Alex Massie

Hillary of Belfast (Again)

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Gosh, from this remarkable exchange with Jamie Rubin you could almost be forgiven for thinking that Hillary Clinton had more to do with the Northern Irish "peace process" than, hmmm, David Trimble. As Toby Harnden relates:

You can watch the video here. The relevant part starts about 5 minutes and 30 seconds in. Andrea Mitchell is asking him why Hillary Clinton appears to be exaggerating her role, which the former First Lady recently described as “instrumental”. He pulls out a piece of paper and reads a quotation from the late Mo Mowlam, former Northern Ireland Secretary, about Hillary helping to bring about an economic boom.

Mitchell: “As you know, there are others, like David Trimble, who disagree.”

Rubin: “I’ve met David Trimble. And he’s pretty much the only one. He’s a Protestant, they traditionally go with the Conservatives. I think we have a John Hume, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, who said…”

Mitchell: “It was David Trimble who shared in that prize, Jamie.”

Rubin: “Right, and I know these people. I’ve been living over there. David Trimble is a crankpot and what he said about her was demeaning. He said, ‘Oh well, maybe she accompanied her husband on a couple of trips’. As a woman, Andrea, I would think you would recognise when somebody is trying to demean the activities of a woman. She was an important First Lady in foreign policy. I know. I was in that administration and we understood she was not serving tea and cookies, she played a significant role.”

Chris Dillow is spot on:

Everyone's mocked Hillary for her "mis-speaking." Only Bryan Appleyard, however, has come close to diagnosing the underlying illness. Her narcissism, he says, has caused her to elevate the survival and propagation of her self-image above all other values, such as a respect for reality.

In this sense, Hillary is a good Nietzschean. So-called "truth", he said, is just "a mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms -- in short, a sum of human relations, which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically" in the service of the pursuit of power."

On the other hand, perhaps Obama is the real Nietzschean? (Thanks to reader SG for the spot).

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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