Thursday, January 20, 2011

Will Hillary run?

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 1/20/11

The Obama presidency could easily be seen as a trick put together by Oprah, with an assist from Caroline Kennedy, who turned the tide overnight on Hillary Clinton the day after the New York Times endorsed her in her run for President in 2008. Looked like a done deal as it ever did, ever since Life Magazine picked up on her speech in college 40 years ago and declared her to be the face of a new generation. But next day Caroline placed her own op ed in the Times endorsing Barack Obama. Political history pivoted on that morning. That day, Uncle Teddy saw the distinct possibility of Obama, who American knew then only as a politically inexperienced black man from Chicago, being president, because America responded to Caroline Kennedy. It was the definitive moment: Kennedy kung fu was stronger than Clinton kung fu.

Was said then by Jules Feiffer in an excellent political cartoon and others, that the great thing about Barack Obama was that he was not Hillary Clinton. But we saw perfect mastery of the image when Oprah – when they call you by one name you have become a kind of god – got Caroline and Maria Shriver to smooze together with her on TV in opposition to the Super Bowl: The Three Sisters together, in opposition to Hillary (the dark yin, like Yoko to John, like Madame to Mao), and they took it from her, the Three Sisters, that which her husband had promised he could deliver to her ever since she flunked her law boards and went to him instead. Pictures of Bill seething with the clicker in his hand watching the football game that day with Bill Richardson tell the whole story.

Now, just this past month, Obama has taken it from Hillary a second time. His approval will rise now and it has been rising since last month. Since he ditched the left and moved to the middle. The middle which Hillary had already marked as her own, leaving Obama to the dweeb fest which is the marginal left in the press and in the House and Senate.

But Obama is by no means a marginal player like Barney Frank or Keith Olbermann or Paul Krugman; he is, as Malcolm X said of Jack Kennedy, who he is so said to resemble, an original Trickster. What moral basis could one possibly have in moving from a far left agenda over night to the middle? The morality of coyote, the trickster, who makes things happen in spite of what people want, starting the dance all over again by himself. During the campaign he was said to carry in his pocket a little effigy of a monkey; like Hanuman, the monkey god who, in Hindu lore, is said to be the creator of the realm.

But Hillary created the world; actually Bill, but Hillary helped. Ask them.

Would the Clintons let this stand? Taken once by Caroline and Oprah? Taken again by Obama and his darkwing Chicago thugs? Why would they? Did they ever?

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