Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Phil Bronstein Headshot

Hillary Comes Out of the Bill Closet: But How Does She Really Feel?

Posted: Updated:

I am NOT HIM! Hear me roar!

The loose lips parade of outbursts has replaced swine flu as the national epidemic of the moment. And there's no vaccine in sight for this 223-year-old unruly American problem.

But even Arlen Specter's gamely stiff spine in the face of spittle on his coat from health care plan protesters invoking heavenly wrath -- whose fury is scarier for politicians, God's or voters on the rampage? -- pales in comparison with Hillary Clinton's extraordinary exercise of free speech in an unguarded Congolese moment.

That same news media Barack Obama today accused (again) of "distorting things," does seem so far to have mutilated the whole meaning and sense of Hillary's angry comments about herself, her husband, and their respective places in the world.

"My husband is not the Secretary of State!" she responded to a question that may have been misinterpreted. "I am!" And she wasn't done: "I'm NOT going to be channeling my husband!" Yes! You go, girl!


Far from being a misstep featured for comment on the CNN Twitter board, this was a hugely liberating moment for the former First Lady, ex-Senator and, in fact, Secretary of State and spouse of an unemployed cheater.

I've never been a huge Hillary fan, but this was both heartbreaking and endearing, watching the cold steel and dispassion of the campaigner and too-often back seat passenger to power, explode into the molten lava that's been percolating all these years. Maybe it's been roiling around inside her, if you read Carl Bernstein's bio of her, since she showed up in Little Rock to marry Bill giving up her own promising DC career, and found him in flagrante with a young aide.

Even with the overlay of Mmes. Spitzer and Sanford, Hillary Clinton had remained the poster woman for the puzzlement of why anyone would repeatedly absorb such public humiliation.

Most recently, Bill arguably upstaged his wife yet again when he played the international broker in the freeing of two journalists in North Korea. After reading obsessively about it, I'm still not sure how exactly that went down. But it did appear that Bill had, as he often does, gotten applause for his role and snatched an inexpensive victory from the jaws of a larger lifetime of reminders of his self-absorption and incessant competition for the limelight.

I believe he does good work in the world. Certainly the two Current TV women needed to be back home, whether he was the beard or the actual negotiator. And something has kept this fascinating couple together all these years; I'm just as happy to believe it's love. I hope that's in there somewhere. But I also hope she feels better now. I certainly feel better about her after this dramatic blow-out. Maybe she's come out of her closet when it comes to Bill.

While her boss was struggling with his perpetual road campaign and declining poll numbers, the Secretary flicked the former Prez like a bug from her lapel in a couple of sentences, even as she was delivering $17 million in humanitarian aid to one of the more stricken countries in Africa.

Now that's impressive. Maybe she should be doing all the Democrats' town hall meetings on health care reform.

Register To Vote