Remember back in 1998, when then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton alleged that there was a “vast right-wing conspiracy” behind all the attacks on her husband?

Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinsky – heck the dirt bags of the right even charged that the Clintons had killed White House attorney Vince Foster and made it look like a suicide.

Bill Clinton spent his entire presidency fighting off spurious attacks from the right. He was even impeached. But, as it turned out, Clinton was also the best president we had had in a generation, presiding over eight years of peace and prosperity before Bush the Younger fell asleep at the switch and delivered us eight years of war and recession.

Some might have thought Hillary was just being a little thin-skinned and paranoid when she told Matt Lauer on the “Today” show that “the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.”

But 16 years later, we are all aware of the shadowy world of billionaire puppet-masters, online scandal-mongers and dirty-tricksters that plant bogus stories conjured up by right-wing “think tanks,” stories that get reported as fact by far-right bloggers and media, and if repeated enough Congress will decide that it must investigate, thus forcing the mainstream media to finally pay attention to what is ultimately nothing more than delusion and dung.

As the presumptive Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton must know that she will not only have to re-fight the battles her husband won, but also defeat the conservative cuckoos who want to blame her for terrorist attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria.

Congress cuts funding for embassy defense and Hillary is to blame because the consulate in Benghazi gets overrun? And GOP conspiracy theorists seem to forget that 60 people died in 13 embassy attacks while Bush and Cheney were in charge, not to mention that 9/11 occurred on their watch.

As if these spurious Benghazi charges aren’t bad enough, we now have the specter of Karl Rove, dubbed Turd Blossom by George W. Bush for his ability to flower in a pile of manure, out there stinking up the airways with the foul idea that Hillary is brain-damaged.

Come to think of it though, why would a woman in her right mind want to run for president of the United States knowing the unending, unethical sleaze she will have to face? In the words of the late Vince Foster, “ruining people is considered sport” in our nation’s capital.

My guess, however, is that Hillary can hold her own in the mudslinging inside the Beltway. She sure slapped Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., silly in the January 2013 Benghazi witch-hunt hearings.

I voted for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama in the Democratic primary in 2008. I will vote for her again in the 2016 Democratic primary and I will vote for her for president as well. I fully expect Hillary Clinton to be the next president of the United States.

Not only is Hillary tougher than any of those wannabes on the right like Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz, but having served as first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state, she is better qualified to run this country than any man in either party. And she has the virtue of being a woman.

I can already imagine the charges of sexism that will be leveled at me for that last point, but I stand by it. It’s time for the first female president of the United States. It’s time to make history again. It’s time to turn the White House men’s club into a coed institution. Hillary Rodham Clinton will make a great president. And it should be a hoot having Bill Clinton as first gentleman.

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Freelance journalist Edgar Allen Beem lives in Yarmouth. The Universal Notebook is his personal, weekly look at the world around him.