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My Heart Goes Out to Hillary

Hillary Rodham Clinton isn't the most sympathetic person in public life, but I find myself feeling sorry for her nonetheless.

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May 24, 2008 - 1:25 am

Of all the things I never expected to say, “I actually find myself feeling sorry for Hillary Rodham Clinton” would be very near the top of the list. Probably the only words less likely to escape my lips would be “Hey, let’s take in the Will Ferrell film festival this weekend!”

I’d be the first to acknowledge that Sen. Clinton isn’t the most sympathetic person in public life. I mean, how many people do you know who come right out and admit that their campaign strategy is at least partially based on the possibility of assassination? In fact, in terms of overall warmth, I’d say she runs neck and neck with Vladimir Putin. But, say what you will about the ice queen, it’s hard not to empathize with her. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that she was trying on ermine, pearls and a diamond tiara, preparing for her coronation, when suddenly, out of the blue, this Barack Obama shows up claiming to be the rightful heir to the throne. If this were one of those old time swordplay movies with Louis Hayward or Robert Donat, he’d even have a royal birthmark on his tush to prove his bona fides.

If you think about it, Hillary Clinton’s story is just the reverse of Cinderella’s. In this version, the carriage turned into a pumpkin and the white steeds turned into field mice before she got to go to the ball.

It really doesn’t seem fair. One can almost hear her shrieking at the super delegates, pointing out that Obama only ran up that string of early primary victories because a gullible public still thought he was the Second Coming and hadn’t yet heard about William Ayers and Tony Rezko or heard from Jeremiah Wright and Michelle Obama.

She would be absolutely right, of course, but what are those delegates supposed to do about it? Even if they believe, as I do, that Obama probably can’t defeat John McCain in November, their hands are tied. After all, these so-called super delegates aren’t the least bit super. They’re nothing but a bunch of mayors, congressmen, senators and party hacks, who have their own careers to worry about. They can live with a Republican in the White House. Sometimes it’s even nice to have a scapegoat to blame for all their own failings. What they can’t live with are several million black voters suddenly asking themselves why on earth they’d want to support the party of former Klansman Robert Byrd.

But it’s not for me to worry my little head about the plight of the super delegates. I’m saving all my pity for the little lady with the shrill voice and the clenched jaw. I mean, imagine going through all those primaries, all those boring debates, shlepping around all those pantsuit outfits, all the while knowing, being absolutely convinced, that you’d make a much better president than your husband.

How many times, one wonders, has she tossed and turned in her bed these past few months, trying to get to sleep, and asking herself: “If I’m not going to be president, why oh why did I stay married for all these years to that philandering jackass?”

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