Hillary headed for a Britney-style meltdown?
By Carey Roberts
A few weeks ago Hillary Rodham Clinton surprised a San Francisco audience with the announcement, "I'm not running as a woman candidate." But then HRC had a change of heart, and on March 6 she unveiled her "I Can Be President" effort designed to appeal to women.
That was a smart move, because the last few weeks the Hillary-for-First-Mom bandwagon has hit some rather unpleasant road-bumps. Now Barack Obama is closing in on Hillary's once insurmountable lead.
First the New York Post revealed that her campaign had agreed to buy the endorsement of South Carolina state Senator Darrell Jackson to the tune of $10,000 a month. A few days later the Washington Post reported that Mrs. Clinton had failed to list a family charity on her Senate financial disclosure report – not once, but five times.
More proof, I assume, of Hillary's claim that "the presence of women raises the standards of ethical behavior and lowers corruption."
Then in late February media mogul David Geffen took a swipe at the Clintons by saying, "Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it's troubling." And a week later former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called Hillary "a nasty woman" who runs an "endlessly ruthless" campaign machine.
Ouch, that hurts!
That hardnosed campaign apparatus was highlighted in a Feb. 25 Washington Post article that revealed the edict to bar any discussion of Bill's sexual improprieties. "Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has a new commandment for the 2008 presidential field: Thou shalt not mention anything related to the impeachment of her husband," the Post revealed.
Is this the harbinger of an open and honest election campaign?\
Then there was her secret appearance at the homosexual Human Rights Campaign meeting on March 3 – secret in the sense that it wasn't listed on Hillary's official campaign schedule. But someone forgot to shut off the camera as the introducer detailed how HRC schemed to block the Federal Marriage Amendment.
The next day the campaign staff sent Mrs. Clinton to Selma, Alabama in a bid to upstage Mr. Obama. Speaking in her New York imitation of a southern drawl, she told the congregants at the First Baptist Church that as a high school student, "I had the great privilege of hearing Dr. King speak in Chicago." That speech inspired her to support "the great revolution that the civil rights pioneers were waging on behalf of a more perfect union."
Do you know what Hillary did to advance the great revolution? Get ready for this…
Young Hillary, a Republican at the time, went out and bought herself a cowgirl outfit so she could dress up as "a Goldwater girl," as she wrote in her memoirs. Of course it was Barry Goldwater who soon joined with southern Democratic segregationists to oppose the Voting Rights Act of 1964, a law that had been inspired by Martin Luther King.
Clinton was thoughtful enough to withhold that tidbit from her Selma audience. After all, it's considered impolite to partake of incredulous belly laughter in church.
So the next weekend Mrs. Clinton found herself in New Hampshire. For the umpteenth time she reflected on the challenge of becoming the first female president – but this time with a new twist:
"A lot of people back then said, ‘American will never elect a Catholic as president.' But those who gathered here almost half a century ago knew better. They believed American was bigger than that and American would give Sen. John F. Kennedy a fair shake … So when people tell me, ‘A woman can never be president,' I say, ‘We'll never know unless we try.'"
Mrs. Clinton, I can think of a number of persons who remind me of your shabby ethics, your shrill rhetoric, and your obsession with playing the victim. But JFK isn't one of them.
And finally is the sizzling reprise of the famous Apple Computer 1984 commercial, this time depicting Hillary as Big Sister.
Over the last several months we have witnessed the sad unraveling of several high-profile figures including Ana Nicole Smith, former astronaut Lisa Nowak, and Britney Spears.
Presidential wannabee Hillary resembles a celebrity musician more than a traditional political candidate. Every few days the star makes an appearance, goes through her well-rehearsed routine, and poses for the camera.
But the emotional high is short-lived and the audience tires of the glitz. To compensate, the performances become more fevered, the music gets louder, and the gyrations more strained.
Hillary Clinton is pursuing her quest for the White House with Britney-like intensity. But with 20 months left until the election, one wonders how long her high-octane crusade can maintain the pace.
Carey Roberts is a Staff Writer for The New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.