M. Sydney:December 2000




Neglected Aspirations




Hillary Rodham Clintonís story is that of an intelligent, talented, ambitious, and

determined woman who had decent and powerful ideals. She had many opportunities

through which she could have implemented those ideals and had she remained focused on

such, she would have been a valuable and respected asset to society. However, forces

stronger than herself prevented her from choosing that path, thereby leaving her to take a

path that was destructive to her political goals, although beneficial to the aspiration of

others. This behavior left many people to ponder the question, ìwhy did this ìintelligent,

talented, and ambitiousî woman succumb to those forces rather than apply herself to her

own aspirations, and more importantly, will she have the courage to overpower those

forces in the future in order to address her own aspirations?î



As a young woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton had decent and powerful ideals and the

tools with which to implement those ideals. Hillary Clinton believed that one day she was

going to differentiate herself from her colleagues by practicing government differently

than they had in the past. However, it wasnít until mid-January1996 while writing the

book It Takes a Village, that Hillary eloquently and with conviction delineated her

concept ofÝ ìprevention.î She stated that ìpreventionî could be carried out through the

intervention of government, meaning that ìgovernment is an instrument both to promote

the common good and to protect an individualís rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of

happinessî(305). She suggested the necessity for government to become involved with

nearly all of our lives beginning at birth, indicating that the most crucial and precious

years in oneís life are those lived during the first three years and if those years should be

poorly managed the negative effects will be life-long. Therefore, in order to insure that

the people of our future are decent and productive, the government should step in and

provide assistance to the many parents that are incapable of providing one thing or

another for one reason or another, thereby creating a village for the children on which

they can depend. Those powerful ideas led to a Number One bestseller, however, a

Number One bestseller was not enough for her, as she never vocally expressed those




During Hillaryís adult life she had always placed herself in the political arena, which, of

course, is ideal in terms of acting on behalf of the people in our ìvillagesî. Hillary

majored in political science and graduated at the top of her class, and immediately

thereafter, obtained a law degree from Yale. She had the knowledge with which


to champion to make important differences. As stated by one of Hillaryís professors,

Alan Schecter, ìshe was able to take a liberal program and analyze it pragmatically to

determine whether it workedÖShe has the intellectual ability, personality, and character

to make a remarkable contribution to American societyî(Sheeny 67). Furthermore, she

had great focus, determination, and courage and was always tenacious in executing her

scholastic goals. Why then, during her political career, political writer by the name of

Peggy Noonan asks, ìdidnít she create one program, pass one bill, or lower one tax?î (95).



In an attempt to understand why Hillary has accomplished so little in terms of addressing

her own goals, one must try to understand, or at the very least, theorize, the psychology

behind Hillary Rodham Clintonís modus operandi when trying to provide explanations

for her behavior. Hillary was raised as a child by a militant father and a mother who

was determined to push her daughter to distinguish herself in life ñ believing this was the

way a woman should live her life, a way in which she herself was unable to live. Hillary

often cited her father Hugh Rodham as the source of her drive to succeed, which may be

true, but he was also the source that left her accomplishments unsung. He was extremely

demanding of Hillary and was always raising the barometer for better performance. In

The Seduction of Hillary Clinton, written by David Brock, Hillary retells a story, ìno

matter how hard she tried to please her father with good grades and extracurricular

achievements, it never seemed to be enough. On being shown one of Hillaryís straight-A

reports cards, Hugh once remarked, ìYou must have gone to an easy schoolî(3). Sending

pejorative messages to his daughter insinuating she was never quite adequate for his

liking, would only further fuel her drive to gain his praise. Thereafter Hillary would

continually bend over backwards in additional attempts, however, her efforts failed as she

never quite reached his barometer.



While studying law at Yale in 1971, Hillary met a man that was capable of expressing

all that her father had not been able to express; approval, respect, appreciation, and

admiration. This man was Bill Clinton. This was a pivotal turning point in Hillaryís life.

Bill immediately began to fill Hillaryís dark inner-void. ìAs Hillary likely saw it, Bill

was someone who would listen to a womanís view, treat her as an equal, and share her

political idealsî(Brock 40). She had found someone with whom she could share her

dreams and probably thought that the two of them together could accomplish great things.

Unlike Hillary, Bill was very gregarious and had the ability to connect with people and

effectively break any barriers with his style of a warm demeanor and sense of humor. His

personality combined with her high IQ and passion to endlessly research issues, made for

a perfect synergy. They truly complemented one another. However, Billís exceeding

warmth towards people would later prove to be a detriment equal to its being an attribute,

as he, along with Hillary, also had unresolved issues stemming from childhood, which

would inevitably interfere with his relationships with women. Hillary found herself in

another challenging and self-damaging relationship. Billís need for attention and power

would have Hillary forever struggling to keep his attention, thus incorporating into

Hillaryís life a new barometer, one which would replace her fatherís.



