A Tale of Two Clintons

imageEarly voting starts today in Tennessee and New Hampshire kicks off the voting in the Nation’s first primary, where Hillary Clinton faces the prospects of a drubbing at the hands of an avowed socialist.

With that in mind, I have a humorous story I’d like to relate about Hillary Clinton that I was once told while I was at the White House.

Hillary, as you might know, was the first FLOTUS to have an office in the West Wing, as opposed to the East Wing. She demanded it.  That was the way things were for Hillary Rodham back in the difficult mid-1990’s. She had to work for everything.

Whereas Bill would have you begging for something that he really wanted, Hillary had to pry from clenched fists. People would marvel at Bill’s ability to lie and make them like him, and gaze with sideways eyes at the calculating and robotic Hillary.  Whereas Bill could puff out his lower lip, gently press his thumb in the general direction of his audience and then get away with murder, Hillary just had to murder.  Bill felt your pain.  If Hillary tried to feel your pain she might break something.  Really, the Clintons were very different people. Different political instincts. Different personalities. Different taste in partners.

For all their differences, Bill and Hillary shared one thing in common: They had mighty tempers. Even in this, though, the Clintons were very different.

Bill possessed a white hot temper that would flash without warning and it would not be uncommon to see the President wrangle a staffer by the collar during one of his perturbances. Bill would bark his angry orders while pinning his assistant to the hallway wall just outside of the Roosevelt Room, in the West Wing, but like with most great bursts of violence, it was short lived. A short time later–moments, really, the President would act as though nothing had happened and everyone would go about their business.

Hillary, on the other hand, tightly clutched the reins of a bitter, smoldering anger. This sort of temper was the glacial kind. The kind that grudgingly melts away, revealing to your dismay a far more menacing lake of fury, trapped for what would seem like eons on the other side.  The lake would burst forth from its icy barrier, and engulf and destroy those who crossed it.

Needless to say, you didn’t want to end up on the wrong side of Hillary Clinton’s temperament. Which, of course, is the reason Abraham Lincoln became such a valued member of the Clinton Administration.

In the West Wing, there still sits to this day a white marble bust of Abraham Lincoln. In the 1990’s, Lincoln’s duty station was on a table just outside of Hillary’s aforementioned West Wing office. White House staffers, understandably wary of Clinton’s swings of disposition, took to placing their unwavering trust in their comrades who met with Hillary early each day, and in good ol’ Abe.

The key, you see, was to secretly position the bust of Lincoln each morning to correspond to the First Lady’s mood that day. This way, staffers could take heed of the bust the same way they might regard a railroad crossing gate. They used this crude early warning system to cope with the demands of working 60 to 80 hour weeks in the First Lady’s long pant-suited shadow.

For Hillary, interns adjusted a bust to get in her good graces. For Bill, interns also adjusted busts to get in his good graces, but in this too, the Clintons were very different.


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