Am I the only one bothered by the fact that, come Jan. 1, America
will have just a part-time First Lady? Never before in history,
the mainstream media trills, has a president’s wife taken off to
pursue her own career and her own life
, to run for public office
while her husband is still in the White House. It’s unprecedented, they
burble, this moving out of the executive mansion and scaling back her
official duties. Hillary even skipped the National Christmas
Tree-lighting ceremony with the United States Marine Band’s rousing
cover of “Jingle Bell Rock,” letting Bill throw the switch all by
himself, while Mrs. Clinton was stumping in Manhattan instead (can she
find it on the map?). Some wag dubbed her “The Candidate formerly known
as First Lady.” Is
this any way to run a country?

“How dare she?” you might ask. Well, this is no scaling-back. This
is a full-blown abdication.

The Clintons as commuter spouses in the first Presidential Metroliner
Marriage? Puhlleaze!

Read between the lines: Hillary Clinton’s embarrassingly awkward run
for a New York State Senate seat while
her sometime-priapic spouse is still a, uh, sitting president, can now
be construed as her gigantic leap sideways to escape Bill Clinton’s
clutches, a legitimate smokescreen, er, excuse for a marital separation
culminating in an eventual divorce. The Bill-and-Hillary expediential
political time-share arrangement would seem to have expired. A
thousand points of flight.

Rumors and rumbles that the First Couple didn’t talk to each other
for the better part of a chilly half a year after the Monica
debacle have suddenly
acquired credence. Two residences, two careers, two egos crowding each
other out and galloping in opposite directions. Suddenly, Bill’s
mournfully shooting solo rounds of golf into the late Washington night,
an increasingly isolated Lonely Guy-President, while Hillary’s perkily
planning how she’s gonna decorate “her” new residence, that modest $1.7
million 110-year-old five-bedroom Georgian colonial at 15 Old School
Lane in Chappaqua. Where WILL she put the shag rug and lava lamp from
ironic staff jokesters? Just imagine her husband, the POTUS, aimlessly
pacing his gigantic neo-bachelor lair at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue …
flicking El Corona ashes on the priceless carpet piled high with Big Mac
wrappers and empty Haagen-Dazs cartons … until he completes HIS term
… when he will make a few token visits to Chappaqua … before
high-tailing it back to Little Rock and hunkering down in his newly
built presidential library-cum-bomb shelter.

No word yet on the whereabouts of Buddy and Socks.

I think Hill’s left Bill, gang.

Already, the supermarket tabloids have been shrieking, “HILLARY

Next thing we know, Bill Clinton and Woody Allen will form a Monday
night saxophone-clarinet duo called Moral Perplex, to play weddings and
Bar Mitzvahs — giving new meaning to the expression Chump Change.

Anyway, what’s Bill gonna do for a D.C. hostess? Press Chelsea into
service? That’s not the answer. Do we really need a first
She’s just a 19-year-old
kid at Stanford barely out of braces and knee socks. That WTO woman
Barshefsky won’t do, either. Just imagine her underpaying the help, or
collapsing every official event before it gets off the ground.

Meanwhile, I have a better idea.

No, I’m not going to say: “Allow me. I can do that. I’m great at
part-time jobs. Just ask any of my bosses.”
Because it’s not true. I
hate shaking hands. I am phobic about germs. I simply can NOT smile on
cue. And I refuse to suggest my cute blonde 30-something neighbor
Amanda, the art therapist-turned-party planner, who could entertain
heads of state while interpreting their Rorshachs.

This is a radical proposal, but here goes: Bring back Monica
Lewinsky. The erstwhile intern STILL needs work, meaningful work.
By now her fingers must be developing Repetitive Strain Injury from all
those Real
purses she’s
been stitching for sale on the Net.

You might have missed Monica, the self-style People Person and my
secret soul sister in singlehood, blabbing to Barbara Walters on ABC’s
“The 10 Most Fascinating People of 1999” that though she is dating a
bit, she’s careful to steer clear of “unavailable” men.

Yeah, Ma, me too. But I think Bill’s just been placed on the open

“I try and stay away from them,” says Monica, “as quickly as I spot
’em.” And, in a move sure to please and placate America’s shrinks, she
wants to work really hard on making better decisions and getting away
from bad situations sooner.

Good move.

Since her Altoid caper,
Monica’s learned so many things. Cursed not by cynicism, her nagging
problem is entirely the opposite: She’s like the proverbial barn door
that’s never locked. Still “very open,” she trusts people too easily.

Duh. Something like Hillary in the Mid-East disastrously hugging Mrs.
Arafat after an anti-Israel zinger sure to outrage her would-be

Besides, what’s the dif? Hillary gets to declare her independence,
Bill and Monica get to play house in the White House. Perhaps he’ll make
a guest appearance on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” He might even win
big bucks to pay off some of his colossal debts.

And maybe Mattel can be coaxed into issuing First Lady
as a motivational toy for
America girls; don’t forget a few hostess routines thrown in with the
voice-chip. Kids need practice in these things.

Hey, makes sense to me.

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