Sometimes the choices we make, when we balance two conflicting values, passions or even ambitions we have make for the most interesting stories. Or maybe it’s balancing our passion with our ambition. And when some people face truly challenging choices, they often have the most amazing stories to tell.
Think Sophie’s Choice.
Ms. Hillary has such a story, but unless she tells it honestly, it will only interest her die-hard fans, other Democratic groupies and political junkies. If she told it honestly, it could be a book for the ages. Here we have a woman whose early writings, speeches and activism suggest a strong commitment to a leftist agenda. Here we have a voice for feminism. But, we also have a woman who despite her discipline and intelligence, had few natural political skills.
She attaches herself to a man who lacks some of her strengths (e.g., discipline), but has something she lacks, a powerful presence, a natural charisma and an instinct for politics. And by some accounts, Hillary Rodham really did fall (romantically) for Bill Clinton.
Their marriage, however, while politically advantageous to her, did not appear to be very emotionally fulfilling. He started straying sexually even before they exchanged their vows. He cheated on her even when they were in the White House. And when this became public, she stood by her man even though she had mocked that very notion on the campaign trail in 1992.
What if she told the true story of their romance, how she did love him despite his failure to control his sexual libido? What if she discussed what happened in 1998, when she first found out that her husband was carrying on with a woman just a few years older than their daughter? What did she really feel? What did she choose to stay with him after that latest public humiliation? Why would a woman whose ideas on gender come right out of the feminist movement let a man treat her the way her husband did?
In addressing these issues, she could talk about the choices women make, the choices she made, why she realized that, despite Bill’s failings, she understood that ending their marriage might compromise her own political viability. And why her political success mattered more than her personal fulfillment. Or maybe it was that political success brought her emotional fulfillment.
I highly doubt Mrs. Clinton will write this book. It would likely require her to say things which might end her political career — or expose her as having (yet again) deceived the American people in past public comments. In short, she won’t write the book because while it might make her appear more human, it would not further her politic career.
And for the Clintons, all is politics, with electoral success and power their Holy Grail, the quest into which they pour their all.