Living History

I’ve finished Hillary’s book. All accusations of blandness are certainly well founded. “Then I had the privelege of meeting Queen Sofia, whom I found fascinating and committed.” Whatever.

Still, this book is a highly valuable distillation of the key political events of the last decade by one of the major players in those events. And it’s a personal, and in its own way, intimate self-portrait by this girl from Chicago who ended up spending eight years in the White House, and is doubtless the leading candidate to be the first female President of the US.

We all know about the “vast right-wing conspiracy”, and have been programmed to chuckle internally when we hear the phrase. But one thing this book brings out in stark relief is the utter mean-spiritedness and take-no-prisoners tactics of destruction practiced by that group of people who, for what reason is hard to fathom, apparently devoted the entirety of their political and personal energies to the utter ruination of the boy from Hope, Arkansas, and his activist wife.

Chief among them is Newt Gingrich. And, of course, Kenneth Starr. After having read this book it’s hard to doubt the total banality and malevolence of their motives.

I was interested in something else, though, which Hillary really didn’t go into. What, exactly, accounts for the fact that this middle-class suburban girl from Chicago ended up as an activist at Wellesley, a lawyer, a child-rights advocate? Certainly a large part of her career depended on marrying one certain guy, but clearly even without doing that Hillary would have been a community leader, politician, or activist. Reading the book, it all seems to have evolved so naturally. But there must have been seeds planted somewhere which grew into this woman. What were they?

Personally, I can’t think of a better President of the US than Hillary. How about 2004?

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