Other Voices: Where’s Al Gore when you need him? | TheUnion.com

Other Voices: Where’s Al Gore when you need him?

“She’s smarter than he is,” my friend said after having visited The White House during the Clinton administration. Her family’s Napa Valley winery had supplied the wine for a lavish banquet in the Nation’s Capitol and were high on the presidential guest list.

This assessment was made before the President lied under oath about his extra-marital affair and was subject to an impeachment attempt by Congress. It was when people who met him said he had a savoir faire that was incredible: “Spend five minutes with him and you’ll think he’s your best friend,” was a common assessment.

My friend acknowledged his charm but steadfastly maintained: “She’s the brains.”

That’s reassuring if you believe the polls that say Hillary Clinton is on track to move into the White House in 2008. We now have a president whose intellect is questioned at every turn, and many Americans feel our sinister vice president is using George W. Bush as a sock puppet.

Heck, even Bush’s vaunted “brain,” Karl Rove, says Hillary has the inside rail in the next election.

And I’m sure she wishes he hadn’t.

Having spent my professional life as a journalist, I know how newsrooms operate. I know how the seemingly innocent turn of a phrase can tilt public opinion one way or the other. And writing stories about polls, with just a tad of interpretation, is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

But I don’t believe the polls. And what conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh calls, “The drive-by media” is probably in for a shock at election time.

C’mon, have you seen even one, “Hillary’s our gal!” bumper sticker?

I move in both liberal and conservative circles, carrying membership cards for both the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union. (Why? Because they both play watchdog over my rights under the U.S. Constitution.)

So I’ve seen a lot of eyes roll among my conservative friends over the prospect of Hillary back in the White House but have yet to meet any “liberal” who openly, firmly supports Hillary Clinton for president.

Me? I dropped off any thought of being on her bandwagon when she refused to admit having made a mistake in voting for the war in Iraq. I guess making a “mistake” makes her too human for the people who are scripting every word she speaks?

Bill might have said, “Hell yes, almost everyone in Congress fell for the same misinformation we were given. We all made the same mistake.”

But not Hillary the infallible.

Despite the ever-growing campaign chest she’s piling up, I’m quite certain that Hillary would lose a popularity contest to former convict Martha Stewart. And maybe even Paris Hilton.

Hey, has anyone seen Al Gore lately?


Dick Tracy is a retired journalist who lives in Grass Valley.

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