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Another Day of Clintons

This has become the Clinton Convention. The Clintons are to political conventions what gymnastics are to the Olympics: Just when you think you've seen the last of them, there's another day of competition, another set of apparatuses.

Tonight, Bill Clinton will perform on the pommel horse.

Technically it's supposed to be Joe Biden's big night. But I doubt he'll get within shouting distance of the front page. The Clinton Drama must go on. (See this analysis in the Times.)

Hillary Clinton's speech last night, though unambiguously a strong endorsement of Obama -- she mentioned him something like 10 times -- didn't exactly make the case for Obama so much as the case for a Democrat. Tell me if this is nitpicking: You can scrutinize that speech all day long and not find a single word of praise for Obama as a person (the way, for example, she complimented McCain for his courage and honor, and praised Biden as pragmatic, tough and wise).

Time magazine grades the speeches. Clinton: A. Mark Warner: D. (I thought he was a real snooze.)

Lots of speech analysis from the commentariat on Cillizza's blog.

Now, here's MoDo talking to Mike Murphy:

"What is that feeling in the air?" I asked him.

"Submerged hate," he promptly replied.


--

Did anyone catch that incredibly tense exchange between Olbermann and Matthews on MSNBC? Matthews was droning on about women and the election -- he's an expert on this apparently -- and Olbermann made the universally understood duck-quacking gesture with his hands. A moment later Matthews angrily interrupted Olbermann and said he could make the same gesture when Olbermann talks. I kept waiting for punches to be thrown.

--

Here's Libby Copeland on Biden's Acela trips.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 27, 2008; 7:24 AM ET
 
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Comments

Hey, I am (was) on kit for this one, last kit. Wow.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 27, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Thirty-fifth? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 27, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Brian Schweitzer's folksy speech gave no hint of the governor's ability to speak Arabic.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 27, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all.
Geez, I don't know: you've got an ex-two-term Democrat President and his Democrat senator wife who picked-up +/- 18 million votes - do you think they should be vacationing in Aruba or something or do you think the Democrats might want to hear what they've got to say about Obama?
Hmmm...
So far, as resume filler goes, Obama has run a real good campaign - not a lot else to laud the two year senator for in regard to leadership accomplishments - unless I've missed something?

Posted by: Dmon | August 27, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse


TIME should give Schweitzer an A, even if he didn't use any Arabic.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 27, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Chris Matthews seemed blotto last night. His hair was askew, he was stumbling over words more than usual and seemed more cantankerous.

Posted by: md | August 27, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

getting an error message

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 27, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Maggie thanks for confirmation that the Grendel reference made the dead trees edition. Also missing from the online version is this aside immediately following the portion of the Dowd column that Joel quotes:

"Ah, yes, now I recognize that sulfurous aroma."

The quote is to indicate that it is Maureen Dowd's interior monolog and not anything anybody actually said.

My full analysis of Dowd analyzing the Clintons at the convention (with a photoshop of Hillary as a Corleone):

http://dowdreport.blogspot.com/2008/08/what-to-do-in-denver-when-you-are.html

Posted by: Mo MoDo | August 27, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Schweitzer a soil scientist by trade. A scientist with a grasp of the US and the world's rural problems in public service, here is a revolutionary idea. Barack should ask for his business card.

Anyone thinks that Bill has finally interiorized that his days in the White House are over? Nah. There's 2012 and 2016 still. Hillary will be a mere 69 in '16 after all.

The Very Large Puppy is on the mend but he lost 20lbs in a three day period due to stomach and intestinal issues. I'll pass on the details but it was a busy and smelly weekend. At least he made the vet laugh. The giggling tiny women (a 5 foot nothing maratnon runner)was dragged across the x-ray room by the weaken puppy, the first time she could not stop a dog she said. Also a first for her, needing two films to get the whole lenght of the intestinal tract of a dog. The VLP is a very long puppy. Sad point: that dog got better medical treatment than 95% of the world's denizens.

