Friday, January 11, 2008

A Comparison of Hillarys

Mountain climbing is not the usual fare here. However, I’ll make an exception due to Friday’s passing of Sir Edmund Hillary, who accomplished one of the great athletic feats in history. 55 years ago, accompanied by Tenzing Norgay, Hillary became the first person to reach the top of Mount Everest.

Of course, another Hillary is in the news these days, attempting to achieve her own historic first. Back when she was the First Lady, Hillary Clinton once met the famed New Zealander in Katmandu. Afterwards, referring to her mother, Clinton remarked to reporters, “So when I was born, she called me Hillary and she always told me it’s because of Sir Edmund Hillary.” Hillary Rodham was born six years before Sir Edmund’s historic climb, so Mrs. Clinton’s comment was clearly inspired by his message of “nothing is impossible.” Here’s a look at how the two Hillarys compare in other ways.

Edmund Hillary: Received worldwide attention this week for dying.
Hillary Clinton: Received worldwide attention this week for crying.

Edmund Hillary: Hugely famous in capital city of Wellington.
Hillary Clinton: Hugely famous in capital city of Washington.

Edmund Hillary: Elated after going up on Everest.
Hillary Clinton: Irate after intern went down on her husband.

Edmund Hillary: Reached the summit in ’53.
Hillary Clinton: Reached the Senate at age 53.

Edmund Hillary: Glory was achieved with Sherpa.
Hillary Clinton: Glory is threatened by Obama.

Edmund Hillary: Founder of the Himalayan Trust.
Hillary Clinton: Target of the Republicans’ mistrust.

Edmund Hillary: Cheered for his health care efforts in Nepal.
Hillary Clinton: Jeered for her health care efforts in the U.S.

Edmund Hillary: Beloved by New Zealand citizens.
Hillary Clinton: Beloved by 39% of New Hampshire Democrats.

Edmund Hillary: Had to overcome icy conditions.
Hillary Clinton: Had to overcome icy image.

Edmund Hillary: Was at home on the mountain.
Hillary Clinton: Is at home on Capitol Hill.

Edmund Hillary: Featured on the 5-dollar bill.
Hillary Clinton: Raises millions of dollars with Bill.

Edmund Hillary: Relished his ascents on peaks.
Hillary Clinton: Regrets her assent for Iraq War.

Edmund Hillary: Became Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Hillary Clinton: Became Junior Senator from the Empire State.

Edmund Hillary: Insisted on wearing the proper climbing gear.
Hillary Clinton: Insists on wearing the proper pant suit.

Edmund Hillary: Labored to reach the North and South Poles.
Hillary Clinton: Labeled as “polarizing.”

Edmund Hillary: Enjoyed the view at 29,000 feet.
Hillary Clinton: Enjoyed the view at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.