Hillary’s Hypnotic Hold Over Men
by Richard Poe
Saturday, May 17, 2008
10:27 pm Eastern Time
Granted, Hillary is no spring chicken. Her fleshly allure has diminished over time. But Hillary has other ways of bending men to her will.
Consider her effect upon journalist David Brock. A ruthless political dirt-digger for the right, Brock nearly toppled the Clinton White House. His Troopergate story in the American Spectator triggered the Paula Jones lawsuit, leading to Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Yet, when Brock trained his sights on Hillary, he suddenly went soft.
In 1994, the Free Press awarded Brock a million-dollar advance to write a Hillary exposé. Brock slowly fell under Hillary’s spell, as he wrote. In Brock’s words, he began to “sympathize with the trials and tribulations she faced, and even to see a kind of beauty” in her soul. “In finding Hillary Clinton’s humanity, I was beginning to find my own”, he later wrote.
Released in October 1996, The Seduction of Hillary Rodham turned out to be a whitewash, portraying Hillary as an idealist saddled with an unworthy husband.
Brock didn’t stop there. He publicly renounced conservatism in the July 1997 Esquire. Then he wrote a book smearing his former conservative friends and colleagues as crooks, liars, drunkards, dopers, philanderers, closet homosexuals and “right-wing fag hags“, in Brock’s memorable phrase.
Hillary knows how to return a favor. In 2003, she set up her own personal think tank, the Center for American Progress, with $3 million from Wall Street billionaire George Soros. One of the Center’s first priorities was to give David Brock a job.
Hillary’s Center helped launch Media Matters for America, an activist group dedicated to fighting conservative influence in the media. Brock was put in charge of it. Hillary’s former enemy had become her lapdog. Such is the power of Hillary’s charm.
Hillary worked a similar transformation on Richard Mellon Scaife. During the 1990s, the Pittsburgh philanthropist and newspaper publisher spent millions trying to expose Clinton wrongdoing through lawsuits and grants to journalists. Time magazine dubbed Scaife “king of the Clinton haters“.
Those days are over. Following a March 25 meeting this year with Senator Clinton, Scaife wrote in his newspaper, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, that the meeting had “changed my mind about her”.
Hillary’s most impressive conquest to date is Rupert Murdoch, whose $60-billion media empire encompasses Fox News and the New York Post. When Hillary ran for reelection to the Senate in 2006, Murdoch stunned New Yorkers by endorsing her, even holding a Hillary fundraiser at his headquarters in Manhattan.
Fox News has become Hillary’s favorite network. Her campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe praised Fox in a May 13 interview on Fox & Friends. McAuliffe complained that “90 percent” of mainstream media favored Obama. By contrast, he noted gratefully, “Fox has been one of the most responsible in this presidential campaign“.
What is Hillary’s secret? By what alchemy does she transform bitter enemies into loyal operatives? Cynics might argue that Hillary employs methods more forceful than her winning personality.
They might note, for instance, that the last Clinton administration sicced the Federal Communications Commission on Murdoch, nearly putting his Fox Network out of business. At age 77, Murdoch may no longer have the stomach for that sort of fight.
Dick Scaife likewise felt the Clintons’ wrath. From 1993 to 1997, he gave $1.8 million to the American Spectator to fund investigative reportage on the Clintons. Such grants are perfectly legal, yet the Clinton Justice Department subjected Scaife and the American Spectator to a 14-month criminal investigation. No prosecutions resulted, but Clinton critics felt the chill.
The American Spectator had already suffered years of harassment, including several suspicious break-ins. Founder and editor-in-chief Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. later wrote, “The pressure was enormous. [David] Brock was the earliest to crack under the strain.”
Plainly, Hillary’s enemies-turned-friends have other possible motives for switching sides than mere puppy-dog infatuation. In fact, they have every reason to fear Mrs. Clinton. Staying on her good side may be a matter of simple survival for them.
This brings us back to the superdelegates. Most are leaning toward Obama, at this point. But convention rules allow them to change their minds right up till the end.
However she managed it, Hillary did get Rupert Murdoch and Richard Mellon Scaife to join her team. Persuading the superdelegates seems a small task by comparison.