Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day 2

Well, for the second consecutive night I am disappointed in the lack of substance from the Democrats, but I honestly wasn’t expecting much given the recent tension in the party. Last night, Hillary Clinton gave the first speech of her Hillary 2012 campaign. It was a bit self-indulgent with the clear intent of establishing herself as some sort of cultural icon and a voice for women. I think she accomplished that task, but she didn’t do much for election ’08, she didn’t do much for Obama.

Yes, Hillary said she supports Obama. Yes, she launched a few zingers at McCain. As a key democrat, she had to do her duty. But if this was an endorsement it was mediocre at best and hardly enthusiastic. She did what she had to do but overall didn’t really have much to say in support of the candidate. She went through the motions but this speech was about Hillary.

It was filled with a laundry list of problems America faces but no solutions were offered. There were Clinton ’s typical “folks she met on the campaign” references, no doubt inserted for the usual emotional effect. The best line was a quote from Harriet Tubman.

A few specifics that caught my eye: she spoke of universal, high quality, affordable health care. Of course, this is an oxymoron. There is no such thing as universal, high quality, affordable health care. It is the proverbial unicorn of politics. Clinton doesn’t realize this but she continues to pursue it like it was Sasquatch.

She also passionately spoke of some nonspecific mom she met on the campaign whose work hours were recently cut. I’m not sure what she was referring to, but I interpreted that as someone who had been victimized by the recent minimum wage increase that most employers simply can’t afford. And speaking of can’t afford, she also mentioned the need for more unionization. Yes, liberalism was alive and well.

One line that stuck out: “We’re Americans, we’re not big on quitting.”

Was this a subtle jab at Obama’s Iraq plan? Not sure, but that’s the first thing that came to mind when I heard it and I’m sure I am not alone.

She never mentioned foreign policy. She never said Obama was experienced enough and qualified enough to be President. She never said Obama was ready. She didn’t mention his character or his background, so there was no link to the theme of the first night. She didn’t mention any of his specific policies or plans. Her endorsement could have been applied to any fill-in-the-blank democrat. Basically, her Leftist supporters will vote for Obama but her independent supporters won’t budge, and I think that was her intent. She had the difficult task of looking supportive and doing what a good democrat should do without looking too supportive, without swinging the election back to Obama’s favor. Mission accomplished. Obama’s problem is with that subset of Hillary voters in the white, working class population. These are the folks who are typically moderate and not yet sold on Obama, the most liberal member of the Senate. These are the ones he needs to win. And these are the folks who won’t be swayed by what she said. Hillary’s primary campaign was based on Obama’s lack of experience and she said nothing last night to the contrary.

Let’s be clear. Hillary cares only about Hillary. She wants the White House like a two year old wants the chocolate chip cookie, she’ll break the cookie jar if she has to. If 2008 isn’t possible, then she will pursue 2012 and that’s what this speech was all about. I don’t for a second believe that she wants Obama to win because that would ultimately hurt her chances in 2012. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that when she’s in that voting booth she actually pulls the lever for McCain. So will Bill, and so will the intern that’s in the booth with him.

Tonight, Bill will speak and this should be interesting. Two nights have gone by and nothing has been accomplished aside from the launch of Hillary’s next campaign. Tonight will not likely be any different. Bill simply doesn’t like Obama and I’m sure the feeling is mutual. Tonight’s speech will be about Bill and will certainly be a continuation of last night’s theme…Hillary 2012. Plus, BJ has some image problems that he wants to address, namely the “racism” charges that came out during the campaign. He’s bitter about it and he seems intent to blame Obama for the perceived slander. But he also brings a bit of uncertainty. The guy isn’t exactly predictable lately and there really is no telling what he might say. He most definitely has not been an ardent supporter of Obama and if I were the candidate I would be a bit nervous, especially after Hillary’s speech. This should be entertaining if nothing else.

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