Friday, June 20, 2008

Bless Her Heart

OK I found a little more time. I wrote this a couple of weeks ago for Pearl Soup but never posted it. Since I've left that site I'll post it here. I promise not to make every post political.

Bless her heart.

That’s what I find myself saying as I see Hillary Clinton, finally, accepting the realization that she will not be the Democratic nominee for president.

We all know that, in the south, such a blessing is not necessarily a positive statement, as in “Bless her heart, she was just always so power hungry.”

But in this instance I am invoking the blessing because I am finding myself, of all things, feeling sorry for the lady. I keep asking myself why.

I met Hillary a couple of times in the early 1980s when I had just finished law school. I was a law clerk for a circuit judge in Little Rock and she was a litigator at the Rose Firm which, at the time, was just another stuffy prestigious law firm.

Bill Clinton had been elected governor of Arkansas in 1978. His wife’s name was not Clinton.

In 1980, a businessman named Frank White rode into the Arkansas governor’s office on the coattails of Ronald Reagan, defeating the young Clinton by not only riding those aforementioned coattails, but also by convincing Arkansas voters that Clinton had been, quite simply, too big for his britches. White never made Hillary Rodham an issue but he did not have to. There was plenty of whispering about this wife who, bless her heart, would not take her husband’s name.

Fast forward two years (at the time Arkansas had two-year gubernatorial terms) to 1982. Clinton, after licking his wounds, is back with the new version of Hillary -- Hillary Rodham Clinton -- by his side, with a new hairdo and contact lenses. He soundly defeats Governor White, he and Hillary move back into the governor’s mansion and, well, you know the rest of the story.

I was no fan of either of them when I lived in Arkansas, nor am I today. I would never, ever vote for either of them. Not in this lifetime; not on this planet.

So why on God’s green earth do I find myself feeling sorry for her?

I guess it is because, in spite of my belief that she is in fact power hungry (bless her heart), I know she has to be smarting a bit. She totally compromised when she took his name all those years ago in order to appease the people of a small southern state. She has had to explain herself over and over when I know she really did not think she should have to do so. And Lord knows she suffered more than a few indignities, bless her heart, when Bill had his little, ahem, problems of indiscretion.

Becoming a United States Senator has, I am sure, been some consolation. But for a number of years now, her eye has been on the ultimate prize, the one that would finally validate her and perhaps serve as some vindication for the things she for so long endured .

At least for now, it is not to be. From out of the blue came this young upstart, babbling on and on about change-this and change-that with about as much depth as a thimble. For whatever reason, whether they were tired of the Clinton dynasty or truly believed the upstart could deliver what he promised (whatever that may be), her party rejected her historic bid.

To be sure, we have not heard the last of her. She may well be the upstart’s running mate. She might make another run for the coveted office. But, for now, she must accept the fact that it is over. After years of compromise and pride-swallowing, that has to hurt.

And for that, all I can say is bless her heart.


Kelly said...

As you know, I share your opinion of the Clintons. Part of me wishes she HAD gotten the nomination. I think she would have been easier for McCain to beat. But alas, it was not her time. And yes, I do think we'll be hearing more from her sooner or later (bless her heart)!

Pam said...

No way you've heard the last of her. You can bet your bottom dollar she'll be back.

She's just licking her wounds at the moment. I guess I probably would be too, if I were in her shoes. (NO WAY, I would even dream of being in her shoes! *shudder*).

She's not done and he's not done with her not being done. :)

quid said...

I really enjoyed this post. I loved this view of HC. I am a detractor of hers, and think she'll broker her position this summer to a spot on the Supreme Court.

Despite how I feel, I do think she helped make 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling, probably a good thing... and I really loved the book, "It Takes A Village".

Glad to see you here, I'm sorry for the mess at PS!!!


Bob said...

Thanks Quid and thanks for following me here. Just could not take the stuff at PS any longer.

HRC on the Supreme Court .... we'll see. I think Obama is still trying to decide if he needs her as veep. I don't think he wants to and don't think his wife wants him to, but he might need her.