Thursday, January 17, 2008

My Hillary General Election Nightmare

  • It's early fall.  Hillary's won the nomination, albeit following a fight that went all the way to the convention.  Don't worry, Obama will live to stump another day, but this is Hillary's year.  And into that back-to-school, everyone's-busy-with-their-actual-lives September breather before the "real" campaigning starts, walks this nonsense:

Everyone knows that you campaign hard right or hard left to get the nomination, attracting your party's base(s, these days), who are always far loonier than the normal, decent flyover people who actually decide the leader of what used to be known as the free world.  But then you get to the general and have to sound enough like a responsible designated grownup to convince tens of millions of people that you deserve the nuclear codes.  And so you "play to the middle."

Hillary is now playing.  She knows that she's going to have to attract a huge female vote, because regardless of what they say, a sizeable chunk of men ain't never votin' for no girl president.  The problem is that there are plenty of women who will never vote for an old-time feminist, and Hillary in her sexless pantsuits and flats just doesn't seem like the kind of girlfriend you'd want to watch The View with while you change the baby's diaper.  She's more like the boss who couldn't understand why you'd want more than 6 weeks' maternity leave.

Something must be done.  And, a la alpha-male Gore in earth tones, Hillary starts to dress like ... a woman.  Skirts.  Dresses, even.  Things that cling.  And heels.  There are reports of her wearing perfume!  And then, it inevitably happens...

First, it's the MSM (hello, Chris...), analyzing her metamorphosis into very-late-blooming womanhood.  Why is she doing it?  Who's behind it?  Roundtables of fashion magazine editors and stylists abound, giving them all a chance to flog their 800-page September issues.

Then come the feminists.  You see, even in 2008, a woman's appearance is picked apart!  Even today, you can't run for president and be taken seriously as a woman!  If a man looks good, he's commanding, handsome -- if a woman looks good, she's trading on sex, using her body to get ahead!  The patriarchy lives!

Then the post-feminists.  What's wrong with a woman looking feminine?  Hillary is a powerful, strong, sexual person, and why on earth shouldn't she use every aspect of her persona?

Rush tries to talk about it, but is laughing so hard that he has to go to commercial.

Quietly but unmistakably, the real women are watching.  And listening.  And most of them are saying, Hey, damn good for 60!

  • And this is when all hell breaks loose.

One of us, one of those random political bloggers out there, starts a rumor.  It gets picked up.  Once, twice ... on all the right sites ... and all of a sudden, with accompanying primary vs. general election pictures, it has become nearly impossible to deny the possibility that ... yes ... Hillary Clinton has taken to ... wearing push-up bras. 

Oy vey.

Everyone but everyone is talking about it.  And trying not to talk about it.  While simultaneously checking out every possible picture (especially the "after" shots) just so they can be "informed" and "engaged in the political debate."  You can't read a website without being accosted by an "Is she or isn't she?" online poll  (more "after" shots).  There are about twice as many cameras as there used to be at every Hillary event.  Sales of push-up bras, well, skyrocket.

No one has the guts to ask Hillary, however, if she feels a little lifted and separated these days.  A debate looms.  A major, major debate.  In prime time.  On a college campus.  And Chris Matthews is one of the moderators.

And Chris asks.  Bluntly.  Leers.  At first, a few gasps in the audience (even the college kids are a little shocked), then dead silence.  Hillary pauses, breathes (learned that in New Hampshire).  And says:

Chris, I knew going into this campaign that I was going to have some uncomfortable moments.  That I would be vetted.  Again.  That my marriage would be analyzed.  Again.  That every move I made and every word I said would be torn apart and stitched back together.  Again.  And when I decided to run for President of the United States I made peace with the fact that this was the price that I would have to pay, in order to give the American people the chance to have a President who's on their side.  [drops her chin, raises her eyes, half smiles, and in her best come-hither looks right at Matthews]  So Chris, you go ahead and ask me as many questions about my lingerie as you feel you need to.

The place goes nuts.  

The college kids are loving it, fill-in-the-blank GOP guy is ready to crawl under the stage, Chris Matthews is beet red (and grinning), and those stupid Frank Luntz focus group dials snap right off their control pads.  There is some semblance, after a few minutes, of the rest of a debate, but the night is over.

The race is over.

There is no other story on the news.  YouTube crashes.  Several times.  Women who are total strangers look at each other, on the subway, in the grocery store, and giggle.  And Hillary has got the women's vote in a lockbox the likes of which Al Gore could never imagine.  

The womenfolk have arrived.

November comes, and, with a 67% turnout that's 73% female, it's Hillary in a walk.  Make that a sashay.


Now all this may sound a little far-fetched, but do you remember the dust-up over Hillary showing just the slightest bit of cleavage on the Senate floor once this summer?

Poor Obsessed Chris Matthews

Yes, I know, everyone's piling on Chris -- and not without reason.  But I think most of them are missing the point.  I get that the men don't get it, but the women -- come on, girls, is this not obvious?

When a man calls a woman, whom he cannot have, a "strip-tease," there's more going on here than a policy difference about nuances of the S-CHIP.  Chris is hitting Hillary below the belt because that's where she's hitting him.  DUH!  The one thing she shouldn't be doing is taking it all too seriously.  By all means, go on Hardball, take his questions, play along, but have a little sympathy for the boy with the crush on his college prof.  But be feminine, and if anything, a bit of a tease.  Nothing will disarm him more quickly than showing up the ludicrousness of the nature of his attacks.

And just for the Inaugural Ball (can you guess whom I think will win?) she should dance with him.  Very, very slowly.   ;)