CORRESPONDENCErnLetter FromrnNew Yorkrnby J.O. TaternThe Talk of the TownrnThere have been so many e-mails andrncell phones and taped messages andrnbeepers and postcards and mash notesrncluttering up my communications tiiat Irnjust haven’t been able to keep up with everythingrnthat has been happening becausernI have been so busy at so many gayrnbars and cigar bars and wine bars andrnbooze bars and singles bars and drug barsrnand just plain gin mills, what with flyingrnout to the Left Coast and jetting back andrnfordi looking down on the flyovers, whatrnwith the Israeli election and then thernKnicks and bombing the Serbs and keepingrnup with the market and cleaning uprnin those hiternet stocks (and who says arnPonzi scheme doesn’t work, at least for arnwhile?), that I just haven’t been able tornget back to all those e-mails and tapes andrnbeeps and what-have-you’s to speak exrncathedra about the biggest storj’ in Newrnork, and it is a humdinger. So here isrnmy belated response because everybodyrnwho is anybody has been asking me evenrnthough they don’t want me to mention tornanybody that they did ask me, so if anybodyrnasks, you didn’t hear it from me, norrndid I say anything indiscreet aboutrnCameron Diaz or Jennifer Lopez orrnDenise Richards or Henry Kissinger orrnany of fliose lovelies that I hang out withrnwhen I am hanging out in the kind of barrnthat lovelies hang out in, which is most ofrnflie time these days.rnSure, they kind of pump up the volumernin the places I’m talking aboutrn(I’urn the beat around! Love to hear percussion!)rnso it’s hard to hear what anybodyrn(not to mendon everybody) is saying,rnbut the right drugs clarify your mind.rnUnderneath all the pulsahons, what everybodyrnis talking about is Hillary RodhamrnClinton, and they have been talkingrnabout her so much that she makes MonicarnLewinsky, the portly pepperpot ofrnyore, pale by comparison, as they say inrnthe parlance of our times. Went to arndance, looking for romance, saw JanetrnReno and I thought I’d take a chance.rnAnd why, you cautiouslv inquire,rnwould they be talking so much aboutrnHillary Rodham Clinton? “Because,” Irncrisply respond. Because Hillary cares,rnand because there have been so many ardclesrnand press releases and media eventsrnand free publicity and nasty attacks thatrnshe has been filling up the pages of thernNew York papers day after day. Hillary isrnbig, Hillary is everywhere, Hillary isrnwhat’s happening. She is bigger than thernmarket, bigger than fun drugs, biggerrnthan anything. She is the Hamptons, shernis Fire Island, she is a gay/lesbianrnfundraiser, she is the Rev. Al Sharptonrnblocking a bridge at rush hour and gettingrnaway with it, she is the Puerto RicanrnDay parade, all put together.rnOkay, so you get the symbolism.rnHillan,’ Rodham Clinton is a “woman” torn”women,” she is in with the black community,rnshe is in with the ethnics, she isrnthe poster girl of the gay and lesbian community,rnshe is a big deal with the Democrats,rnand she proved she was effective politicalK’rnwherever she engaged in 1996.rnBut get this, now. They are talking aboutrnher running for the Senate seat being vacatedrnby Daniel Patrick Moynihan, theyrnare talking about the months of phonyrnstriptease as she pondered whether tornrun, they are talking about flie dumb argumentsrnabout her carpetbagger candidacy,rnand they are also talking about arnmatchup with the retiring mayor of NewrnYork City, Republican Rudolph Giuliani.rnGet the picture? Giuliani’s highlyrnsuccessful mayoralty has been shadowedrnnot only by his own questionable personalityrnflaws, shaky marriage, fondness forrndrag shows, etc., but also by highly publicizedrnincidents of police brutality whichrnI won’t even get into. You want to lingerrnon shooting an unarmed black manrn41 times (not counting the misses) orrnsodomizing another with a police batonrnwhen that is such a suggestive propositionrnif invited dans nos jours? The pointrnis that Rudy is going to hae a problemrngetting the Republican nominahonrnbecause he is highly independent, alienatedrnfrom Gov. George Pataki, andrnthe policing success that gave the cityrnso much of what it needed has nowrnbeen drawn into question and raciallyrncharged. Hillarv’s candidacy was first advancedrnby Rep. Charles Rangel, so sure.rnthere is a racial subtext, as there always is.rnNow may be the time to mention thatrnRepublican Rep. Rick Lazio has let it bernknown that he is also interested in thatrnSenate race, and in rny brief moments ofrnlucidity, I have actually thought that arnterm in the Senate for him would be inrnthe best interests of the people of NewrnYork. Such an outcome is quite possible,rnbut that would be political in the oldfashionedrnsense. Is there any politics anymore,rnor is everything just vibrations andrnprojection, wishes and lies? Well, let mernask you another one. Does this stockrnmarket relate to dividends and profits andrnrational analysis? I mean, go figure. ThernBalkans are in the North Atiantic, right?rnYou better get with it, pal, and fast.rnAll right, let’s cut to the chase. There’srna question as to whether Giuliani willrnrun effectively in the 2000 race, but therernis no question that Hillary Rodham Clintonrnhas already got the Democratic nominationrnsewed up. The only other candidate.rnRep. Nita Lowey, actually bowedrnout after a heart-to-heart with Hillarvrnwhom we would not pillory, heaven forbid.rnWomen are wonderful, let’s face it,rnand if these two had been men, therernmight have been luiseemly competitionrnor aggression or rational discussion, butrneverything was just nice and finessed,rnand there was no problem. This is thernpolitics of the future. This is the politicsrnof the present. This is the politics of nornpolitics at all. Pillow talks, not politics.rnMaking nice. It gives you a warm feelingrnall over.rnThe warm feeling all over that HillarrnRodham Clinton inspires in me (if not inrnothers) is a complete nausea combinedrnwith an overwhelming fit of the giggles,rnrelated perhaps to atavistic reactions suchrnas disgust and indignation connectedrnwith smreal/historic memories of thernConstitution and the Federalist, which asrnyou may remember was first published inrnNew York Cih’ to persuade the citizensrnthat approving the Constitution was thernright thing to do. Yes, Alexander Hamiltonrnwas the founder of the New York Post,rnand I wonder (actualh, I don’t wonder, Irnknow) what he would think of it today.rnWe’ve come a long way, baby. I mean,rnwe’ve got factionalism that would givernJames Madison hives. But what’s worse isrnthat the factionalism isn’t based on anvrnidentifiable interest except whining andrnjust going on and on about your sexuali-rnSEPTEMBER 1999/35rnrnrn