CHURCH OF THE SCIENCE OF GOD, INC.
Incorporated, State of California, May, 17th, 1967
1967 - 1993 25th Anniversary
1993 – In Review
The Clintons waltzed, Hollywood swooned,
and the Democrats cheered as they recaptured
the White House.
B ut the First Family’s honeymoon faded fast.
Computer Wizards play the game of “virtual reality. In 1992, Bill Clinton, like Ronald Reagan before him, mastered a dangerous game skill----virtual fantasy-----and the nation played along. During the last presidential campaign, TV screens showed Clinton gradually transformed, morphed, from a wannabe to a has-been to a third-place candidate to a front-runner. And from a politician to a youthful super-star. He was fresh, and everyone else was tired.
He was never truer than at the swearing-in ceremony on Inauguration Day. The new President radiated the confidence of a young star athlete who couldn’t wait for the coach to send him into the game. Twice while taking the oath of office, he nearly stepped on Chief Justice William Renquist’s lines. Meanwhile, George Bush, who was married before Clinton was born, wore an understandably defeated look. He stared at Clinton with the naked anguish of a father whose teenage boy had just beaten him .at arm wrestling for the first time. You didn’t have to be from the G.O.P. to feel like a wallflower at this ‘90s party, you only had to be from the ‘80s. At the swearing ceremony Geraldine Ferraro was looking lost and alone in her mediocre seat. At one of the fancy private dinners, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis were planted in a dark corner and remained un-introduced throughout the entire evening.
But there was no lack of candlepower in Bill Clinton’s Washington. In celebration of his Inauguration, movie and music stars descended on Washington in numbers not seen since the bond drives of World War II . The whole wide world of American tinsel and twang----Oprah Winfrey, Little Richard, Kenny Rogers, Bill Cosby, Kathleen Battle, Macauly Culkin, Harry Belafonte-----showed up, swelling the Rat Pack of John F. Kennedy’s day to Hamelin proportions, offering its best wishes to a new Administration. Jack Nicholson read the words of Abraham Lincoln, Aretha Franklin, a natural woman in a natural fur, sand a hymn to single motherhood from Les Miserables. Kermit, the frog, sent Conzo searching for the White House. Barbara Streisand performed a knockout set and gave her benedict-ion to the party’s Arkansas hosts. En Vogue and Boys II Men showed that a cappella renditions of The Star-Spangled Banner could have heart and soul. Michael Jackson led a chorus of glamourati in We Are the World. Rapper L.L. Cool J had the word from a new generation: “Ninety-three! You and me! U-ni-tee!/ Time to par-tee with Big Bill and Hillaree.”
At this multimillion-dollar party, Big Bill Clinton—excuse us, William Jefferson Clinton—often played the role of First Audience. Celebrity has its muscle in America, but politics has the power. So the artists, most of them liberal Democrats, came to celebrate the politics of inclusion: after 12 years, or maybe 30, they were back on a party line to Washington clout. The stars came out in constellations because they recognized in Clinton one of their own. Not just that he played the saxophone. Or that Hillary was a smart, tough lawyer, like most Hollywood moguls. Or that Tipper Gore was a photojournalist with a motherly interest in pop music. Or that Chelsea was working her camcorder at the Inaugural. What mattered was that Clinton was a prime communicator, a beacon of middle-class charisma, a believer in the importance—perhaps the primacy—of image, metaphor, style. And an ace manipulator of media, selling his symbols directly to the people, on TV, without the interference of pesky journalists. It all made for a wondrous ‘90s blend of show biz and politics, of Hollywood and heartland.
When Clinton himself took center stage at the West Front of the Capitol for the Inaugural ceremony, he captured the spirit of the occasion in an address whose re- curring mantra was the necessity of change. “Thomas Jefferson believed that to preserve the very foundations of our Nation, we would need dramatic change from time to time7 declaimed Jefferson’s 39th successor. “The urgent question of the time is whether we can make change our friend and not our enemy.” In a speech of marked brevity and discipline, the new President spoke of the need to “face hard truths and take strong steps.” He challenged young Americans especi-ally to help he termed America’s “drifting,” and to create a new season of American renewal. “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” claimed the youngest President to assume office since Kennedy. “This is our time. Let us embrace it.”
At times it seemed Clinton had an embrace for everyone of the more than 100,000 visitors who crowded the capital for the occasion, from the Hollywood set to the civilians who lined up for the big parade, where the Lesbian & Gay Bands of America played and Girl Scouts passed out American flags and AIDS ribbons. A Clinton spotting could cue an impromptu chant of “Chel-sea! Chel-sea!” at the hot-ticket MTV Ball. Though the rockers booed Tipper Gore for her lyric-sanitation campaign, they gave a hand to Clinton’s rowdy half brother Roger. And so did the music industry. Atlantic Records snagged him to preserve forever his rendition of Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come. Let’s sing along: “Then I go to my brother, / And I say, brother, help me please.” Well, Bill did help Roger get famous. Fifteen minutes and counting, bro.
Bill Clinton has also been known to party hearty, but in his soul he may be a wonk. He is no more afraid to be square in his musical taste (his favorite sax player— Kenny C?) than Maya Angelou was to be passionate, politically correct and perfectly understood in her Inaugural Day poem. At 13 balls that night, Clinton was like the college grind who drops in on frat bashes the night before the exam to show he’s one of the guys, then sneaks back to his dorm to cram. At Woodstock on the Mall, actor Edward James Olmos quoted Lincoln: “We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.’ Clinton, a good student with a good memory, mouthed the words as Olmos spoke them. Clinton must have realized that, in a different sense and a different era, America faces the task of disenthralling itself, of shaking off the Hollywood stardust and facing facts.
In 1992 Clinton vended optimism; as President he would have to become a pitch-man for austerity. His eloquent appeal for change was stirring, but he must have known that if he could not deliver it, the man from Hope would become the man called Hype. All the big stars and better angels would leave him out in the spotlight, stranded, unmasked.
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Church of the Science of God
La Jolla, California 92038-3131
© Church of the Science of GOD, 1993