Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Feeling Helpless

Sometimes I just want to pull out my hair out of sheer helplessness. Yesterday was one of those days. After I heard what had happened to Hillary I called her up. I asked her and the doctor how she was doing. Hillary assured me she was fine. The doctor told me she needed medical attention, she needed to be hospitalized. Hillary didn’t want that. I pleaded with her to follow the doctor’s advice. She refused.

I don’t understand her. Well I do understand her, but I don’t like it. My wife wants her own legacy, apart from me. That’s ok with me. It’s just sometimes the politician takes over from the human being.

I remember very well what kind of role health played in my first presidential election. George Bush Sr, not long before the election had gone to Japan. He became ill and vomited and passed out during an official dinner. This was caught on film. Bush never managed to shake off this moment of vulnerability. I know Hillary feared something like that might happen to her if she allowed herself to be overpowered by her illness. A politician can’t look weak. People know Washington is a vipers’ den, they will never vote for a person, who seems weak. So even when I pleaded with Hillary to go to the hospital, she said no.

She almost seemed like a tiger protecting her territory, in this case in Washington. She worked hard for her seat in the Senate. That’s for sure. She isn’t a natural politician. She doesn’t connect with people like some politicians do. Like some people say I do, or this president Bush does. Hillary is all about issues. To her being in the Senate isn’t a job. It’s a way to affect policy on issues she holds dear.

I think she is afraid of not being reelected. I understand the fear. After I was elected governor of Arkansas for the first time, I lost the reelection. It was one of the most depressing times in my life. I have never forgotten that. I was full of ideas how to change things. But I walked too far ahead of the people in Arkansas. I made one big mistake. I never took the time to educate them on why policies had to change or couldn’t stay the same. This is a mistake a lot of left leaning liberals still make. They assume everybody understands that the changes in policies they want are good for Americans. So changing laws using the courts seems the right thing to do to them. And when the majority of Americans don’t want their policy changes, they get angry. They must learn the lesson I learned. Educate people, take the time to educate people about the reasons why policy changes are good for them. I learned this lesson and got reelected a few years after my defeat. I stayed governor till I ran for president.

Coming back to Hillary and her reelection. It’s going to be tough. The Republicans are aiming their big gun at her Senate seat. It’s not official, but I don’t think you need to doubt the information. Rudolph Giuliani will be running against her in two years time. He is very popular in New York City and upstate New York. This Senate race will probably, no certainly be the most difficult and most talked about race in two years time.

I understand Hillary, but I’d rather see her home or in hospital, so she could recover. I worry about her, but that’s my right.