Speaking of intestinal problems, Canadian boodlers are welcome to make an offer on a package and a half of pastrami from plant 97B. Just make sure your immune system is up to the task before asking for it.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 27, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Shiloh,
Michelle Malkin is a particularly interesting piece of work. I can see where a newspaper photo would make her very deep tan look darker than it is in real life.

For the daughter of legal immigrants she is very vociferous on the issue of illegal immigrants to the point of xenophobia. She has written a book endorsing the use of internment camps.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 27, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

ok that worked,last night's results was a smashed bird feeder and a turned over trash can.It was pretty cool after I got over the fear and thanks for your concerns Cassandra,but i would never do anything stupid. Remember that old commercial"don't mess with mother nature" well I don't. I just try to exist with it in Harmony....

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 27, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

sd,
Glad to hear that VLP is on the mend. I've often said that the best possible karmic reward is to come back as an American housepet.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 27, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Hey, at least the politico-gymnast who looked like a fire hydrant last night was Montana's Brian Schweitzer. He looked completely authentic, down to his string tie, a Native bola, and his folksy, rousing delivery fired up the crowd. He was the de facto keynote address. Unfortunate that Schweitzer--a Blue Man in a Red State--is mired in an ethics debate within Big Sky Country.

But I am puzzled with his, as well as the Republicans', repeated use of the phrase about Americans buying tankersful of oil from "people who don't like us very much." Gee, I wonder why? If it wasn't D'Arcy's 60-year oil-deal with the Persians, or the French grabbing Mosul for themselves, or the British machinations to get complete control of Mesopotamia (I have purposely omitted American shenanigans in the region), then what do you think it is?

If we borrow Montana's state motto, then Schweitzer delivery was "plata" and Hillary's "oro." It's interesting--and I'm not the first to point this out by any means--that Hillary is bound to an awkward double standard. You didn't see Ted Kennedy or Jerry Brown doing anything at the Dem convention for Carter after their defeats to him, nor Gary Hart lifting a finger for Walter Mondale.

I was particularly struck by Hillary's use of Harriet Tubman's words. I think of Austin writer Bev Lowry's recent biography about Tubman, and the pricey event last year or the year before hosted by the San Antonio Library Foundation featuring Lowry, and attended (a surprise) by actor Tommy Lee Jones.

And who was the Democratic African-American delegate that African-American reporter/CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux nabbed for an interview right after the conclusion of Clinton's speech?

Interesting that it was Carter who designated Aug. 26 as Women's Equality Day.

Anyone catch Cousin Mitt being interviewed by Joe Scarborough this morning?

Lots of potpourri from me this morning, but husband is scurrying around in the background.

Posted by: Loomis | August 27, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

OK, here's your tune cootie for the day. My son turned me on to this new group, called Thriving Ivory. The song is called "Angels on the Moon," and it's quite something. Very haunting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnXhrUIrBZg&feature=user

(One of the biggest joys in my life -- and quite unexpected -- is how much my son and I talk to each other about music and movies and stuff. Probably the only one of my five kids who never went through the obligatory "I have no parents/I don't know who you are" period.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 27, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

CP - to your comment about politics and dynastic leadership in this country: I understand your discomfort.

From my perspective, it is what it is, and has been that way for all of human history.

Dynasties and aristrocratic rule of human civilizations through the exploitation (in the best sense of the word) of patronage, relationships and networks - certainly along familial lines (descent, marriage, etc.) by those who have power and privilage and know how to use it (benevolently or beneviolently) - looks to me to be How Things Got Done over the past 40,000 years or so.

IMO, just because we have a democracy here in this country does not mean we're immune to that. Our Founding Fathers seemed to be men of relative wealth and privilage (much of it stemming from patronage from European ruling families, I believe) from what I remember, and I think it's natural that those models - natural models of group human behavior, I suppose - adapted themselves to American Democracy.

