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Lorraine Devon Wilke Headshot

Turns Out Dems Love Hillary: Now Can We Leave Bill's Privates Alone?

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It seems, despite in-and-out party grumping to the contrary, most polled Democrats really want Hillary Clinton to run. According to a just released New York Times/CBS News Poll:

More than 8 in 10 Democrats say they want Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president in 2016, showing a level of interest in her that no other potential candidates - Democrat or Republican - come close to matching among their party's voters, according to a New York Times/CBS News Poll. [...]

Male and female Democrats expressed similar levels of interest in Mrs. Clinton. A potential Clinton candidacy also drew the strongest support among self-described independents, with 52 percent saying they hoped she would run.

Those are pretty substantial numbers and the fact that they're spread across the great gender divide is impressive. Personally, I'm all for it. I do, however, have several associates in the world of left-leaning politics, many of whom are of the female persuasion, who are not. Some claim - counter to general feminist memes - that Ms. C is too old. Others assert that she is too heavily-baggaged, too conservative; too not Elizabeth Warren. And, of course, there are always those who Don't Like Bill. To each his own; personally, I find that litany (despite my own fondness for Elizabeth Warren) off-putting, particularly the age issue.

Hillary Clinton has proven she's profoundly qualified to run for president, both physically and politically, and as a woman-of-a-certain-age myself, I find the discussion of age as it relates to her ability to do anything patently offensive. What antiquated, ageist and, really, sexist thinking... particularly when it comes from women, dammit! At a time when people can live healthily to, say, a feisty Betty-White-92, still kicking up their heels or staring down dictators, it seems positively Neanderthal to snigger about the age of a woman who's been around the world a few times, kicked butt with some of the fiercest, wrangled a problem-husband, rocked as First Lady and Senator, all while balancing her role as mother, friend, and concerned citizen, and still wants to take on the slog that is running for president. I'd like to see a few younger men and women I know take on her schedule and do nearly as well.

As to the baggage question - COME ON! Has anyone ever been more vetted before a presidential race than Hillary Clinton? I think not. While Elizabeth Warren is clearly a rising star in the Democratic party, a person I admire and support wildly, she's in line behind Hillary Clinton, who's put in the time, done the work, taken the hits, and paved the way like no one else and deserves her spot in the race. If Warren wants to take her on in the primaries, I think that would be fabulous; it would energize the party, bring out women and young people, get the electorate excited in a way that would bode well for female candidacies in the years to come. We need that. If she won, I'd be delighted. But, for me, this is Clinton's time. To my sisters in the liberal ranks who disagree... we'll just have to continue to disagree and see how it all comes out in the - no, I won't say "wash." That just sounds too old school "women's work," doesn't it?

But now that we've touched on the "woman" angle, let's get to the women angle; that would be The Husband In The Middle of the Living Room. Mr. Bill Clinton. Wild, randy, Bill.

While it's inarguable that any other woman brings as much experience, wisdom, expertise, and thick skin to the race, neither do any bring the particular "nuance" that is Ms. Clinton's husband. And it is no revelation that by being positioned as the Democratic frontrunner, Clinton is also positioned to be brutally cross-haired for the frequently tawdry, often cringe-worthy history of the man to whom she's been married all these many years. The question is: are we Americans so predictable, so small, so very petty that what we want to discuss in the run-up to the 2016 election is what that husband did with his private parts almost 20 years ago?

Yep. It seems we do. In fact, the panting, salacious and so very predictable sliming has already begun.

Washington Free Beacon writer, Alana Goodman, breathlessly reports in her recent piece, "The Hillary Papers," not only the "ruthless" nature of Ms. Clinton per the archives of her late and "closest friend," Diane Blair, but the reactions of the then-First Lady to Monica Lewinsky and other "whiney women" involved in the Bad Bill stories. All I could say as I read through this piece was: here we go...

One has to wonder if Ms. Blair really meant for these purportedly private thoughts to be blathered across the internet upon her death; if so, I'd question that "closest friend" ranking. I'd also suggest, given what Clinton had to face in light of her husband's misbehaviors, that her calling Monica Lewinsky a "narcissistic looney tune" was probably more benign than most red-blooded American women would have offered in similar circumstances. And thirdly, and on on more personal tangent, can I suggest to any of my "close friends" who've archived private thoughts and correspondence about or with me, could ya do me a favor and not throw them up for public consumption if you beat me to the grave? I know... I'm not famous or running for the presidency, but still... it's too embarrassing and just smacks of "those things we girls don't do to each other." If Diane Blair really was one of Clinton's closest friends, I suspect she might have felt the same.

It seems to me that given the sheer UGLY that is our general public discourse about pretty much anything these day, much less politics, it is incumbent upon us all (oh, can you imagine the blood lust of 2016??) to draw some clear lines about what's worthy of analysis and what's just beaten-to-death bullshit that's so predictable it's moldy. And I'd say any discussion of Bill Clinton's penis - what he did with it, who's seen it, who claims to have seen it, who legislated against it, who's fixated on it, etc., etc. - has NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH HILLARY CLINTON'S RUN FOR PRESIDENT.

You want to discuss her resume, her experience, qualifications, worldview, policies, vision for leadership, or any other characteristics as they actually apply to her capacity? Open season. You want to argue about her tenure at the State Department, her years as a Senator, her connections to organizations you despise; yep, all on the table. You want to assert that she's not a liberal enough Democrat, a left enough liberal; too conservative to be a left enough liberal for the lefties of the liberal branch of the Democratic party, go for it. You want to parse her words, bitch about her pant suits, snark about her weight, her age or her hair styles, you'd be petty, but go ahead....

But Bill Clinton's privates? Dispelled from discussion. Please. For the sake of the children. For the sake of our sanity. For the sake of what's already been viewed, reviewed, and regurgitated more than anyone can stand. Rand Paul, you of the plagiarism stories and other "unsavory" characteristics of your own, move on to real issues. Fellow writers and pundits, regardless of political proclivities, can we focus on substance rather than click-bait sensationalism (yes, they say I'm a dreamer)? And Ms. Lewinsky, if you really do have a million dollar book deal in hand, can you take that opportunity to write about your experiences and evolution since the White House debacle: your impressive achievements in getting a social psychology masters, your creativity; who you are beyond the caricatures painted by the press? You clearly have more to offer the world than secret love letters and continued salacious gossip and I hope, for your sake and ours, you keep whatever you can of that chapter of your private life private.

As for Bill, he's had an impressive post-presidency and, apparently, has been exemplary in his private life, so unless he misbehaves as "the candidate's husband" (or as First Man, should she win); unless there's some new "unsavoriness" to discuss - now, not then - can we please have a moratorium on any conversation about his private parts?

We're, frankly, more interested in her mind than his penis and, really, that story is such old, old, news. It's Hillary Clinton who's the star these days.


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