Berman: Hillary and me, on the road to Las Vegas

Laura Berman
The Detroit News

Hillary Clinton is summoning me to Las Vegas.

Me, personally. In email after email. Each time I see her name, and call up her greeting (“Friend”), I am reminded of our long — well, long-distance — relationship.

To be truthful, over the two-plus decades she’s been a public figure, she and I have been in the same room only once.

She sat at a small table in a black pantsuit and pink shirt, signing hundreds of copies of her first book, nodding and conversing with each of the hundreds who waited in line at Costco.

Back then, Hillary was ascendant: The political wife who sneered at baking cookies and protested she was not “some little woman standing by (her) husband,” became an effective U.S. senator, a presidential candidate and presumptive Democratic nominee. Then she was U.S. secretary of state, staking out the nation’s interests around the globe, storing her emails rather than sharing them with me.

Again the presumptive Democratic Party nominee, she’s picked up our dormant relationship in new tones of familiarity.

Other candidates choose to woo supporters with third-party invitations. Friends of Marco and Carly open with a warm, but formal, “Fellow Conservative” before suggesting a contribution. They know that we fellow conservatives are stimulated by fear and raw displays of breast-beating courage. In Rubio’s case, a few dollars will prove my mettle, helping “make Democrats’ worst nightmare come true by ensuring that Marco wins the Republican nomination.”

Or today’s email, from Carly (“I’m not afraid of Hillary Clinton”) Fiorina, whose request for a singular donation amount — $13 — shows imagination. Perhaps that number is a way to say, “I’m not afraid of Hillary Clinton or black cats or unlucky numbers. Just write the damn check.”

But Hillary’s emails are more personal and frequent, soft and warm and inviting. She knows I remember the cookies she didn’t bake, the tough times and her fights for health care and women’s rights around the globe. Over time, she’s grown steelier and more resolved, which is OK, except that just as we’re getting cozy, she suddenly remembers she left 55,000 emails on a private server.

She wants me to join her in Las Vegas for the Democratic debate. Then, the deadline is passed.

Hillary is pleading. She doesn’t want $13, Carly Fiorina’s spooky magic number. She’s not asking for $5, as another email – from Barack Obama – does. Hillary Clinton, one of the most powerful and accomplished women in the world, a woman of stature, has closed out her “join me in Las Vegas campaign.” Every email brings a new and urgent request.

We are down to spare change level. All she wants is a dollar. “Friend,” she writes. “We have to show the world how many people are part of this.” I want to help but she is sounding ever more like one of the desperate souls wearing rags in “Les Miz.” Would Abraham Lincoln do this?

Please help, friend. Just one measly dollar.