Wealthy families and relationships amongst persons of privilage seem to me to be key to securing positions of leadership and power in any human society (by birth or not), and I don't see anything about our country that would make us any different.

I think that aristocrats who demonstrate the ability to responsibly manage their resources - use of wealth and exercise of power as well as consolidating can cultivating a constituency of old and new relationships (familial or not) - essentially become the meritocracy (is that a word?) by winning public elections and "moving up" into our democratic government. And of course, they bring their trusted advisers with them (see Cheney and Rove, Salinger and Kissinger, for examples)

The Adams', the Harrisons, the Kennedys, the Roosevelts, the Bushes, and now the Clintons (keep an eye on Chelsea, as Joel and others have pointed out), seem to me to all be examples of this in action.

Sorry about the length, but I simply wanted to address your comment, CP.

I think a lot of the long-lasting civilizations in human history did so to a large degree *because* of the stabilizing influence of dynastic and aristocratic rule in the framework of some form of government that allows for transition.

Countries where government and rule changes by other means don't always seem to me to provide long-term peace and prosperity for their citizens.

I could be wrong here, as I often am.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 27, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I fully realize that as the only living two-term Democratic president Bill Clinton is due respect and a place on the podium. But for all intents and purposes he is viewed as "Hillary's Husband" first and and ex-president second. So I agree with Joel that having him speak just prolongs the obsession with the Clintons.

Which is why, on a purely strategic level, it might be prudent for Bill Clinton to suddenly come down with an acute illness. Something like 24-hour mumps. Nothing too serious, just enough to keep in confined to his hospital bed. We could see a video feed of him bravely waving whilst surrounded by comely nurses.

For I am worried that the risks of giving this man the microphone exceed the benefits. I don't see Bill doing anything more to sway Hillary supporters than what was done last night. Especially since a lot of them aren't too keen on the man anyway. And even if he manages to choke out some praise of Obama (which, as Joel insightfully points out, was in short supply last night) it will be hard to take him too seriously. Not that I expect anything like eye-rolling or air quotes.

Well, at least I don't think I do.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 27, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

SCC: "and" instead of "can."

Not that every keystroke in there isn't probably SCC-worthy.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 27, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

RD, I'm hoping President Clinton does the Olbermann duck mouth thing.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 27, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the prospect of Bill's speech makes me a little nervous. I didn't see anything last night and look forward to watching Hillary's speech today.

I don't think she is being held to a double standard. If anything, Obama is. After all, the nominee usually doesn't have to go out of his way to include primary opponents, and (except for Biden as Veep) you don't see the other former Democratic candidates featured. Hillary got a lot of delegates and has very loyal supporters. She and they have pretty much demanded that she be included and high profile in the convention. Obama is both acceding to that and bowing to political reality. The price is that Hillary has to support him. Anything else would be insane.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 27, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I suppose, RD, that Bill Clinton could use the hospital bed that Ted Kennedy vacated to make his appearance.

I would prefer that, like Kennedy, he cut his 18 minute speech in half, but I do believe that he should be heard, rather than left festering in the background and infecting the party further.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 27, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Hmm, perhaps, though, Hillary's lack of a glowing personal endorsement for Obama was a reasonable way to sway her supporters. Although, in her speech, she challenged the position that her voters were supporting her personally and not her policies, we all know that this isn't the case at all.

Many Hillary supporters don't exhibit passion because they really dig her health insurance plan. The exhibit passion because of what she, as a woman, represents to them. It is disingenuous to suggest otherwise. (And, of course, this can be said for many Obama supporters as well.)

By omitting much mention of Obama the person, Hillary might have been acknowledging that many of her supporters are never going to rally around this *man* they way they did her. So, perhaps, she was simply implicitly encouraging them to accept him as the lesser of two evils.

