Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hillary Clinton paddles up the River Cochytus

London's Daily Mail has fascinating coverage of the Clintons' rise to power ("How Hillary Clinton made a pact with the devil for political power"). Make sure you read the whole thing.

...Her husband noted in the second year of his presidency, with a wave toward his large Oval Office desk: "I might as well try to lift that desk up and throw it through the window as to change her mind."

Hmmm. That's precisely the quality we want in a Commander-in-Chief.

Nor does Hillary ever feel compelled to explain her certainties - or much else about her thoughts and emotions. This defiantly closed nature has fuelled a perception that she was withholding information during numerous official investigations into the Clintons' affairs.

Well, that and the roughly 250 times she said she didn't remember while under oath.

..."She was extremely Machiavellian, a master of doing things that could not be traced back to her," recalled one close colleague. "She would say: 'Do this, but don't leave any fingerprints.'"

Hillary's own mother once observed: "She just does everything she has to do to get along and get ahead."

I'm frankly stunned her Mom's still alive after that statement. In fact, has someone checked on Mom lately?

...[Their] moments of physical contact were companionable rather than passionate, and reflected Bill and Hillary's mastery of what White House Press Secretary Michael McCurry later called "the science of how they interacted publicly" - the well-practised whisper, the peck on the forehead even in periods of terrible tension.

It was a skill in which Hillary revelled. On January 21, 1993, Bill's first full day in office, she and Bill shook some 1,800 hands in three hours.

"We just screwed all these people," she whispered to her husband - a comment heard on network television.

Wow! She really is honest once in a while!

...The joint decision-making at the top was so overt that staff members called Hillary "The Supreme Court." Whenever Bill said "let me think about it," aides knew he intended to call Hillary.

"We would always say: 'Has the Supreme Court been consulted?'" recalled Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers.

...Significantly, when the nurse at Chelsea's school needed to get permission to dispense an aspirin, the First Daughter said: "Call my dad. My mom's too busy." The nurse did in fact reach the President easily, and he was only too eager to remain on the phone for a chat.

Did he ask what she was wearing?

...Vice-President Al Gore was the biggest victim [of the 'co-presidency']. It was a given in the White House that Hillary had to "sign off on big decisions," and even before Clinton's inauguration, her adviser Susan Thomases was quoted saying that Gore "would have to adjust to a smaller role."

The effect was to add a new layer of intrigue and rivalry to the West Wing, where advisers and cabinet officers knew they could lobby either the First Lady or the Vice-President to reverse decisions by the President.

David Gergen called the "threeheaded system" a "rolling disaster."

The word 'unmitigated' could also have been used instead of 'rolling'.

...her political touch was by no means as sure as her husband's... She insisted on producing a complicated plan for sweeping health reforms that would guarantee medical insurance for all, but refused to consult experts who didn't already agree with her... Her figures were dismissed as mindbogglingly unrealistic - and even Bill, after studying the plan in detail, said: "My brain aches."

During a trip to Massachusetts, he dared to suggest that the reforms might be watered down. Back in Washington, Hillary reacted with fury. An aide recalled how she picked up the phone and told the White House operator: "Get me the President."

Moments later, Bill came on the line. "What the f*** are you doing up there?" she screamed. "I want to see you as soon as you get back." ...Her tone was as "hard-edged" as her advisers had ever heard... The next day, he publicly retracted his comments and even apologised, promising that he aimed to implement the reforms in full. Even so, it was only a matter of time before Hillary's hugely unpopular plan was ignominiously dumped.

Her response? To blame a "conspiracy" - this time in the medical profession... It was the same language she used against the mistresses who lined up to accuse her husband. But as we will see on Monday, those accusers were proving impossible to silence.

It's amazing how many 'conspiracies' arise around the Clintons to foil their well-meaning plans.

Like I said, read it all; it's well worth your time.

Hat tips: LGF and ZombieTime (images).

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