My grandfather, Ronald Reagan, always remained mum about his true parentage (William Howard Taft and his bigamist marriage to Clara Bow) as he didn’t want to detract from his mythological origins as an Illinoisan made good.
Of course, Ron’s son, my father Howard Cosell, always urged me to stay silent about our family history. And in our mutual desire to maintain my privacy, Dad and I agreed I should use the rather obscure name “Schwarzwalder,” which I have done until now.
Ridiculous lies, yes. Yet having recently attended the Hillary Clinton College of Professional Fabulism, I thought I’d take a stab at imitating her ongoing and shameless self-reinvention.
Did you know Hillary’s grandparents were immigrants? Given that three of them were born in the United States, their days in the dark bowels of European steamers crossing the stormy Atlantic to get to the land of promise might come as a bit of a shock to them.
Did you know Hillary is part Jewish? Well, not really; but she “’has very fond childhood memories’ of the second husband of her grandmother, Max Rosenberg, a Russian-born Jew.” Mazel tov, Madam Secretary.
Did you know that Hillary had to run to her car under fire from rogue riflemen when arriving in Tuzla, Bosnia? “I remember landing under sniper fire,” she said. When confronted about her lie, she said blithely that she “misspoke.” Well, sure, I understand; I misspeak all the time. By the way, did I tell you I am the linear descendant of the last Incan emperor and have caverns full of gold in a vault beneath Lima, Peru?
Did you know she deleted all of Bill’s e-mail messages to her after leaving the State Department? Problem is, the Wall Street Journal broke the story that her husband does not use email.
Former Clinton adviser Dick Morris has produced a fairly comprehensive list of Hillary’s fabrications that is worth a read. It’s a long list.
Of course, Mrs. Clinton is capable of honesty episodically even if unintentionally. As my boss Tony Perkins wrote earlier this month, “For once, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may be telling the truth — and on her campaign website, no less! In one of the most ironic blunders of the First Lady’s career, her new Hillary Clinton for President website stated, ‘She’s fought children and families all her career.’ Newsbusters caught the mistake — which conservatives would argue was anything but.”
Regardless, Hillary’s penchant for wanting to be at the center of virtually everything is abetted by her willingness to lie casually, frequently, and absurdly. Her evident contempt for the American people and confidence in their inattention to her lies only augments her frenetic insistence on self-dramatization whenever she deems such as convenient and expedient.
Her lies are silly, easily refuted, and narcissistic. What do they and their regularity say about the soul and mind of a woman in a long-term tragic marriage, mentored by the Leftist Saul Alinsky, imperious in manner, and obviously annoyed that accountability is part of public service?
In September 2001, President George W. Bush gave one of the most important and memorable speeches in recent American history following the attacks on the World Trade Center. Hillary could be seen slouching, yawning, clapping as if her hands were weighted, and looking genuinely disdainful. Why? She claims to have been tired, but at a time of national crisis, could she not deigned to have a cup of coffee and, by at least feigning interest, shown some concern for the thousands of lives lost and the millions of Americans looking to their then-new President for comfort and reassurance? So she didn’t like Mr. Bush; does personal contempt and/or jealousy override basic decency and a proclivity for self-display?
Of course, such self-restraint would have demanded patriotism and humility. I ask a lot, I guess.
In the 1983 film “Zelig,” Woody Allen appeared as a man who, during the 1920s and 1930s, assumes the persona of whomever he is with. This ability to transform himself, chameleon-like, enables him to participate in public events of all kinds. He thus ends up in clips with Calvin Coolidge, Al Capone, Charles Lindbergh, Adolph Hitler, various rabbis, black jazz musicians, assorted flappers, and Lou Gehrig, among many others.
Hillary must have watched this movie. It seems to have become her leitmotif. She is everywhere, doing everything, relating to everyone, at the center of it all. At least in the film, though, Leonard Zelig actually did assimilate to the races, professions, and personalities of those around him; Hillary merely pretends to.
Well, that’s all for now. I’m late for picking up my Publishers Clearing House award; guess I can get it on my way to Beijing, where I’m lecturing Chinese budget officials on population resource management and fiscal ratios vis-à-vis the Sri Lankan monetary crisis.
Hillary will be on my plane, too.