It seems appropriate to eulogize the failure of Hillary Clinton - the candidate driven by obsessive entitlement - to snag the presidential nomination. Her ambition is understandable when you consider she's held second position all her life amid a sea of point men. But clearly her fixated will power was not enough, even in a nation intent on the promotion of women.
In the end, many of Hillary's detractors grew to admire the first woman who would reach for the supreme plum, who would dare cross into man territory. I wonder if she knew the step would expose her unlikable persona. In its glory, a presidential campaign requires the candidate hang herself out in full view, and it was there we saw the metamorphosis. At first the evolution was simulated, then something happened; realness took hold.
Too many months on the stump produced more than campaign debt. With each week, the steel matron appeared stronger, her countenance changed, her delivery seemed to come from a place inside her, rather than spin from aides or polls.
I, too, was mesmerized by her refusal to cry "uncle." Determination, her strong suit, explains why she didn't dump Bill decades ago when she found he was only devoted to his own ego. She used him, just as he used her: The perfect partnership - not unfamiliar in many homes. And, why not? She'd cast her destiny with power.
What's fascinating is how she came into her own. I venture to say her loss, and the fray surrounding its inevitability, was a gift. Can she hold on to it after she resurfaces, or does she even want to?
On her Web site, author and baby-boomer guru Marianne Williamson explains what happened to Hillary and America: "There's a psychological principle that people hear you on the level that you're speaking from. If it's all in your head, then someone hears you with their head. But, if it's coming from your heart, then they will hear you with their heart."
Then, we learn how this also applies to us. "No matter how smart we are, we don't break through to our greatness until our mind has been humbled," she says.
Let it be known that Williamson, author of "The Healing of America," supports Barack Obama, despite her advocacy for women. This may explain why: "There is a higher intelligence than the intellect, and that is the ceiling Hillary was not able to break through. She depended on intellect, force of will, external alliances and political strategizing - while Obama subsumed all those things under what Mahatma Gandhi called soul force." I fear Williamson gives Obama too much credit in that department, but that's another discussion. I do agree, Hillary missed the mark.
Sometime ago, a reader asked what I meant when I observed, "Hillary did not have a center." I clarified she'd played politics for so long, she'd never found which part of her was real. The process of making a decision as to whom we are is something we all go through; what we stand for and how we vote even when no one's looking. And, those who never get there, who bungle through life, swinging left or right, up or down, are to be pitied and avoided. Even at the top of their game, they can never be counted on.
Who can forget Hillary's first public exposure of her core? That instant when tears surfaced as she spoke of the difficulty of being Hillary. Sure, she played the moment, sensing the intrigue of her audience - but, even in her pretense, something happened: It felt good to be almost real.
But, she couldn't hold her new-found place, as witnessed by her incredulous lie about the Bosnian sniper fire. Her putrid, situational ethics remained in control. Too bad. None of us can hide forever. Sooner or later, our greatest weaknesses end up on center stage. In ways, it's odd. But, it's an absolute.
In the end, there was a reason Hillary's credibility rating had dropped well below the 50-percent mark. People know - even if they don't understand why they know. In the end, Hillary got real, too late.
Linda Turley-Hansen is a syndicated columnist and former veteran Phoenix television news anchor who lives in the East Valley. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.