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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hillary at the DNC

I wasn't able to watch last night's live coverage of the Democratic National Convention, but I watched replays in the wee small hours. I was fascinated by the reports that the Obama campaign juggled former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, the supposed "key-note speaker," into an earlier time slot with fewer TV viewers because he was refusing to deliver up enough anti-McCain red meat. If true, that's hardly a vote of confidence on his part as to the outcome of this year's presidential election; or perhaps it just reflects nervousness on his part about how his future home-state prospects might be affected; or perhaps he really, truly is principled.

As for Hillary: Especially combined with the extremely short introduction from daughter Chelsea, and a short but funny video introduction (which spoofed her laugh and terrible singing), her speech last night was the most effective public performance I've ever seen Hillary Clinton make. But as various pundits noted afterwards, it was an effective performance on behalf of Hillary Clinton — and not so much on behalf of Barack Obama.

Oh, it was superficially supportive enough, with a sufficient number of rote exhortations that "We've got to elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States!" But there was no fire in those exhortations, no passion. They were wooden, whereas the rest of her speech — talking about what she had experienced in the campaign, what she thinks, what she believes — almost sounded genuine. There is no question that she became a vastly more skilled campaigner during the course of the past year, and whenever she is next free to run, whether it's 2012 or 2016, she's going to be hell on wheels for any other Democratic contender.

Obama is an utter fool not to have bent over backwards to get her campaign debt paid off and lavished her with at least faux respect ever since he clinched the nomination. It is certainly clear that hubris is his fatal flaw, every bit as much as lust is Bubba's fatal flaw.

Posted by Beldar at 12:47 PM in 2008 Election, Politics (2008) | Permalink

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(1) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Aug 27, 2008 6:12:25 PM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: It's a gamble for Obama. If he bends backward as you suggest, he's incurring a perceived debt to Billary, which he would gag under. If he can pull it off without Billary, he'll be in a stronger position. I agree with you that he's being foolish in taking this gamble, but the odds aren't so long as "utter fool" would suggest. "Rash" might be better.

I'm not so sure that Hillary will be a better campaigner next time, if only because I doubt if there will be a "next time" for her. If Obama loses, the enemies Billary made, particularly in the black community, will swear an oath to vote for Geo. W. instead of Hillary. If Obama wins, Hillary must sit in the shade for the next eight years (even if Obama wins in 08 and loses in 12, Hillary can't run against him in 12.) That will chafe.

You say she's improved greatly as a campaigner this season, and this will stand her well in the future. Could be. I will guess that you are thinking of Richard Nixon in 1960, and how he came back eight years later. I think a better example would be Nelson Rockefeller. NR ran three times, and was a more agile campaigner each time. But the damage his earlier campaigns did to his standing more than compensated for the increased agility, and he remained The Man Who Might Have Been to the end of his life.

I may choke on this proclamation later on, but I say 2008 will be for Hillary what 1964 was for Rockefeller. She will never get the nomination, and will never come so close as she did this year. The damage this campaign has done to her standing will more than compensate for any increased skill. You rightly say that The One suffers from hubris. So does Billary. How much money did she raise? It's all gone now, along with a huge debt. And for what? Argue as much as you like, Hillary lost for one reason only: the February caucuses. When all the contests were done, Obama was ahead by about 125 delegates (not counting superdelegates.) In the February caucuses, he outperformed her by about 123 delegates. The rest, for all Hillary's increasing skill and pot of dough, was a tie campaign. No brilliance there.

So, whither Hillary? Should McC win, she'll stick in the Senate, trying to heal the 08 wounds so she can try again in 12. I think this is a futile effort. The Black Caucus of the Democratic Party is much too color conscious to go back to a phoney "black president" when the real thing came so close (and may still win for all we know now.) But if The One wins, look for Hillary to try to murder Harry Reid. She could 'shatter' another glass ceiling, and have a power position of her own that The One would have to deal with. Reid has been a notably inept Majority Leader, which may embolden Hillary to demand the job as her consolation prize. The One would gag at that, being perfectly satisfied with Reid. Reid has marched behind Obama, bawling that Iraq is lost, the surge is a failure, a perfect stooge for The One. Obama would much rather have him than Hillary. But when Presidents intervene in Senate leadership contests, they emerge sliced, diced, and minus a couple quarts of blood, as Franklin Roosevelt did in 1937. But at least FDR had a productive first term. Should The One, try, he'll be like the Bumpkin in 1977, battered into pulp in his first six months and never recovering. If the tuition bills to the nation weren't so high, I could almost be reconciled to seeing The One ascend. It would be the greatest, gaudiest spectacle this nation has seen in a long time. But the tuition, and the actual blood that will be spilled educating The One remind me that politics isn't all belly laughs, but a serious business with consequences.

