The Freshman: Starring Hillary Rodham Clinton

By Alison Mitchell New York Times News Service | THE JOURNAL RECORD, January 1, 2001 | Go to article overview

The Freshman: Starring Hillary Rodham Clinton


Alison Mitchell New York Times News Service, THE JOURNAL RECORD


WASHINGTON -- If anyone thought that Hillary Rodham Clinton, first lady, bete noire of the right and now New York's favorite adopted daughter, might blend into the woodwork as just another freshman senator, the opening day of Congress ended that fantasy.

During the hourlong swearing-in ceremony last week, the entire center of gravity in the ornate Senate chamber shifted to the last row of desks, where Clinton, in a vivid aqua pants suit, sat nonchalantly whispering like a veteran with Sen. John Breaux, the deal-making Louisiana Democrat.

In a classic Washington tableau of power-worship, hypocrisy and redemption, the Senate took on the look of a receiving line, as a parade of senators came to welcome Clinton, air-kissing, back- patting and handshaking, including numerous Republicans who voted just two years ago to convict her husband on impeachment charges. The culmination was an embrace from the 98-year-old South Carolina Republican Strom Thurmond in all his incorrigible glory.

Yes, there have been Senate celebrities before: Bill Bradley, the Rhodes scholar who played for the Knicks; John Glenn, the modest astronaut. But Clinton is a phenom the likes of which the staid Senate has rarely if ever seen, no matter how often she protests that she just wants to buckle down and deliver for New York.

She is the most admired woman in America, according to a recent Gallup poll, beating out Oprah. She is a figure of international stature, who once lectured China about human rights. Her friends and enemies are legion -- including a phalanx of professional Hillary- haters who were happily returned to cable television the moment she was sworn in.

Perhaps the only comparable figure to grace the Senate, said Michael Beschloss, the presidential historian, was that other carpetbagger New York embraced as its own, Robert F. Kennedy, the brother of the martyred president.

From the moment Kennedy entered the Senate it was widely assumed that he would seek the presidency. In those days, a freshman might wait years before daring to give a major speech, but Kennedy waited only until the summer. He spoke on nuclear weapons and infuriated President Lyndon B. Johnson, who saw the address as a jab in his direction.

"In Kennedy's case, he knew he was never going to be a member of the club," said Beschloss, "and rather than beginning in that Uriah Heepish way, he went to the Senate as Robert Kennedy, future president, who made no bones about that. It was basically a question of what year it would be."

By contrast, Clinton's supporters say she very much wants to be a good club member, that finally having elected power of her own, she wants to learn how to use it and become an effective lawmaker.

"My gut is she'll handle it pretty well because she's smart," said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. "Smart is understanding that people are waiting here for any false move to jump all over her. Smart is knowing that this is 100 egos and everybody's an equal here."

Yet even on Day 1 there were signs of the difficulties Clinton will face. Sen. Tim Hutchinson, R-Ark., (brother of one of the House impeachment managers), sounded a tad exasperated when he said to a television reporter, "She's still going to have one vote no matter how she leads the evening news, but she'll be respected by her colleagues and receive a warm reception. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Freshman: Starring Hillary Rodham Clinton
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.