Perhaps the note should not have surprised me, coming as it does from the woman who advocates the "'we're all in it together' society" over its "on your own" counterpart, but until an email arrived yesterday from Hillary Clinton with the subject line Dinner Under the Stars I failed to realize how deeply she believed it -- or, for that matter, that this ethos extended to dinner. Under the stars, no less! Below I reproduce her missive and the wide range of emotions I experienced reading it:
Summer is a time for simple pleasures: family vacations, baseball games, and dinner out under the stars. At least it is if you aren't running for president!
Take that Obama! I bet the Moonlighting Mayor of Purple America wished he had time for dinner and a game of catch out on that international pre-victory lap last week. What a sucker! Having Bill throw this thing for you was a smart move, Hill.
It sure is nice having a little more time on my hands, and I'd love to spend some of it with you. Would you like to join me for dinner?Seriously? That would be amazing! I promise to stay out of the squabbles between you and Bill over who is the evening's Designated Grillmaster. (You in your sassy apron, Bill brazenly donning an old favorite rather than the classier alternative you chose for him.) I'll just chill by the pool with Chelsea. Get the inside dope on what it was like to go on humiliating pseudo-dates with super(dork)delegates while most certainly not being pimped out. Fair warning, though: I'm a sissy teetotaler, so I'll probably bug out before the shots begin to rest up for the inevitable pig wrasslin', square dancin' and cow tippin' denouement typical of gatherings where the vanguard lets its hair down with the not-bitter proletariat -- or, as Obama prefers, the Annie Oakley-wing of the Democratic Party.
During the campaign, I had the chance a few times to grab meals with supporters, but they were always rushed thanks to the frenetic pace of the campaign. This is my first chance to sit down and spend some real one-on-one time with you.Like I said, sounds great. I'm going through my closet looking for pastels right now. And, to be fair, I hardly made time for you, either. In my defense, you recall John Edwards -- A.K.A. Mr. Two Americas; A.K.A. Johnny The NOT Historic Choice; A.K.A. Angry McWhitebread -- was in the race for a spell, right? Well, he and the Brothers Goof, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden, kept me fairly busy. Still, you deserved better.
So yes, as you said in your ultra-hip online campaign kick off announcement, "let's talk. Let's chat. Let's start a dialogue about your ideas and mine." Maybe it's just wistful me being sentimental here, but you really out Oprah-ed Oprah on that one -- and she retaliated. Who won the (ratings, not Iraq) war though, Hill? Cripes! Ellen DeGeneres should be paying your outstanding debt!
My staff has been calling this my "retirement dinner"...(GASP!)
...not because I'm retiring, of course...(SIGH) Don't panic me like that, Hill. The ol' ticker can't take it.
...but because we're working on retiring the debt we owe to small vendors all over the country.Huh? This dinner isn't just about the two of us enjoying simple pleasures under the stars?
And everyone who acts today will have the chance to join me -- along with a guest -- for a dinner to talk about whatever you'd like.I'd like to talk about how someone I trust -- name rhymes with "Billary" -- just made me feel like I've been tricked into attending an Amway meeting.
Let's go to dinner! Contribute now, and you and I could be enjoying a summer dinner together soon!Contribute? Could BE? Look, Hill, it's not that I don't trust you. Really. But I was just taught a very important lesson in not paying up front by the un-handyman I hired to put shelves in my closet this week. The moment I doled out the cash he forgot all his wonderful promises. Now my closet looks like an IKEA box had a miscarriage in it and my wife thinks I'm a gullible fool. No, I need something more definitive to close the deal.
Now, of course, I'd love to sit here and type, "Let's just get everybody together. Let's get unified. The sky will open. The lights will come down. Celestial choruses will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect."
Maybe I've just lived a little too long, but I have no illusions about how hard it is going to be to get you to commit to dinner (under the stars) once I've sent you a contribution -- cash that won't even go to exposing Obama for the sleep-through-the-3 a.m.-phone-calls-lightweight he is, I might add.
Thank you so much for all your wonderful support.Please, Hill, at least tell me a few sweet little lies to make the charade pass less painfully. Tell me we'll dine the night after next under a paradisiacal canopy of sniper fire as we sort out this crazy world together until the dawn arrives. Can you do that for me, Hillary?
All the best,This is really going to happen? I pull out my credit card -- not in that icky Eliot Spitzer way -- and we'll be together, right? Hillary? Hillary!
Hillary Rodham Clinton
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