Hillary's New York Senate Bid Opened The Path For Obama's Presidential Run

by Martin Peretz | 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.

 

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