By Carol Devine-Molin
The girl can't help it. Hillary Clinton is just not that likable, which is an altogether dire state of affairs for an ambitious politico such as herself. But it's more than the fact that she's willing to "do anything, say anything" to get elected or advance an agenda. It's her propensity to be shrill and even angry, which many find repellent. Understandably, the Democrat base has largely opted for the charismatic and upbeat alternative to Hillary Clinton during this primary/caucus season. Barack Obama's presidential aspirations have re-jiggered the political equation in ways that Team Clinton never imagined. Obama, pitching his spellbinding "hope and change" messianic message, is well on his way to wrapping up his party's presidential nomination.
For as long as she's been in public life, Hillary Clinton has possessed a witchy-pooh proclivity that she refuses to curb. And why would she? Hillary had been thoroughly enabled by the Left-leaning mainstream media and intelligentsia for years. Frankly, Hillary has gotten away with atrocious behaviors – hubris, conniption fits, and unscrupulous practices – until now. And pul-eeze, winning a senate seat in New York is no great shakes when you're an uber-liberal and celebrated personage among the Left. New York has its own distinct brand of politics that can't be extrapolated to the rest of the nation.
That being said, a funny thing happened to Hillary on her way to the Oval Office. The Democrat electorate decided it had enough of her "inevitable" status and less-than-charming ways. Moreover, the liberal news media and the literati/glitterati crowd have essentially thrown in with the party base: Obama is in and Hillary is out. It's as if the Democrats and their cohorts in Big Media had concluded it was time to end Hillary Clinton's reign of terror. They said "no mas!" to the Clinton dictates and desires.
But one can never fully discount the guile of the Clintons. It's no small point that Hillary had access to hundreds of FBI files and other means of acquiring personal information through private investigators. I have no doubt that she is still gathering useful nuggets of info on journalists, superdelegates and fellow politicians, most notably opponent Barack Obama. With Hillary, one never knows what ace she has up her sleeve.
In Hillary's recent "Shame on you, Barack Obama" speech, she unabashedly strikes out at "false and discredited mailings" from the Obama campaign, referring to them as "tactics right out of Karl Rove's playbook." In response, Obama offers up a credible defense indicating that: a) Hillary did indeed view NAFTA, on balance, as good for America and the state of New York, and, b) she supports a healthcare plan that "forces everyone to buy insurance" even if they can't afford it. As to the latter, most Americans have an aversion to government mandates, and they're unlikely to be enthralled with the new Hillarycare proposal. Obama hits all the right notes, in contrast to Hillary who comes off as acerbic and overly-aggressive, which clearly is not conducive to garnering votes. But from Hillary's perspective, maybe that just doesn't matter anymore.
Hillary is well aware that Obama is almost certain to win the Democrat presidential nomination. Sure, she's decided to let it rip and "go down fighting", but there's much more to her political calculus. Remember, the presidency was supposed to be hers for the taking, and Obama has bollixed-up the works. Moreover, Hillary is still determined to establish a path for herself to the presidency. That being said, Hillary will not only exact some semblance of revenge against Obama, she'll harpoon his candidacy to the extent that's possible. And, in the process, she'll pave the way to run again four years hence. The game is already afoot. How else can you explain Hillary's circulation of an Obama photo that's palpably evocative of his Muslim roots? The Obama camp is correct; this is classic fear-mongering aimed at damaging him. And yes, it's oh, so devilish!
Of course, Hillary will publicly embrace party unity and keep up the Kumbaya pretext of supporting Obama once he becomes the party's nominee. But strange as this might seem, Hillary and the Republicans now have something pivotally in common: They want to see John McCain win in the 2008 general election. There's no doubt in my mind that Hillary will secretly be rooting for John McCain. And heaven knows what she's capable of doing covertly. For Hillary, her presidential aspirations are just a dream postponed. Hillary figures that with charm lessons, 2012 might just be her year.
Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.
Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!