Perhaps not the most flattering of endorsements, but it might have been the smartest.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 27, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

An eighteen minute speech from Bill Clinton is wildly optimistic. These conventions seem to be real kingmaker events for up and coming stars. Warner was not a stem winder. I turned him off and then missed Hillary because I couldn't get the online live link from the DNC to work.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 27, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

C'mon, Loomis; I know you know your history better than that. The difference between Hillary this time around and Teddy, J. Brown and Gary Hart in those two elections are major. Those three guys all lost by substantial margins; they were soundly beaten and knew it. Hillary, by contrast, was in a virtual tie in a race she thought (probably rightly) she should have won (had she not followed bad advice and run a lousy campaign). Right there is a major world of difference. Second, Hart was in disgrace at the moment, and Mondale didn't *want* his help; it was best for all concverned for Hart to lie low. Again, another major difference. Teddy and Brown might not have gone around as much as Hillary is now expected to, but they went home, behaved, and got out the vote in their states. They didn't sabotage anybody (like you and your PUMAs are doing), they didn't badmouth anybody (ibid), and I doubt Carter wanted or expected much from them.

You know all this, Loomis. I know you do. It's that chip on your shoulder that's getting in your way.

No; Hillaru is NOT being subjected to any double standard. She's expected to be a good loser, not make trouble, and do her part. Just like any other major party loyalist is expected to do. No damned double standard involved at all. The double standard is coming from the crazoids who somehow think a protest vote for McCain is a good idea, or is going to keep Roe v Wade intact. The double standard is coming from women who expected to be taken seriously -- and then go off in a snit to sulk and pout because they lost. You want people to take seriously somebody who's stamping her foot in a hissy fit? Is that your notion of 21st century feminism? Your candidate was one of seven other Democrats who lost the nomination. The other six -- and their supporters -- aren't sulking and pouting and behaving like children. Kerry and Gore -- who got cheated out of the presidency a helluva lot worse than your gal -- never spent a single day sulking and pouting (or if he did he never let anyone see it).

You want respect? This isn't the way to get it. And like it or not, respect is something decided by the giver, not the receiver.

You just won't face the truth: your gal waged a lousy campaign, made mistakes, and lost. Nobody cheated or robbed her. She. Screwed. Up.

Lasy night she sucked it up, and did what she had to do. *That's* how you become a role model. *That's* how you did with adversity. That's how you get respect.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 27, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"...you don't see the other former Democratic candidates featured." -Ivansmom

Kucinich did a spritely job last night. And the absence of Edwards should be self-explanatory, unless he is to introduce Clinton tonight.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Shiloh - that is a valid point. We certainly don't want Bill standing to one side of Obama and coughing "Bulls---" during his speech on Thursday.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 27, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I think we over-emphasize the dynastic thing. Let's remember that the Clinton "dynasty" is only one generation and hardly deserves to be called a dynasty at all. If Hillary had won the nomination and gone on to be President, it still would have been the success of only one generation and hardly a dynasty. Bill comes from poverty by virtue of his wits. Hillary comes from a well-to-do family, but nothing on the scale of wealth of the Bushes or Kennedies or even the Carters. Bill and Hillary are quite wealthy now, but that money is "nouveau riche" (if you find it contemptible) or self-made (if you find it admirable). Barack and Michelle are similar, coming from solidly working-class families and pretty wealthy today. Barack and Michelle Obama are elite , not elitist -- they aspired to do great things and they are doing them, leaping hurdles all the way. The Clintons and the Obamas are not the latest examples of aristocracy, they are leading examples of meritocracy.

Posted by: PlainTim | August 27, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I like that song, Mudge. A new group?

Glad you're okay, GWE.

Just saw our hawk in the yard. Maybe the chimpmunks were washed out of their burrows in the night, for good pickins for him.

Posted by: slyness | August 27, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The 10:43 was me. I was wondering why spritely wasn't recognized as a good martooni word and completely failed to enter my name.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 27, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

The dot com folks are working on the Moveable Type problems. Or so I'm assured.

