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Sunday, November 8, 2015

What would Hillary have been without Bill?

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.


Taylor Leland Smith said...

From wikipedia:

"By then, Rodham was viewed as someone with a bright political future: Democratic political organizer and consultant Betsey Wright had moved from Texas to Washington the previous year to help guide her career,[58] and Wright thought Rodham had the potential to become a future senator or president.[59] Meanwhile, Clinton had repeatedly asked Rodham to marry him and she continued to demur.[60] After failing the District of Columbia bar exam[61] and passing the Arkansas exam, Rodham came to a key decision. As she later wrote, "I chose to follow my heart instead of my head".[62] She thus followed Bill Clinton to Arkansas, rather than staying in Washington, where career prospects were brighter. He was then teaching law and running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in his home state. In August 1974, Rodham moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and became one of only two female faculty members in the School of Law at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.[63][64]"

Do you think she followed her heart? Looks to me she recognized Bill as a next best option, given that she couldn't pass the bar. If I remember correctly, she also failed the CT bar.

John Craig said...

Taylor --
I'd agree with your conclusion. I'd forgotten about her having failed the DC bar exam.

By the way, here's a little tidbit, also from Wiki, about Betsey Wright, the leftist campaign consultant who felt that Hillary had so much potential:

"While visiting a death row inmate in 2005, Wright was accused of trying to smuggle money into the prison. After the incident, Wright lost visitation privileges for six months.[2] In August 2009, the Arkansas State's Attorney's office filed 51 felony charges against Wright, accusing her of attempting to smuggle a knife, tweezers, a boxcutter, and 48 tattoo needles into the Varner Unit on May 22.[3][5] During an interview with the Associated Press, Wright denied any wrongdoing, saying that the needles were in a bag of chips that she got from a prison vending machine.[2] In April 2010, Wright agreed in a plea bargain to plead no contest to two misdemeanors; in exchange, 48 felony counts were dropped. She was sentenced to one year of probation and a $2000 fine.[19]"

You have to wonder about the judgment of a woman who tried to smuggle a knife and a box cutter into a Death Row unit.

Rifleman said...

...taken a look at this woman --

She looks like the late film critic Roger Ebert. A big fat liberal but not gay movie nerd.

Hillary wasn't going anywhere without Bill.

Yet the White feminists of her generation see her as their champion. A feminist icon who clung to a serial adulterer to be close to power.

Bernie wont beat her but I hope big bad Donald does. And I hope he torments the feminists like Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Somebody showed a list of Democrat defeats since Obama's election and it's just BRUTAL. I'm not so much a fan of Republicans but it was a devastating list of historic failures.

Imagine Trump coming from outside politics and crushing the Republican establishment and then lifelong hack Hillary!!

John Craig said...

Rifleman --
Yes, the Democrats have been absolutely decimated in both the House and Senate since Obama came to the White House.

I'm rooting for Donald too, though with some trepidation. I wish he'd add some more substance to his campaign. At times it sounds as if he's saying "I should be President because I'm going to be a great President because I wrote The Art of the Deal." At other times i sounds like, "I should be President because I'm leading in the polls." I know, that's an exaggeration, and he'll hire smart people to help guide him, and the most important thing about a President is that his instincts be right. Still…

Also, he seems to be a master manipulator, telling the American public what it wants to hear on immigration etc, which makes me wonder how much of what he says he'll actually try to deliver on.

Taylor Leland Smith said...

After reading that, you certainly do. Though even if it'd been Karl Rove who said she'd one day be President, I'd have to agree with your initial point that that's a ridiculous claim to begin with. Either Wright recognized that Hillary would take *whatever* stance necessary to gain political popularity, or it also follows that she somehow could foresee that the political stars would align to her positions...

John Craig said...

Taylor --
Yes, agreed. It's ridiculous to say of anyone that because of their talent they are predestined to get a major party nomination for the Presidency. There are just way too many extraneous factors involved.

Anonymous said...

Hillary clearly enjoys politics, being where the action is so to speak. For the life of me, I cannot fathom why she is so interested in being President of our country. At her age, I can think of other things I'd rather do than run a country, the stress of the job definitely not worth having during that stage of life.


Rifleman said...

Yes, the Democrats have been absolutely decimated in both the House and Senate since Obama came to the White House.

I meant the State levels as well. The list included governors and state legislatures. It was unbelievable.

Hard to believe when you consider how liberal media and academia and internet culture and "rich elites" are in this country.

John Craig said...

Birdie --
I think she's addicted to power at this point, and wants the ultimate feather in her cap. It's not about beliefs or vision with her, it's about ambition.

John Craig said...

Rifleman --
Yes, absolutely, the state level as well.

It's a good sign that all of this transpired despite the stranglehold the libs have on the media and academia, it means more people are coming to their senses. The backlash has started.

Rifleman said...

Chuck Todd Highlights Democratic Historic Electoral Losses Under Obama

Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd detailed how poorly Democrats have fared in elections during the Barack Obama’s presidency.

Terrekain said...

Rifleman: "Imagine Trump coming from outside politics and crushing the Republican establishment and then lifelong hack Hillary!!"

Trump may not be a professional politician in the conventional sense, but neither has he ever been "outside politics".

Doing business in many parts of the US today, including Trump's stomping grounds in the tri-state area, is much akin to doing business in the political ghetto of the third world. There's always a palm to grease to stave off an injunction, a safety regulation who's only purpose is to provide leverage for a bureaucracy's payoff, a building code to enforce in lieu of hefty favors owed, etc. The government is into everything, which means there's a graft, a tax, a kickback under the table, for everything. So whether you're trying to procure multi-stage media filtration systems, multi-axial milling machines, or styrofoam cups for a lemonade stand, you'll have to pay a bureaucrat in a plaid suit instead of a highway man with an Ak-74.

