Friday, June 27, 2008


Hill's back on the Hill

The New York Times tells us of Senator Clinton’s return to Capitol Hill after her extended campaign. Of course, she’s not the only one, and I don’t mean to pick on her — the Times covered it as the high-profile event that it is, but our politicians regularly shift in and out between legislative work and campaigning.

Mr. Kerry is one of 12 current senators and former presidential candidates who made a similar return to the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. John McCain, Republican of Arizona, joined the club eight years ago; Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, 28 years ago, and three others — Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas; Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut; and now two-time loser Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware — in this race. Barack Obama hopes he never has to.

But few returnees were greeted with as much fuss and anticipation as Mrs. Clinton, of New York, received on Tuesday. This is due in part to the fanfare that accompanies all things Hillary, but also to the fact that some onlookers were watching for signs of discord between Mrs. Clinton and colleagues who had endorsed Mr. Obama, of Illinois, in the Democratic presidential primary.

Roughly 250 or so camera-clickers, question-shouters and well-wishers gathered outside the Capitol in the midday sun to await Mrs. Clinton’s arrival. She ignored the first two groups and went straight for the third as she climbed the Capitol steps. She was greeted at the door by a small group of fellow Democratic senators, including Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland.

Mrs Clinton’s been away for an unusually long time, of course, the better part of a year and a half. One wonders: how many employers will keep paying you while you go take a leave of absence for 8 or 12 or 16 months to go run for president? I haven’t checked, but I’m pretty sure that mine won’t.

I’m not sure whether I’d want a job where I had to run a hard fight every 6 years to keep it (every 2 years, for congressional representatives). That could get wearing.

But, yeah, the perks are interesting.

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