Hillary's harmonic convergence

June 25, 1996|By Mike Littwin



It's Eleannnnnnor.

I heard you were calling. I was out. I was having lunch with Dolly (Madison, not Parrrrrrrton).

You want to know why men are such pigs. In my day, dear, we didn't call them pigs. We called them scuuuummmm.

Of course, in my day, dear, Franklin never dropped his pants in front of a woman. Unless she aaaaaaasked.

As long as I have you here, a few words of advice from the Great Beyonnnnnd.

Next time buy pork bellies. And never ever pick up the phone if it's that Bob Woodwarrrrd, who could get Harpo Marx to talk. If you must phone someone, try Dionne Warwick. Delightful woman, wonderful singer. We talk all the tiiiiime. It's a free call from up here (don't worry dear, you're going uuuuup, not dowwwwwn).

Must go. Tea time. Be an angel and ring for the serrrrrrvants.

We all have our own view of Hillary Clinton. She's either an assertive woman who represents the feminist ideal.

Or she's a minor crook with big ethical problems whom special prosecutor Kenneth Starr will indict, probably the day before the election.

She's a giving person who wants only to help people.

Or she's a power-driven harridan with bad hair.

And this vote in from Tom Jones: She's a lady, whoa, whoa, whoa, she's a lady.

But I never thought of her as a loon. I always thought that of the Clintons, she was the one with her feet on the ground -- and not, say, sticking out from the back of a pickup truck.

And now this. Now, when she isn't testifying in front of a grand jury, she's imitating Nancy Reagan, who ran the country on the advice of an astrologer. For example, Nancy wouldn't let her husband travel if the moon was in the wrong house or her red dress was in the wash.

Hillary, as you must have heard by now, has communed with Eleanor Roosevelt, seeking guidance on how to handle the rigors of first-ladyship. She also chatted up Mohandas K. Gandhi (for diet tips?). She refused, in sessions with her personal New Age trainer, to commune with Jesus Christ, saying it was too personal. Strangely, she said the same thing when asked to commune with Sammy Davis Jr.

The way I understand the story from Bob Woodward's latest book, the year was '95. Hillary was down, depressed, downhearted. What I'm saying is, she had the blues. (Cue the music.)

And why not? The Democrats had just lost Congress. Hillary's health-care program had flopped. Plus, she had caught Bill staring up at JFK's picture on the White House wall and asking, "How did you get Marilyn in here? Hillary guards the doors to this place like somebody's gonna try to steal the silver."

She needed somebody. You can't see a shrink if you're going to run the country. (Here's something interesting: You can't see a shrink, but you can be a paranoid schizophrenic and still get 19 percent of the vote for president.)

Instead of a shrink, Hillary sought out Jean Houston, only, I'm guessing, because Jeanne Dixon was out of town. Houston is co-director of the Foundation for Mind Research. In other words, a nut case.

Here is an actual, and representative, example of her writing: "The high actualizers I have known, the pragmatic saints and world-making mystics, have been essentially of that genre: they have allowed their body-minds to become fields of space-time from which can be harvested the formings of the Farm."

Houston believes that her archetype is Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and, judging by the statuary, a major babe. Does everyone get a famous archetype? Who gets the guy who cleans up the king's stables? My archetype, by the way, is a guy named Morty who lived in Brooklyn and sold fish.

One day, Houston's at the White House, where some reasonably sane columnists for semi-major newspapers -- I'm not naming names -- have never been invited. She's in there with Hillary when she spots a painting of Eleanor Roosevelt, who's Hillary's hero. According to Houston, she's also Hillary's archetype, meaning we're lucky they weren't hanging out in the Lincoln bedroom, or she'd have been communing with Mary Todd Lincoln, who made Abe wear those funny hats.

They gathered on the solarium, Houston and the first lady and a few friends, to talk to Eleanor. (If it's me, and Hillary and I are about the same age, the dead person I'm looking for is John Lennon, or Janis Joplin, or maybe Hendrix. Jimi, how did you make that sound? Actually, I've got more to say to Mama Cass than I do to Eleanor, but, hey, maybe I'm shallow.)

According to the book, Hillary talks to Eleanor, except Hillary, like Shari Lewis, plays both roles.

I'm thinking it goes something like this.

Hillary as Hillary: Eleanor, why does everyone hate me? Is it because I'm a strong and assertive woman? Or is it because of my hair?

Hillary as Eleanor: I'm sure I don't know why, dear. People hated me, too. I'm pretty sure, though, it was the hair.

Mike Littwin's column usually appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It will return Friday.

Pub Date: 6/25/96

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