“When you’ve got a big pumpkin or in a watermelon contest, if you give it too much water and the skin breaks you’re eliminated, and if you give it too little somebody else beats you because they got a bigger melon, pumpkin,” he said. “So at the end, it’s these very tense circumstances, and there are these constant judgments; I said that’s kind of like being president.”
“Thank you, guys,” the aide interrupted again.
On his way down the hill—studded with lobster roll stands, barns full of Brown Swiss cows, a milking parlor and one structure simply labeled “swine”—Mr. Clinton ran into Ute Prediger, a 45-year-old tourist from Cologne, Germany.
She asked if Mr. Clinton had ever been there. Mr. Clinton, it turned out, had.
“I first was in Cologne in December of 1969,” Mr. Clinton said. He recalled getting out of the train station at midnight and walking up the hill and seeing the city’s cathedral drenched in moonlight. He then spoke about the cathedral and how Allied bombers tried to spare it during World War II.
“For Catholics it has the relics of the Magi, and the bombers flew as low as they could to hit the bridge without hitting the cathedral. But they couldn’t, she’ll tell you, the cathedral is like this far up the hill—it’s like 50 yards away,” he said. “And those guys repeatedly risked their lives to bomb the bridge without hitting the cathedral. It’s a touching story.
“You’re very lucky to live there; it is a wonderful place. Bye.”
Mr. Clinton walked a few more steps and ran into Aurora, a Shropshire ewe standing regally on a podium.
He put his hand on the wool on her back and explained to the sheep’s owners that he had some sheep on his farm growing up, but that cows proved more lucrative, so the sheep were allowed to migrate south.
Then he saw some cows. “They’re beautiful, really.”
Then he saw some kids. “They’re beautiful.”
His press aides bid him toward the bottom of the hill, where a motorcade of black SUV’s waited in a sea of white trailers. People rushed up to shake his hand and take his picture. He asked no one in particular, “Where’d Hillary go?”