Tom Purcell, 5/14/2007 [Archive]

The Clinton Marriage

The Clinton Marriage

By Tom Purcell

It's early yet, but I'm already worried. I'm worried about Bill and Hillary's possible return to the White House -- that their personal life may become front-page news again.

The first shot was fired across the bow one year ago. The New York Times interviewed 50 people who know Bill and Hillary. The reporter attempted to get a "grab" -- a regrettable choice of words, I know -- on the married life of the power couple.

That prompted columnist David Broder to call their marriage the "elephant in the room" (or, as he should have said it, the elephant in the bedroom). He said their personal life will be a hot topic if Hillary runs for president.

He was right. More news folks are beginning to probe the Clinton marriage. They're beginning to wonder if a 'First Lady' Bill might do something to embarrass a President Hillary.

Please, God, no.

I don't want to know more about the Clintons' personal life. I'm still trying to forget the stuff I already know.

We've been busy since the Clintons left the White House. After our planes were hijacked and our buildings exploded, we shifted our focus from adolescent problems to adult ones.

We began a war on terrorism. We took out the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam in Iraq. The war has not gone well. The Republicans got creamed. Terrorists still hope to blow us up. And Americans are divided about where to go from here.

But where Clinton's peccadilloes are concerned, not a one of us wants to 'go there.'

I remember when Hillary kicked off her Senate re-election campaign in 2006. Bill came onto the stage and hugged her. It was a fine image, the power couple in a loving embrace. Hillary got a standing ovation when she said Bill was "an inspiration, a mentor, a partner."

And he is an inspiration, a mentor, a partner. He's inspired dozens of investigations, he's mentored an untold number of interns, and you couldn't find a Harvard CPA able to tally the number of partners he's had.

Admittedly, I like Bill Clinton. I'd love to have a beer with him -- though only if my sisters are out of town. But I lack the mental, physical and emotional strength to go through this again.

If Hillary becomes the Democratic nominee, we all know the election will be painful. Bill will likely do something reckless, get caught, seek forgiveness, outline a plan for redemption, and then we'll see news footage of him and Jesse Jackson in intense prayer.

But I tremble at what will happen if he becomes first lady.

He'll stroll around the White House in a silk robe, chomping on roast beef sandwiches and winking at the staff. The White House Easter Egg Roll will ban children and invite coeds.

The White House kitchen will be outsourced to Hooters. Dominos will run a franchise out of the Blue Room. The Lincoln Bedroom will be leased to the Chinese in return for campaign dough and a lifetime supply of General Tso's Chicken.

Goodness knows what his "first lady" mission will be. Laura Bush promoted literacy. Barbara Bush promoted volunteerism. As part of her "Just Say No" campaign, Nancy Reagan discouraged drug use.

I think Bill will embrace "Just Say No," too -- "Just Say No to Fidelity, Responsibility and Hillary."

With Bill as first lady, Congress will need to pass a new "don't ask, don't tell" policy -- not for the military, but for the White House.

America will need to establish a special Secret Service detail -- not to protect Bill from the public, but the public from Bill.

A disturbing new slogan will seep into popular culture: "What happens in the White House stays in the White House."

I don't have the strength to go through this. Please, God, don't make us have to go through this.

Tom Purcell is a humor columnist nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons. For comments to Tom, please email him at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.

RESTRICTIONS: 'Tom Purcell's column may not be reprinted in general circulation print media in Pennsylvania's Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, and Westmoreland Counties. It may appear only in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and its sister publications."



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