Softening Hillary

Barton Gellman and Amy Wilentz

Softening Hillary

Barton Gellman and Amy Wilentz

Softening Hillary
An email conversation about the news of the day.
May 18 2000 6:51 PM

Barton Gellman and Amy Wilentz

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

 Bart:

Advertisement

I feel bad for Hillary. 

First of all, she's being perfect, and no one in 12-step America likes a goody-two-shoes. Those percentages over 50 who are against her are just white males, and no surprise, and not so huge a chunk as to be insurmountable. I believe that all the woman needs is a little chink in the Hillarian armor (say, Bill has another affair, not too hard to imagine) and she'll be elected lickety split. A disease would work, too, but I can't wish that on anyone, even if it would mean victory.

But it would be nuts (oops) for Rudy to quit, because with all of his foibles and his illness, he's just a far more attractive candidate now. Even I like him better, though given how little I liked him before, that's not saying much. I wonder how the Louima and Diallo and Dorismond families are feeling about Giuliani now. Not too generous, I'd imagine.

Is it true, as the Wall Street Journal reports, that Jesse Jackson is going to Sierra Leone to mediate in something called the peace process? (I remember Jesse coming to Haiti on Aristide's plane when the United States put Aristide back in office, and how Jesse jockeyed for photo ops with the returning democrat. Who will he try to be photographed with in S.L., I wonder?) The WSJ, which of course naturally hates Jackson much more than I naturally like him, points out that--as part of a brokered truce between the government and the rebs--the Rev. helped secure Sankoh's release the last time the rebel leader was taken. Vain truce, it turns out. What can Jackson do now? Maybe he can be the one to talk to the men holding the hostages, but with a record like that, I'm not sure he'll be seen as having much legitimacy on either side. Anyway, if I were Sankoh, I'd beware of Jackson now. Jesse doesn't like to be burned even once.

Advertisement

What will Jackson's future be in the United States? He's the Dennis Ross of Africa, and if you thought being the Dennis Ross of Holylandia was a drag (Dennis must think so), imagine the vaster frustrations in the huge continent of troubles. My God.

Let me leave you with this: Kevin Roberts, the chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi, the advertising agency, says the following (according to the Wall Steet Journal):

There's a new way of communicating, and the challenge is how to bring emotion and engagement--how to bring love--to a personal and sometimes antisocial medium. For me, the Internet is like electricity. I don't care where it came from, or how it got there, I just want to figure out how to emotionally connect with it.

(Roberts is a former rugby player from New Zealand ... does that explain his odd feelings about electricity?)

Oh, Bart, I hope, hope, that this week, you and I have somehow brought a little bit of loooooooooove to the medium.

Amy

A former Pentagon, Middle East, and diplomatic correspondent, Barton Gellman is special projects reporter for the Washington Post. Amy Wilentz is the author of The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier. She writes frequently about the Middle East and is finishing a novel about Jerusalem.