Contrary to the braying of the wounded sisterhood, Hillary Clinton's defeat hasn't been the result of misogyny.

She was defeated by her husband, by her own party, and, definitively last weekend, by the party's Rules and Bylaws Committee.

Because she's a woman? No, because she's a Clinton.

After decades of winning, something went terribly wrong. Hillary's once greatest asset - Bill - became her greatest liability.

The man who once could woo a mannequin suddenly couldn't get his lines right. In some cases, he couldn't even get anyone to listen.

In Charlotte, N.C., a few weeks ago, he was scheduled to speak at an invitation-only event at a VFW post. During an hour wait, while Clinton consumed burgers and watched basketball at a downtown restaurant, campaign workers scouted neighboring shops and eateries for people to fill the empty chairs.

Once full-throated in courting and defending minorities, Clinton now grows hoarse explaining what he really meant to say.

The latest was Bill's eruption in response to a blistering Vanity Fair profile in which rumors of old behaviors were floated amid insinuations of cognitive disruption possibly stemming from Clinton's heart problems. Bill hurled "scumbag" at the author, Todd Purdum, who happens to be married to Clinton's former press secretary, Dee Dee Myers.

Clinton critics used to say, "There's something about Hillary." Now they say, "There's something about Bill."

There always was something about both of them - the narcissism, the grandiosity, the raw ambition. People tend to expose their truest selves when under pressure. The narcissist never performs well when the image he expects to see reflected back is not delivered.

Thus, the rage we see in Bill Clinton's frequently crimson face is one familiar to parents - the infant denied.

Kathleen Parker (
kparker@kparker.com) is a syndicated columnist.