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Think Again, Senator Hillary; Loose Threads


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Jonah Goldberg

THINK AGAIN, SENATOR HILLARY
Been wondering when the Left was going to get paid off for it’s blind and principle-free loyalty to Clinton? Well, it’s already begun. Political indemnification begins at home and Hillary has pulled up at the drive-through window. The current giggle fit in Washington over Hillary Clinton’s potential N.Y. Senate run is almost entirely spin, but that hasn’t stopped the press from lapping it up. What Hillary needs most right now is to shed her Tammy Wynette image. This Senate talk is the perfect antidote to her humiliation. But when all is said and done it would be astounding if Hillary ran. She may have come to Washington incredibly naïve about national politics, but it’s doubtful she would leave that way.

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First, Hillary would have to establish residence in New York while still the First Lady. Aside from the personal apprehension she would feel about leaving Bill alone with all the interns for a prolonged period of time, does she really want to discard the First Lady status for the final two years of the Clinton presidency? Maybe, but probably not. Hillary likes making speeches that receive uncritical praise. Still, Hillary is encouraging all of this talk so that she can reinforce her image as a political force in her own right and placate fidgety feminists who are a little embarrassed by the First Lady’s First Victim status. The press accepts the spin because they have always had a bigger crush on her than on Bill, and Volvo feminism thrives in network television. For example, MSNBC’s John Hockenberry inaugurated the “Hillary Watch” last night — a regular feature that will track the First Lady’s activities. It promises to be a breathless press release every night.

All of this balmy “Hillary’s the greatest” talk will continue until she decides to run. Then she’s toast. Nobody runs for Senator in New York by half measures. Hillary would have to answer questions, real questions. And they wouldn’t just be about Filegate, Travelgate, Whitewater, etc. For example, Hillary was way out in front of her husband a while back saying that she’s in favor of a Palestinian State. New York has the most foreign policy-minded electorate in the nation (with the possible exception of California) and Israel is issue #1 in what Jesse Jackson called “Hymietown.”

I’d like to see her at the 92nd Street Y (the auditorium where liberals go to congratulate each other) and explain her infatuation with Arafat. Does she disagree with her husband about Israel? If not, then did Bill agree with Hillary’s statements? If so, did Al? It’s an interesting dynamic. If she puts any sunlight between herself and her husband she’d also be distancing herself from the putative Democratic nominee–who is profoundly pro-Israel. Of course, it’s not just the Middle East. It’s the minimum wage, Social Security, health care, everything. If there are real differences between Al and Hillary who does Bill side with? Presumably both would be running with Bill’s full endorsement. If you don’t think the New York media will look to exploit even the smallest fissures between Gore and the two Clintons you don’t know the New York media — and you really don’t know the New York Post.

The Post is the Luca Brasi of American journalism. (Brasi was the one man who couldn’t be called off from a mission of vengeance in the Godfather — for you people who don’t have the good sense to have seen that film 8,000 times.) The Post may not be looking for vengeance, but they will ask Hillary “When did you stop beating your husband” questions until the cows come home. Nobody can stop the New York Post from acting like Bugs Bunny whispering in the ear of the French Chef saying “If he pinched my pink tomato nose, I’d hit him over the head with a frying pan.” This is why the New York Post in one of the very best papers in the country and why it’s certainly the most fun.

And then there’s her opponent. Hillary would have to fight it out against Rudy Giuliani, who may be the only man in America tougher and more mercenary than Hillary Clinton. He knows how to use the New York media and he’s won twice as a Republican in a liberal city which is five-to-one registered Democrat. The fight would adhere more to the rules of the Marquis de Sade than the Marquis of Salisbury. Remember Schumer and D’Amato just made the standards even lower in the last election. Giuliani has real ideas that have worked. Those ideas infuriate activist limousine liberals and academic Leftists. That is Hillary’s love-struck base. If she attacks the Giuliani record she’d appease that base, but antagonize rank and file Democrats who enjoy safe and clean streets. All Giuliani would have to do is draw with Hillary in the City and he’d clean her clock upstate. Also, the Liberal Party has already declared it will endorse Rudy for Senator and no Democratic candidate has won statewide office since 1944 without the LP endorsement.

Does Hillary really want to work that hard and deal with all of the inevitable headaches of an NYC run? I sincerely doubt it. Hillary will stick it out in Washington until Bill is done. She will campaign for Al Gore and if things go her way, she eventually will be put in charge of the World Bank or some other posh globalist bastion from which she’ll be able to fund the Left. But let’s pray they don’t go her way.

LOOSE THREADS
Now that the impeachment saga is over, I’d like to introduce an occasional feature: Loose Thread Watch. Since we didn’t get the truth during the Senate Show Trial, every now and then the G-File will hi-light some small thread which if pulled exposes a greater lie from the Lewinsky saga.

Christopher Hitchens identified this thread recently in his February 15 Nation column. In Lani Guinier’s memoir Lift Every Voice, she describes how Clinton deserted her during her confirmation battle for Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights: “We had tried to get Vernon Jordan to come. Vernon had told me he could be helpful with [Senator Alan] Simpson. During a relaxed, one-on-one meeting in his law office on May 5, Vernon had offered to meet or call Simpson on my behalf should that become necessary. When Vernon was subsequently asked to follow-up with Simpson, he reportedly said, ‘I don’t do that kind of thing.’”

Hitchens left it there. But I went and dug out Jordan’s statement to the Grand Jury about his job search for Monica Lewinsky. Monica Lewinsky, if you don’t remember now that we are in “Move On With the People’s Business America,” was a White House intern who had performed all sorts of gaudy one-way sex acts on the President of the United States of America. In return the President wouldn’t even help her find a job. That is until she was named in a sexual harassment lawsuit as a possible witness. Then all of a sudden Vernon Jordan stepped in to help in a very big way. When the Drudge Report revealed that the President had an affair with the intern, Jordan stayed in touch with Ms. Lewinsky. The Office of Independent Counsel thought this generosity was a bit unusual. Not at all, said Jordan. Here’s what he told the Grand Jury:

“I do follow-through, update, see how people are, see if she was happy…I may have been calling to thank her for the tie. I don’t know why I was calling Monica Lewinsky. I’m certain that I was not calling Monica Lewinsky to ask her about the Drudge Report.”



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