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An Ego Too Big For Talent

Bill Clinton is a bully, a coy bully. But a bully nonetheless. Given the ups and downs of Hillary's campaign, however, -- and they have mostly been downs -- he has lost much of his coyness and even his trickiness. He is now just a resentful bully, as most bullies are and as his rant two days ago demonstrated.

Hillary also has bully characteristics. But most of all she is a whiner. The fact is that she rose to the top on her husband's heels, and that is one of the reasons that the young in her party, the blacks in her party, the idealistic in her party rejected her. They had not risen to the top ever. So, she figured, she had survived these two decades of indignity and, lo and behold, come these upstarts and demean her labors. I suppose there are lots of folk who like her: there are, after all, all those men and women who have willingly been tricked into pretending that there is something more she can do to seize the nomination when all of her options were closed weeks ago. And if not that: coerce Obama into making Mrs. Clinton his vice presidential partner. I don't even know if there are polls suggesting this.

Of course, the media fall for much of this, and play along. After all, they need several narratives to get to Denver in August. Larry King permitted Lanny Davis to pretend to having mobilized a mass movement for Hillary as Veep when all he did was send Obama a missive with one signature (his own) urging him to anoint her. Davis is a nice man and a clever man. But ever since Hillary's campaign got into trouble he has made himself into her lapdog, and a whining lapdog, at that.

Anyway, about Hillary as whiner, Peggy Noonan has written a column published in the WSJ several days ago about three women who were heads of state in their countries: Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher. They were not whiners, although they had used their womanhood as an asset in their career. And why not? But, of course, they were principled women. They represented many causes. They never thought themselves the incarnation of these causes. Which poor Hillary does.

My own sense, by the way, is that now that Hillary is (almost) gone from the national political stage the path is clear in the Democratic Party (and probably in the Republican Party, as well) for any woman with standing and skill to run credibly as a candidate for the presidency. Hillary was actually an impediment on this natural path. Her ego was the contender, and her ego was too big for her talent.