Commentary Magazine


Posts For: August 26, 2008

He Has Two Months

A very emotional, well-spoken Hillary Clinton delegate spoke at length on CNN. The Hillary speech was “presidential” she said and she sure isn’t sold on Barack Obama. She says he’s got two months to earn her vote. She says that she has always been the one to call family and friends and get them out to vote. This time, she says, “They may have to call me.” Wow. All the CNN pundits aren’t going to be as effective as that lady in conveying what is going on among those Hillary fans.

A very emotional, well-spoken Hillary Clinton delegate spoke at length on CNN. The Hillary speech was “presidential” she said and she sure isn’t sold on Barack Obama. She says he’s got two months to earn her vote. She says that she has always been the one to call family and friends and get them out to vote. This time, she says, “They may have to call me.” Wow. All the CNN pundits aren’t going to be as effective as that lady in conveying what is going on among those Hillary fans.

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All This Said…

…it was, in fact, an extremely well-crafted and well-considered speech, sophisticated and layered as a piece of rhetoric, that built to a powerful (if over-the-top) conclusion.

…it was, in fact, an extremely well-crafted and well-considered speech, sophisticated and layered as a piece of rhetoric, that built to a powerful (if over-the-top) conclusion.

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The Mainstream Media Are Over the Moon

On MSNBC and CNN, commentators are all but weeping over the glory of this speech. David Gergen: “I thought she was a class act. It can well be said that nothing so became her campaign than the way she ended it tonight…It was so unselfish.” Keith Olbermann: “I would have been proud to deliver that speech.” Rachel Maddow: “She really did it tonight–she told everyone why they should vote for Obama.”

On MSNBC and CNN, commentators are all but weeping over the glory of this speech. David Gergen: “I thought she was a class act. It can well be said that nothing so became her campaign than the way she ended it tonight…It was so unselfish.” Keith Olbermann: “I would have been proud to deliver that speech.” Rachel Maddow: “She really did it tonight–she told everyone why they should vote for Obama.”

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Re: Angry Hillary

The idea? Hillary is a great feminist figure. That was the point. The culmination of the speech was about the achievement of women.

The other idea: Barack Obama better tell you why he’s so great ’cause I’m not going to do it.

The idea? Hillary is a great feminist figure. That was the point. The culmination of the speech was about the achievement of women.

The other idea: Barack Obama better tell you why he’s so great ’cause I’m not going to do it.

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Angry Hillary

Was there a single idea in Hillary’s speech? While she had a few good moments stirring up the partisan rabble, the first half seemed devoted to how important her campaign was. Then it fell into the waterfall of phrases that are preprogrammed on the laptops of Democratic speech writers: Energy speculators, windfall profits, jobs shipped overseas (twice!), workers displaced, the favored few, affordable health care, alternative energy, mounting bills, privileged few, privatize Social Security, equal pay for equal work.

Her real theme was feminist boilerplate, to which she returned, over and again. That was no accident. It signaled to her still-rapid supporters that her resentment over losing and then being passed over for Veep is still white hot. “I support Barack Obama” is just a slogan that she had to say. In the meantime, her team of sabotagers have been fighting all day to make sure that there is a roll call vote tomorrow during which her name can be mentioned repeatedly. Her goal tonight was to play Kennedy to the 1980 Carter. She’s still angry.

Was there a single idea in Hillary’s speech? While she had a few good moments stirring up the partisan rabble, the first half seemed devoted to how important her campaign was. Then it fell into the waterfall of phrases that are preprogrammed on the laptops of Democratic speech writers: Energy speculators, windfall profits, jobs shipped overseas (twice!), workers displaced, the favored few, affordable health care, alternative energy, mounting bills, privileged few, privatize Social Security, equal pay for equal work.

Her real theme was feminist boilerplate, to which she returned, over and again. That was no accident. It signaled to her still-rapid supporters that her resentment over losing and then being passed over for Veep is still white hot. “I support Barack Obama” is just a slogan that she had to say. In the meantime, her team of sabotagers have been fighting all day to make sure that there is a roll call vote tomorrow during which her name can be mentioned repeatedly. Her goal tonight was to play Kennedy to the 1980 Carter. She’s still angry.