Many people ask why someone would allow herself to fall into a self-destructive

situation, one as equally disappointing to the one she had known all of her life. One

explanation could be that, perhaps, it was something comparable to an addiction and

without treatment only continues and often worsens. After time, this addiction became a

combination of Hillaryís need to gain Billís affection along with her feelings of

resentment and anger towards all of his humiliating and insensitive acts, of which

stemmed from his own sexual needs, which ultimately became the fuel for her addiction.

But all the anger in the world could not satiate her addiction. Therefore, the only

alternative route for Hillary was to fictitiously rise above the addiction by harnessing

those feelings and utilizing them. She had finally reached a point in her life where she

had gained a new strength and felt it was time to play catch-up. She believed it

was time to muster up all of her anger and utilize it. She needed to show the country that

she would not be remembered as playing the role of the good First Lady, one who sat

looking adoringly at her husband while all the while he had embarrassed her before the

entire country with his philandering behavior. It was time to reverse the role-playing

between Hillary and Bill, however in a narcissistic manner only. Along with maintaining

the continuum of her addiction, she would place herself alone in the spotlight, if only for

a moment, in an attempt to erase memories of herself standing in his shadow.



During Hillaryís last two years serving as First Lady, she made a great effort towards

establishing herself in the public eye in a more positive light than that with which she had

been perceived during the initial six years of her tenure. Doing this was necessary for two

reasons.Ý Firstly, perhaps she envisioned herself with an opportunity which would allow

her to implement some of her grand ideals. Secondly, she understood that in order to keep

Bill close by her side after he finished his presidential term, she must keep him busy in

some manner or another. Therefore, whether it was placing him back into the spotlight or

keeping him actively involved in political arena, she knew she needed to construct a plan,

hence, her move towards the U.S. Senate campaign trail.


In understanding the challenging task ahead of her, Hillary strategically created a

blueprint which would be built on a foolproof foundation. Initially, she would rely

heavily on what she has come to symbolize for so many people. As, political writer,

Peggy Noonan, describes it:


Hillary Clinton really is, as they say, one of those striking modern media

figures to whom people seem toÖbring themselves. They bring aspects

and dramas onto her. She comes to symbolize things for people, as if

she stands for certain facts in their lives. Part of the reason for this is our

therapeutic culture, which encourages such projections; part of it is due to

the nature of modern fameóthose who are famous now are not just famous, theyíre the wallpaper, all around us, on every news show, in every face. But part of the reason for Hillaryís iconic power is that she and her husband have lived a public life of outsized personal drama marked by mysteries and betrayals and bitterness and accusations. Thereís something for almost everyone. Women who have been abused and humiliated by a man are said to see her as a fellow survivor; her victory is their redemption. Feminists see her as a woman operating in the world against the odds; her triumph is theirs. (They also see in her their own political assumptions; she will carry their program forward.) Some middle-

aged boomers see in her the last rise of the ethos of the sixties, the ethos of their youth; if she succeeds it means their era, and theirÝ investment in it, had meaning.(xviii)


Additionally, she would campaign hard and make any necessary adjustments needed in

order to win; she would manipulate, or shall we say, adjust her image in every aspect; she

would strategically out-play her opponent and would easily overcome the ìcarpetbaggerî

issue, however, she would not yet incorporate her true ideals.



To some degree, one has to appreciate the amount of effort Hillary placed on reshaping

her image, because not all people are capable of nearly loosing oneís own physical

identity for such pursuits. Although, itís unlikely that Hillary viewed her gradual

appearance alteration as such. Hillary spent her last twenty years observing the methods

behind her husband Billís success, Hillary learned that it was necessary to be physically

appealing as well as intellectually appealing: Therefore, she began to alter her appearance

in order to look more affable for the public. During the eighties, Peggy Noonan,

remembers when Hillary had brown hair to her shoulders and glasses and wore a shawl.Ý

She looked up at people when she spoke to them because in those days she wasnít tallÖî

The point is not that she had changed, people do; or that sheís always trying to look

better, people do that, too. The point is that she changes so much and so often not only in

her look but in the image she is trying to project. The constant parade of new looks

reflects and endless attempt to craft a new persona, with new ways to market herself as a

commodityî (15).Ý



When considering how often Hillary presented herself to various audiences twenty years

later, one must be overwhelmed by the thought of how often she had to reconstruct her

appearance. One look for the ìhipî New Yorkers, another look for the Harlem Baptists,

another for the Puerto Rican parade, another for the conservative upstate New Yorkers,

and the list goes on (good thing she had an endless stream of fashion consultants at her

disposal).Ý Hillary went to great lengths to assimilate into each group. She catered to her

audience with an image to which they connected, and did so effectively and to such a

degree that she became something comparable to a celebrity with many award winning

images, however, differing in terms of the awards won through great accomplishments.



