May 31, 2006
HILARY AND RUDY: THE REAL INSIDE STORY
I wrote this column seven years ago when it appeared that Hillary and Rudy were going to face off in a Senatorial race in New York. It didn't turn out that way, but now it appears that in 2008 they may be facing each other for the Presidency.
I don't know about Rudy, but I would love to see him run. He would make a great President. Hillary is definitely running. Anyway, when you finish this please know that my 13 year-old grew up and she turned out to be a Republican and she is not thrilled with Hillary.
I dusted this column off because in a few years it may be the story of the nation's first Jewish or first African American President. Just remember, you read it here first.
"Dad if I'm not invited, I'm never going to go back to school again. I won't be able to face my friends. I just know that Jen Ross already has an invitation and everybody in my class will be there but me. Emily Washkowitz just described the dress she's going to wear for the service — a red, white and blue dress in honor of the Bat Mitzvah girl and I don't have a thing to wear and we're not even invited and it's all your fault. Why do I have to be called Della Femina? Why can't I have Mommy's name, Licht, so that everyone will know to send me an invitation?"
At 13, Jessie is a veteran on the bar mitzvah circuit. She's gone to one every weekend this year. She's like a freelance guest. She's even attended bar and bat mitzvahs that were given for children who were total strangers.
"It's not going to happen," I said.
That's when Jessie started to sob. "I just know Hillary Clinton is going to have a big New York City bat mitzvah now that she's discovered she's part Jewish, and you and your Republican friends can't stop her. You've said it so many times, 'There's nothing as unstoppable as a determined Jewish woman.'"
"I was talking about your mother when I said that, not some wasp who will stop at nothing to get elected," I said. "I'm telling you it's just a trick to get the Jewish vote."
"Daddy, how can grown-ups be so cynical? Hillary discovered her grandfather is part Jewish and that was a beautiful thing. She was so proud she immediately leaked it to the press. Now there's no stopping her in the Senate race. She's Jewish and she's a lifelong New York Yankees fan. What more can anyone want?
"All my friends are ready to work for her because she's had to put up with so much with those dirty Republican plots against her poor husband who was traumatized as a child because his mother and grandmother fought over him . . . By the way, why don't mommy and grandma fight over me?"
"Maybe it's because they don't want you to grow up like Bill Clinton," I replied.
"Well, just the same, all my little friends think Hillary is a saint," she said.
"A Jewish saint?" I asked
"Yes. A Jewish saint. What's wrong with that? She's already performed her first miracle. When she discovered that her husband's weakness was that he had this thing for Jewish girls what did she do? Did she whine? Did she get mad? No. She went out and became a Jewish girl. Now he'll never look at another woman again. And, do you know what I'm going to do since you and mommy are being so mean to her? I'm going out and becoming a lifelong liberal Democrat!"
With that, Jessie ran out of the room sobbing, slamming the door behind her as only a wounded 13 year-old can slam a door.
I decided to take instant action. I called my friend Bitterman. Bitterman is right up there at the top of the New York State Republican party. He's as close to Rudy Giuliani as Al D'Amato. "Bitterman," I said, "I need your help." I told him the story of Jessie's infatuation with Hillary. "When are you guys going to go after her for this Jewish thing?" I asked.
Bitterman suddenly got very quiet. "Frankly, Jerry, dumping on Hillary because of her announcement that she's Jewish is a door we would rather not open."
"But why?" I protested.
"We have a situation in our own camp that may be breaking soon and we don't want to throw any stones just now."
"What do you mean?"
"You know how the mayor does so well with every group but African Americans? Well, we've made quite a discovery. It turns out that Rudy's family came from a village called Montecatini in Italy. On a wild hunch, our people traveled to that village and came back with some exciting news. It seems the village Rudy's family comes from was occupied by the Moors when they invaded Italy over 300 years ago. And you know those Moors. As they say, 'The Moors the merrier.'
"Well, you get to that town today and you won't find a blond for miles. Our people have looked into the situation and it's clear that 96% of the people have a touch of African blood and we're thrilled with this. We're going to go with a big press leak that Rudy is part African American. The only thing we're arguing about is his hair."
"His hair?" I asked, amazed.
"Yeah, as you know, Rudy is hair-challenged and he has that unfortunate comb-over. Well, we're divided as to how to deal with this at the 'coming out' press conference. Does Rudy go with a single dreadlock or a few lousy corn rows?"
"Bitterman, I'm speechless," I managed to gasp.
"It's just politics kid, just politics, and tell your daughter not to worry about Hillary's party. In a few months, Rudy is going to give a small intimate Kwanzaa celebration dinner at City Hall and I'll see to it that your daughter gets an invitation. I promise you, seeing Rudy Giuliani and Al Sharpton, both wearing dashikis, arm-in-arm singing Kumbayah is a sight that will stay with her for the rest of her life."
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