Never let it be said that I like Hillary Clinton. “Hate with the white-hot intensity of a thousand dying suns” would hit closer to the mark. Much closer. Bullseye, in fact.
Clinton’s relationship with her husband Bill is like one of those weird symbiotic relationships you sometimes find in nature. Put them together and they make a fully functioning unit. One of them got the charisma, one got the ruthlessness, one got the human touch, one got the political savvy, and the other one got to marry the president of the United States.
I kid, I kid.
That aside, I will grant Hillary some small amount of grudging respect for two of her personal virtues: She’s very smart and very mean. Mean might not seem like much of a compliment, and as a human trait; I suppose it isn’t one at all. But in terms of pure entertainment value, brains and cruelty can make a wickedly fun combination. That’s especially true when they’re directed against politicians who, as Mark Twain noted well over a century ago, are America’s only distinctly criminal class.
With that in mind, wouldn’t it be great to hear Clinton really let it all hang out for once? If only for a little while, wouldn’t you love it if Clinton stopped being such a calculating manipulator and let herself off the hook to tell it like it is?
Maybe you think she just did a few days ago with those remarks she copped to making about Bernie Sanders a while back. The makers of a new documentary called Hillary! The Musical or something have Clinton on tape in 2016 saying of the Vermont socialist, “He was in Congress for years. He had one senator support him. Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done,” Hillary said of Sanders. “He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.” Someone from The Hollywood Reporter asked Clinton last week if what she said then still applies today, and she said, “Yes, it does.”
But that’s not exactly Hillary Off the Hook. Clinton confirmed what she said for one reason only: To try in some small way to kill off any momentum Sanders might have developed in recent weeks.
To explain what I mean, let us travel back to the ancient times of yore: The 2008-09 Obama transition. In recent days I’ve had to reassess one of my favorite Hillary Clinton moments when she was first picked to be Barack Obama’s Secretary of State. She was on one of those awful Sunday morning chat shows that at the time I was under contractual obligation to watch, being interviewed by some female “unbiased” “journalist.” The “reporter” happily parroted Obama’s party line, asking Clinton, “As Secretary of State, what are you going to do to further the fundamental transformation this country requires?” (Or words very close to those, including the “fundamental transformation” Obamaism.)
And Clinton looked shocked for a moment and then laughed it off. My initial take on that was Clinton was thinking, “Dear, you can’t come right out and say that — you’ll give the game away!” But after watching Hillary do her small bit to sabotage the Sanders campaign, I’m thinking I might have gotten it wrong way back when. The Clintons have grown quite rich exploiting America’s ongoing Banana Republic Phase, and so why would she want to upset any applecarts with any of this “fundamental transformation” or “democratic socialism” bullstuff?
Also, Clinton didn’t say anything about Sanders that anyone didn’t already know. The only thing that made what Hillary said newsworthy is that it was Hillary who said it. And that’s just not good enough, considering all she must know, is it?
After this next election, once Clinton knows her days in politics are well and truly over, I’d love to get a box of chardonnay into her and hear what she really thinks about… well, what she knows about everyone in D.C. and in Hollywood.
• “Joey Biden? I walked into his veep office once when he was trying new dentures and was a week late for his spray tan, and that drooling moron looked just like Skeletor.”
• “Tulsi thinks she’s all that, but I wouldn’t make out with her if we were both at Wellesley.”
• “I broke Libya just because Muammar once wore the same muu-muu as I was.”
• “My first act as president would have been to nuke Trump Tower, swear to God.”
• “We didn’t kill anybody, but we made damn sure certain people knew they had worse options.”
• “Every time Bill came back from that damned Epstein island he reeked of Cherry Chapstick.”
Did I take it too far? I took it too far.
But the thing is, you just know Clinton has been taking it too far — and for real, not in a silly blog column — for decades now. But she’s always done her best (not very good, really) to present herself as the innocent one, as the aggrieved. Just for a few hours, it would be the most entertaining, most revealing thing ever, if Hillary dropped the “Hillary Clinton: Perfect Specimen of Humanity” act, and let it all loose as “Hillary Clinton: Mean and Smart and Willing to Tell It Like It Is.”
Set your politics (and maybe your decency) aside for a moment. Wouldn’t you love to hear Hillary off the hook?