by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
Author’s program note. The first time I heard her introduced as Secretary Clinton, I knew that she had a huge problem, and nobody was there to advise her about it. Secretaries are, after all, people who take dictation, and that was just not the right image for the hotshot, glass-ceiling-breaking, “I’m smarter than you are Hillary Clinton.”
By the way, the first woman in the cabinet, Frances Perkins (1933), was called Madam Secretary, but it always sounded pompous and out of touch – the way Secretary Hillary turned out to be – and was seldom used thereafter.
On November 9th, 2016 Boston Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham, one of Hillary’s most fervent supporters, floated another “poor little Hillary” column. She was the best. She was the noblest woman of them all. And she lost because a few tardy supporters were late picking up their mochas and the polls closed on them, and on America.
I don’t want anyone to doubt any of my words, so let me say it smack up front: people like Yvonne Abraham make me run for my nausea capsules. Any pretense she ever had of an impartial look at the subject of Hillary and company was made a mockery. I’ve been reading Miss Abraham’s effusions now for over a year. Trump is the big bad guy who rapes and uses bad words… tsk tsk.
There has never been, nor will there ever be a word of censure from Miss Abraham for Secretary Clinton, though many are needed. Now get this… Miss Abraham is from a foreign country, I think they call it Australia… a liberal nation which just voted against gay marriage, and is one of the least progressive places on Earth. Don’t let that “Waltzing Matilda” stuff fool you.
Why Hillary Clinton lost
I’m the kind of guy she should have wrapped up months ago. But she didn’t. Every time she pursed her lips, it reminded me of my third grade teacher, that is instead of expressing disappointment about some student and his work, she pursed her lips and we’d all stand abased and miserable. Hillary was an Olympic class lip purser.
Or consider how often Hillary muffed the opportunity to give a needy person a hug. Hillary loved humanity, but hated people. You will find with difficulty any photograph in the Clinton record that shows she actually liked anyone. In fact, I think Madam Secretary was just the reverse of Will Rogers, who never met a man he didn’t like. Hillary never liked anyone, except the ones who praised her, and it showed. Anyone that is, except the girls of Wellesley College, who thought Hillary was just swell.
Now, I’ve worked in one of the Seven Sisters colleges. I was the assistant to the president. And I want it to be clear: I no longer believe that segregating women’s colleges do what their leaders purport. That is, to produce women who are competitive to men in the real world.
Seven Sisters executives, who idolize Secretary Hillary, truly believe that the education they provide makes their women students competitive and indeed superior to men. Who can believe this schmaltz, given Hillary’s abject election fiasco?
Hillary should have known… you can’t win the presidency of the United States and write off Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Iowa… get the picture? Hillary literally insulted the people of each of those states, and not just on one occasion either. In her mind, she checked her electoral college math and said, “I can get away without talking to these rubes.” Her decision to avoid these places to the max possible told me everything I needed to know about her Wellesley education, and just how superficial and unrealistic it was.
Somebody should have told those girls that the real world is a miasma filled with people you could never take home to mother. By the way, the smarter girls know this already. At Radcliffe, where I worked, the women were totally committed to getting a Harvard degree, not a Radcliffe diploma. This was a point of view administrators found hard to accept. What was wrong with Radcliffe? Just this: it wasn’t Harvard.
As I sat on election night watching the returns pour in, I thought many things, one being H.V. Kaltenborn (1878-1965). Kaltenborn was in 1948 arguably the most well-known correspondent, the most well-known radio commentator. He also hated Harry S. Truman, the president. And he let his dreams of a Truman crash overcome any logic he had on the situation.
And so, he, along with Col. McCormick (1880-1955), another Truman hater, of the Chicago Tribune, produced the two biggest bloopers ever. One by Kaltenborn, one by McCormick.
Kaltenborn’s goof went like this. In his distinctive voice, he said “President Truman is ahead in the popular vote by 1 million, but will certainly lose the presidency”… “Now President Truman is ahead in the popular vote by 2 million, and will certainly lose the presidency”. He reiterated his increasingly out of touch view over and over again on election night until it became a joke. It was Kaltenborn’s last great moment, and his career tumbled after that.
Col. McCormick’s goof was when he released for the Chicago Tribune the most notorious headline ever: “Dewey Defeats Truman.”
Truman so liked the Kaltenborn goof that he turned it into a winning line that showed just how out to get him smart people like Kaltenborn really were. And as for Col. McCormick, he probably hoped that only a copy or two were released. But here it is, a better part of 100 years later, and every political jockey knows it and laughs at it and Col. McCormick.
The equivalent anecdote for 2016 will be about how CNN commentators cute Jake Tapper and cuter Anderson Cooper goofed. These guys and their whole damn tribe literally couldn’t believe that Hillary Clinton was going to lose. Tapper came across as a boy who expected to be whooped if he didn’t support the house line, but he didn’t know what the house line was; Cooper looked clueless as he stood there with his hands in his pockets hour after hour. In other words, they were prepared to discuss a Clinton victory, and nothing else. Some jounalists!
But of course, the biggest whopper of all was the Huffington Post (and their ilk), which predicted Hillary’s eminent election at 98%. They’re still eating crow, and will for donkey’s years.
So here’s the question: every newspaper in the land, with only one exception, endorsed Hillary. Hundreds of millions of dollars was spent on ads of the tsk tsk variety. Madam Hillary was exposed to the nation in every way, every day, not just for weeks, but months. Hillary was the subject of tens of thousands of favorable newspaper and magazine articles, and radio and television pieces, not to mention on the internet.
So, Madam Yvonne, riddle me this: after this barrage of favorable content, how can you have the unmitigated gall to say “It is worth noting the woman we passed on”. She was a bad candidate who ran because the nation “deserved her”, and because she would not do the necessary to become president. She wanted the goal, but not the endeavor.
Now hear this, all you opponents to the president-elect. At no time during the election cycle was he the beneficiary of positive, witty content. At no time was he anything other than Al Smith’s “Happy Warrior”. He liked the battle. He fought the battle. And to the consternation of every media person like you in the nation, he won the battle.
Now answer me this: can you see Madam Hillary issuing as her first major policy statement, a decision to remove 3 million or more aliens from our midst? Frankly, she wouldn’t have had the guts, and the nation sensed it.
The nation knew, even if all the Yvonne Abraham’s didn’t, that we needed a new direction, a house cleaning of mammoth proportions. Oh yes, we need one more thing too, and that is a censure of these silly articles by the likes of Madam Secretary Yvonne. She should stick to Australian politics, not that she understands anything about it… just that it wouldn’t take as much time and space.
And for all of you proper young ladies at Wellesley College, listen up. You are not learning how to compete with men in an abusive world. You are instead, merely learning how to write a charming address that bears no relation to reality. That is Madam Clinton’s legacy, and it is a very costly one indeed.
Note: you will probably recognize the opening line of this article as one taken from “Casey at the Bat”, written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer.
“Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
Secretary Clinton should have read it before she played in the big leagues.
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