THE SPINE MAY 14, 2008
What do I mean? Actually, it is Hendrik Hertzberg's cut-through-the-haze insight in the New Yorker as to how Barack Obama came to run for the presidency and sidetrack her unquenchable ambitions. Rick suggests that the Clinton couple's upwardly mobile ambitions predisposed them to New York (for example: "Bill's not really a Second City kind of guy"), her political next-step, rather than to Hillary's home state, Illinois. Anyway, this opened Illinois to the aspirations of the young state senator, and the rest is history.In his characteristic crystalline prose, Rick reprises the self-made disasters of her campaign. Each of them is as quick as a stab in the heart, although my guess is that Bill and Hillary see all of these through self-righteous eyes. Maybe even her ugly assertion that "working, hardworking Americans, white Americans" were more for her than for Obama. It is true, after all, isn't it? But it is true in ways that should make us ashamed.Hertzberg allows a little bit of mush to muddle his prose when he "proves" that her record "is the very opposite of racist." But, then, racism would have never in any of her previous ventures given Hillary a one-up over anybody. But she was looking on towards West Virginia, and a bit of stereotyping there would never hurt her.Rick sees the end of her, as in an elegant and yet truthful encomium.