My Hillary Factor

I have a confession to make. I'm in love. But the object of my devotion is pledged to another. In fact, she's been married for nearly 20 years. My prospects don't look good.

Her husband, you see, is the next president of the United States.

I'm in love with Hillary Clinton, fortysomething wife of Bill and soon-to-be First Lady.

Don't get me wrong--I realize the problems. She'll be in Washington; I'm in Cambridge. She's Protestant; I'm Jewish. She hates Tammy Wynette; I like her.

But in spite of these admittedly daunting obstacles, I plan to proceed. It's not every day that we get a Democratic woman in the White House.

My friends tell me I'm crazy. "You're crazy," they tell me. "You're writing a thesis. You won't have any time for her."

True, they'll probably tease me about our relationship. But I can take it.

I have to admit, this really is a new thing for me. I've never been in love with a First Lady before. Barbara Bush was too old, Nancy Reagan too mean, Rosalyn Carter too boring, Betty Ford too clinical. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is a babe.

Allow me to define my terms. My love for Hillary springs not from her svelte physique nor her ersatz-flaxen locks. (I'm not even sure what that means, but whatever it means, that's not it.)

Sure, it helps that she's a looker, at least by presidential-spouse standards, but looks alone don't cut the cake. Or, as her husband would say, that dog won't hunt. (Whatever that means.)

Many of my female friends assume that all that guys want in a woman is an ample bosom and a working cardiopulmonary system. Well, cleavage is fine--I wouldn't turn down Madonna if she strode into my bedroom and started whipping me. But man does not live on breasts alone.

Like love, Hillary is a many-splendored thing.

High-powered lawyer, Children's Defense Fund board member, outspoken lefty. Unlike some previous White House women, she's got a mind and a mouth of her own, and she's not afraid to use either.

Of course, the same could be said about Eleanor Roosevelt. But she's got buck teeth. And besides, she's dead.

During the bitter primary campaign, Hillary was called a conniving careerist eager to impose her communistic agenda upon the White House. At the Republican National Scarefest in Houston, Pat Robertson surmised that her goal was to sabotage the institution of marriage altogether. (That was right before he declared that feminists were really witches who want to kill their children.)