump from first lady to president in a single bound so Hillary would have to bide her time and take the lowly job of senator so that she had some credentials to show America other than she could tolerate being married to Bill Clinton. Hillary had to build her own political persona minus one wandering and often embarrassing husband who just happened to be an ex-president.

Hillary looked around for a state that would be prestigious enough to suit her and one that would be dazzled by a former first lady as its senator. New York filled that bill nicely and a lush estate was purchased in New York to make it legal. It is a lovely home rarely shared by the former first couple. In fact, they are rarely seen together at all. When Bill is present, he is usually forced into the background and if one looks carefully, he usually has the look of a young boy who has been told to go stand in the corner and be still. This is not a position Bill takes too graciously.

As Hillary pastes a smile on her face and tells Americans that she wants to "have a conversation" with them, one has to wonder about a few small, but important items.

What has Hillary Rodham Clinton done to prove her worth to be president of the United States of America? This honor and great responsibility is not a "right" bestowed on someone simply because she saved her husband's political career by lying to the people. Hillary does not have some special rights because she was, and remains married to, a man who had repeatedly cheated on her throughout their marriage and lied about it. We do not owe her some "humiliation debt" because she chose to remain married to Bill Clinton.

On the rare occasions when Hillary Rodham Clinton has had a chance to lead, she failed. While talking of spending money wisely, nearly all of her sponsored bills as a senator were to increase spending on social programs and to increase government intrusion into and control over American lives. She again promises her socialized medicine program that was a huge failure years ago and would be again.

The fact that Hillary is a woman is not a factor. America may be ready for a woman in the oval office but Hillary Rodham Clinton is not that woman. She does not have the leadership qualities required for the job. Her baggage is very heavy, and her honesty is more than questionable. Hillary's experience is heavy in cover-ups and dishonesty, and light in dealing with world leaders and a true national crisis.

Hillary's experience is in ignoring her husband's behavior and when caught, lying about it and putting blame on others. The fault was always on someone else's shoulders, not hers.

The world is a dangerous place and our choice of leaders is paramount to our very survival. America does not need a leader who feels she is "owed" the job, but a leader who will lead us through these troubled times. There are voices crying in the wilderness of the world and the world needs someone who hears those voices and does not turn away, but faces those who are causing the misery and challenges them. If that challenge requires American force, there should be no hesitation. America is not the world's policeman, but we have become freedom's last and best guardian.

A woman whose main claim to fame is that she "stood by her cheating man" is not the person to lead the free world. America does not need another co-presidency. We are still paying the price for the first one.


Reference: "Blood Sport" by James B. Stewart: Simon and Schuster-1996

© Barbara J. Stock

 

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