new: (‘nü) having recently come into existence.
news: (‘nüz, ‘nyüz) a report of recent events; previously unknown.
not news: (‘nät ‘nüz) Hillary Clinton is running for president.
How long have we been waiting for this shoe to drop? Since an hour after George H.W. Bush conceded the 1992 election and the previously-named Hillary Clinton specifically corrected the media at large by saying, more or less, “That’s Hillary Rodham Clinton now, Bub.” Since President Bill Clinton held up a little plastic card and, instead of explaining that his committee to study medical insurance reform was making a proposal, announced that, “Everyone will carry this card because my wife said so.” (Okay, I may have dreamed the last part of that sentence.)
Actually, this may very well be the longest-running, calculated campaign in history – at least my history. Did anyone think the Clintons became New Yorkers so they could get away from the bumper-to-bumper traffic in Arkansas?
Does any non-New Yorker know the name of the other U.S. Senator from that state? (It’s Charles Schumer, incidentally. But you’ve already Googled that, haven’t you?) Why do you think that is?
Let’s face it, in the area of historical benchmarks, we’re going to have to wait for this one. First U.S. President – impressive. First female U.S. President – also impressive, given the fact that it’s taken this long. First female to run for U.S. President – been done. First female to run for U.S. President as a Democrat – sorry, too many prepositional phrases. It becomes one of those obscure baseball records Bob Costas breaks out during the ninth inning in a shut-out inter-league game between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies: “Waldo is the first left-handed catcher to hit the ball into the outfield during a full moon on astro-turf.”
Last night I did hear this superlative: First woman to be considered a front-runner for a nomination to run for U.S. president. Still too many prepositions and also a matter of opinion. I’m not sure everyone will agree, but it may be one of those self-fulfilling prophecies if the media picks Hillary as their darling – excuse me, Rodham-darling.
As a woman, perhaps I’ll find this more of a trailblazing decision once Ms. Clinton is actually nominated. And, in the wake of Maggie Thatcher and Helen Mirren showing us Elizabeths I and II with backbones, I just may have to witness an actual win before you’ll hear me roar – for whatever reason.
To be honest, though, from a civic standpoint, I’m wondering what the fuss is about. Being the first woman president is a novel idea that draws attention and all that superlative language. But government is supposed to function as something other than entertainment and fodder for trivia games. And I type that with a straight face.
Aside from the fact that she’s female, I’m not hearing a whole lot of concrete ideas to set my middle-of-the-road heart aflutter. In fact, I’m hearing some pretty old ideas dressed up as “dialogue.” Oh, God save us from more of those Clinton focus groups! Truthfully, I’m not crazy about a president who won’t change his position no matter what anyone says; but I’m equally annoyed by a president who is chained to public opinion.
Besides, I was hoping, Hillary (I feel I can call you Hillary, since your website invites me to be a part of “Team Hillary,” not “Team Clinton” – excuse me, “Team Rodham-Clinton”), that you knew better than most of us and had some plan or other of your own – something that doesn’t involve my most recent pap smear showing up in an FBI file. I think we need more of a reason to vote for you other than, “I’m not George W. Bush.”
I’m not sure I’m willing to sacrifice four more years of partisan bickering for the fleeting victory of a historical first. Besides, remember what happened when Halle Berry thought “the door tonight has been opened” when she won an Oscar for Monster’s Ball?
She then promptly did Cat Woman.