Which is worse? Which is more symptomatic of a dead-end society?

Baloo said...

Another zinger! Reblogged:
All liberals are delusional, but feminists are the most delusional of all.

Terrekain said...

John Craig: "I'm rooting for Donald too, though with some trepidation. I wish he'd add some more substance to his campaign. At times it sounds as if he's saying "I should be President because I'm going to be a great President because I wrote The Art of the Deal." At other times i sounds like, "I should be President because I'm leading in the polls."

To describe Trump's pros and cons succinctly, he's a success story from the tri-state region.

A different example is "Obama is a success story" from Chicago."

Professionals draw what context they can from the background; and Trump's is notorious; the peers, the work history, the business environment, the culture. You begin to understand the personalities by inspecting the culture that rewards it. Again, it's no different than evaluating anybody for employment or a security clearance.

Take, for example, one issue in America that's so important, it's taboo: Race.

Nobody wants to live in the ghettos or the barrios.

It's not because the property has no intrinsic value but because the people on the property have no value.

Trump knows this as a real-estate developer. But if you're not a part of the business culture, it's hard to comfortably convey that to outsiders who are born into PC language. Real-estate is the cornerstone of any business venture from a house-wife to a multinational corporation; depreciation, property taxes, appraisals, deductibles, investment and cashflows, etc. And the cornerstone principle of real estate is that people are the basis of property value.

Not complicated, of course.

The demographic relocation of Middle Class Whites and its attendant property values and capital movement is an open secret, one that real estate professionals (again, any businessman) like Trump works ad nauseum throughout their careers. Its inverse function, the Black and Latino blight, is similarly notorious in the business world. Look at the University fiasco in Missouri and you'll see why nobody wants to hire them or live with them.

Trump's worked around the edges pragmatically, with political correctness, as everyone has, but he hasn't swallowed the minority victimology and entitlement the way Republicans like Rubio and Carson have. And when you look at their backgrounds, it's not hard to see why. You already know what kind of people each side will be placing in positions of authority, given the chance.

When Trump says that crime among illegals is rampant, I look at that statement from a practical perspective in matters of acquisitions and property management.

"Thank you, Mr. Obvious."

He knows instinctively which properties and prospects are losers because the people who inhabit them are losers. Any businessman would, unless you live off government welfare like slumlords, cram-down investors, General Motors, etc.

Is that the perfect paradigm through which to predict the substance of Trump's future governance?


But what is a better barometer of evaluation?

A political "voting" record when you're spending millions of other people's money?

Or a business "financial" record where you're spending millions of your own?

Terrekain said...

John Craig: "I know, that's an exaggeration, and he'll hire smart people to help guide him, and the most important thing about a President is that his instincts be right. Still…"

Looking for intellectuallism is misguided.

A kid out of college, an "intellectual", telling me how much he knows and what his future plans are doesn't impress me - at all.

A kid with a work history, a "go-getter", who tells me what my company is looking for and why he intends to provide it, gets the job every time.

There aren't enough of the latter to go around.

Do good businessmen look for people to give them every niggling detail about how they intend to achieve a goal? To do what? Micromanage them? Babysit them?

I might as well not hire them in the first place.

Even if Trump stated the entire powerpoint plan of his Presidency with virtual models for people to rummage through, I wouldn't pay any attention beyond the amount of money he wasted on such shenanigans. It would be a con, and it should make you more nervous than his showboating. The premise is absurd because the Presidency is too big (unfortunately) to plan, map out, or model for even 10 days without the presentation lasting years (and still be as useless as climate models).

The Presidency is not an "intellectual" post as in think tanks or theoretical physics (And such intellectuallism is overrated). It is the CINC of the US Military first and foremost, an authority to exact violence in the pursuit of political objectives. Gut-feeling, moreso than genuflection, rules the day because so much Executive decision-making necessarily involves competing with other humans in a fluid, dynamic environment where the facts are always changing anyway. Intellectuals postpone decisions pointing at incomplete and contradictory information all the time. That excuses never goes away, even when everyone knows they're trying to hide their mental weakness through procrastination.

Intellectuals (people who pretend to be smarter than they actually are) will always demand the "head-check", because they know they fail the "gut-check".

In actuality, of course, they fail both.

John Craig said...

Terrekain --
In response to your 3:31AM comment: that's a fantastic analysis of how Trump became who he is. If you're a businessman, an especially if you're in real estate, as you point out, you have to be a realist. And there's no doubt that Trump is that, and that's why I'm rooting for him. (I still wish he'd be a little more specific when he answers questions though.)

To your 3:47 comment: another great analysis. No question, we don't want an intellectual academic type in the White House. They tend to fool themselves as much as they do other people; Obama is the perfect example of someone who was brought up in and intellectually never really left academia. Their thinking is entirely based on PC platitudes, i.e., fiction. Trump by contrast, as you've explained, is a realist, which is what we need.

Anonymous said...

After reading the comments left by Terrekain, I'm going with Trump and hoping that he makes it to the White House (keeping my fingers crossed and praying for this result). I want a businessman, not an intellectual leading our nation.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
Good choice.

Terrekain --
Congratulations, it's a very rare occurrence when one person actually convinces another to change his or her vote, but you just did it.