30 March, 2008

The Clinton Soap Opera

Hillary Clinton has had a rough week. Both the media and her Party have turned on her.

Why? Where did the magic go? Well, the show got miscast. I wrote a decade ago that Hillary was like Margaret Dumont to Bill’s Groucho Marx. He goes around leering at cocktail waitresses, waggling his eyebrows and his famously unlit cigar. And Hillary would stand there seemingly oblivious to the subpoenaed dress and DNA analysis and all the rest: In double-acts, the best straight men (or women) are the ones who appear never to get the joke, and that was Hillary in the late Nineties, standing on stage alongside Bill night after night with her rictus grin and droning in the robotic cadences of that computerized voice in your car that tells you to fasten your seatbelt that “I. Am. So. Proud. Of. My. Husband. And. Our. President. Bill. Clinton.”

But you can’t recast: You can’t put Margaret Dumont in the Groucho role. In their heyday, the Clintons ran a thuggish operation fronted by an ingratiating charmer. Now the charming facade’s gone, and the backroom thuggery is ineffective. The Clinton campaign’s letter to Nancy Pelosi suggesting that she might like to “reflect” (if you know what we mean) on her call for the super-delegates to support the winner of the popular vote (ie, Obama) was notable not for its menace but for its clumsiness: Few sights are more forlorn than an enforcer who can no longer enforce...

But on she staggers
... [link added]

I almost feel sorry for her. Truly. I never did before--I pitied President Clinton being unable to escape his own pathologies, but I deplored her for being a sell-out to her feminist ideals for the sake of power. Now she's apparently finding that the sell-out isn't going to get her what she wants after all. It's almost Shakespearean...

A friend emailed in response to my comments on the article above:
You're right, one can almost sympathize. It is probably the most high profile psychological trauma to grace the national stage since Nixon resigned. "Days of Our Lives" with ugly people...