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Clinton, Outside the Spotlight


Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., listens during a campaign stop at Ohio University Zanesville and Zane State College in Zanesville, Ohio, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008. (AP.)

By Anne E. Kornblut
ZANESVILLE, Oh. -- Just as her campaign needed to add a little zoom, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton came to this colorfully named spot in eastern Ohio ready to talk about the chief topic on people's minds: The economy.

But there was nothing zippy about the economic roundtable Clinton held here on Wednesday, with six days of campaigning left until the Mar. 4 primary.

Joined by Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and former Sen. John Glenn, Clinton listened patiently as the real-world participants who had been invited to speak described their financial challenges.

"I think you learn more when you're listening than when you're talking," Clinton said, invoking the tour she took during her 2000 Senate race. The event was invitation-only, closed to the public, with just a few hundred guests.

While Clinton was politely comparing Ohio to the landscape she has encountered in upstate New York (a place whose job losses since she took office Clinton was asked about during a debate on Tuesday night), her campaign issued a memo accusing Sen. Barack Obama of being all talk on the subject of national security.
The tough-talk Clinton memo said the public had seen "a glimpse of the real Barack Obama" in the debate, accusing him of failing to carry out his responsibilities as the chairman of a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee by not holding hearings related to Afghanistan.

But Clinton did not join the fray -- instead sticking to her script, which involved doing very little talking herself.

She heard from a seemingly random assortment of guests, including a Texas woman who runs an organization dedicated to advancing Latinos and a man from Rocky River, Ohio, who has worked at General Motors for 40 years.

"Do you know how many kids are failing school because they're fat?" asked Florine Mark, president of the Weight Watchers Group, Inc., one of 13 people who sat on the panel onstage.

Clinton nodded and listened. Clinton shared her own experiences as a student going to gym class, pointing to former Sen. Glenn as "one of the real examples of physical fitness" as they discussed the importance of prevention in health care.

Meanwhile, Obama and Sen. John McCain were exchanging sharp words over Iraq -- a debate that Clinton did not, at least initially, choose to join in.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 27, 2008; 4:12 PM ET
 
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Comments

I voted for Governor Clinton to take over the White House, and I voted to keep President Clinton on for a second term. It was the sanest course open to us, despite slippery answers such as "I didn't inhale" and the scandals that swirled around him. But I've got some questions relating to snerdguy's litany.

If you think it's valid to use "35" years of experience as representative in the case of Senator Clinton when alluding to "little or no experience" in Obama's case, I've got a question for you; If you think Senator Clinton's presidency will derive effectiveness from her husband, who she's had to muzzle on the campaign trail, I've got a question for you; if you think Bill Clinton was worthy of my vote based on his speeches and accomplishments, but you think the candidate now most like him then is his wife, I've got a question for you; if you think borrowing rhetoric from Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck" routine is persuasive, funny, cute, or appropriate in this context, I've got a question for you; in fact, if even if you just think Senator Clinton's increasingly histrionic performances during this campaign are indicative of the qualities you seek in a President, rhetorically all these and more can be rolled into one question:

Who's sane?

Posted by: LukkyKnight | February 28, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

YOU MIGHT BE AN IDIOT:-)

If you think Barack Obama with little or no experience would be better than Hillary Clinton with 35 years experience.

You Might Be An Idiot!

If you think that Obama with no experience can fix an economy on the verge of collapse better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) led the greatest economic expansion, and prosperity in American history.

You Might Be An Idiot!

If you think that Obama with no experience fighting for universal health care can get it for you better than Hillary Clinton. Who anticipated this current health care crisis back in 1993, and fought a pitched battle against overwhelming odds to get universal health care for all the American people.

You Might Be An Idiot!

If you think that Obama with no experience can manage, and get us out of two wars better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) went to war only when he was convinced that he absolutely had to. Then completed the mission in record time against a nuclear power. AND DID NOT LOSE THE LIFE OF A SINGLE AMERICAN SOLDIER. NOT ONE!

You Might Be An Idiot!

If you think that Obama with no experience saving the environment is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) left office with the greatest amount of environmental cleanup, and protections in American history.

You Might Be An Idiot!

