Comedienne Elizabeth Woolf opened for Jon Lovitz at the Hard Rock in Fort Lauderdale the other night, and she demolished Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for President in one line.
“I am really happy that Hillary Clinton is favored to win the Presidency. This will send a powerful message to every young girl in this country that you could potentially reach any level or attain any position in this country…” Here came a long pause.
“… provided your husband does it first!” Checkmate! Absolutely brilliant.
I thoroughly enjoyed her approach, that the whole point of “the first woman President” is undermined by the fact that we could not find a woman to blaze her own trail to the door of the White House. But in my view the whole business is moot, because I think Hillary’s candidacy is unconstitutional. That is correct: I believe that the type of intent-of-the-law spirit-of-the-law constitutional interpretation Anthony Kennedy and his fellow Justices have been practicing leads inexorably to the conclusion that the Constitution of the United States forbids Hillary Clinton to run for President.
Look, I will prove my point to you in reverse. Right now Barack Obama is nearing the finish of his second term as President. He recently said, while abroad in Africa, that he could win a third term if he were permitted to run again, and I think most people agree that is true. For a complex set of reasons, the flaws in his policies have not been obvious to the masses. His legacy can be prettified in a series of powerful talking points. Although his approval rating is considered low, he could still rally the coalition that reelected him, unless some drastic collapse of the stock market occurs.
Knowing that fact, what is to prevent Michele Obama from announcing her candidacy? She could even state explicitly that she will let her husband make all the decisions. Or if she wanted to be a tad more circumspect, she could cite her education at Princeton University and Harvard Law School, her experience on the staff of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, all augmented by her up-close exposure to Barack Obama’s terms as President.
After that, she could add coyly: “… and my top adviser will be… the man who brought us health care… the man who pulled us out of the great recession… the man who ended the war in Iraq… the man who prevented Iran from building a nuclear weapon… the man who hunted down Osama bin Laden!”
Are you sure she would not win? Think again. You can just imagine the ads. “We must keep the national renaissance going… the progress of the last eight years cannot be stolen away by extremists living in the past… we will send the world a message that America will continue on the path of peace… Yes We Must! Yes We Must!”
The answer to this is obvious. The 22nd Amendment, limiting a President to two terms, must be interpreted by the Supreme Court based on its intended purpose. Obviously eight years does not mean eight for the President and eight for the spouse. The position of First Spouse implies a “dower interest” in the Presidency equivalent to having served the two terms oneself.
The language of the amendment reads: “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice…” The choice of “be elected” over “serve” can be taken to cover this very eventuality. The spouse of the President is a part of the election to the office, and is given consideration in establishing an office in the East Wing with ample funding and staffing. (An interesting argument might come about if a President wanted to divorce a spouse in office, like Sarkozy did, and the spouse refused to give up the East Wing.)
In the case of Hillary Rodham Clinton, clearly two terms in the vast East Wing conspiracy are more than enough.
We all remember the sham term limits for governorships in states like Alabama, where George Wallace and his wife alternated elections. Surely the Supreme Court would never accept such a mockery in applying an amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
So you see, my friends, all the brightest minds in this country have missed the larger point with Hillary Clinton running in 2008 and now again in 2016. The fact that since being First Lady she has served as a corrupt Senator and a crooked Secretary of State is irrelevant. She is disqualified from the Presidency. Perhaps she should have divorced Bill after all….
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