Above all the silliness and screaming involved in the Clinton-Giuliani Senate race, there is one simple reason not to vote for Hillary.
Fatigue. Pure, simple, bone-weary tiredness of her, her clan, her style, her voice, her fans, her politics. Her.
George Will has argued that Presidential elections boil down to the question “Who do voters want in their living rooms for the next four years?” Now, usually you can’t say the same thing about statewide races, especially Senate races. After all, it’s not as if Chuck Hagel is a permanent fixture on the nightly news. But the New York Senate race promises to be different for several reasons. If Rudy wins, New Yorkers will probably see and hear much less from him — the junior Senator from New York gets less local coverage than a controversially successful Republican mayor.
But if Hillary wins, good lord, expect the next decade to be a Mobius strip of media mindlessness.
During the 1992 presidential campaign Bill Clinton said that electing him was like getting “two for the price of one,” because the woman he shares a bed with was such a value. Little did we know that the price-to-earnings ratio on that score was so much higher than a mere two-to-one. Still, the same thing works the other way around. If Hillary is elected Senator from the media capital of the known universe, you can expect Bill Clinton to be in your living rooms well into the next millennium.
President Clinton benefited mightily from the proper deference accorded the occupant of the Oval Office. Once he’s gone, he’ll be less of a statesman and more of an aging Leonardo DiCaprio. Everything will be fair game for the Senator and her has-been husband. When was the last time Bill and Hillary spent the night together? Was that Bill supping at Spago with Barbra? If so, what does Hillary think about it? Will Bill attend Washington events and fundraisers as Senator Clinton’s spouse? What does Senator Clinton think about her husband’s pending disbarment? What does Mr. Clinton think about the independent counsel’s report about his wife? The nation will never escape.
Al Gore can distance himself from Bill Clinton very easily — he can simply stop returning his phone calls. But how can Hillary? Divorce might save them from each other, but it won’t save us from them. We will watch them — eek — “date” other people. But only after the months of us poring over the details of their breakup. Who gets custody of … well, they really don’t own anything except that Westchester house. Bill will keep his stack of Penthouses and the Democratic Donkey Piggybank that has an unusual way of depositing pennies. Hillary will get to keep her stack of back issues of The American Prospect and her “I’m with Horny” T-shirt.
Meanwhile, it will be the worst for the people at ground zero. The New York tabs — pro or con — will never let go of her. She will be a fixture on everything from the local news to the local supermarket coupon sampler. Her new hair, new indictments, new schemes, new beaus, new homes — all will be grist for the mill. Can you imagine what it will be like when Monica Lewinsky and Hillary bump into each other for the first time? What about when Bill replaces Bob Dole as the spokesman for Viagra?
If Hillary is a hugely successful Senator, will it really reflect well on New York? Maybe, a little. But if she is awful; if she gets caught up in intrigues and scandals; if she is simply as ineffectual as she has always been; or if she drags Bill Clinton back into our lives for no good reason, it will make New York look terrible. Regardless, the rest of the country will resent New York for keeping these people in the limelight.
The only thing that could make it worse is if she runs for President — which many people predict she will start doing the day after she’s elected Senator. If she’s still married to Bill, than we will be subjected to a thousand nights of MSNBC twaddle over whether he would make a worthy “First Husband.” Victor Kamber, Joe Conason, Lanny Davis, will all push up the lids of their media coffins and come lumbering back into our living rooms. This is a bipartisan warning: Hillary lovers will not enjoy the spectacle either. Your parade of horribles will march through your living room too. If you think you’ve had enough of Larry Klayman or Dave Bossie or, well, my mom, than the last thing you want is to start the dance all over again, only this time Sadie Hawkins style.
Yes, there are important and real differences between Rudy and Hillary. Rudy has accomplished things and made tough decisions which improved people’s lives. Hillary orchestrated one major political disaster and has given a great number of harmless speeches about her feelings. Al Sharpton hates Rudy and likes Hillary and vice versa. But there are important similarities too. Hillary and Rudy are both pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and pro a lot of other things that would give some conservatives pause if he weren’t running against the Dashboard Saint of the asinine Left.
For your sake, for our sake, hell, for their sake. Vote Rudy in November. Let’s have a fresh start.