Posted by: Achenbach | August 27, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

i think hrc gave the best possible speech she could under the circumstances. my thinking is sort of along the same line as rd's. what she did was make a very good case for the cause of electing a democrat. that was the most effective approach to take because a lot of personal praise for obama probably would have come across as inauthentic.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 27, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

For IE users, another nice feature of Firefox is its automatic spell-check. However, it does not recognize certain words, spritely, for example.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 27, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

It will al be all right tonight. Like Hillary, Bill is a professional, and he'll do what she had to do: suck it up, and do what he has to. It's kind of silly to speculate that he will do anything *other* than what he has to. Among other things, that's the only way the Obama people would let him on the stage. And there is zero probability of a double-cross; he would be the major victim of such a move, as much as Obama.

Look, both Clintons only continue to survive by behaving themselves. Any counterproductive move destroys them, as well as the Obama people. They understand that. They may not be able to control all their own people (such control, by *anybody* short of a Stalin, is illusory), but that is also understood.

If McCain wins, and the Clintons are seen by any Dems to have given less than 101 percent effort behind Obama, they will never be forgiven, and their careers are over. They have nothing to gain by "waiting four years," conspiracy theories and pundits notwithstanding. If McCain wins, the Dem candidate in 2012 won't be Hillary nor anyone of her generation; it's be an angry young Turk from the mark Warner generation.

Hillary's presidential aspirations are finished, permanently. There is no "next time."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 27, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Mudge -- you are right on with that rant. I am grappling with a friend of mine right now, who is going to vote for McCain because Hillary didn't get the nomination.

If (G-D forbid) McCain becomes president and Armageddon on women's and children's rights does predictably come to pass, then all the "I told you so"s in the world won't do a bit of good. I want to tell these women to put a piece of canvas over their mirrors, take their narcissism and go do something good for someone else for a change. At the end of the day, this is not about us individually, but about us within a country comprised of *more* than us. We need a Democrat in the WH and Democrats in Congress this election! Period.

Do get over yourselves. Use your disappointment for the good, and not for evil. Because you know what evil looks like. Don't be a part of it.

I thought Hillary's speech was fine, and I liked the Harriet Tubman remarks a lot. Hillary's (and ours) experience in this campaign means that the next woman who makes a serious run for the presidency will be able to take the good parts of Hillary (of which there are many) and choose not to absorb the not-so-good parts.

Geez, people -- this is about the country and about our very, very, increasingly more fragile world. DO NOT let us down. If you feel that you have to hold your nose to vote for Obama, then that's what you have to do. I've done it many times when I've voted.

*sigh* I really don't know what the problem is.

Now, I gotta do some work.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 27, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The MoDo excerpt makes for snappy repartee and a cute framing narrative -- but honestly, are we supposed to take seriously the public pronouncements of a Republican activist interpreting the behavior of the opposing party? There could have been nothing but high-fives in the hall, kisses on the cheek, and everyone discussing their preference in properly Democratic drapes for the White House, and he would have sneeringly dismissed it as repressed rage and nervous whistling past the graveyard of inevitable defeat. Why quote a professional liar as an authority on anything except lying?

Posted by: PlainTim | August 27, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

PlainTim,
Don't get me started on the viability of a Hillary political career independent of her husband. That annoys too many reasonable and rational people around here.

Nepotism of all varieties and stripes is rampant in our system. Nancy Pelosi is the daughter of a Bawlmer legend. Andrew Cuomo has designs on something sometime. Joe Biden III is a rising star in Delaware.

Politics is often a family business.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 27, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Mudge - you are, doubtless, right that Bill is a professional. Still, it does make me just a bit queasy. You know, in that way you feel when you first get in the car with your teenaged offspring at the wheel.

As for the "double standard" claim - yes I agree with you - although I do have empathy for those who are frustrated and angry that Hillary lost.

And, of course, I have no doubt that given what happened in 1980, Ted Kennedy wishes dearly he had endorsed Carter a bit more fervently.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 27, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

C'mon, yello, look up "nepotism" in the dictionary. That isn't nepotism.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 27, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"They may not be able to control all their own people (such control, by *anybody* short of a Stalin, is illusory),..."-Curmudgeon

Hu Jintao does a pretty good job.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 27, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"Favoritism shown or patronage granted to relatives, as in business."

