Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Shouldering Her Way Back In

Friday, May 23, 2008

Shouldering Her Way Back In

We should be talking about John McCain and, among other things, his definition of transparency, which seems to consist of allowing a small, select group of reporters to review more than a thousand pages of his medical records (taking notes but not copies of anything) in three hours and then tell the rest of the world what they found. No, I'm not overstating. Michael Scherer wrote: "The campaign is billing the event as an unprecedented, transparent look at McCain's medical records since his 2000 diagnosis with type IIa melanoma." Not that it should be a surprise at this point, but that's what straight talk has been reduced to in this campaign.

Yes, we should be talking about this kind of stuff, but Hillary keeps reinserting herself into the limelight, this time by invoking the assassination of a presidential candidate. Oh sure, she's got room to say that talking about Bobby Kennedy's murder after the California primary in June 1968 to remind us that primaries sometimes last that long, and that's a forceful image to reinforce her argument--who can forget the drama of June primaries? I even half believe her on that count, but even the best spin this can take leaves her portrayed as politically tone deaf. The New York Times reports: "Campaign aides were taken aback by the quick reaction to her remarks." Maybe that's true, but if it is, it borders on political malpractice. How clued out are these guys? Of course, it's also inconsistent with what else we know about the candidate and her husband, particularly his legendary political acumen (which has, admittedly appeared to be missing on more than one occasion this political season).

I'm not as worried as some that Hillary will poison the well for Obama in the fall, because I believe that once she and her campaign call it a day and stop trying to threaten and cajole the Democratic party, this will be set aside fairly quickly as focus turns to the fall. But boy, it sure is getting to be annoying waiting for her to take her ball and go home.


At 10:25 AM, May 24, 2008, Blogger Jason said...

I'm no fan of Senator Clinton (and becoming even less of one with each passing day), but I am willing to give her the ebenefit of the doubt on this one. Given her age and political history, I'm sure June 6, 1968 -- the date of the Robert Kennedy assassination -- is seared into her memory, so much so that when she thinks "June primary," her thoughts immediately turn to that event.

That said, she should be smart enough to know she can't invoke that assassination in this context. It's just politically stupid, and if she doesn't have the brains to understand that, she's not qualified to be president of the PTA, let alone president of the United States.

More troubling for me is the fact that she thinks she can pull a snow job on us. "Gee, Bobby Kennedy was still campaigning in June 1968,so I guess it's OK that Hillary Clinton is doing so, too." Except that Bobby Kennedy didn't declare his candidacy until March 1968. She's talking about a June 1968 that culminated a 3-month presidential primary campaign, not one that culminated a year-long (or more) process.

Likewise, her references to her husband's 1992 campaign are phony. Yes, he technically kept campaigning until June 1992. But by March 1992, everyone except the quixotic Jerry Brown had acknowledged that Clinton would be the nominee. Is she really aspiring to be this year's answer to Jerry Brown?


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