I can’t stop thinking about the news that, according to a forthcoming book, HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton, she and Bill kept a list of the people who had betrayed her during her presidential campaign in 2008. When I say list, I’m not talking about some names scrawled on a beer mat after a drunken bout of slagging off senators down the pub. This is Hillary Clinton we’re talking about, after all. She didn’t keep the names on a Post-it note stuck in her diary, nor stuck to the mirror in the hall so she could flick the Vs at it as she left for work in the morning. She allegedly had two aides compile a spreadsheet of her enemies, what she’d done for them and the exact way they had stuck a knife in her back.
When talking about Hillary’s feud jotter (a place I am glad I will never, ever see my name) with colleagues, it transpired not that they were amazed by her professionalism in making sure her foes were committed to Excel, but that she had a list in the first place. What, no revenge list? No tally of people who’d stitched them up in the past? Perhaps it’s just me and Hillary, then. My list – The Ledger – is in my head rather than on my laptop. Not being a high-flying politician, I guess my enemies and their crimes are fewer, less complicated and easier to remember than hers are. But while The Ledger is mental, rather than physical, it certainly exists.
I’m not going to go into great detail about who’s in it – why give them a warning that their cards are marked? There are people from my youth and from my adulthood, from my private life as well as my professional one. A few people have been erased from it over the years (as in, crossed out, not disappeared by one of my crack team of snipers) after I’ve forgiven them or new evidence has come to light. I’m not wracked with bitterness and bile, after all. I tend not to do regrets, but I think a few low- to medium-level grudges keep me on my toes, not least because the best revenge is success (mine), so The Ledger reminds me to try harder to prove I’m better than they are. I’m sure some people would give good money to take a peek at Hillary’s hit list.
Mine? Not so much. But that’s OK. The Ledger is for my eyes only.
Until the revolution comes, that is.