Leading Article: Hillary in her own write

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The Independent Online
Yesterday Hillary Clinton's syndicated newspaper column appeared in the London 'Evening Standard'. It has been criticised as too bland. However, we have obtained a copy of the original first draft and reprint it here.

Hi voters! When my deputy press aide, Denton Snubbler III, first suggested that I write a weekly column to let y'all know the real inside story of the White House, I must admit I was doubtful. I mean, folks are so sensitive, don't you find? But Snubbs convinced me. "Let them know the real Hillary - the warm, motherly, non-interfering, presidential asset of a woman that we all see every day," he begged.

So here I am! Now every single day I get hundreds of letters about most everything, and every week I'll share with you the truthful answers to the questions that I get asked the most. Questions like this:

Q: You are obviously a woman of exceptional intelligence and drive. How do you cope with swanning about flashing a false smile, droning on about drapes? I'd love to know. Cherie B, Islington, London.

A: Read my lips, Cherie - I love drapes. Reinventing government is for sissies. Who wouldn't prefer Vuitton to Galbraith? Grin and bear it, sister.

Q: You must get to meet some fascinating people. Who has impressed you the most? KC, Hollywood.

A: Not Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Princess Lianna, that's for sure! Well, the truth is Kevin Costner, Sir Jim Major and the Yeltsins. Costner is drop-down gorgeous and - as they say in Little Rock - hung like a whale. Don't ever ask Sir Jim to explain cricket to you. As for Boris and Naina, what can you say about the guests who can invade a small country, sink three magnums of Moet and throw up over Barbra Streisand, all at the same reception?

Q: Do you all just love little Socks? Orlando aged 7, Wilmington.

A: Sure we do, honey. Just the other day Socks had a kitty sniffle. Now I love that cat so much that I put him in the station wagon, drove downtown and asked the vet to put an end to his suffering. Socks is in heaven, but Chelsea is in a mighty sulk.

Q: Is it true that you advise Bill about what clothes to wear? Britannia Portillo, Knightsbridge.

A: Like most men, my husband, sadly, is a slob. Never puts the seat up, thinks athlete's foot is a compliment and has the dress sense of a tapir. So I help out like any wife would. But I never kid myself that this makes me in some way superior. Honestly.

Well, that's it for now. See you next week.

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