In addition to altering her image, Hillary focused on another step towards victory, which

was debating her opponent, Rick Lazio. She was prepared to play hardball. Hillary had

never run an election of her own, but needless to say, had much experience in the world

of campaigning, as opposed to Rick Lazio who was still in the little leagues. He had

never branched out beyond a state level nor engaged in politics with the so-called ìheavy

hittersî. His naivetÈ in the realm of politics was proven when it was time to debate

Hillary. In addition, Hillary had to be very cautious in her approach when delicately

stepping on her opponent, as the media would certainly view Hillary as either too

aggressive, manipulative and brash or just a plain dirty campaigner. Her tactics in this

campaign had to be strategically planned in order to be effective, and the plan did not

include her ideals of ìpreventionî as her plan was built to win a Senate race and not for

expressing oneís greatest platform.



An example of her tactics, although not proven to be such, occurred about midway

through the campaign trail, when Hillary set a trap for Rick Lazio, into which he fell

blindly. Lazio insisted that soft-dollars be banned for the use of all New York State

Campaign races. Just days after Hillary and Rick agreed to ban the use of soft-dollars ñ

he breaks the rules by accepting soft-dollar contributions! Itís an interesting coincidence

that the timing of this mutually agreed ban on soft-dollars took place shortly before

Lazioís previously arranged fund-raisers. These fund-raisers could not be cancelled and

which inevitably raised soft-dollars that were going to exceed the limit of dollars allowed

per person. Coincidently, Hillary had already raised all of the necessary funds for her

campaign by that point. Had Lazio had more experience in the realm of campaigning, he

would have anticipated these tactics, rather than focusing tirelessly on ìwhat it means to

be a New Yorkerî, which later only proved to enhance Hillaryís situation more than his




While Hillary debated Lazio on the campaign trail, she focused aggressively on the

ìcarpetbaggerî issue. In an effort to persuade voters in this decision-making process, it is

expected that the candidate ìrunningî have knowledge of current issues that concern

people within a given state and demonstrate leadership skills in order to address possible

future situations such as ìdeclaring war, maintaining the armed forces, assessing taxes,

borrowing money, minting currency, regulating commerce, and making all laws

necessary for the operation of the government,î as delineated on the US Senate website.

Additionally, although not a prerequisite, having established ìrootsî within the state for

which he or she is running has always been the norm, as it creates a level of comfort for

the voters, assuring them that the candidate has a historical and emotional tie to their

home state and will act genuinely on its behalf.Ý Hillary Clinton did not demonstrate what

is typically the norm in a political campaign, as she used the ìcarpetbaggerî rhetoric to

her advantage. She quickly and successfully ascertained that oneís history of residency

within the state where one is campaigning is an issue of little importance to many people

--at least in New York City.Ý In so many words, Hillary stated that New York has always

been for her and to others, the entrance to the land of opportunity, which means that the

gates to New York City are open to everyone and that included her. Itís hard to disagree

with this, as many people -- including myself -- have arrived in New York seeking to

discover its many facets. New York consists of an extraordinary multinational race;

According to the U.S. Bureau of Census, the population in the state of New York is

18,196,601, which is consists of approximately 14,368,601 eligible to vote. Of this total

count, fifty-two percent are women and 25% are non-whites. Additionally, more than half

the eligible voters reside in Manhattan along with the five surrounding boroughs. New

York City is incredibly diverse in terms of its culture, race and gender, making it the

perfect ground for a ìcarpetbaggerî to campaign, which is precisely why she chose New




Hillary was aware that an important step towards winning the U.S. Senate seat was to

address the peopleís concerns within New York state. In doing so, Hillary simply

reiterated some of the same ideological statements taken from her college

commencement speech given in 1969. ìPart of the problem with empathy with professed

goals is that empathy doesnít do us anything. Weíve had lots of empathy, weíve had lots

of sympathy, but we feel that for too long our leaders have used politics as the art of the

possible. And the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears

to be the impossibleÖî(Torrecelli 282). Many years after she had given that speech, she

had yet to demonstrate much of what she had so eloquently expressed. With regard to

implementing government as a measurement of ìpreventionî, I, along with everyone else,

never had a chance to be for, against or impartial to her ideal, as it wasnít presented to us.



