No matter how often I receive phone calls from beautiful, famous, and powerful women, it’s always a thrill. Hence the goosebumps when I lifted the receiver last night to here a firm voice proclaim, “This is Senator Hillary Clinton.”
I started to go into preliminaries: asking her how she and Bill are doing, whether she thinks autumn weather is here for good, and who she thought would nab the AL wildcard. But she had a lot to get off her chest and just kept talking. First she talked about how she wanted to be re-elected so she could “fight everyday for you and what we believe in.” Then she recalled how she’d battled for $20 billion in post-9-11 aid to the city, to protect Social Security, and to allocate $2 billion for health care. There was a lot about standing up to President Bush. Finally, she declared, “I am proud and privileged to be your senator,” before asking for my vote.
Clinton’s call was a reminder not only that the nation’s elite have my home number on their rolodexes, but also that there’s a senate primary on Tuesday. What the call didn’t mention—not surprisingly—was the issue that the primary was supposed to be about, namely the Iraq war.
Clinton’s long-shot opponent, Jonathan Tasini, has tried to do what Ned Lamont did in Connecticut: expose the yawning gap between what the Democratic constituency thinks about the war and what their Democratic senator has said about it. But Hillary, as a sworn enemy of the very right-wingers who seem to adore Joe Lieberman and a putative front-runner to restore the Dems to the White House, is a tougher target, and Tasini—lacking Lamont’s millions of dollars and dozens of committed blogger allies—had a steeper road to walk.
Nevertheless, Tasini is still climbing it. Today he’s conducted a five-borough tour to talk about the costs of the war to NYC itself.