Jewish World Review Oct. 25, 2000 / 26 Tishrei, 5761
John H. Fund
The substitution of Rick Lazio for Mayor Rudy Giuliani as the GOP's Most Valuable Player against Hillary Clinton has certainly lowered interest in the Senate race several notches. This has allowed Mrs. Clinton to more effectively hide her liberalism from the voters, muted criticism of her and allowed her to creep closer to the magic 50% mark in some polls.
But with the arrival of the first Subway Series between two New York teams in 44 years, everyone is choosing up sides. That means a spotlight will be shone on celebrities and their team affiliations. Mayor Giuliani is a diehard Yankees fan, although he'll probably agree to share a box or bleacher at some point with Rick Lazio, a Mets fan since childhood.
And then there's Mrs. Clinton, who last year astonished people by arriving at a White House ceremony honoring the Yankees, put on one of their caps and declared herself a lifelong Yankees fan. She lamely explained that growing up in Chicago as a Cubs fan, she needed an American League team to root for and it's been love at first pitch for the Yankees ever since.
OK, maybe so, but how many games has she been to since moving to New York in January? Well, she's been busy and with so much to do, well ... none. Now that there's a World Series she said on Wednesday, "I would love to be able to go to at least one game." But then there was the caveat: "I know there are some days that are absolutely impossible."
Indeed, in her year-long quest to turn the Empire State's wealthy into her own personal political ATM machine, Mrs. Clinton has compiled a very busy schedule. The series opened this Saturday, but she had to be in Washington for a fundraiser. How about Game 2 this past Sunday? Well, the British rock star Elton John was hosting a fundraising concert for her in Manhattan. That didn't work. Tonight, Tuesday, is Game 3. So far no word that Mrs. Clinton will show. On Wednesday, when Game 4 will take place, she is scheduled to attend a birthday party/fundraiser for herself at Manhattan's Roseland Ballroom. So many fundraisers, so little time. end
Mrs. Clinton may plead a packed schedule but there is another reason we doubt she'll show up at either Yankee or Shea stadiums next week. Her candidacy is at bottom inauthentic, has little to do with representing New York and everything to do with securing a position of power to then grasp at higher office. For all of Hillary's memorization of New York folklore and economic statistics, this race isn't about the Senate. It's about entitlement and Queen Hillary.
Much of New York's population knows this, and is thus deeply antagonistic to her in ways even aggressive New Yorkers aren't. Last week, Mrs. Clinton was roundly booed at a rally of Jewish Americans when she stated her opposition to a United Nations resolution condemning Israel, on which the U.S. strangely abstained. "Then why couldn't you convince your husband?" many in the crowd yelled at her. Imagine the reaction she would get if she dared to attend a World Series game. After all, Yankee Stadium is where the infamous Bronx Cheer was invented.
Instead of attending a game of her favorite team, Mrs. Clinton will pursue a Senate campaign which is most remarkable for her ability to dodge tough questions. After all, the First Lady has only held one full-dress news conference - the one where she showed up in a pink dress to offer her non-explanation of Whitewater. In her Senate race, Secret Service agents have routinely blocked reporters from approaching her. Lately, she has allowed reporters a little more access, largely because as Fred Dicker of the New York Post put it "she's more comfortable in being evasive now."
With less than three weeks before Election Day what also seems to have worked is Mrs. Clinton's emasculation of the supposedly tough New York press corps. They've allowed her to wiggle off the hook on countless issues, from Whitewater to commodities trades. Now we wonder if she'll get a pass on whether she'll attend a game with her favorite Yankees.
Rick Lazio summed up it best when asked what kind of a baseball fan Mrs.
Clinton is. "I don't think she's a Yankees or a Mets fan," he said. Then a
grinning Lazio made a reference to the old Brooklyn Dodgers who left New
York for Los Angeles in 1957. "I think she's more of a Dodger. That's where