Maureen Dowd Pushes Hillary for President, But in '96 HRC Was 'Riding Roughshod' Over People

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd revved up the Hillary for President bandwagon on the front of the Sunday Review in "Can We Get Hillary Without the Foolery?"

Of course Hillary is running. I’ve never met a man who was told he could be president who didn’t want to be president. So naturally, a woman who’s told she can be the first commandress in chief wants to be.


Joe Biden wants the job. He’s human (very). But he’s a realist. He knows the Democratic Party has a messianic urge to finish what it started so spectacularly with the election of Barack Obama -- busting up the world’s most exclusive white-bread old-boys’ club. And he knows that women, both Democratic and Republican, want to see one of their own in the White House and became even more militant while listening to the G.O.P.’s retrogressive talk about contraception and vaginal probes last year.

Dowd noted Clinton's rapturous reception at Tina Brown’s “Women in the World” conference.

In a hot pink jacket and black slacks, she leaned in for a 2016 manifesto, telling the blissed-out crowd of women that America cannot truly lead in the world until women here at home are full partners with equal pay and benefits, careers in math and science, and “no limit” on how big girls can dream.

Dowd then turned to the dark side.

Even top Democrats who plan to support Hillary worry about her two sides. One side is the idealistic public servant who wants to make the world a better place. The other side is darker, stemming from old insecurities; this is the side that causes her to make decisions from a place of fear and to second-guess herself. It dulls her sense of ethics and leads to ends-justify-the-means wayward ways. This is the side that compels her to do anything to win, like hiring the scummy strategists Dick Morris and Mark Penn, and greedily grab for what she feels she deserves.

One commentator who once went into Hillary's "darker" side in great detail: Maureen Dowd. In a January 1996 column for the Times, she discussed a dinner she had with Clinton during the 1992 presidential campaign, before her husband won the White House. Dowd was scathing about the disconnect between Hillary's self-serving role as secular saint, and the vengeful politician lurking behind the scrim:

She told a story about the summer during law school when she went to Alaska and got a job in a fish-processing plant. She was supposed to scoop out the entrails, but she began to get worried about the state of the fish.

They were purple and black and yucky looking," she recalled. She questioned the owner about how long the fish had been dead. He told her to stop asking questions. She didn't and was fired. "I found another job," she said coolly.


Now Mrs. Clinton is the authority, and she doesn't take kindly to being prodded. If anybody notices something yucky about her financial and political entrails they are supposed to trust that she is working for the greater good.

Dowd concluded that column:

Mrs. Clinton's goodness operates at a high level of generality. She seems more comfortable pursuing greater good than individual good. Her much vaunted idealism has a way of riding roughshod over those around her.

As she must remember, the fish rots from the head down.

Reporter Amy Chozick also gushed over Clinton at the “Women in the World” conference in a Friday "Caucus" post: "Clinton Continues Her Advocacy for Women’s Rights as Private Citizen."

A crowd of women waiting to get in to see Mrs. Clinton speak moved rapidly, shoving their way into the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center to see the former secretary of state speak. The enthusiasm immediately prompted chatter about whether Mrs. Clinton and her team could bottle that enthusiasm for the 2016 presidential election. The crowd let out a huge cheer as Ms. Brown introduced Mrs. Clinton by asking “The big question about Hillary is, what’s next?”