Is Hillary Clinton going to run for President?
Duh-uh. Once you grasp the deep meaning of the story of the Fireman’s Daughter, you know the answer.
Of course, she’s going to run.
The last people to understand this will be the “analysts” of the “news” media.
HOW SOON THEY FORGET–IF THEY EVER KNEW
Many of these talking faces were still popping zits the last time Hillary ran for President. If they weren’t so damned pompous, frowning knowledgably into the Big Camera, and presuming to explain the meaning of it all to us—we, the great mass of the ignorant and unwashed intellectual proletariat—they might be forgiven their limp grasp of the salient facts.
It’s a bit like expecting today’s 40-something-and-under-year-olds to know where Iwo Jima is (“Umm, isn’t it in the Bahamas?”), or what the Korean War was all about (“Uh, so, like, the Koreans wanted their independence from England or something. Whatever.”).
The others, the banal and boring veterans—the producers, the hosts, and the expert guests—are all into the game of New Journalism in 140 Words or Less. They peer into the vast black hole of 24/7/365 media screen time—a hole that has to be filled with something, anything—and vomit out their paycheck’s worth of smug bloviation.
The few among the gray hairs who actually get it know that “the HRC story” will collapse the minute the balloon of speculation about Clinton goes limp. Who then will need—or even want—their “informed” opinion? The very office of prognostication demands that they pump up the balloon at every chance.
Hillary was Destiny’s Child in the run up to the 2008 Democratic nomination. It was hers to lose, and, as most of us know, she lost it. She was crushed by that upstart and thoroughly condescending enigma named Barack Hussein Obama.
The Clintons don’t like losing. They will do damned near anything to win back what they lose. Exhibit A, Bill Clinton’s flip-flop-and-flip-again on what used to be charmingly called “gun control.”
When Bill Clinton was trying to win back his Arkansas governor gig, he claimed that he was against gun control. When his written answers to the NRA candidate questionnaire called that profession of libertarian faith into doubt, Clinton called The Man at the NRA and claimed that the answers on his questionnaire were wrong. Bill instantly changed them to the NRA’s liking. He blamed the unfortunate misunderstanding on some staff member.
Later, when he decided to run for President, Bill flipped again and backed the Brady Law and eventually the 1994 Assault Weapons “Ban,” both of which were passed and signed into law on his watch. Since then, William Jefferson Clinton has been a virtual Cirque du Soleil on gun control. He flips left when it’s popular and right when it’s not. Sometime he just grins enigmatically, like a hound dog that just ate a McDonald’s ribs sandwich.
BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY
And the necessary means here is money, money, money.
Having stuffed all possible competition into the deep freezer and slammed the lid, Hillary is free to continue raising enough cash to crush any random community activist and/or Constitutional Law professor who wanders into her path. (Joe Biden serves as comic relief, and possibly as a clinical model of self-delusion.)
Hillary could just come out and say it, “Yes, I’m running.” But Mother Wisdom counsels against such a premature climax.
First, there is the matter of her eventual Republican opponent.
THE GREAT REPUBLICAN HOG WALLER
While the Clinton money machine continues to vacuum up the big bucks, the Entity-Formerly-Known-as-the-Republican-Party is in the early stages of its quadrennial Clown Show. It may be a “fight for the base,” but it looks like a bunch of old white men swimming for the bottom of a mud wrestling pit.
Why would Hillary interrupt this spectacular hog waller? By the time she has to get into play, these human slabs of pork will, in their efforts to out-demagogue each other, have provided hours of dumb, vicious statements for attack ads during the general campaign.
Second, there is the matter of motivating Hillary’s own base. And that brings us to the story of the Fireman’s Daughter.
THE FIREMAN’S DAUGHTER
It went like this. Football was (and is) very big in the Southeastern Conference. Florida home games attracted fans from other SEC schools. Thus, members of other chapters of my fraternity sometimes showed up at our house a day or so before the game, looking for traditional hospitality and a room.
These innocents we called our “fish.”
Friday evenings before the big game were usually quiet, the big parties being held Saturday after the game. Oftentimes, one or more of our visiting fraternal fish would wander into the chapter living room to join the perpetual Friday night bull session.
I, or another of my brothers, would flick a wrist and lay a casual line in the water.
“Hey, anybody been out to see Becky lately?”
This would elicit a few shrugs of studied indifference, and the conversation would be nudged in another direction.
But often enough one of the fish would go for the fly.
Subtlety was everything at this crucial moment.
“Aw, nobody, really.”
“No, seriously, who is Becky?”
The conspirators would exchange a few reluctant grins and let the fish swim closer to the bait.
“Just some girl that lives out in the country.”
“Just some girl?”
“Well, okay, she really likes to do it.”
Gentle reader, understand that this was in an era before the “hookup,” when men and women lived in separate dormitories, the women’s more guarded than a harem.
“Well, come on, how can we meet her?”
The hook was set.
While the rest of the conversation played out, a few brothers would casually slip out of the room. Their task was to head out and set up the joke in a sandy rural wilderness area, filled with moss-strewn pin oaks and crisscrossed by a few rutted car trails.
“It’s not worth the effort.”
“No, come on, it’s worth it to me.”
“Well, all right. Okay. See, her father works on the railroad. He’s a fireman. “
By now the fish were firmly in the hook of their own libidinous imaginations.
“When he’s out on the road, she leaves a lantern out to signal that it’s okay to come in.”
“Can we go out there? Now?”
A few more shrugs. Long delay. Pained introspection. Finally, a sigh of the Good Host’s surrender.
“Okay. We got nothing else to do.”
At that, the fish would pile happily into a car or two, intoxicated by their good luck.
Sure enough, there would be a lantern out by one the trails. But, after we all walked a dozen yards or so in the supposed direction of Becky’s shack, a loud, gruff male voice would ring out.
“I knew I would catch you!” the voice shouted. “Now, I’m gonna’ kill you!”
Two bright flashes and two enormously loud shotgun blasts would ring out into the deep Florida night. All hands would turn, “haul ass” for the cars, and “escape” from the trap set by Becky’s irate father.
Safely back in the living room, the fish would be debriefed.
Many claimed to have seen Becky’s father. One insisted that he had been hit in the foot by a shotgun pellet. Another disappeared for hours, eventually making his way back to Gainesville and the fraternity house on foot, hiding in the roadside weeds from every passing car (including ours), convinced that Becky’s father was hunting him down.
Seeing Becky’s father and being hit by a pellet were both impossible conditions. The shotgun blasts were made by a Gator cheerleader’s noise-making apparatus. It did not and could not fire real shotgun shells, but it made a hell of a noise. It was set off by one of the advance party. Becky’s father, like Becky, was pure invention.
The most fun came when we finally announced the ruse.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
Hillary has cast her fly out into the dark water of the Democratic base. She’ll take her time and control her hand until she has the hook set and the fish are left with nowhere to go but into her bag.