Wednesday, November 11, 2009


How is she doing? What is she feeling?

I see her in her pantsuit outfits, mostly with a serious expression on her face. Not the red pantsuit, or. the pink, yellow and orange one -- though she still wears heels -- never glamor girl HIGH high-heels, just practical one or two inch heels that flatteringly lengthen the leg.

But I haven't seen the energy, the smile, the sense of humor that continually affirmed our loving, supporting, admiration of her.

Okay, it's a different job. Running for president, she opened up and showed us, from time to time, the woman, the politician, the wife who didn't let her husband's playing around destroy her or her feelings for him. That's a number one WOW!

This job, her current one, requires a calm, objective demeanor -- a quiet confidence that conveys objectivity -- suggests an older, wiser woman, who represents the country, the new president who has let it be known that he wants a talking relationship with the nations -- a diplomacy-first philosophy -- strategic patience, not threats, but subtler expressions of U.S. power.

The image of her as Obama's rival -- it was surprising, at first, to find myself rooting for her, then him then her. then him ... the way they debated, teased, attacked, and criticized each other as equals was -- well -- let's put it this way -- I wasn't watching movies, I was watching the news every night.

Anyhow, the image of Barack and Hillary as contenders is gone. The new look on her face is Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton handling the job.

She cut her hair; it's almost, not quite a new hairdo that says "younger." It's got the straggly, shorn, slightly messy look that's in vogue. It's not quite right yet, but her hair will grow, and she'll figure out how to manage it better. I'm sure she changed it deliberately -- she doesn't want to look like she did last year, as a candidate.

Yes, she seems wearier, sadder, alone. And she is. Bill is here and there, making speeches, raising money with Bush Sr., trying to solve some of the world's heath problems. Hillary, more often than not, is on the other side of the world.

We haven't seen them together, not the way they were during her campaign -- Bill praising her, supporting her, hugging her, proud of her -- her looking up at him with a young wife's smiling eyes

Am I making a romance out of the loving, devoted couple behavior that the Clintons have rehearsed, played, and presented to us for years and years?

Maybe. But I know the play -- the script, the poses, the lovey-dovey, "we are together" look is based on real feeling of what they were and what they are now.

I think she's having a hard time, learning what works best for her, in so many different countries and cultures. "Meet the Press" in July said, "She's logged over 100,000 miles. Being a traveler, I made list of where she's been, feeling the travel cramps and aches in my own bones.

(Pakistan, Australia, the Congo, Jerusalem, Palestine, Mexico, Toronto, Norway, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Australia, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Singapore -- involved with international agencies, embassies, ambassadors, special envoys, security, climate change, environment, financial markets, numerous humanitarian causes.)

Time Magazine's Joe Klein, in his cover story on Hillary said, "The job of Secretary of State is more thankless than glamorous..." And then Klein reminds us: "This is Hillary Clinton we're talking about — the second most popular American in the world, an eternally compelling and supremely talented character, the subject of constant speculation, a walking headline. Her very presence in the job makes it crucial once more."

That's what I'm counting on; we're counting on.

She grew in stature, during the campaign, her humor, her ever clearer, incisive, down-to-earth expression of her ideas. As Obama takes hold of the wars, as well as the home front issues that worry us all -- yay Hillary -- she's uniquely ready and able to do what has to be done, and help him.

My fingers are crossed for the team!
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