I could hardly breathe. Gulping for air, I started crying and yelling, "What do you mean? What are you saying? Why are the Clintons back again?"
Interviewing Hillary Clinton last Sunday night about her book Living History, ABC's Barbara Walters began with such hardball questions as:
- "Are you a saint?"
- "[Is it] tougher than being first lady, being a senator?"
- "You know, you have been working on so many bills with Republicans. ... How do you turn old enemies into allies? ... I mean, no hard feelings?"
- "How do you get on with this?"
- "There were the accusations that [your husband] was a womanizer." I believe a DNA test revealed that they were more than accusations. "How'd you deal with it?"
Hillary dealt with it. Hillary is a survivor. As Walters said, Living History is a "wife's deeply personal account of being betrayed in front of the entire world." In fact, it was so deeply personal, it took several ghostwriters to get it right.
Walters brazenly probed the question on everyone's mind: How could Hillary be so brave, so strong, so downright wonderful? As Walters recounted, once our brave heroine even lived in Arkansas! Summarizing Hillary's sacrifice, Walters said: "You were young. You were smart. You had a future in Washington. But you gave it up to be with Bill Clinton, to move to Arkansas. ... Why on earth would you throw away your future?" Admittedly, even Bill Clinton couldn't wait to get out of Arkansas. Manhattanites cannot conceive of a greater hardship.
Walters also astutely observed that "in addition to being first lady, you're a mother." Will Hillary's mind-boggling feats never end? Usually such phony liberal amazement at the staggering heroism of women ends with the woman drowning all her children.
Describing interviews like these, New York Times television reviewer Alessandra Stanley said that Hillary was finally able to show her "grit, an outsize will and discipline that has nothing to do with gender." This, Ms. Stanley said, was a welcome change from Hillary's more recognized role as "an emblem of the modern female condition." So on one hand, Hillary has grit and determination. But on the other hand, she is a living, breathing icon. It's good to see the New York Times really going the extra mile to give both sides these days.
In "her" book, "Hillary" explains that the story of how Nelson Mandela forgave his jailers inspired her to forgive Bill for his infidelity. OK, but they locked up Mandela only once. Revealing more about herself than Hillary, Ms. Stanley claims that "millions of women have forgiven far worse of philandering husbands." Far worse? Really? No wonder liberal women hate men so much.
If you credit news reports, the public can't get enough of Hillary. The crush of ordinary people buying Hillary's book seems baffling in light of recent polls. According to an ABC poll, 48 percent of Americans have an unfavorable impression of Hillary, 53 percent of Americans don't want Hillary to ever run for president, and 7 percent of Americans have been date-raped by Bill Clinton.
First in line for Hillary's book at Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Center on Sunday night was Charles Greinsky, who told the New York Daily News he rushed out at midnight to get one of the first books because he supported Hillary's health-care plan. A few years ago, the Associated Press identified Greinsky more fully. It turns out he is "a longtime Clinton campaigner" from Staten Island, who has been the Clintons' guest several times both at the White House and at their home in Chappaqua, N.Y.
Lining up at midnight to buy Hillary's book is street theater for liberals. I suppose shelling out $30 to support the concept of Hillary is less dangerous than the pernicious nonsense liberals usually fund. Hillary has already gotten a record $8 million advance from Simon & Schuster for the book – the most anyone has ever received for rewriting history. Hillary's acolytes could buy enough copies of her book to rebuild the World Trade Center, and she's not going to pocket more than that.
Another average individual eager to get Hillary's book was Greg Packer, who was the centerpiece of the New York Times' "man on the street" interview about Hillary-mania. After being first in line for an autographed book at the Fifth Avenue Barnes & Noble, Packer gushed to the Times: "I'm a big fan of Hillary and Bill's. I want to change her mind about running for president. I want to be part of her campaign."
It was easy for the Times to spell Packer's name right because he is apparently the entire media's designated "man on the street" for all articles ever written. He has appeared in news stories more than 100 times as a random member of the public. Packer was quoted on his reaction to military strikes against Iraq; he was quoted at the St. Patrick's Day Parade, the Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Veterans' Day Parade. He was quoted at not one – but two – New Year's Eve celebrations at Times Square. He was quoted at the opening of a new "Star Wars" movie, at the opening of an H&M clothing store on Fifth Avenue and at the opening of the viewing stand at Ground Zero. He has been quoted at Yankees games, Mets games, Jets games – even getting tickets for the Brooklyn Cyclones. He was quoted at a Clinton fund-raiser at Alec Baldwin's house in the Hamptons and the pope's visit to Giants stadium.
Are all reporters writing their stories from Jayson Blair's house? Whether or not it will help her presidential ambitions, Living History definitely positions Hillary nicely for a job as a reporter.