If you think that Obama with little or no education experience is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) made higher education affordable for every American. And created higher job demand and starting salary's than they had ever been before or since.

You Might Be An Idiot!

If you think that Obama with no experience will be better than Hillary Clinton who spent 8 years at the right hand of President Bill Clinton. Who is already on record as one of the greatest Presidents in American history.

You Might Be An Idiot!

If you think that you can change the way Washington works with pretty speeches from Obama, rather than with the experience, and political expertise of two master politicians ON YOUR SIDE like Hillary and Bill Clinton..

Best regards

jacksmith...

Posted by: JackSmith1 | February 28, 2008 4:57 AM | Report abuse

Same old promises that politicians have made for decades. Are the impoverished any better off?

If Hillary Clinton wants to get my attention, she must prove that she actually understands the problem. Basically, our government is broken. It is failing US. Because there is so much waste and mismanagement in the government, there is little money left for people who really need help.

We need a president who will really trim the fat and get agencies back on track.

Posted by: snerdguy | February 28, 2008 4:10 AM | Report abuse

And, now there's a NEW NY Times story questioning his eligibility to run for President since he was born in the Panama Canal Zone?!

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of which, does ANYONE find the timing just a bit curious that John Sidney McCain is now the PRIME TARGET of the New York Times (especially after said paper ENDORSED him)?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/27/us/politics/27name.html

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

fid4wp:

I believe you are mis-underestimating the super delegates -- Hillary Diane Clinton will stay in this until there are ANY delegates left for her to get (Florida and Michigan included) -- I mean, even Mike Adam Huckabee is still in the race and he's been mathematically eliminated!

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

"I think you learn more when you're listening than when you're talking," Clinton said.
I had to re-read this line, because this statement from Hillary does not depict her usual verbose behavior. I noticed that during most televised debates, Hillary continually ignored time limits, with no consideration for the others on the floor. After reading this article, I reached the conclusion that she was departing from her usual dominating character and "allowing" the small crowd of "guests" to have their say. Their tales of woe that she was collecting will be repeated another day in a prepared speech to a much larger crowds , to give the impression that Hillary is a person who; (1)really hears what people say, (2)she really cares what people say, (3)she will really help these people and (4) see what a caring woman I am - I need your vote). She has made a point lately of having her picture taken hugging a child, another carefully calculated move from Hillary. Must not have been one in this group. Hillary uses props, and it becomes obvious to those that are not her fans.

Posted by: Cali-Gram | February 27, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

It is no longer possible for Clinton to win the nomination in 2008, and she must know that.

If I use CNN's count, she is behind by 153 pledged delegates, with 1039 left to allocate. If my calculator is correct, that means that in order to pull even in pledged delegates she would need to get over 57 percent of the rest of the delegates, or to put it another way, a greater than 14-point lead in the rest of the contests. That just isn't possible. And the super delegates are not going to take the nomination away from the first viable black candidate, when he clearly won more popular votes, more pledged delegates, and more contests (unless they want to see another convention like 1968).

I have to believe that she is now planning for 2012 or 2016 rather than 2008.

She would certainly have a better shot in 2012 against McCain than against Obama. Running against Obama as a sitting Democrat, when he had beaten her before, would be almost impossible. But if Obama loses the general election against McCain, she can easily get an "I-told-you-so" Democratic nomination in 2012. In that case, she may think it to her advantage to stay in the race and wound Obama as much as possible, as long as she can do it without alienating too many voters.

Posted by: fid4wp | February 27, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Anne!!!

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton has been the target of a well orchestrated 24/7 hit job by the corporate owned media and their rethuglican pals for months. It's shameless. They don't even PRETEND to be fair or balanced.

Their goal is to bring Hillary Clinton down and get Obama nominated (giving him a free pass now and later they will crucify him) because they know he's unqualified and unelectable (they'll see to that). They've already won really, the Dem party is divided (the voters are stupid, they think it's a political version of American Idol).

Yet, in spite of the non-stop brutal sexist (hair, pantsuits, b-tch, bipolar, cackling laugh, whiny, moody, etc, )attacks, Hillary stands strong. She's one tough, graceful woman who will make a great President.

