Not every woman gets to have her cake and eat it, too. Hillary Rodham Clinton is a new breed. She roared.
She tried untangling the messes Bill Clinton had gotten her into before they packed up little Chelsea and moved from the governor’s manse in Arkansas into the Big House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
But in the mid-1990s, Mr. Clinton stunk up the White House.
She was in the middle of a crisis. How dare her husband plop her, her daughter and her body, which was revealing reversals of feminine fortunes, into a tawdry affair with a young thing. A thing young enough to be an intern (1995 and 1996) at her husband’s place of business. A thing only a few years younger than she herself was when she began dating him.
Hillary, like the rest of us, had seen her husband wag his finger with her own eyes and heard him say with her own ears, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”
But now she had to deal with the political repercussions of The Affair, which continued until March 1997, after Monica Lewinsky left the White House, and Hillary had to come to grips with the middle-age changes that most women go through.
What does a body good? Self-indulgence, and lots of it.
She wanted it, she needed it, she got it.
Mocha mousse cake. It was a fave of Mrs. Clinton’s during this time, and nobody blamed her for the dreamy indulgence.
After all, she lived in the White House and could call on a pastry chef — a French-born pastry chef named Roland Mesnier — to make her one of her favorite things.
That Mr. Mesnier, who served as executive pastry chef at the White House, had been hired by another Democrat, Rosalynn Carter, was a plus. That pastries and desserts were his specialty put the fluffy, creamy mixture on the cake, so to speak.
The cake served as an appeaser. As we always knew, Hillary wasn’t quite herself after The Affair became public (or perhaps she always needed soothing and appeasing, but nobody had the guts to talk about it).
At any rate, a book due out today, “The Residence: Inside the Private World of The White House,” reportedly offers more morsels than a mocha mousse cake. Written by former Bloomberg White House reporter Kate Anderson Brower, “The Residence” details how the Clintons apparently were going at it like Rock’em Sock’em Robots — and it’s clear who was socking whom.
“There was blood all over the president and first lady’s bed,” according to an excerpt. “A member of the residence staff got a frantic call from the maid who found the mess. Someone needed to come quickly and inspect the damage. The blood was Bill Clinton’s. The president had to get several stitches to his head.”
The weapon? For decades, we thought it was a lamp, but now Ms. Brower opens a new chapter to The Affair, writing that Mrs. Clinton may be a Bible thumper after all.
Mr. Clinton absolved Mrs. Clinton after the fight and “insisted that he’d hurt himself running into the bathroom door in the middle of the night,” Ms. Brower writes. “But not everyone was convinced. ‘We’re pretty sure she clocked him with a book,’ one worker said. The incident came shortly after the president’s affair with a White House intern became public knowledge. And there were at least twenty books on the bedside table including the Bible.”
The Affair also revealed the profane side of Mrs. Clinton, at least to White House florist Ronn Payne, who is quoted in the book as witnessing a bitter argument between the Clintons.
“[Mr. Payne] was coming up the service elevator as the Clintons argued viciously with each other. [H]e heard the first lady bellow ‘goddamn bastard!’ at the president — and then he heard someone throw a heavy object across the room,” Ms. Brower wrote. “The rumor among the staff was that she threw a lamp. The butlers, Payne said, were told to clean up the mess. In an interview with Barbara Walters, Mrs. Clinton made light of the story. ‘I have a pretty good arm. If I’d thrown a lamp at somebody, I think you would have known about it.’ ‘You heard so much foul language’ in the Clinton White House, [Mr. Payne] said.”
With the former president at her side, Hillary is expected to soon announce her second run for the White House, as news reports have begun to stream about her staffing up and corralling office space in New York, so the timing of “The Residence” is interesting.
More interesting is news that interviewer/producer Barbara Walters would like Miss Lewinsky to plop her rump on the set of “The View,” where dishing opinion, innuendo and celebrity are women’s prerogatives.
In the meantime, Hillary continues to be Mrs. Bill Clinton, having her cake and eating it, too.
“Fortunately, or unfortunately for me, [Mr. Meisner] also happens to make one of my very favorite desserts in the world, mocha mousse cake,” said the former first lady, an author in her own right. “When it appears, and then quickly disappears, I’ll call Roland laughing and pleading, ‘Please, don’t ever do it again!’”
She probably has said those last five words to her hubby on more than one occasion.
• Deborah Simmons can be reached at email@example.com.