Queen Hillary? In Your Dreams!

By Monica Hesse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 10, 2008

I was at a Hillary Clinton press conference. When she appeared we were all stunned. She was wearing a gown reminiscent of Queen Elizabeth I -- a tight bodice with bubble-like bustles completely surrounding her waist like petals on a flower, and voluminous sleeves. The entire creation was made of gold and silver lame and looked more theatrical than authentically royal. A male reporter asked her why she was wearing so much silver and she replied, My father was a miner.

* * *

We are dreaming of the candidates. The election has taken over our televisions, our radio stations, our newspapers, and now it has taken over our REM cycles.

The other week, dream-Barack Obama was auditioning to become the new pastor of Ronnica Rothe's church.

He preached in rock star makeup and a long sweater-coat "with his hair in these ponytail clumps that stuck out a foot from his head in every direction," says Rothe, a seminary student. The congregation gave him a test to see if he could remember everyone's faces and he failed, but he was so cool that no one seemed concerned.

Rothe lives in North Carolina, land of the recent primary and media blitz, and was treating herself to a rare break: "I hadn't been listening to the radio or reading the news at all." But there was Obama, making inappropriate jokes from the pulpit, creeping into her subconscious.

Susanne Forestieri of Las Vegas conjured the Hillary-as-Elizabeth vision above. But the Hillary who invaded Rebecca Schoenkopf's dreams was simultaneously Emma Thompson and also Jennifer Lopez circa that bad housekeeper movie co-starring Ralph Fiennes. Clinsonpez worked as a maid in the lavish hotel where Schoenkopf was staying.

"She had these big, sad eyes," says Schoenkopf, an editor in California. The dream occurred shortly after a male heckler had instructed Clinton to iron his shirts, "and I didn't want her to be humiliated anymore. I wanted her to be okay."

All over the country, these dreams, alluded to in fevered blog entries that begin with something like, "I swear I'm not high, but last night . . ." There is even a Web site for the afflicted. After a friend dreamed of shopping for Tupperware with Clinton, novelist Sheila Heti started MetaphysicalPoll.com to compile people's subconscious thoughts about the race. She has now posted about 130 Clinton dreams and 150 for Obama (plus a dozen for McCain, who is not, it seems, so McDreamy).

On Heti's Web site, Barack Obama is a romantic guy, one who strokes the cheek of a female voter while simultaneously embracing his wife. The Obama of dreams can levitate small objects, has released a CD titled "Barack Obama Sings 20 Classic Love Songs," and likes to huff the fumes of Speed Stick Gel deodorant. He once bit off two of Osama bin Laden's fingers in hand-to-hand combat, and he carries around the digits as trophies.

The dream Hillary Clinton is much more nurturing than dreamers expected her to be, though she does wear a $1 billion dress made from the "fleece" of endangered penguins. She has beautiful skin up close and she eats a lot, in various dreams consuming french fries, spare ribs, Thin Mints and a can of Dole Pineapple Whip, which she found in a public restroom stall.

"I'm sure it all reveals something," says Heti, who receives three or four new submissions every day. "But you could make meaning out of anything," so she doesn't think too much weight should be given to the project.

CONTINUED     1           >

© 2008 The Washington Post Company