Commentary Magazine


Almost Takes Your Breath Away

Hillary Clinton is not very good at certain things, such as giving a rousing stump speech or sticking to the truth. But, given time to prepare, she is remarkably good at twisting the knife. Here’s part of what she had to say in her opening answer at Sunday’s Compassion Forum:

You know, the Democratic Party, to be very blunt about it, has been viewed as a party that didn’t understand and respect the values and the way of life of so many of our fellow Americans. And I think it’s important that we make clear that we believe people are people of faith because it is part of their whole being; it is what gives them meaning in life, through good times and bad times. It is there as a spur, an anchor, to center one in the storms, but also to guide one forward in the day-to-day living that is part of everyone’s journey. And, you know, when we think about the legitimate concerns that people have about trade or immigration, those are problems to be solved. And that’s what I think we should be focused on. But I am very confident that, as we move forward tonight and beyond, people will get a chance to get to know each of us a little better, and that’s really what I want to talk about. I will leave it to Senator Obama to speak for himself; he does an excellent job of that.

In short, she almost said everything she “wishes she could say.” She covered every base: electability worries for the superdelegates, general election competence concerns for the Democratic establishment, faith for the religious voters, empathy for the Pennsylvanians, and an extra jab at the end. For a guy so well-spoken why can’t he make himself understood without insulting millions of voters?

Here, again, she makes the connection between Obama, a “good man,” and other recent “good men” (meaning Kerry and Dukakis) who bombed at the ballot box because they were perceived as elitists. And she comes across  as almost sincere:  she really does believe Obama is electoral poison for the Democrats.

She really has learned a couple things in her years in the White House: how Democrats lose elections and how to go in for the kill.