A Gail Collins article in the Sunday Review section of today's NY Times was titled Hillary in History. About halfway through the article is the following line:
When the question of whether Hillary would have risen to presidential status if she hadn’t been married to Bill comes up, her fans tend to argue that if she hadn’t gotten married at all, she’d probably have gotten to the same place quicker on her own.
If you ever doubt how delusional Hillary fans are, just remember that. First of all, the odds that anyone -- no matter how politically talented -- will rise to the point where they are considered a viable Presidential candidate are minuscule. The path to the Presidency is a long, serpentine one that requires ambition, fortuitous circumstance, the right connections, willing accomplices, a friendly media, a talent for subterfuge, and a ton of luck.
There are lots of people with political ambition and talent who never make it. The formula for success is tricky and far, far beyond any one person's control.
So the idea that any individual was somehow predestined from the start to end up with a major party nomination necessitates a leap of faith so large that it precludes any sense of the incredible amount of happenstance required to actually ascend to that position.
Family connections can certainly help. Even the elder President Bush had a father who was a US Senator, Al Gore had a father who was a US Senator, and President Kennedy had a father who basically pushed him into the Presidency.
But the Rodhams were neither a political nor financial dynasty.
If you don't have those family connections, you have to be able to ingratiate yourself with those who can help your career. To do that, you must employ charm, humor, salesmanship, and a certain moral flexibility.
Hillary has only that last attribute.
So the idea that Hillary would "probably have gotten to the same place quicker on her own" is as ludicrous as saying that George W. Bush would have risen to the Presidency even if his father hadn't been President. Or that Donald Trump would be the Republican frontrunner if he was a blue collar worker with a net worth of $50,000. Or that a less-than-one-full-term Senator from Illinois with no legislative accomplishments to speak of would have been elected President if he hadn't been black.
The difference is, you don't hear any of those statements from Bush, Trump, or Obama supporters. Only Hillary's supporters are that insane. (That quality, of course, is reflected in many of their other cherished beliefs.)
If Hillary hadn't been married to Bill, it's not hard to imagine where she would have ended up. She might have been a small time lawyer in Chicago. Or, with a little luck, a partner at a larger law firm. She might have been a college professor, maybe in law, or maybe in a subject closer to her heart, like Women's Studies. Or, she might have ended up as an organizer for NOW.
She probably would have been fairly successful at any of those occupations. She's smart enough, and probably would have been fairly successful at currying favor within the Women's Studies Department, or among the other functionaries at NOW.
But the idea that the political powerbrokers in Illinois, Arkansas, or anywhere else would have taken a look at this woman --
-- and thought to themselves, "Yep, there's the charisma we're going to ride all the way to the White House" is just not credible.
Bill was known to have the ability to make every person he spoke to feel special. He was quick on his feet, charming, and humorous. He could appear patriotic when that was called for, contrite when that was called for, angry when that was called for, and compassionate when that was called for. He may have been none of those things, but he knew how to project those emotions because he was a great salesman, and a consummate seducer. (He is, after all, a sociopath, and sociopaths tend to be good at those things.)
And even with all that going for him, he needed a tremendous amount of luck.
Hillary is by nature stiff, brittle, and (genuinely) angry. During the '08 primary campaign, Obama was criticized for having said, lukewarmly, that Hillary was "likable enough." He was actually being generous.
If Hillary hadn't married Bill, you'd never have heard of her.