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“I bet they will complain”

Fred Barnes says about the Obama team.

Fred Barnes says about the Obama team.

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I’m A Little Confused

Who was being endorsed in Hillary’s speech — Barack Obama or Harriet Tubman?

Who was being endorsed in Hillary’s speech — Barack Obama or Harriet Tubman?

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Shockingly Minimal Endorsement

That’s Bill Kristol’s summation–and I think he’s right. There was nothing personal here. Perfunctory and that was all.

That’s Bill Kristol’s summation–and I think he’s right. There was nothing personal here. Perfunctory and that was all.

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What Was That?

I’m back from the dogs and Harriet Tubman, back from the pantsuit sisterhood and back from the primary rerun. She can’t be criticized for withholding support, but she didn’t really say anything nice about him. And she sure didn’t take back her 3 a.m. jab. They will chew over this for days, if not weeks.

I’m back from the dogs and Harriet Tubman, back from the pantsuit sisterhood and back from the primary rerun. She can’t be criticized for withholding support, but she didn’t really say anything nice about him. And she sure didn’t take back her 3 a.m. jab. They will chew over this for days, if not weeks.

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School marm

She’s into that school marm cadence and finger pointing mode–didn’t work in the primaries, didn’t work tonight.

She’s into that school marm cadence and finger pointing mode–didn’t work in the primaries, didn’t work tonight.

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Equal Pay

This is the umpteenth time I’ve heard the “equal pay for equal work” line at this convention–and from a Yale-educated lawyer this time.  I guess she missed the class on Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

This is the umpteenth time I’ve heard the “equal pay for equal work” line at this convention–and from a Yale-educated lawyer this time.  I guess she missed the class on Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

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She Did Her Bit

A paragraph of criticism of John McCain and a jab at the “twins” George W. Bush and John McCain. But enough of that — on to Harriet Tubman. There are dogs and torches and .  . .  we’re really far off the point of endorsing Barack Obama.

A paragraph of criticism of John McCain and a jab at the “twins” George W. Bush and John McCain. But enough of that — on to Harriet Tubman. There are dogs and torches and .  . .  we’re really far off the point of endorsing Barack Obama.

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2008, 2012 –whatever

Take out 10% of the lines, less perhaps and it could be a post-primary victory speech. And the opening of 2012. But she ever-so gently skips over anything particular to Barack Obama. Democrats are good, and Bill Clinton is good. What is missing? Any personal validation of Obama himself. Let him do it himself, she no doubt believes. Uh oh — some boos for Joe Biden as VP? Ah well, they don’t have to like it, do they?

Take out 10% of the lines, less perhaps and it could be a post-primary victory speech. And the opening of 2012. But she ever-so gently skips over anything particular to Barack Obama. Democrats are good, and Bill Clinton is good. What is missing? Any personal validation of Obama himself. Let him do it himself, she no doubt believes. Uh oh — some boos for Joe Biden as VP? Ah well, they don’t have to like it, do they?

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Re: Orange Pantsuit

Now, now, John.  Actually Hillary is one of the few people I know who can wear orange. But Michelle’s aqua dress was a much better choice.

Now, now, John.  Actually Hillary is one of the few people I know who can wear orange. But Michelle’s aqua dress was a much better choice.

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Michelle Obama…

…doesn’t have a very good poker face. She despises Hillary.

…doesn’t have a very good poker face. She despises Hillary.

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Orange Pantsuit

Why has Hillary chosen to look as though she’s been cast in a remake of The Andromeda Strain?

Why has Hillary chosen to look as though she’s been cast in a remake of The Andromeda Strain?

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Finally

So finally she says she supports Barack Obama. How many minutes in?

So finally she says she supports Barack Obama. How many minutes in?

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Take Care of Me

The central message of Hillary’s speech: Democrats will take care of you.

The central message of Hillary’s speech: Democrats will take care of you.

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You Never Gave In and Never Gave Up

This suddenly isn’t about Barack Obama. It’s the reunion of the “sisterhood” — of the pantsuits, yet!

This suddenly isn’t about Barack Obama. It’s the reunion of the “sisterhood” — of the pantsuits, yet!

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Pick It Up, Hillary

Could she be speaking any more slowly?

Could she be speaking any more slowly?

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