Reprint from The Huffington Post article April 11, 2008
Bonnie will read at Mamapalooza Literary Event in Manhattan, Borders Books (Columus Circle) on Saturday May 17th at 2:00PM
Who knew that Hillary Clinton and Madonna were practically the same person? Here they are — both middle aged blondes in the battles of their lives. Hillary, to wrest back the Democratic nomination for president from Barack Obama and Madonna, to prove that with her 26th album, Hard Candy, she can outsing and outsell her sexy younger pop star sisters like Gwen Stefani and Fergie.
One needs to come out on top of the polls, the other needs to top the charts. Both are such deeply determined women, they continue to amaze their detractors with their refusals to throw in the towel and concede that their time has passed.
No doubt, younger fresh-faced Obama, 46, can’t believe that he’s still going toe to toe with a 60 year-old woman, saddled with multiple Bill issues, and now the Bosnia gaffe. And worst of all — the woman doesn’t sleep. He can scoff at her claim that she’s a reincarnated Rocky — “I never quit, I never give up, and neither do the American people,” she insists — but she’s right. Sorry Obama and Nora Ephron, she’s not giving up just because you’re tired of her. So there!
Then there’s Madonna. Despite a $325 million personal fortune, three young kids, and a 2008-04-03-madonnavanityfair.jpg passel of press hounds who snap after her every controversial move, she won’t go away and retire quietly on her English estate. What’s wrong with her? Why won’t she just put her feet up, do pilates, and leave the stripping down to next-to-nothing to the Pussycat Dolls?
But no, instead she admits to working out two to three hours every day so she can still slither into a little Dolce & Gabbana body suit, Azzedine Alaia corset belt, and over-the-knee dominatrix boots, for the new cover of Vanity Fair and then presumably for her next global concert tour. Not surprisingly, “there are no shortcuts to being Madonna. It’s all about hard work. There is no easy way. If you want to look like I do, it’s diet and exercise and constantly being careful…” she told British Elle in a new interview. “I’m not going to slow down, get off this ride, stay home and get fat.”
And boy has she not. I don’t care how much airbrushing may have been applied to the fierce new Madonna pics — she’s looking 50 in the face and giving it the finger.
What makes these two petite powerhouses run right now is surprisingly similar. “Hillary gets up in the morning and she really does think she can make a difference. She does care about people. The idea that she wants power for the sake of power is wrong,” insists someone who knows her, former White House Press Secretary under Bill Clinton, Dee Dee Myers, who is now the author of Why Women Should Rule the World. I believe Myers, and I believe Hillary — I can see that earnestness in her eye when she says she’s not just about selling hope, she’s about saving peoples’ houses.
Madonna has her own cause — the plight of orphans in Malawi — and she’s taken just about the same amount of heat as if she had been running in a presidential election. Imagine being accused of stealing a baby from its impoverished father, after you found that baby deathly ill in a third world orphanage? It’s as equally an ugly accusation as being accused of cynically sticking by your straying husband, just because you wanted to be president.
These women have both had to develop armor-like skin. In the meantime, Madonna has doggedly continued in her children’s crusade, producing a new documentary, I Am Because We Are, about the motherless children in Malawi. And Hillary continues on her dogged campaign for the Democratic nomination.
Sure, Hillary gives off good-girl vibes — you just know she was that girl in high school who ran for student council president — while Madonna was the bad girl (“I didn’t fit into the popular group — I had hair growing under my arms. I refused to wear makeup,” she tells Vanity Fair). But both women can elicit that visceral negative reaction that strong women get too often, even from other women (like Air America host Randi Rhodes). They’re powerful, they’re perfectionists, they’re mothers AND career women. They take their BlackBerries with them to bed…and check them. They don’t care that some people view what they do as unseemly. They stay focused on their goals.
And they don’t appear femininely vulnerable. That may be what bugs some people most about them. It was only when Hillary teared up that many women finally rushed in and handed her New Hampshire.
Truthfully, Hillary and Madonna can do more than most other women. And men. Wardrobe choices and specific areas of interest aside, they are essentially the same person. Madonna should vote for Hillary. She is “absolutely voting” in the upcoming presidential election, according to her rep Liz Rosenberg. “Madonna has enormous respect for Hillary, but she is not officially endorsing anyone,” Liz tells me. Too bad. But whether Madonna ends up voting Team Hillary or not, they should be best friends. They could understand each other and support each other. And you know what, I absolutely don’t mind if they rule the world. Bring it on, babes!
UPDATE: Oh my God! Hillary and Madonna are actually related! No wonder they are the same person. Hillary fessed up on the Ellen DeGeneres show. These two definitely need to get together — not only do they have personality traits in common, they share genes!
Now if anyone out there actually knows the chain of how they are related please tell us!