Tags: Hillary | Has | Great | Potential

Hillary Has Great Potential

Thursday, 03 March 2005 12:00 AM

Hillary was so good at everything, she couldn't figure out whether she was supposed to marry the man going to the top or get there herself – marry the president or be the first woman to get there.

The joke used to be that she'd have been better off if she'd never met Bill and just gone home and run for Senate from Illinois. Now she almost has the best of both worlds.

That was one of the journeys on display in the magazine. It is not so much a reinvented Hillary Clinton – as the conservatives led by my buddy, and formerly hers, the reborn Dick Morris are so desperate to portray it – but a second chance at a first opportunity to grow up the other way, which so many women crave at mid-life and a few actually get to have.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, standing on her own as a senator, is not a crazy, left-wing, self-righteous ideologue. She is a practical centrist and a great colleague. She has a sense of humor and works across party lines, is widely respected in the Senate and strong on defense, supports the troops, has strong Midwestern values, and is deeply religious and devoted to her family.

She is not the caricature drawn by the right. She wears well. The more you see her, the more convinced you become that she could be president.

The more interesting journey is the viewer's. The author of the article admits that she began a skeptic and ended at least a partial convert. But it's not just individual observers who are undergoing a conversion during these supposedly politically quiet months. Something is happening deep inside the Democratic Party.

Since the election, Hillary Clinton hasn't made a single bad move. John Kerry keeps reminding people of how many votes he got, while his wife has now left even Democrats openly shaking their heads. John Edwards has been busy tending to his wife, and his focus on poverty just reminds everyone that he is likely to run from the left – the fair trade, trial lawyer candidate. You hear murmurs about Evan Bayh and Mark Warner, but compared to Hillary they just seem like improbable kids who've never been through fire.

No, the insiders have given her the nomination in the calculation game – I'm writing a book, and what everyone I know wants to know is how you get her through October. The line is: She wins everything Kerry does, but what else, and when her team can answer the question of how she wins the rest, the inside game will be won for her ...

Right now, it's there for the taking, which is a measure of how far she has come since November. The point of her most recent speech, and articles like the one in New York Magazine, is precisely to begin to answer that question.

COPYRIGHT 2005 CREATORS SYNDICATE

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Hillary was so good at everything, she couldn't figure out whether she was supposed to marry the man going to the top or get there herself marry the president or be the first woman to get there. The joke used to be that she'd have been better off if she'd never met Bill...
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2005-00-03
Thursday, 03 March 2005 12:00 AM
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