Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Why Can't the Clintons Figure out Who They Are?

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Why Can't the Clintons Figure out Who They Are?

Article excerpt

The White House is angry at Jean Houston. She won't let Al Gore out of his trance. That's one of the jokes Dole aides, now calling themselves Ghostbusters, are passing along. Though on a scale of 1 to Newt Gingrich, the most oddball revelation in Bob Woodward's new book, "The Choice," may not be that Hillary Rodham Clinton is so desperate for friends she's hanging out with the quack and the dead. It may be that Elizabeth Dole had to schedule an office appointment to talk to her husband about whether he s hould run for president. (She should have had Houston channel him.)

In 1986, on the way to Tokyo, I asked Nancy Reagan if she was superstitious. Just in the usual "Don't put a hat on the bed, don't put shoes above your head" ways, she said, knocking on the wood-stained Formica table on Air Force One. When it turned out that Nancy's astrologer was charting superpower relations, I realized the White House is a comically toxic place. Power, danger and press attention make people go flooey.

So what do we make of this first lady's sorceress, or sacred psychologist? (She defines the three realms of sacred psychology as "This Is Me," "We Are" and "I Am.") She's a step up from Michael Lerner, even if she, too, intends to make a career out of her 15 minutes in the East Wing. Mrs. Clinton should have gone with a seance conjuring up Marilyn Monroe, JFK, William Casey. ("Bill, about Iran-Contra, did you really tell Woodward `I believed'?") A talk between Hillary and Eleanor where Hillary does both sides is sure to be more self-serving than enlightening.

On NBC's "Dateline," Houston explained that she got the idea to be a "global midwife" and conduct imaginary conversations when her father, a gag writer, took her to Edgar Bergen's house when she was 8 years old. B ergen was asking Charlie McCarthy questions about the nature of life, and Charlie was giving brilliant answers. (No wonder Candice Bergen was jealous of that stupid dummy.)

I don't have the heart to mock the first lady's mystic, mythic, psychic, just plain ick sessions in the solarium. It seems sad, not only about Mrs. Clinton, but about the country. …

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