You might think I’m talking about a medal, a ribbon, or a prize befitting the woman who has come to impress most of this country over the past two decades.
It seems Hillary Clinton, arguably the most famous woman in the world – attorney, former First Lady of Arkansas, former First Lady of the United States, former Senator, and currently Secretary of State – likes to decorate. That is to say, according to a piece in the New York Times, she may occasionally allow herself a brief break, sitting back with remote in hand, tuning to “Love It or List It.”
Could Hillary Clinton really enjoy musing on architectural renovations and the benefits of country French versus mid-century modern?
Well, why not?
Granted, I only know about Hillary Clinton what I read and see on the news. Having been around long enough to observe her rise, her fall, and her rise again when it comes to prevailing public opinion – I can plainly say this one surprised me.
It’s hard to imagine this brilliant, driven, accomplished woman, Secretary of State Clinton, as kicking back with House Beautiful, or perusing the offerings on HGTV – assessing the relative merits of knocking out a back wall to make space, or hanging art salon style to animate an anemic interior.
Public Figures, Private Faces
I smiled as I was reading “Hillary’s Next Move,” which offers insight into something more than public Hillary, the woman who has surely earned some downtime when her tenure as most traveled Secretary of State comes to an end.
Along with wanting time to sleep and get back into shape, apparently this 65-year old dynamo would like to relax with some “lesser” projects under consideration. She jokes about having her own decorating show, and while I try to picture her reclining with a glossy magazine in her lap or swatches in hand, her mission of empowering women – whatever her political status – seems more plausible to me.
Then again, we think we know our public figures; we’ve certainly been quick to judge her in the media, time and time again. But how well do we know our politicians? Doesn’t the stream of revelations over the past years reflect otherwise? Don’t most of us lead private lives and nurture personal pleasures that we keep to ourselves?
Naturally, they don’t all wreak the havoc of a Schwarzenegger affair or the currently unfolding details involving former CIA Chief David Patraeus.
As for Hillary, according to the Times article, perhaps that reclining chair isn’t so far-fetched, at least for a little while.
As everyone knows, Clinton’s remaining time in the cabinet is limited…
Then she is going to chill. While there are many topics on which Hillary Clinton speaks with great passion, at this moment there are very few about which she is as intense as her desire to not do anything.
Women in Politics
… a record number of women were off the sidelines and running for Congress. 184 women were on the ballot on Tuesday and it’s looking likely that we’ll see women’s representation in Congress rise from under 17% to almost 19% with a record 81 women elected to the House (and counting) and 20 elected to the U.S. Senate.
It’s encouraging to see the changing model for what womanhood means, and what eventually may be seen as the norm. Yet it also should not seem strange that familial responsibilities or personal preferences – stereotypical or not – shouldn’t be fully acceptable as coexisting with a fine mind, speaking one’s mind, and political or other ambitions.
Can’t our female CEOs and our female politicos be engaged mothers? Appreciate cooking or fashion or beautiful interiors? Might some of them even admit to a penchant for designer shoes?
You never know.
What’s Next for Hillary Clinton?
The Times article provides a few clues:
If she really does drop out of politics… this will probably be Clinton’s future. Championing the cause of women, continuing her mega-listening tours around the globe, having serious conversations about issues of great import and minimal glamour.
I’ve found myself wanting to say thank you to Hillary before, for many reasons. Odd though it may seem, this bit of “normalcy” in proposed pursuits for the future is yet one more reason.
While our lives may bear little resemblance to Hillary’s, doesn’t her admission of being tired resonate with a lot of us? Isn’t it somehow a relief to hear a woman of this stature say as much?
And when it comes to her design preferences, while I like to imagine her in an interior that is clean, classic, and filled with books, I’m guessing there will be a space – somewhere – for the Secretary of State to put her feet up and enjoy a large screen TV.