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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Politics Make Strange...

I've used this blog in the past to come clean about my crushes. I've spoken very honestly about the men in my life, such as Rob Lowe, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Johnny Depp. I even shared with you my List. Now it's time for more truth. There is one man for whom I have an almost wistful reverence and obsessive concern. After the tsunami I watched the television news for glimpses of him to see if he was looking wan or exhausted. I fretted over his health and welfare. In the past six years, I have often longed for his wisdom and levelheadedness. And recently, I applauded his fiery spirit and dauntless self-defense.

I'm speaking, of course, about President Bill Clinton.

This man had me at the start of the presidential campaign in his first term. He wore tan suits and baby blue shirts when everyone else was trying to "look presidential" in dark suits and sedate ties. His lilting Dixie accent sounded homespun and soothing and belied the incredible intelligence and sophistication he possessed. His wife wore horrific headbands, but what did I care? I wasn't electing a First Lady fashion icon; I was electing a president! Besides, everyone knew that Jackie O would always be the First Lady of Fashion. I'd like to see a Republican First Lady come close to being a style setter like her. The Bushwomen...well, not even. And do not even try to mention Nancy Reagan. If it weren't for red suits, she'd be a nothing. Feh!

The thing about Bill was, when he spoke, I always got the incredible feeling that he truly meant every single thing he said. And that he truly did care--deeply--about America. And every single American. And that he was smart. He never smirked or snorted behind the Presidential seal. He didn't have to. He was Presidential because he knew what he was doing and it was the right thing because he thought about it, he cared about it, and he wasn't doing it behind everyone's back, including the Constitution's. I could have done without the "thumb up" gesture all the time, but hey, we all have our little idiosyncrasies. And, apparently, that's a good one because John Edwards uses it now. Maybe it's a Southern thing.

I used to watch Bill at big events held in his honor or at which he was a guest of honor. He'd be introduced, naturally, and everyone would clap and all. Sometimes the events would be intensely emotional or patriotic, and the camera would zoom in, and there he'd be, eyes all welled up, but smiling. Almost like he's thinking to himself, "Oh my God. I am the President of this incredible country and I can't believe it. This is just too much."

It was devastating when Gore lost the First Election of the Dark Times. And I started missing Bill right away. I tried giving the Angel of Death the benefit of the doubt, and before September 11th, I thought, "Maybe this moron will just hide out and not do much damage, just play with some toys under the big desk and we'll be okay for four years." But no.

During the Kerry campaign, I was thrilled to hear that Bill was going to campaign. And then it happened: the heart surgery. A flurry of emails flew between my friend Leanne in southern Maryland (only 45 minutes from D.C.!) and me. Relieved to hear he was out of surgery and would be fine, I began to concern myself with his recovery. "This situation is less than ideal, " I wrote Leanne. "After all, Hillary does not strike me as the caring, nurturing type. She will probably not even be home, or , if she does go to him, she will probably be busy on her laptop or cell phone and fax machine. She might stress him out with Senate business. I can't see her fluffing his pillow or arranging the duvet. Likely she will not fill his pill minder or see that he is properly hydrated. Things could go downhill fast and she will not even notice. She might not even see if he is paler than normal. What a terrible thing. When Rick had his spinal surgery, I was home with him all summer. I made the doctor do a thyroid level test because I thought his eyebrows looked sparse! Do you think Hillary even knows what color his eyebrows are?"

Fast forward to the tsunami relief effort. When I heard that Bill was going to be flitting around the world on a plane with Bush41, I almost had a spasm. What was he thinking? And then, the news that he gave up his bed to 41 because the man is older made me almost apoplectic. Bill is a heart patient fergodsakes! I saw report after report where Bill looked tired and listless. I began to perseverate about his health. The pouches under his eyes became more pronounced. I emailed Leanne, "This trip is ill-advised. Very ill-advised. Again, I question Hillary's dedication here. Why didn't she step in and put her foot down? I would have told him that no way is he jetting off, gallivanting and traipsing around, compromising his recovery. He's not eighteen, you know."

Thankfully, Bill made a complete recovery in spite of himself. (AND Hillary's obvious indifference, I have to say.) This was evident in his sparring match with Chris Wallace on the Faux News Network recently. He looked very fit. Quite. And still very Presidential. I may be able to stop worrying now, but I still miss him. Can't he run again? Because, we need him. And I don't want to hear a lot of bullshit about the monica thing--yes, small things deserve small letters, and it was a small thing. I don't give a flying fuck in a rolling doughnut who does who or how or what in the Oval Office, even if it's on my dime. Did it cost 2700+ American lives? Did it destabilize an entire region? Was it anyone's business, really? In the broad panorama of any context, was it anyone's business and did it really matter? Did it make us less safe at home or abroad? Are you really better off now, in the grasp of the Angel of Death and Darth Vader?

Sigh. I miss those Bill Times. Who do we have that can follow him? Who is our next Democratic Rock Star President? I know who I'd like...but I'd rather have Bill.

11 comments:

  1. Mikey G10:00 PM

    Why couldn't you have told me about this crush when I lived in NYC? He's much more easily stalkable because everyone knows where he works - I've walked past that building three dozen times. Much easier to stalk than DDL.

