Before she became a white woman with a temper on FOX, Monica Crowley was a grad student in the early nineties employed as Richard Nixon’s amanuensis. She wasn’t even Boswell to his Johnson, just let him ramble about Democrats, his crush on Mario Cuomo, regard for Bob Dole as the Henry Clay of Wichita, how ungrateful the Reagans and Bushes were. He died before Whitewater got going, alas, so I missed a chance to see spittle on the TV screen as he hinted darkly about cattle futures and the Rose Law Firm billing records. But he really had it in for Hillary Clinton, whom he never forgot served as a counsel on the House Judiciary Committee investigating Watergate. In the essential Nixon Off the Record, the typical Dickian confusion arises about despising people because they don’t give Nixon the deference he thinks he deserves or dismissing chickenshit Republicans who do. Even after Bill Clinton’s called for advice on Russia he can’t stop nattering about the missus. “She so steely,” he said. “She even claps in a controlled way. She’s a true-believing liberal.” Or: “She can’t continue to appear like those Frenchwomen at the guillotine during the revolution, just watching and knitting, knitting.” Finally: “She’s a radical. If she gets in, whoa! Everbody had better fasten their seat belts?”
Hear that? With Hillary as Bette Davis, it’s gonna be a bumpy night.
A reminder to those in diapers when “I Swear” was #1 that Hillary was the radical, the woman who kept her maiden name, made money during the eighties, served on corporate boards, but remained a secret Leninist. Charles Pierce:
All during her husband’s administration, HRC was considered to be the more progressive of the two. She supported the accommodations he made to get re-elected, some of which were pretty damned ghastly. She also was one of the most vocal in defense of that administration against the organized ratfking that sought to destroy it. (The only mistake she made, as Calvin Trillin pointed out at the time was that she referred to a “vast right-wing conspiracy” rather than a creepy little cabal.) I once had a long conversation with a former Clinton lawyer. He told me that, if there were 1000 people in a room, and 999 thought Bill Clinton was a direct descendant of Jesus Christ, and one of them thought he was the spawn of Satan, Clinton would seek out that one person and spend the rest of the night and all the following day trying to change that person’s mind. That is not something anyone ever has said about Ms. Rodham Clinton. The edges of her triangulations are all sharp ones.
So Nixon was right after all. Time to dust off Nixon in Winter, which include his speculations on Hegel (“He’s so German”) and Christianity (“Jesus was the greatest philosopher”).