In the Democrat primary, the question of experience keeps coming up. Should Hillary’s White House experience count when it comes to the presidency?
That’s because Hillary was first lady in name only. Evidence suggests it was Hillary, not Bill, who ran the administration. She was the woMAN behind the curtain in the Clinton White House.
We all know their marriage was not a love match. He went elsewhere for sex and companionship and, according to some sources, in their early years, she – though more discreet – did the same.
Bill pursued women with reckless abandon. She tolerated his affairs and managed the “bimbo eruptions” to minimize the political damage and her own personal embarrassment in order to achieve their mutual goals.
Their marriage was one of political expediency. What one lacked, the other had in spades. He was charming, exuded confidence, had the ability to win over people and audiences, but was completely undisciplined. She was the policy wonk – the cold, calculating political strategist and disciplinarian.
On March 3, 1992, when Bill Clinton claimed his first primary victory, with Hillary by his side, he proudly proclaimed, “We have this saying, ‘Buy one. Get one free.'” It was all very sweet, the dutiful husband bending over backward to make amends for past sins. No one will ever forget that fateful night on “60 Minutes” when Hillary announced that she wasn’t just “standing by her man.” What was she doing? She was plotting her political future.
In the early days of the campaign, many claimed the wrong Clinton was on the ticket, so they began campaigning to become the nation’s first “first couple.” Hillary said, “My husband and I are very lucky to have each other, and the country is lucky to have both of us.” When the country reacted negatively, Hillary retreated to the more traditional role. She could afford to be patient, but, make no mistake, Hillary was the dominant member of that duo.
Joyce Milton wrote in “The First Partner,” “One of the key reasons the Clintons remained in Little Rock after Bill’s 1992 victory was so Hillary could play an instrumental role in selection of a new administration.”
After Bill’s inauguration, Hillary completely broke with tradition and moved into the West Wing of the White House. It wasn’t just to keep an eye on Bill.
To support her claim that her White House experience left her best-prepared to be the next president, the Clintons allowed federal archivists to release papers relating to her schedule as first lady. However, the exact nature of the role she played remains unclear because of omissions and redactions that obscure many of her activities and the identities of those she saw.Surprise, surprise!
Gary Aldrich, one of only two FBI agents posted inside the White House, reported in “Unlimited Access” that Mrs. Clinton functioned as de facto chief of staff and White House counsel. She not only ran the domestic side of the White House, but domestic policy as well.
Aldrich wrote: “Some of this was done by high-level staff appointments, such as putting her law firm partners Vince Foster and Bill Kennedy in the Counsel’s Office and making her good friend Carol Rasco director of the Office of Domestic Policy.”
The early embarrassing disclosures about Clinton’s personal life, along with his tendency to lie and appear indecisive, caught the attention of psychologist Paul Fick. In his 1995 book, “The Dysfunctional President,” Fick diagnosed Clinton’s problem as the Adult Child of an Alcoholic Syndrome with the associated obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. One of the characteristics is an inability for cognitive thinking. Though Bill Clinton has an amazing capacity to memorize, he lacks the ability to analyze, evaluate and reach conclusions.
In a November 1994 Reason magazine article, “Can the President Think?” Carol Efron made the case that Hillary Clinton was indispensable to the president for the reasons mentioned above. “She (Hillary) is known to be a prop to her husband’s mind. … To an inordinate degree Hillary Clinton thinks for Bill Clinton. … Hillary’s role with the president exceeds that of an assistant.”
Eleanor Cliff wrote in June 1993 that Clinton staffers believed Bill’s failure to be decisive on significant issues like Bosnia was because Hillary was occupied with health care and not as available to him.
Certainly, there were many other political advisers around Bill Clinton. No, Hillary didn’t get her way with every issue, but, when Hillary Clinton wasn’t happy, she made sure that no one else was happy.
In 1992 and 1996, the nation didn’t vote for co-presidents, but, in effect, that is what it got. Yes, that experience should count. Therefore, Hillary Clinton simply should not be eligible for a third term.
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