Please Hillary, Don’t Run (Away)
Thank goodness spring has finally come to Washington. So many weeks of frigid ice and cold produced a lot of unhappiness and even, in some cases, temper tantrums. And many of those came from national columnists who call D.C. home.
I’m pretty sure that was Maureen Dowd I saw slipping on a brick sidewalk in Georgetown and cursing. I was walking behind her and as I got closer, I realized she was shouting something about the “Chappaqua Republic.”
Just a few days later, when her New York Times “Open Letter” to Hillary appeared, I realized that she, like many of her counterparts on the conservative side, decided to blame the whole brutal winter on the Clintons. “You exploit our better angels and our desire for a finer country…” she wrote. What?
It looked like a left-right tag team with Dowd’s “[Y]ou’re still idling on the runway, but we’re already jet-lagged,” following a column days before by the Washington Post’s right-wing Charles Krauthammer who wrote “[W]hat you’re feeling is the Early Onset of Clinton Fatigue.” Apparently, his D.C. winter was as bad as hers.
I am not now, and never have been, a Clinton “groupie.” One of my daughters was an advance person for Bill and then worked for him at the White House. But she and my five younger children were Obama from day one. During those times, before people realized he saved the auto industry, got health care to the most needy, conquered Ebola and engineered the greatest economic recovery ever, we, like other early “O” supporters, had to endure countless “We told you so,” comments from our Clinton backer friends.
But now, almost all of us are together in that boring, but critical world called pragmatism. It drives Republicans — and apparently some columnists — crazy. Democrats united in pragmatism. What a nightmare!
My brother is a musician and music educator in Massachusetts. He’s not involved in politics, but he’s a liberal Democrat by any measure. When I asked him recently what he thought about a Hillary candidacy, he said “Oh, she’s okay, but I’ll do anything to get Bill back in the house…East or West Wing, upstairs, downstairs; I don’t care. I just know good things will happen if he’s there.”
Those kinds of anecdotes make Republicans squirm. They are not fighting words. They are words that precede winning. Republicans know they can’t beat the Clintons and, perhaps just as importantly, we Democrats know it.
Does anyone really believe that the email controversy will blunt the enthusiasm of those teenage girls who’ll want to skip school to go door-to-door for Hillary, and for what will soon become a women’s electoral movement that might just rival Obama’s with the black community?
Apparently, Peggy Noonan’s winter wasn’t quite as brutal as some of the other writers. Her Wall Street Journal piece “Hillary Seems Tired, Not Hungry” was, I thought, very thoughtful and insightful.
After reading it, and just before we were treated to the post-winter rants of Dowd, Krauthammer and others, I suddenly got very worried.
What if, I pondered nervously, instead of the country getting tired of the Clintons, they got tired of us and walked away?