Finally: what will The One title his next autobiography after he loses this year? I admit to counting chickens before they are hatched, but the notion of The One, beaten, furious, used to the high income his books gave him, having to take up the pen, wanting to roar that "You're all a bunch of RACISTS (TM)!!!" but knowing that if he does, he's finished---yes, that's an amusing spectacle. Maybe he can hand over the job to Andrew Sullivan.

But these thoughts are getting too lurid, and I better haul up.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(2) Janice from Troy (sortoflikehelenof) made the following comment | Aug 29, 2008 6:35:47 PM | Permalink

Hillary Clinton – The Sophist

So much of what Hillary Clinton had to say in her speech at the Democrat National Convention on Tuesday was complete sophistry, from start to finish. Even the way she said "I'm a proud mother" had ice-crystal intonations: Was she mocking all of the attention paid to Michelle Obama the evening before? That was my immediate reaction. Well, it is true that Chelsea Clinton never engendered the kind of awwws and ahhhhs that the two little Obama girls have received, but please Hillary keep the claws in.

We found out last night that Hillary wants to take back the country that (the Democrats) love. Gosh, that's news to me. I didn't think the Democrats loved this country. Oh, they must mean that they love the land mass because they certainly don't love the mechanics that brought this country to the pinnacle of success and prosperity: Hard work, ingenuity, personal freedom, personal responsibility, capitalism … those pesky constants. And then she had the chutzpa to say that she didn't want "to see another Republican in the White House squander the promise of our country and the hopes of our people". Squander the promise? I thought that basically the American promise was that each individual had the freedom to use their own talents to become the best they could be without excessive government intervention and without enslavement from others. And, just how has the Republican Party prevented this, except maybe by trying too hard to be like the Democrat Party? Hopes of our people? As a proud American, my only hope is that God gives me many more days to live in the greatest country on the face of the planet.

And, we really should get one thing straight … George W. Bush has not been conservative enough for many of us, and not liberal enough for others, but on the whole of it, he has been a good President. He is respectful, he is energetic, and he is committed to keeping America safe in a dangerous world. Few of us know the behind the scenes operations of our government or of any other governments for that matter. But I would submit that ours is still the greatest nation in the world. We are still the ones who look for justice in every corner, who seek freedom around the world, even as half of our country (yes, I'm speaking of you Hillary and your Democrat Party) seems to want to limit our own freedoms.

As usual she brought out a series of "human tragedies"… the single mom with two autistic kids, without health care, with cancer; the young man who asked Hillary to "take care of him and his Marine buddies" (?); the boy whose mom worked for minimum wage and didn't know what to do? Guess what Hillary, life is tough for all of us, we all have our stories and there sure isn't much you can do to make them change. By the way, it isn't the role of government to make life worry free or risk free or pain free. The proper role of government is to protect its people from outside aggression and inside insurrection (anyone thinking of Saddam Hussein or Bill Ayers right now)? Your Party has done more to damage our war efforts in the past 60 years, to damage our credibility around the world, to damage our internal safety with your rabid rantings of hate for this country's policies and your defense of the indefensible actions of abortion, of infanticide, of government welfare, of political correctness.

Yet, you stood before us yesterday and pounded your chest with pride for your party's failed policies, you spoke glowingly of your husband's presidency even though he brought shame to this country because of his lying before a Federal Court under oath, he brought shame to this country for unspeakable acts performed in our Oval Office. During his administration we had the Marines killed in Somalia, the U.S.S. Cole bombing, the bomb blast in Saudi Arabia that took 19 American lives, the U.S. Embassy bombing in Africa, and the first attack on the World Trade Center to name a few highlights of his time in office.

While President, your husband converted U.S. long term debt into short term debt thereby masking our financial risks and making "his" economy seem so healthy.

He and his surrogate Janet Reno fired all 93 U.S. attorneys, right when D.C. prosecutor Jay Stephens was in the middle of investigating the corrupt Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, who was sure to play a major role in passing Hillary's socialist health-care plan.

The list could go on and on, but I am tired of wading in the Clinton muck once again.

Suffice it to say that your dreamy recollections of a shameful presidency are an implausible representation of the truth in politics. Did I really say that? Is there such a thing?

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