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15 April 2008 @ 04:25 pm
Bill Clinton: A Mind Divided?  
Pundits everywhere have tried to explain why former President Bill Clinton seems to be repeatedly sabotaging his wife's campaign. He's seen as too smart a politician to make such blunders, too careful of how he talks in public to have so many mistaken word choices.

After this last time when he not only reminded everyone of the Bosnia sniper fire mistaken memory, he went on to remind everyone of Hillary's age in an ageist society and imply that she had a senior moment.

"Wow!" I thought, "Does he really want her to be president or not?"

After some thought I began to realize that he could be the victim of a divided mind.

Consciously he is undoubtedly proud of his wife. They probably always had an agreement that he would have a political career (more feasible when they started out in Arkansas) and then she would have her turn. He probably does think she would be a good president, and he is working hard to make that happen.

On a subconscious level, I have to wonder if he thinks she might make an even better president than he did. Is he worried that his own legacy might be overshadowed, that he might be remembered in the future only as the Clinton that got a blow job in the oval office and not as the Clinton who was an outstanding president? I'm not suggesting he would consciously try to sabotage his wife's campaign, but some of the worst blunders have come straight from his mouth. His wife has been forced to essentially tell him to shut up.

It's not uncommon for men to be uncomfortable when their wives overshadow them, perhaps by earning more money or having a higher powered job. Perhaps there's a tiny corner of Bill Clinton's mind that worries that Hillary is passing him up. Even his own daughter states that she would make a better president--which he tried to pass off as Chelsea being smart enough to know that it's more politic for her to praise her mother over her father.

Perhaps he's also uncomfortable in the unusual role of "first gentleman."

I don't claim to know what goes on in Bill Clinton's mind. I'm just suggesting one possibility that I haven't seen explored.

By the way, ageism hasn't been addressed much in this election, and I think both Hillary Clinton and John McCain are affected by it. Sexism and ageism don't combine well--women are always criticized more harshly for their appearance when they age, and at younger ages than men are. Meanwhile comedians can't make enough ageist jokes about John McCain. Let's criticize him for the many very real problems with his stance on the issues, not simply lampoon his age.
 
 
 
(Anonymous) on April 16th, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
I think you're on to something
Hi Tapati,

Long-lost acquaintance Jessi here.

This divided mind hypothesis makes a lot of sense to me. And thanks for the reminder to be aware of ageism, too.
Tapatitapati on April 18th, 2008 03:08 am (UTC)
Re: I think you're on to something
Hi Jessi! How are you doing?

I'll send you a notice soon but I want to let you know that I am planning a fiftieth birthday party on the weekend of Dec 6/7th, probably on the sixth. Of course you will be invited!

The above explanation was the only thing that made sense to me.