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The New York Sun


Clinton's Monster

May 08, 2008

By John H. McWhorter

Never have I been a Hillary hater. For one thing, I am too wary of recreational vitriol.

"She'll stop at nothing to get power" — okay, but is that so unusual in a politician? Power-seeking is what alpha males do. I sometimes wonder whether one thing that gets people's knickers in such a twist about Mrs. Clinton is that she displays alpha male behavior as a woman.

That said, she lost me Tuesday night. Having been trounced in North Carolina, and just squeaking by in Indiana, there she was saying "Thank you, Indiana" as if she hadn't just been rejected by half of the state, smugly cheering about being on her way to the White House when as of then, her chances of getting there were narrower than they had been that morning.

Her state of denial has bemused me as it has to everyone else. To me, the most poignant moment of the campaign was at the end of the Texas debate when she said "No matter what happens in this contest, I am honored to be here with Barack Obama," and got her biggest round of applause of the night.

In the movie about this election around 2016, they'd better get this scene.

When what gets the audience most excited is when you praise your opponent, you know something is deeply wrong, especially when you have just lost contests in 11 states.

But Mrs. Clinton didn't think so, and here she is today, promising to soldier on despite her chances being so minuscule that at this point, it is uncharitable of her to even be soliciting donations. She will do this despite that it will mean having to spend the next few weeks further picking away at Mr. Obama. She will continue to tarnish the luster already faded in the wake of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Surely in about a week and half, there will be some new trivial peculiarity about Mr. Obama that the punditocracy will be sniping and agonizing about. Republicans will have new ammunition to use against him into the fall.

She will do this despite having been "honored" to be on stage with Mr. Obama. "Honored"? About what? Would she have been "honored" to be up there with John Edwards? Clearly, she is as much taken with Mr. Obama's multiracial story and what it signifies for America as his supporters. Given her own history and demographic, Hillary Clinton would almost certainly be a huge Obama fan if she did not happen to be a politician running against him.

Now, though, so much for his showing how far we've come since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. that had Mrs. Clinton in tears 40 years ago. Now, she "won't give up."

But at this point, this persistence no longer makes any immediate sense, and Mrs. Clinton is beginning to look a bit mad. She's going to convince superdelegates to ignore the numbers and support her? She would consider Mr. Obama as a running mate? Or, listen to her with the "When I'm president" preface to many of her statements. A more appropriate statement would be, "If I had become president."

I can imagine how frustrated, and even furious, she must be. She spends years pretending to be interested in helping run New York State, building the experience and support to run the country. She's all set, and then along comes a guy out of nowhere with brains, magic charm, and the bonus of being black but not too black.

The press goes crazy, women are fainting at his rallies, and before long her campaign is in pieces. Without the black base she was expecting and with blue America entranced by a "freshness" in Mr. Obama that she can't fake, she is reduced to jetting around adopting a bluecollar cadence, hoping to squeeze every drop of support she can from people she has nothing in common with. At least with black people she had the conduit of her "black" husband.

This cannot be fun, and I have truly felt bad for her for months. But it would seem that because of her frustration, she has decided that as long as there is even an infinitesimal chance that she could be nominated, she will hang on until the bitter end, the interests of her own party be damned.

Despite that in office Mr. Obama would run things much more her way than Mr. McCain. And despite that otherwise, she would condemn any other Democrat who pulled this.

She sees herself as an exception. It's all about her.

That is, she's not just into power. I am finding it hard to avoid the conclusion that she may be a monster.

Original Source:



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