It’s a mystery to me what people, especially women, see in Hillary.
Yes, that Hillary. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
So, I read “The Hillary Papers: Archive of ‘close friend’ paints portrait of ruthless First Lady,” an article published by The Washington Free Beacon, with interest. Better yet, I read a copy of the “Hillary Papers,” which the non-profit, conservative online news outlet provides at the bottom of the story.
What is this archive, and what does it say about Hillary Clinton? “The papers of Diane Blair, a political science professor Clinton described as her ‘closest friend’ before Blair’s death in 2000, record years of candid conversations with the Clintons on issues ranging from single-payer health care to Monica Lewinsky,” wrote Free Beacon staff writer Alana Goodman.
Who better to provide insights into a woman than one of her closest female friends!
Upon studying these notes and the story about Hillary, a few items struck me.
A selective feminist
True friendship and mutual respect between the archive’s author and the former first lady came through in Blair’s writing. But Blair’s notes indicated that Clinton’s regard for the well-being of her fellow-sisters in the fight for women’s rights is selective.
When the scandal around longtime Republican Oregon Sen. Bob Packwood broke in 1992, Clinton, the women’s rights advocate had zero empathy for 10 women who accused Packwood of uninvited sexual advances.
“HC tired of all those whiney women, and she needs him on health care,” Blair wrote.
Never mind that these women’s allegations included grabbing, fondling and kissing female staff members, one of whom said Packwood tried to remove her clothing. Or that even the then National Abortion Rights Action League’s (now NARAL Pro-Choice America’s) Oregon branch, felt betrayed by Packwood, a Republican senator who supported abortion rights.
If Clinton is such a champion of women’s rights, as her supporters proclaim, where was her outrage over the war on these women? Clearly, satisfying her appetite for political power trumped any concern that Clinton might have about females targeted by a predatory U.S. senator.
Stand by your fans?
An even bigger question about Clinton surfaced when I dug deeper online and pulled up old news clips and broadcasts to clarify points in my reading of Blair’s papers.
I wondered “Who is she?”
During television interviews in 1992 and 1998, Clinton seemed to vacillate between being an assertively liberated woman and a more docile dutiful wife.
Hillary nodded her head in support as she sat with her arm around Bill, while he denied an alleged 12-year affair with glamor girl Gennifer Flowers, during a “60 Minutes” interview in 1992. When she finally spoke up, the then first lady of Arkansas suddenly developed an odd twang (similar to her habit of abruptly acquiring a Southern dialect when speaking to black audiences while campaigning for president in 2007) and told correspondent Steve Kroft that she wouldn’t be “some little woman standing by my husband like Tammy Wynette.”
Yet that’s exactly what Hillary had just done while sitting for their interview.
That dutiful wife showed up again in 1998 when the then U.S. first lady emphatically told the “Today” show’s Matt Lauer that President Clinton was a victim of a “vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.” This twang-less declaration came in response to the Drudge Report news that Bill used the Oval Office as a sexual Romper Room with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Never mind that, by then, Bill had admitted to having an affair with Flowers while under sworn testimony during his deposition in Arkansas state employee Paula Jones’ sexual harassment case. Plus, White House staffer Kathleen Willey’s accusation of sexual assault by Bill was also common knowledge. Hillary, the future U.S. senator and secretary of state stood by her man.
While all of this makes for entertaining political theater, it raises questions about reality.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow …
Maybe Hillary really loved, and continues to love, Bill. Perhaps she wanted to keep the Clinton family together. Or could it be that her cheating-hearted hubby was her political meal ticket to the bigger and better things that she gobbled up as a partner in this power couple? Seriously, if Hillary is the feminist ideal, why didn’t she liberate herself from her hurtful, disrespectful, two-three-four-and-more-timing husband and blaze her own trail to the top?
Such questions about Hillary’s authenticity are worth noting as this she coyly keeps the press guessing whether she plans to run for the office of U.S. president again in 2016.
Washington, D.C., is already top heavy with too many strutting and fretting bad actors.