VOTE SMART!!! VOTE HILLARY!!!

This race is far from over. Hillary should remain in the race through the convention where she will win the nomination. By then, Obama will exposed for the empty suit, unqualified fraud that he truly is.

VOTE HILLARY!!!

Posted by: TAH1 | February 27, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Pee-Uuu ! Is Doprah Lifting her Leg and spraying her Territory Again ? LOLOLOL !!!

Posted by: jmj350 | February 27, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Humanize

It's the only standard smear of Sen Clinton Anne left out.

Posted by: zukermand | February 27, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

duh, "...learn more when you're listening than when you're talking", and I thought this was the first rule you learned in school. She coming along nicely though. But if she has to hand select a group to listen to, well, maybe that's how she'd run her presidency. Forget what the people say, or even congress, she'll hand pick who she wants to listen to and if they don't agree with her, off with their heads!! (obvious uncredited quote from Disney).

Posted by: david720 | February 27, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Women can't handle important jobs like being President. Men are superior to women and that is why Obama is winning now.

Posted by: Hillary08 | February 27, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

How to be an unprofessional, irresponsible reporter:

...her campaign needed to add a little zoom...

-Snide editorial comment.
=============
there was nothing zippy about the economic roundtable...

--another one
============
"I think you learn more when you're listening than when you're talking," Clinton said, invoking the tour she took during her 2000 Senate race.

--The logic of an idiot child.
===============

The event was invitation-only, closed to the public, with just a few hundred guests.

--Gratuitous, implication of staging

==============

...upstate New York (a place whose job losses since she took office Clinton was asked about during a debate on Tuesday night)

--I mean really. Anne is sweating all over her keyboard now.
===========
...The tough-talk Clinton memo ...

--Stupid, cartoonish characterization.

===========
... sticking to her script, which involved doing very little talking herself.

--Sneering, heavy handed wink about how careful and calculating she is

==========
... a seemingly random assortment of guests...

--Snide implication of staging and planted questions

=================
Clinton did not, at least initially, choose to join in.

--"at least initially"?? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Oh, I get it. While she did not join in, Sen Clinton really wants to and just won't be able to help herself. So we get Anne's clairvoyance in lieu of actual words or deeds of the candidate, and voila, Sen Clinton is involved in a spat in which she is not involved. In Anne's world, Sen Clinton is NEVER above the fray.


Posted by: zukermand | February 27, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I am not clear on how this presses Senator Clinton's message on a large scale, despite the presence of the media. If anything, it makes her look like she is moving on past the election and thinking more about her position as a sitting senator.

Posted by: corridorg4 | February 27, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

VegetablesPlease,

So are the people who stand around Obama on the campaign trail just cardboard cut-outs? For every picture of Hillary like you describe I can find one of Obama...so what's you point exactly???

Posted by: jkallen001 | February 27, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

She has just six days to "close the deal" in both Texas and Ohio, and her handlers hide her in a small, invitation-only format.

WHAT COULD THEY BE THINKING?

Or even more troubling, could she be making these campaign decisions herself? Ready on Day One to flounder on Day Two. Sheesh. Think how you'd feel if you had given her money.

Posted by: Stonecreek | February 27, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is just going through the motions.

The Titanic is going down.

Posted by: JaxMax | February 27, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Good for her. It has been said, "loose lips, sink ships." Time she reflects and re-groups. Who knows, maybe she will rebound...

Posted by: davidmwe | February 27, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

This sums up rather well what I have admired about HRC's (admittedly rather carelessly-run) campaign:

She seems, in spite of all her personality traits, genuinely interested in people on a very real level. I see tons of photos with her on the campaign trail with real people supporting her. She is standing among them, hugging them, shaking hands, smiling. She appears to consider herself their advocate.

I think it's a shame that people find so much to criticize in her highly personal approach to politics.

Posted by: VegetablesPlease | February 27, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how much money Florine Mark stands to make by getting all those fat failing kids into Weight Watchers.

Posted by: JohnHD1 | February 27, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Wow, talking about the fitness of an octogenerian and the fatness of school kids seems an odd way to spend Day One of the last Six Days of your Political Life!

Posted by: vmathis | February 27, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

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