Robert Reich once went on a date with Hillary Clinton in their college days. He went on to serve as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration before resigning in protest over the harsher elements contained in the Welfare Reform Act, and other triangulating policies promoted by Dick Morris. Ironically, I think he is trying to be somewhat nice to Hillary in the following quote:

“She has learned how to be ruthless,” said Robert B. Reich, an Obama supporter who served as Mr. Clinton’s secretary of labor and knew Mrs. Clinton in their college days. “I doubt that it came to her naturally, but she has learned.”

James Carville got to know Hillary later in life. His assessment takes no note of any initial inclination towards fairness.

“If she gave [Obama] one of her cojones, they’d both have two.”

Likewise, the North Carolina Governor is focused less on character than testosterone levels.

“She makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy,” North Carolina’s governor, Michael F. Easley, said in endorsing her, and a union leader in Portage, Ind., praised her “testicular fortitude.”

After eight years of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove, it’s difficult for me to understand why Team Clinton thinks that Democrats are interested in naked displays of hormone-induced aggression, ruthless behavior, and a candidate that will obliterate our so-called enemies. It appears that exhausting her opponents is her plan.

As Mr. Obama has learned, the central principle of Mrs. Clinton’s combat style is simple endurance. Like her husband, she has always taken fierce pride in sticking around, outlasting enemies.

“We’re going to keep on going,” Mr. Clinton said to his wife in the final passage of Bob Woodward’s book “The Agenda” after the couple had pushed the White House economic plan through Congress. “They’re never going to stop us.”

In the 1998 movie Primary Colors there is a scene where Libby Holden (Kathy Bates) digs up some ancient information about the Stantons’ (Clintons’) primary opponent. She gives the information to the Stantons but considers its use to be dirty politics. Essentially, she sees it as a final test. If the Stantons use it, it will confirm that they have become everything they started out opposing. But once they get the information, Jack Stanton (Bill Clinton) and Susan Stanton (Hillary Clinton) start talking about which newspapers to leak it to. Libby objects.

Jack Stanton: Come on. Why get it if you weren’t going to use it?

Libby Holden: As Susan [Hillary] said, he could have been a shit. He isn’t but he could have been. But you’ re off the point. The point is we don’t do this sort of thing.

I’ll be relentless busting dust and guarding your ass. I’d have shot Randy Culligan’s weenie off for you. Well, maybe I would have. But this is something else.

This is hurting someone. This sucks. You want to know why this sucks? Because you told me so. Remember when, Jackie? Let me refresh your memory.

[Pulls out an old photograph of them together looking hippieish]

You remember when this was? You don’t do you? Miami headquarters in ’72. This was taken just after the convention. I’ll never forget that convention.

Susan Stanton: Libby, for christ’s sake, what’s the point?

Libby Holden: The point is Eagleton. Remember, Jack? I must have known you, what, two days then? We hear that McGovern had chosen a vice president who had electric shock therapy. And I consider the possibility that we may lose to that fuckbrain Nixon. Before that, I was absolutely convinced we would win. Can you imagine, Henry? We were so fucking young.

And this one, he takes me out. We go to an outdoor Cuban joint. Remember, Jack? My head’s in my hands. I mean, life has ended. I say, They did it! The CIA. I can’t believe that Tom Eagleton would really be a nutcase. They had to have taken him and made him crazy. It couldn’t be that McGovern was a complete amateur!

I said to Jack, ‘We got to get the same capability as the CIA.’ Remember, Jack? We have to do dirt, too.

And you said, No. Our job is to end all that. Our job is to make it clean. Because if it’s clean, we win. Because our ideas are better. You remember that, Jack?

Jack Stanton: That was a long time ago, Libby, you said it yourself. We were young. We didn’t know how the world worked. Now we know. If we don’t move on this Picker situation, two things will happen.

First, we’ re dead. Everything we’ve worked for since Miami years ago…dies, and fast.

The second thing that happens is someday, soon when they’ re sick of Picker’s quiet . .some intrepid journalist will stumble onto this. And if he doesn’t, the Republicans will lead him to it next fall . It will be like Eagleton, only it’ll be our fault this time… for letting it happen. Your fault, Libby.

Libby Holden: Honey, you may be right. All of it may be right. But we can’t do it because it ain’t who we’ re supposed to be.

When it becomes clear that the Stantons are going to use the information anyway, Libby Holden commits suicide. Joe Klein wrote the book that the movie is based on. He seems to have understood something basic in the character of the Clintons. I can imagine Libby Holden holding tapes of the Reverend Wright and having the same conversation with Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Jack Stanton: Come on. Why get it if you weren’t going to use it?

Libby Holden: As Susan [Hillary] said, he could have been a shit. He isn’t but he could have been.

Barack Obama isn’t a shit. He’s a good man. And the Clintons do not care. They probably honestly believe (or started out believing, anyway) that Obama is unelectable. And, with that in mind, they could justify any tactic against him. That’s who the Clintons are. The only ‘Yes We Can’ they understand is reserved for themselves and their personal ambition.

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