Inconceivable.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 27, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Wikepedia: "Nepotism is the showing of favoritism toward relatives and friends, based upon that relationship, rather than on an objective evaluation of ability, meritocracy or suitability. For instance, offering employment to a relative, despite the fact that there are others who are better qualified and willing to perform the job. The word nepotism is from the Latin word 'nepos', meaning "nephew" or "grandchild"."

Posted by: Shiloh | August 27, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I gotta agree with Mudge on this one yello -- no matter how much favoritism Bill Clinton might show towards Hillary, only The People can decide whether she gets an office.

Posted by: PlainTim | August 27, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps the flaw in my argument was the use of Democratic party examples. Clearly Jeb and George W. Bush were the most qualified and experienced candidates in Florida and Texas respectively.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 27, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

"Without nepotism, Hillary would be running for the president of Vassar. But then, without nepotism, W. would be pumping gas in Midland — and not out of the ground."
-Maureen Dowd "The Mepotism Tango", September 30, 2007

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/30/opinion/30dowd.html

Or to yet again ineffectually blogplug:

http://dowdreport.blogspot.com/2007/09/big-dance.html

Posted by: Mo MoDo | August 27, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The Clintons are on stage so much for one reason: they bring down the house. They are the most charismatic figures in the party outside Obama. They can rev up the crowd and make Democrats feel good about being Democrats.

I don't know why we feel so compelled to define the Clintons' actions as merely self-serving (see, e.g., the nearly constant refrain that the main reason they're "behaving themselves" is because of their personal interest in continued political viability). Why is it so hard for us to imagine that they might actually have nobler intentions ... like public service or civic-mindedness?

If we really believe that all these pols are "only in it for themselves," why do we even participate?

Gaaaah. I weary of all this cynicism.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Blatantly Apparent Typo in article title.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | August 27, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I did *not* type "house.house." Really. I swear.

And I am *not* Anynomous at 11:40. I'm KPage and I approve of that message.

Slinking back to SCC hell ..

Posted by: KPage | August 27, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I agree with l.a. lurker. Had Hillary been too effusive in her praise for Obama, she would have been bombarded for being a phony. What was Hillary supposed to do? Iron Obama's shirts and bake him some cookies?

I rather agree with George Will's on George S.'s show last Sunday, that Obama's campaign peaked around March 4, at which time Hillary won Ohio and Texas. After that, Obama went into a tailspin. (Lanky didn't want any more debates with Clinton, nor is he accepting any town halls with McCain. In mid-summer he took an interesting lap around foreign countries--how good will he be on focusing on pressing domestic issues? Once again, it IS the economy, stupid. BTW, the delight of the tube these days is watching Carville strategize.)

Matthew Dowd is pointing out in his blog that this particular convention isn't unified around any particular theme or message--and if it is, I haven't seen or heard it yet.

And the message from Frank Rich's op-ed Sunday, from which Joel took some quotes to reenforce the message of his own Kit, is that Obama better retool or reboot his campaign with a whole new set of software. And notice the change message's mutation on the floor last night--from "Change We Can Believe In" to "Change We Need"? Is Obama listening to Rich, or is the earlier theme worn out by now?

Maher said on Larry King on Sunday how disappointed he is with Obama losing his ideology and taking more centrist views, changing his opinions and beliefs. Waffling, in other words. Maher's greatly disappointed in Obama, but is still supporting him (and opined that Hillary would have made a fine vice presidential candidate.)

He's. Screwing. Up.

Hillary did her bit last night. With grace. And style. It's now up to Obama and Biden to deliver speeches as good or better than the Clintons. And it's now especially up to Obama to sell himself to women--and the rest of the country.

