Hillary's sense of entitlement
There is little doubt that Hillary Clinton has an extraordinary sense of entitlement. With no visible sense of shame, she demands and gets hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches to fat cats while posing as an advocate of social justice. While in the White House as First Lady, she demanded that none of the servants or military retinue gaze upon her eyes, as if she were some Japanese daimyo whose minions would hack off the heads of any who did not kneel and bow their heads to the ground as she passed. Perhaps most visibly, she treats those who ask tough questions as impertinent moral dwarves. What difference, at this point, does it make?
Like President Obama, there is a mystery to be explained. Where on earth does this weird sense of entitlement come from? Noemie Emery of the Weekly Standard opines at length. The entire essay should be read, as it is amusing an insightful, but here a few points stand out:
The Arkansas exile (my term)
Coming along at the right time in history, the plain and outspoken Hillary Rodham—featured in Life as valedictorian at Wellesley, then a standout at Yale Law School—was someone on whom her teachers and mentors could hang their ambitions for the future they wanted to see. The Supreme Court, the White House would not be beyond her, and when she threw in her lot with the Arkansas charmer, they were convinced that she’d married beneath her and helped her pack for her trek into nowhere with nothing but grief in their hearts. “I worked hard as a woman to help her get the opportunities she was entitled to,” said one mentor sadly. “I thought she was throwing that opportunity away.”
She wasn’t. She was joining forces with a man who would give her a shortcut to power unique to themselves: She would subsume her ambitions in his, get him elected, and they would share power, giving her clout of a sort rarely given a woman—plus the chance to succeed him when his term was done. Every office he held would become a joint venture, so much so that the pair were soon known as “Billary,” and Bill would tell the New York Times when he won his first race for governor, “Our vote was a vindication of what my wife and I have done and what we hope to do for the state.”
But Arkansas turned out to be not very lucrative, which must have been tough ion Hillary whose own upbringing was marked by financial distress, aggravated, no doubt, by her exposure to far wealthier classmates at Wellesley and Yale:
Back in Arkansas, as the wife of a border state [sic] governor in the 1980s, she raged about Bill’s modest salary ($32,000), her need to bring in additional income, and the lack of a pool at the governor’s mansion. As a result, she became adept at seeking additional sources of revenue. As the governor’s wife, she earned almost $65,000 a year sitting on boards of some of the state’s biggest companies, accepted advice on a $1,000 investment that yielded a return of $100,000, and enjoyed favorable terms on the get-rich-quick Whitewater investment, which turned out quite badly. The culture of Arkansas was friendly to this, as [Sally Bedell] Smith tells us, and “Bill and Hillary developed a sense of entitlement,” since presents and favors were always forthcoming, and many expenses were picked up by “friends.” (This continued down to 2001 when Bill Clinton left office and the couple set up a registry for furnishing their new mansions at an ultra-posh store in Omaha owned by Warren Buffett, where they listed among their many desires a Fabergé spoon for over $500 and a $980 Spode dish.)
Feminist frustrations (again, my term)
[As First Lady] a cohort of feminists who had been waiting for decades for her or one like her to surface in politics. They could barely contain their delight. Good Housekeeping, Vogue,People, Parade, and Family Circle called her a role model. Time called her “an icon of American womanhood.” Margaret Carlson wrote in Time, “Hillary Rodham Clinton will define for women that magical spot where the importance of the world of work and love and children and an inner life all come together. Like Ginger Rogers, she will do everything her partner does, only backward, and in high heels.”
And so, critiques of Hillary were taken as attacks on all women, or attacks on strong women, or, in the case of some female journalists, as attacks upon women like them. At a meeting of the Democratic National Committee where her involvement in a questionable investment scheme was mentioned, signs appeared reading “Don’t Pillory Hillary,” and Blanche Wiesen Cook, a biographer of Eleanor Roosevelt, said that attacks on women who were powerful were a persistent element in our national life.
The feminist claque paid no heed to the extra-constitutionality of a First lady exercising the power granted to her husband by the Constitution. In fact, mention of it tended to infuriate them, and Hillary, too.
Vengeance (Emery’s term)
“By the mid-1980s . . . there had been several adjustments in the partnership, most of them made by Hillary,” wrote David Maraniss in his book about Bill Clinton, First in His Class. “Year by year in their joint political enterprise, she had taken on more tasks—some that her husband had asked her to do, some that she felt obliged to perform because it was clear to her that he did not want to do them or was not good at them. . . . She was her husband’s public relations trouble shooter and legal problem-solver. . . . As public relations consultant, she would devote hours to courting . . . the managing editor of the Arkansas Democrat, in an occasionally effective effort to persuade him to go easier. . . . Some people sensed a growing resentment in Hillary that she had to take on so many private duties in the partnership when she was being asked, unfairly, she thought, to sacrifice material things.”
Add this resentment to the feedback she had gotten from feminists—she was a genius who deserved only the best—and to the fact that among her duties was the suppression of “bimbo eruptions” brought on by the wandering eye of her husband, and you have the makings of a genuine grievance mentality, along with the insistence that payment had better come soon. Hillary would probably count those 20 or so years passed in the boondocks as part of her long service to causes and country, but a more objective eye might see them instead as careerist ambition, an investment in a political future that would turn out to pay very well. She may also have come to see her pact with Bill as part of a larger pact with the country, confirmed by his election and reelection. But voters who cast their ballots for Bill never knew of or voted for any such pact, and they may not feel bound by it.
I confess to fearing Hillary Clinton. She is ruthless and vengeful, as well schooled in Alinsky as is Obama. And the Democrats are expert at exploiting the “historic first” strategy to mobilize millions of casual, low information voters who are not interested anything beyond their own feelings of the moment, manipulated by well-financed agents of the Democrat machine.
She may well grasp the levers of presidential power at a time of world crisis. God help us.