East End Edgy Over Hillary

Mr. Reiter wasn’t worried about another sex scandal: “I think Bill has enough experience that he’s not going to embarrass her. You know, we all have so much to be grateful for—he changed the definition of sex. A blow job is not sex. When I grew up, a blow job was sex. Now it’s not sex!”

The next day, under the V.I.P. tent at a Mercedes-Benz polo event in Bridgehampton, I met an old-timer who said he didn’t feel good about Mrs. Clinton in the White House, because he was simply too old to leave the country. Then he stood up to sing the national anthem.

“I’ll tell you, that Bill Clinton—I would get my kneepads out any day, any day,” said Joan Jedell, the 50-ish editor and publisher of Hampton Sheet magazine. She was wearing a blue straw hat and a gauzy white dress that showed a lot of cleavage. “I’ve been to events with him—very small cocktail parties at people’s homes—and taking a picture with him, he pulls you towards him,” she said. “It’s just his way. So if you were in front of him, and he’s talking to you—I could see that in a second, and I’m pretty hard to get. My kneepads are ready.”

What about Mrs. Clinton?

“You know what, Hillary’s got the last word in that relationship. She’s a smart lady. She wasn’t going to throw everything away—she used it.”

Two ladies wearing hats were walking toward the V.I.P. tent. Elise Prado said she was a real estate agent who was born and raised in Montauk; Lindsay Gardner was her personal secretary.

How would they feel about Mrs. Clinton being back in the White House?

“I like it,” said Ms. Prado. “Isn’t that sad? Even though I’m a Republican.”

Did she mind the Clintons in the Hamptons?

That, I hate. They block the roads. It turns me off. They’re out for campaign money. They’re coming out here with their hand out—hello? Don’t they know enough people that they can just go to, to raise money?”

Both women said they’d feel less safe with Mrs. Clinton as president

“I think it would be great to have a woman in the White House, but I don’t think she’s prepared to do that job,” said Ms. Prado. “She does have experience, but I think she would probably lose focus. I would like to see a woman in the White House. But the first one? I have a feeling she might blow it.”

Did she think Mr. Clinton has been faithful lately?

“Oh, probably not; who cares? It doesn’t bother me. As a matter of fact, when he was in office, I think it was a great distraction—so he could do his job.”

“That’s human nature,” said Ms. Gardner. “I thought it was hilarious. It was like, ‘Oh my God, the person who runs this country is human.’”

Could there be another sex scandal?

“It’ll give us something to talk about apart from this crazy war.”

Next I met Andrew Catapano, a 51-year-old Southampton resident in the construction business.

“I just don’t feel that Hillary has a handle on the issues,” he said. “I’m concerned about health care. We’re going to become a socialist country. I feel the government is taking too big of a part in our private lives, and I think with her there, it’s going to more laws, more bureaucracies.”

Did he think Mr. Clinton has been faithful?

“Put it this way, I think he’s on better behavior. He’s a little more discreet about it. And there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Did he think the Clintons were still having sex?

“No.”

Back over at the Southampton Hospital benefit, two old-timers were having a chat in the corner. Buzz Schwenk was once chairman of the Suffolk County Republican committee, which gave President Nixon the largest plurality of any county in the U.S. in the ’68 election. He said he thought the country was paying a price because of the Bush family and that a Clinton dynasty would be a bad move.

East End Edgy Over Hillary