Sunday, June 20, 2004

Clinton's coming! Clinton's coming! Get in line now!

Why the hell am I getting so excited? What is it about this failed man that has me checking out the schedule of his Bay Area book signings, trying to figure out which one I should go to? How did I get caught up in all this hype over a 975 page book that will sell millions, even though nobody will ever read all of it?

In '92 I held out on Clintonmania until the Democratic convention when he was officially crowned the nominee of my [at that time] party. Although I saw the attraction of his charisma, I also saw danger in it, and didn't fully trust him. Still, by election day, I'd gotten the religion. I worked my precinct and had the joy of attending one of those rarest of events, the Democratic Victory Party.

By the end of the first term, it was all over for me. He'd tried, but lost, on health care, and then joined in with the enemy on welfare reform, among other disappointments. By election day '96 I had been a registered Green for over a year and put my support behind Nader - something I've never regretted.

But still, for all his flaws - and possibly because of them - I find there's a part of me that will always hold on to the hope of that night in November of 1992, and will draw me into the odd magic that is Bill Clinton.

I admit it; on June 29 I'll be standing in line all day at Barnes & Noble to spend $30 on a book that's nothing more than a self-serving excuse for all his broken promises and missed opportunities (no wonder it took 975 pages). My knees will be shaking as I finally approach the table and wonder what stupid remark I'll try to utter to this incredible man that I've loved and hated for a dozen years.

And, worst of all, I'll try to make the same mistake and fall in line with John Kerry before election day 2004 rolls along.

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