The Salt of the Earth

We all know Hillary Clinton the millionaire senator, Hillary Clinton the first lady and Hillary Clinton the corporate lawyer. Fewer know the story of Hillary Clinton, working class hero.

Our future president was born in a sod house by the shores of Lake Winola, PA. Modern obstetrics had not established itself in that part of the country and so the Rodhams made do with a Shawnee midwife and a pitcher of hot water. The young parents named their newborn daughter Hillary Winchester Rodham, in honor of the Second Amendment and the trusty Winny rifle that had saved their homestead from many a snooping bank agent and cougar attack.

Although her kinfolk had turned to bootlegging and horse theft in those tough times, the Rodhams never lost sight of the American dream."We were never embittered by our circumstances," says Clinton, "after all, the sunlight was free and the woods were practically teeming with succulent opossums ...And of course we always had our deep and abiding Christian faith." Indeed, Hillary's hard-scrabbled childhood was not without its pleasures. The future senator spent many happy hours with the neighborhood gang, playing stick ball, praying and smoking cheap cigarillos.

Those carefree days came to an abrupt end when coal boomed and little Hillary went to work in an anthracite pit. "Daddy taught me how to shoot and the Company taught me how to mine," recalls Clinton. Back then, child mineworkers or "tunnel scamps" were paid chiefly in corn liquor and tinned lard. A foolish few would accept credit at the usurious camp store. It was a tough job and many of Hillary's playmates/comrades were lost to explosives accidents, collapses and juvenile cirrhosis.

As Rodham matured into a young woman, she came to national attention (and caught the eye of a young man from Arkansas) when she was implicated in an altercation that left two Pinkerton agents dead. In those days, the Alleghenies were roiled by labor disputes and "Black Lung Rodham" was very much at the forefront of those struggles. "I never never denied my role in that incident," says Clinton matter-of-factly, "I brained those sumbitches with a pick axe handle." (A jury of honest working folk found that she had acted in self-defense.)

Given her background, Clinton was deeply offended by Barack Obama's snooty remarks at a San Francisco fundraising event. "Maybe that kind of thing flies in Chardonnay country," she fumed. Angered and saddened, the New York senator consoled herself like a real American - with a beer and a shot of Crown Royal.

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