There are more Clintonistas joining candidate Clinton at the State Department, which suggests there will be friction ahead between her political operatives and diplomats and foreign policy specialists, who are supposed to be untainted by politics. Candidate Clinton is bringing as her chief of staff Cheryl Mills, the Clinton loyalist who, as a White House lawyer in 1999, spoke ardently on the House floor against the Boy President's impeachment. Philippe Reines, press secretary for Hillary on the Hill, will play that role at State. The candidate also is bringing along Lissa Muscatine, her speechwriter from yesteryear, and scheduler Lona Valmoro. Even the Clintons' old aide Maggie Williams is working for Hillary, though perhaps not this week. Socks, the White House cat when the Clintons were in office, passed away this week. As was the case with the Clintons' famous dog, Buddy, the expiry took place while the Clintons were on the road. Doubtless, it is only a matter of time before the Clintons' loyal factotum Sidney Blumenthal moves into a State Department office and talk of conspiracies against the candidate begins. How about a "vast State Department conspiracy"?
Another reason it is difficult for me to take Hillary seriously as the nation's top diplomat is that she is bringing to this high Cabinet post the incongruous girlishness that she always brings to public life. There is nothing new about a female secretary of state. The post has been held by Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice. Neither displayed a hint of girlishness. Neither continued Hillary's adolescent competition of the boys against the girls.
In Asia, candidate Clinton, according to The New York Times, answered questions from a "giggly" Korean girl about "how she knew she had fallen in love with her husband." As aforementioned, she talked in Indonesia about her love of rock 'n' roll, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. (She is 61 years old and apparently locked in a time warp, with no development in her musical taste for 40 years.) In Tokyo, the Times reports, a "nervous young woman" asked candidate Clinton how she might "become as strong as (candidate Clinton) was." Hillary responded, "Well, I played a lot of baseball, and I played with a lot of boys." Can you imagine Secretary of State Henry Kissinger -- say, while dealing with China -- being asked how he knew he had fallen in love with his beautiful wife, Nancy? Can you imagine Secretary Kissinger explaining the strength of his personality by telling a Japanese youth, "Well, I played a lot of baseball, and I played with a lot of girls"?
Throughout her public life, Hillary Clinton has proved to be a formidable figure, but that's not because of her intelligence and certainly not because of her high moral character. She has been propelled to the heights of public life because she is an exhibitionist. Many of our public figures are. There is very little in their lives that is too personal for them to publicize and to exploit in seeking attention. This is one of the reasons our public leaders are so mediocre. They are celebrities.