I read with interest and not a little consternation Maureen Dowd’s advice to your in her April 18 column in the NYT. She is undoubtedly very smart. This time, though, her advice wasn’t terribly useful. It can be summed up as: Use the Goldilocks strategy. Be not too masculine, be not too feminine, be just right.
Maureen worried that in the past you’d scrubbed out your “femininity, vulnerability and heart.” Hah! I’ve been following you for many years, Hillary, and I don’t ever remember the Hillary Clinton she is describing. The last time you did femininity and all that was when you tried to do a sister act with Tipper Gore. Remember your hair in a shoulder-length flip held back by a black velvet hair band, your girlish glances through those cute bangs. You even went so far as actually baking oatmeal cookies and then you gave the nation your recipe. True, some snarky spoiler pointed out that you stole it off the back of a Quaker Oatmeal can, but the mainstream media didn’t dwell on that and most of America loved that you were “ordinary people.”
Which brings me to another matter, Hillary. Most folks don’t know how you came up with the phrase “everyday people,” or “everyday Americans.” What’s with the “everyday?” they ask. Regular folks say “regular” or “ordinary.” And they think you got the idea for your “Scooby Doo” van from some silly cartoon series. Now, being a contemporary of yours I know better. You got all that from Sly & the Family Stone’s 1968 eponymous hit song “Everyday People”:
Sometimes I’m right and I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my song
The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah
There is a yellow one that won’t accept the black one
That won’t accept the red one that won’t accept the white one
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo
I am everyday people
But you are right to let them believe what they will. After all, it wouldn’t do at all if it turns out that you’re not paying a homeless black guy the royalties he may be owed by you. Think of the optics.
Of course you knew Sly Stone had fallen upon very hard times, had lost everything he owned including his house. I last read about him in 2011 when he was reportedly living in his van. Hillary, I’m certainly not suggesting that you stole anything from poor Sly. It’s more like you’re “sampling,” in the way that hip-hop stars do when they borrow strains of well-known music that other people have written and insert them into their own songs.
Maureen obviously disapproves of your strategist having “modeled [you] on Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher.” Hillary, you don’t deserve this comparison. You are so much more than Margaret Thatcher ever was, and you are not even President yet! First, Mrs. Thatcher never fully embraced masculinity. Remember those tight skirts and fitted jackets. She had a great body, but she definitely should not have flaunted it. Just look at these photos in the Guardian. Despite the hats and pearls, she looked sexy. You would never do that.
As for the “Iron Lady” tag, it was given to her by a Soviet journalist, whether as a compliment or an insult I don’t know. But she embraced it and made it her own. Because she was tough. But, Hillary, she was nowhere near as tough as you. You were also a woman who was made of metal, only in your case it was stainless steel, which is so in demand these days. Yes, I still remember the Hillary Nutcracker. You can still buy one here: It’s a 9-inch plastic and stainless steel replica of you wearing a black pant suit, and it can actually crack nuts. How totally awesome is that? Forget “Scooby-doo” Hillary. Embrace the Hillary Nutcracker. Make it your logo.
And don’t for one second worry about “sharing the story of the day [your] granddaughter was born.” Here again Maureen misses the mark. You will never come across as the motherly type, unless it’s in the mold of, say, Medea. She killed her kids, but then that was a straightforward revenge thing. Her husband left her for another woman so she turned around and murdered their kids. Nothing much to ponder there. What you did to Chelsea is so, so much more complex and ingenious. No one thinks that Chelsea is the sharpest pebble on the beach (at 35, she’s never been able to hold down a job that wasn’t “in the family firm” so to speak), but how did you get her to agree to take the fall for your illegal activities?
I was blown away when I read in Politico that “there’s little doubt that today, what some in the Clinton orbit call the ‘invisible hand of Chelsea’ shapes almost every significant decision her parents make, according to multiple sources familiar with the family’s dynamics and their vast $2 billion philanthropy, the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. They say she played a key role in the foundation’s now-controversial decision to resume accepting foreign contributions, for example, and that she was among the proponents of moving the family’s private emails—including the @chelseaoffice.com accounts—from the Clinton’s homebrew server to an outside IT firm.” “Controversial,” my aunt Fanny. Those things were downright criminal and you Hillary, as a very savvy lawyer, know this.
Machiavelli has become almost an archetype of political deviousness, but next to you, Hillary, he’s nothing but an obsequious sycophantic Florentine suck-up. It’s hard, even for a Hillary-watcher like me, to follow your reasoning in this Chelsea maneuver. Is it that you believe that a prosecutor—even a Republican one—would think very hard before going after a young mother of an infant child for the various crimes you’ve implicated Chelsea here? Are you thinking of how the flagging war-on-women meme might suddenly burgeon one more should Chelsea be indicted? Or are you thinking that—worst case scenario–even if Chelsea does get jail time, you can pardon her when you become President?
So don’t necessarily listen to Maureen Dowd, Hillary. She thinks your “‘Don’t mess with me’ Tumblr meme, showing [you] with dark glasses serenely checking [your] BlackBerry on a military plane” is “cool.” But do not go there Hillary. After all, you weren’t emailing anyone except your dear husband, remember, and how many emails can you plausibly claim that the two of you exchanged while you were on that plane? Especially as we all know what a very busy man he is.
Maureen gets it right at the very end, though. “Bitch is still the new black,” she says. For you that’s just the thing Hillary. Run with it! You’ve got what it takes!
Thanking you for your years and years of service to our country, I remain,
Your Loyal Fan