I think there is a very real case to be made that anyone who has a life-long aspiration for the job of US President has something seriously wrong with them. Who would want the power so much to subject themselves to the crucible of the White House?
Some might say that this is just the nature of politics. Either deal, or get out of the way. And I actually agree with this. As Harry Truman said – to paraphrase – “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”
Politics can be very ugly. It can be mean. It can be arbitrary. It, in many ways, is warfare. (Politics can also be fun, and immensely interesting – which is why I do what I do. It’s not all bad, but a healthy psychological separation from the maniacs on Capitol Hill is a good idea.)
Case in point, this article from Politico on Hilary Clinton’s list of grudges. There is seriously a database of people who have wronged Ms. Clinton (and one assumes also Bill) and that database is actively searched.
This is pretty healthy. I mean it’s one thing to remember who hurt you politically. It’s quite another to have a list in an Excel spreadsheet of people who have slighted you over the past 20 years.
But this I guess that is what it takes for some people to become president. (Or at least get close.) No wonder none of the press want to talk about Benghazi. They’d be frozen out if Hillary gets in the White House.
It would be political malpractice for the Clintons not to keep track of their friends and enemies. Politicians do that everywhere. The difference is the Clintons, because of their popularity and the positions they’ve held, retain more power to reward and punish than anyone else in modern politics. And while their aides have long and detailed memories, the sheer volume of the political figures they interact with makes a cheat sheet indispensable. “I wouldn’t, of course, call it an enemies list,” said one Clintonworld source when asked about the spreadsheet put together by Balderston and Elrod. “I don’t want to make her sound like Nixon in a pantsuit.”