Loves Bill Clinton Hillary Clinton

: Hillary - a role model?


Read on one side

Various commentators and insiders argue that the Clinton marriage is just "a disgusting arrangement," an ice-cold partnership of those hungry for power. But the truth is, none of us know what is really going on in the Clinton marriage. How much love there was and still is there. Love is always a mystery, how it blooms, what it can survive. Hillary Clinton reportedly said Bill was her best friend and has been for more than 25 years. Does that sound like a deal?

One thing was clear from the start: Hillary Clinton wants to be a positive force. What she realized, no doubt, was that her association with this charming and ambitious Arkansas man improved her chances of doing so. He probably felt the same way. If that has anything to do with calculation, then it applies to any relationship or marriage. Nobody signs without expecting to be stronger, better, bigger together than apart.

The sad realization of all of this, however, is that Hillary Clinton didn't make it. She couldn't become the first lady she and many other women had hoped for. This is partly due to the nature of the traditional office, partly to the intensive scrutiny by the media. No presidential couple have ever been exposed to such endless curiosity and scrutiny as the Clintons. This intrusive and destructive behavior was also part of what killed Princess Diana.

The irony now is that Hillary Clinton does not personify the progress many hoped for when her husband ran for the presidency, but, in a sense, a setback. It has become an anachronism in a world where women like her run for political office and win on their own.

Now it is said that she is considering getting into the political ring herself. Perhaps that is why, even in the midst of impeachment, she had an extraordinary sheen. It seems like she feels that there is life on the other side when it is no longer about Bill Clinton and what office he's running for and what to do for him - change her name, change her hairstyle to defend him and her marriage on national television - exactly what she has done throughout her adult life.

But she always made it clear that she did so of her own will. This is in contrast to what Princess Diana signaled - the emotional response to the consuming grief and public pressures that were her life.

In that sense, when it comes to feminism, Hillary Clinton has the edge. When feminism is understood to mean a woman's ability to make and live with her own choices without external hindrance, however painful or complicated the repercussions may be.