They said the Democrat primary campaign would be a sleepy affair, a stately march down the left side of the road, culminating in a coronation. The candidates were in their dotage and not to be disturbed during nap time. There would be none of that strife that Republican strivers generate. No unseemly name calling either, or dredging up bygone indiscretions. Let sleeping dogs — bitches or males — lie.
That gentleperson’s agreement has been forfeit of late, as the oldsters have dropped the kid gloves. Apparently Hillary Clinton told the Washington Post that Bernie Sanders was unqualified. Bernie took umbrage and gave as good as he got. A Hillary spokesperson qualified her original remarks but Bernie was not impressed. He came back with a skewering riposte declaring her more unqualified than he. She runs with a bad PAC and she joins the gold men to fill sacks of money she finds on the Street. Not to mention — although Bernie did — her ill-conceived vote for the ill-fated war in ill-starred Iraq. The Democrat Star Wars have begun, starring Are-Too-Am-Not and Princess Liar. May the False be with you!
Now that the Democrats have rejected The Big Sleep, another Raymond Chandler title may be in order: The Long Goodbye. The truth is that Hillary is indeed unqualified, and sleep is in fact the culprit.
Let us hearken back to the halcyon days of 2008, when Hillary was having a mixed race against Obama. It was time to drop a depth charge on Obama to convey that this guy was a featherweight who did not wear the pants suit in the family the way Hillary did. We can imagine Hillary, dubbed Lady Macbeth by The American Spectator in the 1990s, pushing her people to get the killer commercial onto the airwaves: “Out, damned spot! Out, I say!”
Her team finally came up with the ultimate campaign ad ad campaign. It was built around the exigency of an imaginary episode: the 3 a.m. phone call to the White House.
The spot asked the viewer to project a scenario. The new President has taken office and the phone rings at 3 a.m. with dark tidings of crisis. Who do you want answering that fateful summons? The ad was odd in its premises and promises. Are crises more likely, or more shattering, or more confusing, at 3 a.m. than at 3 p.m.? And why would we deem Hillary readier to field such a ring? In her last tour at the White House, she probably handled a few 3 a.m. calls but all she had to say was: “Stop calling here, you skank!”
Whatever else this advertised on the dog-whistle level, its most basic contention was that Hillary was uniquely suited to shrug off the disorientation of the ungodly hour and deliver a response calibrated with exquisite equipoise. Even in her ruffled pajamas she would be unruffled. In addition to being “from Mars, not from Venus,” she would defy Somnus as well.
This startling assertion stands unrivaled, I would argue, in the annals of political jousting. So quirky, so specific, so blithely confident, it issues a defiant dare to Fate. She was like a goddess, this woman, “who will neither slumber nor sleep while guarding the righteous.”
Fate did not dither in addressing this dare with deadly accuracy. Indeed it turns out that unlike any other presidential candidate in memory, Hillary Clinton has been mercilessly beset by the ravages of sleepiness and sleeplessness.
The first instance involves her fanciful description of landing in Bosnia under sniper fire and scrambling frantically for cover. This claim was in a sound bite she could not eschew. Busy fact-checkers unearthed video of the event, showing a tranquil scene that included a procession of proud schoolgirls bearing flowers. When confronted with the evidence, Hillary offered: “I addressed that already in my book. I said that when I was sleep-deprived!”
So it turns out the 3 a.m. Hillary persona is not quite Supergirl, leaping tall buildings in a single bound. Instead she is weaving tall tales without a single stitch of truth. We should overlook her vivid recollection of riflery and treachery: a mere mirage spawned in a whirlwind of weariness.
Fast forward to September 11, 2012. Now Mrs. Clinton is Secretary of State, a role which features the occasional 3 a.m. call to arms pulling one from the arms of Morpheus. Four brave men died in Benghazi, Libya, of all godforsaken places, while the Secretary snored. If the film 13 Hours is true to detail, the last two were felled almost exactly at 3 a.m.
Now it is 2016. Hillary is perpetrating a series of campaign stumbles. For one, she applauds the departed Nancy Reagan for raising awareness about AIDS. Suddenly, gay activists erupt to deny Nancy that distinction. Hillary immediately walks back her remarks. What is causing her unforced errors, including her “false memory” of Nancy? Defenders leap forward to remind us of the sleep deprivation endemic to the grueling campaign schedule.
Hillary Clinton is clearly unqualified, specifically because she cannot handle the 3 a.m. phone call. Unlike her husband, who was adept at sleeping around, she apparently does not get enough sleep. How can we give the nod to someone who cannot get 40 winks?