She’s a sad figure right now— but this is why I will always be in awe of Hillary Clinton
In another life she could have been a trained assassin, and probably a very good one
A bit depressing seeing the rounds of analysis this morning picking apart Hilary Clinton’s appearance this week at the Recode Conference in which she loudly rehashed and bemoaned her 2016 Presidential Election loss — again — for all to hear. Listen, no doubt she has many great points, and there are some legitimate questions to be asked as to what exactly happened with Trump and Russia, but … Hillary safe to say has seen better days in terms of advocating on behalf of her brand.
For a person who spent years being accused of being overly guarded, the former Secretary of State is letting loose. The gloves are off, and if you would be so kind to lend her an ear, Madame Secretary has a tale to tell you of treason, collusion, partisanship, betrayal, palace intrigue and in the latest twist — now her very own party. Hillary has decided that after months of eating crow, taking walks in the woods and being basically incognito, her festering anger must be heard by everyone. She is NOT going quietly into the annals of history.
Not the Hillary Rodham Clinton I know.
Love her or hate her (and like most, I have been in both places in my life) lets not forget that this is the original Bad-Ass Queen B of them all. For a great deal of my childhood, Hillary Clinton was a fierce force to be reckoned with, loud, outspoken, constantly fighting for venerable principles like free health care and female education, simultaneously feared, respected and hated. All I knew was that most of the adults were enamored with her, she had a legal background which back then was noteworthy for a woman, she was apparently Bill Clinton’s wife but the eye-test, oh, the eye-test. Even to a 10-year-old, she was an archetype, the image of a confident, engaging, dominant woman who was in every way the equal and at times the superior of her partner.
She also was not hard on the eyes. I will always remember this Hillary from growing up in the 90s:
This woman was basically co-President, has been a politically organizing force for over 30 years, and knows nothing else but straight up cold comanche-style no-holds barred political warfare. So is it any real surprise that she goes out swinging right now, looking every bit like an aging prizefighter ready to literally climb into a boxing ring with Putin himself and duke it out for all the ages?
I have always admired her cool and calm yet fiery and smouldering bellicosity. The woman has ice in her veins and I certainly wouldn’t tango with her in a dark alley. Let’s just say one thing — Bill Clinton, for all his obvious charms and story-telling gifts, isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to self control and discipline. Pretty obvious at this point who was really running that household all these years.
I first noticed Hillary’s aggressive bad-assedness, if there should be such a word for only today, when I was a young child and I saw this 60 Minutes episode where she muscularly defends Bill during the height of the Gennifer Flowers scandal:
This video tells you all you need to know about Hillary Clinton, about why she was feared and hated, why she is still feared and hated (though now served with a heavy slice of sympathy on the side), a great deal about the dynamic of her relationship with Bill Clinton, and why these two have been a pretty deadly Bonnie-and-Clyde pairing for the better part of 45 years.
First off, the woman is sitting square-shouldered and cocksure, alpha-dog style, in total control of herself and even his physical positioning. They clearly rehearsed the appearance, as stone cold killers of public posturing are used to doing, but her authoritative body language and demeanor, her laser focus on defending their marriage and right to privacy, and her unflinching gaze when he all but admits to infidelity and weakness … it speaks volumes as to her legendary ability to maintain composure and defiance in the face of pressure.
9:39 into the clip is where the glove comes off, beginning with yet another of her now infamous quotes:
“You know, im not sitting here, some little woman, ‘Standing by My Man’ like Tammy Wynette …”
She then almost yells at the camera at all watching that if they still can’t bring themselves to forgive him, well then “don’t vote for him.”
The chutzpah, the audacity, the brazenness, the balls …
I remember seeing that 60 Minutes spot at my grandfather’s house when I was about ten years old. Of course I could not possibly grasp much of what was going on. It was only seeing it again a couple years ago, more than two decades later, that I was able to see the nuances, put it into the context of the Clintons’ 25 year dominance of American politics that ended so abruptly last fall, and laugh heartily, wistfully remembering the woman that she was, the woman I grew up in awe of and admired from afar, an example of a strong woman, as strong as the strong women in my family, able to weather incredible storms of criticism and social pressure, call upon vast stores of mental intellect, grace and poise, with social dexterity off the charts, near perfection in public appearances, and able to do the job of 10 men.
Hillary Clinton has been, to say it again in the parlance of my generation, one the baddest Bs the world has ever known. So yes, it’s sad to see her now, in what are probably the last years of her political existence, a shell of her former self, a much decried, endlessly debated 2-time loser of the US presidential candidancy, muttering loudly and dramatically gesticulating about Russian conspiracies, and Vladimir Putin’s hatred of her, and James Comey’s still inexplicable intervention in the closing weeks of the 2016 election, and the clear misogyny that still runs rampant in our society ...
Yes Hillary, we know. So what constructive solutions do you and the Democratic Party propose? These painful very public whine sessions won’t do much. They are just exposing the Democrats as, well, kind of pathetic, with no better idea than the Republicans about how to lead a modern democracy with honesty and integrity.
Something tells me that 1990s Hillary Clinton would be a bit more formidable a vanquished opponent right now. But we all get older and softer. The sun will inevitably set on all of us, making way for a new dawn of new voices and perspectives.
But I will always miss her, ‘superpredators’ remark and all. I’ll end with this question — who can you possibly see replacing her in the next even 20 years? Who is the next Hillary Clinton?
Truly as unique, remarkable and rare a specimen as we have seen in some time, her place, however dubious, permanently and rightfully etched into the annals of history.