American Reporter Correspondent
St. Simons Island, Ga.
June 24, 2008
EATING CROW ON THE HILLARY THING
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- In truth, I would not have voted for Hillary Clinton then and if she comes back into the race I won't vote for her now.
Having said that, I will at least elaborate on my firm stance. It's been said throughout her campaign that a hurdle she had to overcome was hearing, "people just don't like you, Senator Clinton."
But Mrs. Clinton didn't fawn, she didn't pander, she remained herself. Being true to yourself is admirable. She knows her own abilities and she is experienced and capable enough to follow through.
Obviously, the Senator is indefatigable - either that or she really knows how to pace herself. Her schedule for the last six months was grueling but she never looked drained, pale, over-extended or exhausted.
In fact, if she were in the White House and a call came in at 3:00 a.m., she'd hit the floor running.
So, what's the reason for my dislike for this personable and competent woman? It's not that purple hat she wore to Bill's first inauguration, although that was a terrible choice. And it's not her looks or weight.
It's not that she stood by her husband when a great majority of American women, egged on by the "Dear Abby" philosophy wanted her to "Throw the bum out."
Hillary Rodham Clinton has been a thorn in my side since her husband's first day in office: she went to his first cabinet meeting with him with her briefcase in hand - ostensibly as his lawyer. That was not her place!
The reason I wouldn't vote for her then or now is political, not personal. I'm an Independent. I've voted for Democrats as often as20 Republicans - Reagan Republican, Kennedy Democrat. My candidate will20 share my traditional conservative values.
In a Cabinet meeting, Hillary was not playing the traditional role of the First Lady, the hostess at the White House and representative of the United States. As an educated woman, a lawyer, I would have had no problem if she had her own law firm or went to an office daily. She was a career woman in her own right, but only one person was voted into the highest office in the land, and that was her husband.
Lady Bird Johnson, wife of President Lyndon Johnson, said it best: I believe, "The First Lady is an unpaid public servant elected by one person -her husband." And, Lady Bird called upon us all to beautify America by planting a tree or a bush. Lady Bird was a Garden Club kind of wife, not a professional. I wouldn't expect Hillary to try to fit20 into that mold, anymore than I'd expect her to stay home and bake20 cookies, as she suggested we might want of her.
Well, now I am eating crow. I never missed an opportunity to show my disdain for Mrs. Clinton. It was a gut feeling that fed upon itself. I didn't like her and there was no reason. Perhaps I believe it's because of my expectations. Mrs. Reagan stood by her handsome husband's side and looked at him adoringly. That was so nice; so sweet, so loving.
I overlooked the "pillow talk" during mid-afternoon naps with "Ronnie," and the astrologers concerned with policy. I disregarded her feud with Donald Regan and just admired her in her red dress or suit. Then there was Barbara Bush with her three-strand pearls, her electric-blue suits and amusing banter.
Bess Truman escaped to Springfield, Mo., her home town, as often as she could to play with her long established bridge club. What's not to like?
But I didn't like Hillary. She really didn't know her place, to my mind. Now I finally see she knew her place all along - in the White House, not as the dutiful wife of the leader of the free world, but as the Commander in Chief of the United States of America.
I can see Senator Hillary Clinton in that role with the full respect attendant upon that office. She is equally competent (if not more so) than the late Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher, and Mrs. Thatcher had the respect of the entire world.
So, now I'm eating crow. I was viciously insulting in my own distorted perception of who Senator Clinton was and now I am ready to champion her as a person for her intelligence, her deportment, her strength of character and her "hands-on" approach in her ability to govern as Senator from New York.