Her life this week has sounded like a bad country western song, full of cheatin', lyin' and standing by her man. And that's left the rest of us feeling either disgusted or proud or sorry for Hillary Rodham Clinton.
One Utahn who feels compassion for the cheated-on first lady is Enid Greene. Greene was a congresswoman when her marriage disintegrated and her husband went to jail for fraud. She knows about humiliation. On Friday, from her home in Salt Lake City, Greene said, "The parallels have not been lost on me."She's not only dealing with the pain of betrayal, she's living it out in public. . . . People still have some sense of compassion for her, which I am very glad of."
A Deseret News poll conducted by Dan Jones and Associates shows that 53 percent of Utahns approve of the job Hillary Clinton is doing as first lady, the highest rating she's ever had. Among women polled, the number was even higher - 65 percent.
But that hasn't kept Utahns from speculating about the future of the First Marriage and arguing about whether Hillary should or will stay in it.
At Janice Sargent's bridge club this week, the women were evenly divided about the first lady's statement - delivered through her spokeswoman - that she "believes in this marriage."
On one side were the women who argued that Hillary Clinton should just leave her husband. Such a move, they reasoned, would show other women how to be strong in the face of repeated philandering.
On the other side, says Sargent, were those who think there may be something worth salvaging in the relationship.
Sargent herself is a marriage counselor, so she's circumspect in her opinion. Like others in her profession, she doesn't advise her clients whether to stay in or leave a marriage. What Hillary Clinton has to do, says Sargent, is "decide what kind of transgression is tolerable and what is not."
West Valley marriage counselor Scerinda Johnson knows what she'd ask if the first lady were her client: "What kind of marriage do you want?"
Personally, says Johnson, if Clinton were her own husband "I'd say, `Take off.' Kick the loser out." But Johnson doesn't think the first lady's goal is closeness with her husband. "I think it's power."
Some say Hillary Clinton will stay to preserve the dignity of the presidency and the nation, that she might make another decision after he's out of office. Others say she stays because she likes her role and she lies just like he does.
Greene doesn't think Hillary Clinton knew all along about Monica Lewinsky. She thinks Hillary trusted. "This is the person you chose to live your life with, and he is looking you in the eye and saying, `I did not do this.'
"This is the pinnacle of their professional lives," points out Greene. Even if she had reason to doubt his honesty, she wouldn't doubt his intelligence. She wouldn't think he'd do something so stupid."
Greene worries about Chelsea Clinton and is glad her own daughter was too young to realize her family's humiliation. Don't worry about what people are saying about you, Greene would advise Hillary. "Draw on these things: belief in God and love for your daughter."
If love for her daughter includes being a role model of a strong woman, does that have any bearing on whether she should stay or leave?
She can be a role model either way, says Salt Lake psychologist Mark Owens. She can show "courage, faith and grace," he says, whether she stays or goes.
If the First Couple were to stay together, says Salt Lake counselor Jane Blackwell, they would have to search their souls and be honest with themselves and each other. They have to be able to be real, she says, "and having an affair isn't real."
How long can Hillary stand by her man if he keeps cheating? Blackwell has never met a spouse who could be tolerant of philandering forever. In her experience, those "cheatin', lyin' " marriages always end.