Fishman: Where's reality TV when you really need it? 

  I think it’s time to say it and say it strong: Hillary Clinton can win.

  When my smart cousin Melvin said this at lunch the other day I nearly choked on my Matzo. But I listened. And I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

  Like the big guy in California, Arnold Schwarzenegger (who at 6’-2” is not so big after all; he just has a big head),  also with a famous spouse, Hillary is a rock star. And rock stars trump righteousness. Always.

  Like the Republicans before them -- who had the nerve to get behind the n’er-do-well W., a man good party members to the right knew to be a far cry from his father and a move some of us thought was stupid to say the least (what did we know?) -- Democrats need to stop worrying about what everyone else will say and put out their best shot, not some suit from the Senate with good hair parted on the wrong side.

  They have the numbers. They just need to get them out to vote.

  The women’s issue is a wash. Israel, India, the U.K., Chile, Germany. None of them fell apart at the seams with a woman at the helm.

   Neither did Iceland, Ireland, Finland, the Philippines or Latvia and Sri Lanka.

  So what’s the big deal?

  Only in this country, where women -- and men -- are free to be and become who and what they wish is this a problem. How ironic. How idiotic.

  Hillary’s smart (now there’s an idea, a characteristic, for a president). She’s got the war chest. She’s got the guts.

  She’s got the moxie to win over the Republicans in New York state. She’s got one-name recognition value, a la Cher, Bono, Oprah.

  God knows, she’s already been vetted and re-vetted to death. No skeletons there.

  Just ask special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, who did everything he could to turn the couple’s world upside down for five years trying to pin something on the pair.

  She understands health care, one of the biggest problems we have. (Did you know Starbucks pays more for employee health care than it does for coffee beans?)

  And like Paula Wallace or George Steinbrenner, she never seems to stop thinking of what to do next.

  O.K. She’s not a great public speaker. She’s got that monotone, that wonkish plodding style. But who would sound good after her husband? Even W managed to improve his speaking style.

  And those pastel-colored suits have got to go. Something a little bolder please.

  Wait a minute. Forget the suits. Here’s the biggest problem: She’s not showing a great sense of humor. That has got to change. Attention speechwriters: Give her a little more self-deprecating wit.

  But yikes, woman, you might ask me: Where is all this Hillary boosting-business coming from?

  It’s certainly not the series, “Commander in Chief,” which some people have called an all-out infomercial for a Hillary campaign. Despite the on-screen magnetism of Geena Davis (who competed in archery during the 1996 Olympics), the show is a real snoozer, a dud, a lemon.

  They didn’t give us any wrinkles, anything to chew on. Just an evil Donald Sutherland and a perfect Mackenzie Allen.

  Like most television, the script is insulting. I stopped watching it long ago, long before it was switched to Thursday nights at 10.

  But if you said Josh Lyman or Martin Sheen or Allison Janney or anyone else -- character name or not -- associated with “West Wing” then you might be on to something. I mean, what do we have left to do on Sunday nights after May 14 when the series goes off the air? It doesn’t help that the whole thing is ending with a bang, not a whimper.

  I’m not even a Washington wonk. I never understood half of what they were talking about on “West Wing.” But it felt right. It felt ecumenical. It felt all-encompassing. It felt hopeful.

  Even the Republican candidate for president, Arnie Vinick, played perfectly by Alan Alda, is a rounded character with decency and dignity.

  The timing of “West Wing” -- it started in 1999, the beginning of the end for any leadership or integrity in this country -- couldn’t have been better for people like me who are grasping for straws, for something, for anything.

 Now the only bulls-eye I’m left with is renting the first two seasons of “West Wing.”

  Yep. Archery. That might be just the ticket for Hill.


E-mail Jane at gofish5@earthlink.net/.

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Jane Fishman

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