    ::sigh::

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  2. Mikey,

    It's not that kind of a crush. What would you have done? I suppose I could have had you check up on him for me, but by then, I knew he was okay. IF, however, he makes a trip to RI anytime soon, pop over and scope him out. I know it won't matter WHERE in RI he is, you can just walk there. It's such a teensy state...LOL.

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  3. I wouldn't call it a crush, but I have inexplicable warm feelings for Bill Clinton, someone who I voted for but was disappoiinted by. I thought he was incredibly smart and never let an idea grow moss--he was always turning it over in his mnd. Some called this waffling, I saw this as thinking. Just look where all the freaking commitment to being "resolute and determined" in following a path of action has gotten us.

    Even when my respect for him and his adminitration eroded, I always knew that if I met him in person, he'd charm my pants off. Oops.

    He had charisma, empathy, and a vulnerability that strengthened and undermined him at the same time. He was tragic in the classic sense, and Southern in the BEST sense.

    I too loved seeing him spar with the jerk on the Faux News Network (LOVE that term Nance).

    I'd vote for Hillary just to get Bill back in the White House.

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  4. P.S. Bill has totally awesome presidential hair!

    Also, when he was elected the first time, E and I went to the inaugural festivities in D.C. and had a blast.

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  5. v--

    Oh. My. God. You were at the inaugural!? --(in Napoleon Dynamite voice)LUCKY!!!!
    "charisma, empathy, vulnerability"
    YES! That's it exactly. "Tragic in the classic sense." Again, right ON. He is the man. Do you think Hillary stays with him because of all that, or just for political advantage? I think I'd have stayed, too.
    v--I think we're separated at birth!!

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  6. I came across your blog whilst looking for something else - about Rob Lowe - I think we share an affinity there. However, just wanted to say I was fortunate enough to see President Clinton last week at the Royal Albert Hall in London and I was well impressed.

    It wasn't just what he said, but how he said and delivered it. He had such a grasp of the issues about which he talked and spoke so well. His intellect and ability were immensely apparent. There were a couple of things in which I was a little disappointed but I am so pleased I took advantage of the opportunity to see him and didn't miss him.

    As regards your other guy. I met Rob Lowe while he was in London appearing in 'A Few Good Men' and he was so gracious and kind and friendly and tolerant. I was well impressed with him too, and his family.

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  7. suilven--

    Welcome, welcome to The Dept.! It matters not how or why you got here (although it is fascinating to hear, always), only that you are. You cannot imagine how glad I am to hear that both of "My Men" are impressive to others. I wished you had said how Pres. Clinton *looked*, as in, does he look well and fit? I do so worry on that, as I said above. But I am assuming that, if he did not, you would have made a special point to tell me. I had no idea Rob Lowe was doing live theater. He is still gorgeous, and I do think he is a good actor. And his politics please me as well. Hope you stop by again.

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  8. Thank you for the welcome. I will answer all your questions but I can't just now! I'll be back though. Suffice to say, President Clinton looked well, very well.

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  9. President Clinton looked well indeed. He looked relaxed and in fine humour. There was a question and answer session after his speech and the first question was, "Did you enjoy the Ryder Cup?" Lest you should to be informed about golf, the Europeans beat the Americans so this question brought a smile and laugh. He laughed, said he did, that he had gone to support the team when it was clear they were loosing as, well that was just the right thing to do. Not quite in those words but that was the gist.

    Rob Lowe was over here appearing in the West Ed in Aaron Sorkin's play, 'A few Good Men'. I got to see it a few times. He was just very, very good and he was well received over here for sure. It was an excellent production with standing ovations on many nights.

    I loved seeing him as it gave me an opportunity to judge for myself his performance and he did not disappoint. He was over again during the summer and did a TV show. We got along to the recording and got to meet him again. He hadn't forgotten us and gave us a hug and a kiss and was just lovely. Sure, meeting his fans must get tedious for him but if it is, he doesn't show it and on this occasion seemed genuinely chuffed that we turned up. His wife, Sheryl also stopped crossing the road when she saw us, and at that time we weren't chatting to Rob, and came back to give us hugs. They didn't have to.

    If you do a google search on 'A Few Good Men+Rob Lowe' all shall be revealed but to keep you going for now, here is a couple of links. You should also know that London critics can be utterly vicious, especially when American actors appear in the West End!

    http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/news/article310870.ece

    http://arts.guardian.co.uk/reviews/story/0,11712,1564312,00.html

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  10. suilven,

    thanks for the detailed reports. since you are such a scout, please get immediately upon the trail of one Daniel Day-Lewis. tell him to stop this ridiculous habit of butchering his lovely hair, and to get his nose fixed. there is still plenty of time to be a romantic hero if he stops squandering his cinematic talents with these character roles. i am available for consult.

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  11. Suilven4:29 AM

    See, here's the thing. My great skills as a scout only came to the fore with Mr. RL. :) I don't normally behave so fannishly - but it WAS fun. However, I will keep an eye out for the aforementioned DDL and tell/ask him to get his act together and refer him to you immediately.

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Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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