And, Cur, I won't be "forced" to do anything on election day I don't want to do. Coercion is hardly a way to win hearts and minds.

Posted by: Loomis | August 27, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous - Excellent point. The problem, as I see it, is that from the beginning the Clintons have equated the public good with their presence in public service. They radiate, to many, a sense that the smartest thing for America has always been to put them in charge. Does this represent a earnest desire to help America or delusions of grandeur? Depends, I 'spose, on your political inclinations.

Also, note that this is not a slam, per se, on just the Clintons. All politicians do this. It is in the nature of politics that a politician must be egotistical enough to assume that he, or she, is the best individual for the job. The Clintons have just always come across a bit more intense about this than some.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 27, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Obviously, race is a tripwire topic for television, as Chris Matthews of MSNBC demonstrated all too irrepressibly on Tuesday.

Mr. Matthews said the Obamas are “like the Huxtables,” and praised Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Obama as exceptional role models: “They do everything right. They have great kids, they work their hearts off, they make it in their professions, they don’t live off welfare, they don’t commit crimes, they don’t live on affirmative action.”

His two African-American guests, the seasoned television personalities Ed Gordon and Jeff Johnson, gave him a skeptical look but did not comment.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/27/us/politics/27watch.html

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

PlainTim,
Hillary had to be selected by the people of New York (a state she had previously had no noticeable affinity) but she got on the ballot through the influence and power of her husband. I'm not going to win this argument, so I'm just putting the n-word between military aircraft and French cars.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 27, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Shiloh, just go ahead and click "Add to Dictionary". Works for some of the boodle handles too. ☺

Also for you Firefox users, if you haven't plugged in NoScript you must try it. It is the last word in browser security. Updated 2-3 times per WEEK. Takes some work to get the permissions right but is well worth it.

DLD

Posted by: DLD | August 27, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

McCain or Obama? Firefox recognizes McCain, but, like spritely, doesn't recognize Obama as a valid spelling. Is Firefox prejudiced? Or just republican?

Posted by: Shiloh | August 27, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Annoyingly, I have kitted again. But keep the comments coming! I mean, if Moveable Type permits.

(That Matthews quote is unbelievable...Anonymous, thanks for posting it...)

Posted by: Achenbach | August 27, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

DLD: I don't know where "Add to Dictionary" is located. I only use Firefox to get the blog hyperlinks, I did not intend to make it a life's work.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

12:11 was me.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 27, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

In a discussion with a friend about this very topic, she reminded me of something that I washed over in my 10:20 above - that some of these political families also demonstrate significant commitment to public service.

Anonymous points this out as well.

And as RD and others suggest, it does take a heapin' helpin' of self-confidence and egoism to get into and be successful in any position of leadership. And that's not necessarily seperate from the desire to be in a role of public service.

There's a word: Responsibility.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 27, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Shiloh, if you right click the underlined word you will get a list of suggested words, and, underneath them, an Add to Dictionary option. If you like the word the way it is just click that.

Give it a try. You'll like it. I promise. Here, have some more wine....

DLD

Posted by: DLD | August 27, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

DLD: That works. Thanks. Now maybe I can get out of this time warp.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 27, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Interesting, DLD, no comments appear in ff between 1:11 and 1:51. And some do not appear in IE. Have I been out(fire)foxed?

Posted by: Shiloh | August 27, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Did Mudge really say that Gore never pouted? Must have missed his 2004 convention speech.

And I still can't believe this is true, and if so, that nobody talks about it. Did Hillary really get MORE actual votes than Obama in the Democratic primaries? How can this be possible in the party that was so aggrieved about Gore losing the presidency despite winning the popular vote?

As for the convention's them, I'm pretty sure that 99% of speeches mention that McCain represents a "Third Bush Term." That's a pretty lame and unbelievable theme, given that McCain has probably the strongest brand identity in politics (that being independent from Bush in particular), and at some point Dems might want to run against the opponent who will actually be on the ballot.

Posted by: Kane | August 27, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

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