Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Day the Magic Died?

Johnston City, TN – For the past twenty-six years, Republicans have been throwing everything they have at two people. They have brought out the tabloids, the special investigations, and written the books. Articles and documentaries have been made, people have been hired to dig up dirt, and lawsuits and mud slinging have happened both before and after an attempted impeachment proceeding of the only one of the Clinton Couple that has yet to hold the presidency.

But the Clinton’s have always survived. From Whitewater to Benghazi, from Monica Lewinsky to Hairgate and Travelgate and so many other gates you wished somebody would finally find a better ending to slap on the name of a scandal, the Clintons have always managed to keep their heads above water, if sometimes just barely.
But there is speculation on some fronts that the years of public life are finally beginning to take th 
eir toll on the “Comeback Couple.” There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton would like to be president, she did eight years ago, and that is not enough time for an ambition so large to simply dissipate. But there are whispers, even among Democrats, that people are tired of her, and that some new face might be needed to give the Democrats, after such a loss, a new lift.
There were no Clintons on the ballot, two days ago, when the Republicans swept the Democrats in what some are calling a “massacre.” But the Clintons did pour themselves into the campaign. Bill and Hillary campaigned in at least twenty-five states for more than thirty candidates. Much more than Barak Obama, about whom this election became a referendum. And yet with both the Mr. and the Mrs. Throwing everything into it, nothing happened.
Their magic wands did not sweep away the Republicans, their fund raising did not add the needed boost. Their speeches were good, and people were no doubt listening, but they were unconvinced this time.
Admittedly, people were not voting for Bill and Hillary, they were voting for people whose names nobody really knows or will remember in a few years, and there was nothing like the name recognition of the Clintons in any of the races.
But the fact is the Democrats lost, in the end, because they were the ones already on top. And they were on top when things were bad. They had been the majority party. And the Clintons were a part of that majority party. The Clintons have been at the top for a very, very long time. People still love them, when they speak they still draw crowds, but they are, undoubtedly, old.
Hillary is sixty-seven, Bill is sixty-eight. They left the Whitehouse a decade and a half ago. They no longer can hold court there, and now neither even holds any official public office. They are still massive with name recognition, but that might be one of the very things that hurts them, in the end.
The magic may finally be giving out. Some are still calling them the saviors, but like an old king and queen in a novel, they are old, and their friends are old. They are being more and more relegated to watching the young dancers, then actually being in the dance. The drama is playing out, but try as they might, they cannot influence it.
There comes a time in all of these tales when people realize there are many young and vibrant youths waiting in the wings, just as these two once were. And it will happen, eventually, we can never say when, when some obliging, gentle but firm hand will lead the two off of the stage and back into the private chambers. They will be applauded, but there will be a sense of relief that a new act is opening up, with new characters. The magic must fizzle out and die, as the magic always does.

Andrew C. Abbott

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