“…there is no there, there”.
----Hillary Clinton reacting to questions about a possible investigation into the scandal surrounding her deletion of thousands of email messages while Secretary of State.
There is a scene in the motion picture “Bull Durham” in which, riding on a bus between minor league venues, ‘Meat’ tells his catcher ‘Crash’ about a dream he had the night before. He dreamed, he said, about being out on the mound, all alone, pitching naked before the crowd. “Yeah, I know”, replied Crash, “I’ve had that dream too.”
In the early hours of the morning I too had this dream. I was approached by an operative of a political candidate to give the keynote address at a function honoring his service, his vision, and the work of his “foundation”. I never met the Clintonesque candidate, but the inference was clear. Instead I was led around by his entourage into the belly of the campaign, the “Spin Room” if you will, where very young and very busy operatives were plotting the next step or two, arranging newspaper coverage, talking with reporters, seeing to it that the headlines were favorable. It occurred to me, rather awkwardly, while I was in tow, that I was naked from the waist down. I found myself attired in an old wool sport jacket worn over, thankfully, an oversized sweater which I found myself constantly pulling down half way to my knees to cover my exposed extremities. Clearly, I thought to myself, I am quite literally ill-suited for the task at hand.
“Why me?” I had asked, though the question was never answered. An absolute nobody, a tired old curmudgeon cast adrift almost unnoticed in this sea of youthful energy and exuberance. I represent no one, but for some reason called upon by the powers that be to play a central, albeit secondary role in the upcoming pageant. As a young acolyte led me by the hand, I found myself wandering from work station to work station in search of some kind of narrative, some justification that I could later relate to the duly assembled. As the clock wound down and the hour approached it was clear that I didn’t have anything to say. I begged off, protesting that I had no time to become properly attired, which was only half the story, and awoke to greet the new morning in peaceful solitude.
“Nothing is changed it’s still the same
I’ve got nothing to say but it’s OK” (1)
Dreams, as Freud and Dickens would tell you, are often revelatory. The ‘Ghosts of Christmas’ make their occasional appearance conjuring images as they chant and circle one’s bed, sometimes revealing and sometimes making a mockery of revelation; one is always left to decide which it be. What could this possibly mean? Politics had always been my mistress; but I am now too old for flirtation, much less infatuations. This much is clear.
As I opened my eyes to the bright morning sun I searched for reflections. It then came to me that it is all ‘blue smoke and mirrors’; and that Hillary revealed much more than she ever intended when she said: “There is no there, there.”
"I’ve got nothing to say but it’s O.K.