Running for the U.S. Senate seat would have been a great opportunity for her to voice her

true convictions, however in doing so she may have risked too many votes. Therefore,

it left her to champion the many nebulous issues such as introducing uniforms in public

schools, ending teen smoking, revitalizing local libraries and increasing entrepreneurship.

ìYou talk about stuff you canít do anything about, but that people like,î said Maurice

Carroll. ìItís a great trick.î Unfortunately. the spotlight and the power proved to be

more important to her than the issues she discusses so passionately about in her book It

Takes a Village. Richard Nixon once observed that ìonly two kinds of people run for

office in America; those who want to do big things and those who want to be big peopleî

(Noonan 11). The latter seems to be the apparent choice in Hillaryís case, although while

running for Senate she managed to navigate the campaign in such a way that the people

chose to believe otherwise.



Projecting forward to 2001 when Hillary successfully attains the New York Senate

Seat; Iím inclined to believe that she will immediately try to find one issue that concerns

New Yorkers in hopes that she can provide an immediate remedy, thereby having one

achievement under her belt in the eyes of New Yorkers. Thereafter she will place her

attention on establishing popularity in states other than New York.Ý She has already won

New York, therefore she must simply pacify this group by abiding by the political rules

and etiquette of oneís home state. One must remember that as Senator, Hillary will be

working on particular committees along with other Senators, which are designed to focus

their efforts on a national level as opposed to a state level. Therefore, New Yorkers will

be tolerant knowing that sheíll be representing not only New York, but the nation as a

whole. Therefore, this seat will provide her with unlimited possibilities in terms of

marketing herself.

When the moment arrives when Hillary is perceived as being responsible for

accomplishing one good deed for the State of New York, she will, I imagine, then focus

most of her attention on every other state.Ý She will place high priorities on those states

that present high college electoral votes, because if she decides to run for the presidency,

these states will be especially important ñ unless of course, electoral votes no longer still

exist, as Hillary will be working on measures to eliminate what she considers to be an

archaic part of the constitution.Ý Hillary will also work diligently to raise the public

opinion stats.Ý During her first tenure as First Lady, a popularity public opinion poll was

taken which reflectedÝ ìA near majority (forty-seven percent) Gallup Poll recognized

Hillary Rodham Clinton as being qualified to be President someday and over one third

(36%) said they personally would like to see her run for Presidentî(Burrell117).

However, after a bit of turbulence with regard to her involvement in unscrupulous affairs,

these numbers dropped.Ý If she positions herself appropriately during her Senate tenure,

she will have the opportunity to regain those high opinions as well as improve upon them.

Furthermore, her future may depend on raising the public opinion polls; after Bill loses

the initial enthrallment of Hillaryís Senate victory and after a few years have passed,

circumstances in the Clinton household will most likely appear a bit sedentary for the

likes of two individuals who typically thrive on more attention -- especially in Billís case.



In an effort to refuel and/or appease Billís need to be the center of attention, Hillary will

need to take steps in order to create stimulation, because if she does not he certainly will.

Therefore that will be time for Hillary to focus on the Presidential election. She will

request the assistance of her husband, as she needs him to apply himself to something in

order for his restlessness to subside.Ý If they should win the presidency, this will once

again place him on the national stage, albeit as First Man, nevertheless, he would be in

his element and work and adapt well to his new situation ñ at least for a while. But then

what next?Ý Perhaps a second term, but I donít think that will suffice ñ something drastic

must occur; the question is who will make this occur, Hillary or Bill? I can only hope that

Hillary is the initiator in making something drastic happen; sheís done it before, perhaps

this time it will be something productive and positive.



Hillary clearly still has the opportunity to place her herself back on the right path; Hillary

needs to come forward in a way that is much more reflective of her true goals. She

continues to obtain the necessary tools, with which she can implement her ideals,

therefore, she needs only to remove her book It takes a Village from the bookshelf and

clarify her stance vocally. She needs to have the discipline to take small steps toward her

idea of ìpreventionî as opposed to the giant steps she has generally taken towards

matters, which in the past have only proven to fail. It is time for Hillary to begin creating

solutions for some of the problems in society, instead of creating a ìfixî for an addiction.

And, perhaps, in time, if Hillary can overcome the powerful forces of her emotional

addiction, she will find that applying herself productively for the sake of our country is

more gratifying than for the sake of fulfilling a destructive void. Therefore, when and if

she begins to believe in herself and has the courage to stand behind her ideals with

conviction, then and only then, will she be capable of applying herself and her tools to the

her own aspirations.





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