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Think of what we'll miss

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday June 3, 2008 08:33 PM

Amazingly enough, I can't actually find, anywhere on the web, a video clip of Nixon's "last press conference" -- the one in '62, after his unsuccessful run for the office now occupied by Arnold Schwarzenegger (and oh to hear what Dick would have had to say about that). Closest I can get is this very well-studied and almost perfect-pitch reading by Anthony Hopkins, who also memorably played Hannibal Lecter:


Of course this all comes to mind in connection with Hill & Bill's imminent bow-out. Alas, they're not nearly as much fun as Nixon, or a tenth as complex -- or human. But to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you blog about the politicians you have, not the ones you'd like to have.

As with Nixon, of course, we probably haven't really heard the last of the Clintons -- though Lord knows many of us wish it were otherwise. Here's what one exceptionally maudlin Brit had to say:

Hillary has been beaten. Bill has dishonoured himself. And Chelsea? Chelsea need have no regrets. She may be the candidate that brings the family back to the campaign trail again. But that drama is for another decade.
Well, one can at least hope that one may not live so long.

* * *

As we've observed here before, the photo editors are the best thing about the New York Times. This amazing icon of Bill -- finger-wagging, raspberry-cheeked, dressed in high Arkansas style, jowl-frothingly furious that he can't come back from the dead and continue to haunt our nightmares by proxy -- this image really ought, if there were any justice in the world, to be the last we see of him.

But alas, it probably won't be so. That numskull Scott Fitzgerald once observed with characteristic obtuseness that "there are no second acts in American lives."

He couldn't have been more wrong, of course. There's nothing but second acts, and third and fourth acts, instant replays, sequels and prequels, victory laps and defeat laps, return tours and reruns and residuals and finally the desperate ignis-fatuus flickering of late-night cable TV. America: the only thing we recycle is our shame.

* * *
Various sewer outlets -- erm, excuse me, media outlets -- are trying to keep alive the idea that Obama might ask Hillary to be his VP candidate. Seems unlikely, but if any of the Clintons are ever to reappear in public life, I can hardly think of a better way for it to happen. If there's anybody on earth who could sink the Obama ticket deeper than the Titanic, Hillary is... erm... The One.

Comments (4)

Von Pseud:

A fine piece of work sir.

You're right of course. We haven't seen the last of clan Clinton, and given my age (late twenties for anyone counting) I would live to see the rise of candidate Chelsea. God spare us all.

CHELSEA? Y'mean, Little Miss Horsey-Face?

As in, "Chelsea in 2024?"

Chelsea? Christ, are these goddamn' people threatening us or something?


Why do you dislike Fitzgerald?


not sure i get this

"the only thing we recycle is our shame "

i almost figured you but for a slip
would have written
"the onlty thing we... don't ..recycle
is our shame "

we ought to recycle it of course
its in short supply inside most
american heads

the crown pin up of shameless ness
american style
is of course sir jerry lewis
at least elvis lives on only thru his imposters



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