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When You Can't Say Something Nice

Here’s an item for Guinness World Records: After what seemed like 1,001 Democratic primary debates, and all the time she spent with him in Senate meetings and caucuses and fundraisers and the Green Rooms of countless television studios, Hillary Rodham Clinton could not come up with one -- not one! -- anecdote to commend Barack Obama to the American people. Instead, she said that Obama, like she, supports health care.

Okay, more than health care. He wants to “rebuild the middle class” and “promote a clean energy economy” and fight for equality, “from ending discrimination to promoting unionization” -- a phrase that future generation will no doubt quote -- and "help every child live up to his or her God-given potential” and, of course, get the troops out of Iraq. But about the man himself, she was silent.

This is not an insignificant omission, like the failure to mention Obama’s support for nuclear non-proliferation and the stand he has taken on ethanol. Most sentient members of the human race are by now pretty familiar with Obama’s ideology and his political positions, even when his positions are all over the place. We know, too, that he was against the war and that Clinton was initially for it, but that she had since reversed herself -- but not apologized -- and that they would now both pull the troops as quickly and as prudently as possible.

But we still have not taken the measure of Obama: What sort of man is he? He is famously the man from everywhere, which means nowhere. He has a great and moving personal story, but he seems to withhold something -- to not need you as much as you need him. This is the essence of charisma: a cold love that goes only one way.

Still, what commends Obama to me is the impressive testimony of those who have known him over the years. In private conversations, they've told me -- sometimes in an awed way -- of what they describe as his special qualities, particularly the piercing intellect. This is the sort of testimony the American people have not heard -- or not heard enough of yet. This is the sort of testimony Hillary Clinton could have offered. It was not all that necessary to make the case for him on policy grounds -- as if Clinton’s supporters really have anywhere else to go. But it would have been nice if she got off a joke or two at her own expense about some of the things she said about Obama during their nomination battles. But Clinton, as we all know, does not apologize.

It was necessary to humanize Obama -- to say, in effect, “You know me, and I know Barack Obama, and I like him.” She could have told a story. She could have said that, despite their drawn-out battle, she got to respect and admire him. She could have… Oh, never mind. The point is that she said no such thing, and then, to the cheers of the thousands and the indifference of millions, she left the stage.

It was a smashing night for John McCain.

By Richard Cohen  | August 27, 2008; 8:50 AM ET
Categories:  Cohen  | Tags:  Richard Cohen  
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It seems like Richard Cohen is viewing this week's events through a different prism than all of his colleagues, doesn't it? Michelle Obama was "lobotomized." Hillary Clinton delivered a "smashing evening for John McCain." I see things differently, as do all of the Post writers opining here this week. And I am frankly very, very tired of Richard Cohen.

Posted by: ezr1 | August 27, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Cohen makes a very interesting point about the subtext of Hillary's speech. He's right, that it was still, like everything Hillary, all about me me me me me me me me me. The lady with cancer who came to a rally with her bald head "with my name written on it." All the people that SHE met and how much they hoped for from HER. It was basically a paean to the Democratic platform as viewed through her prism. Which was fine, and great, and good, AS FAR AS IT WENT. But he's right that it did not go the extra mile of making a personal, emotional connection to Obama that could be picked up on by the Hillary die-hards.

Posted by: herzliebster | August 27, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Thanks you for pointing out he obvious. Hillary has changed her stance about Obama one bit.

Posted by: japril30 | August 27, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Senator Hillary Clinton made a great speech. Senator Obama still a social construction.

Posted by: mmarii | August 27, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Richard Cohen finds fault with Clinton's speech and thinks it was a great night for McCain?

Posted by: harpmick | August 27, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

oops... Corrrection. Hillary has not changed. She never will.

Posted by: japril30 | August 27, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Hillary Clinton was damned if she did and damned if she didn't.

No, Mr. Cohen, she couldn't have said how much she liked and admired him. She said what she feels and believes. She was appealing to those voters who will never like or admire Sen. Obama.

You seem to advocate lying to reach an objective. What very Republican sentiment.

Posted by: Adrasteia | August 27, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

So what, did you want her to lie?

Posted by: So what? | August 27, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

herzliebster, Obama himself has to create that personal, emotional connections with voters; he cannot and, I think, does not expect Hillary Clinton to do it for him. Obama and his camp are satisfied with Senator Clinton's speech. Why isn't that enough? One thing I've long admired about Obama is that he doesn't need or want pundits to speak for him, but if he did, I think he'd subscribe more to Colbert King's views than to Richard Cohen's.

It's possible that you aren't old enough to recall the damage wrought by Ted Kennedy's behavior at the 1980 convention; I was young myself and didn't understand the ramifications then. But if you take a historical view and compare that convention to this one, or Kennedy's actions and words to Clinton's, you'll see there simply IS no comparison. For an "all about me" speech, go back and read that one. Or read Obama's speech following the Indiana and NC primaries. Do you really find Hillary's words so "all about me" in comparison? After all, she's not claiming credit for the oceans beginning to recede or global temperatures beginning to drop. Think about it.

Posted by: ezr1 | August 27, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

What would satisfy you, Mr. Cohen? Perhaps you would like her to iron Obama's shirts as well?

Posted by: JH | August 27, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm usually pretty much in tune with what Richard Cohen has to say, and not that I need to agree; but it occurs to me he's off base in this commentary. I thought Hillary did a real stand-up, dignified job last night in her speech in the way she mixed honor for her supporters and a plea to them to get behind Obama. I didn't expect or need "anecdotes" about Obama. I was looking for party unity, and I think she nailed it in her masterful speech. Thanks, Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: binkynh | August 27, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Like Bill, I think she hit the ball out of the park. I don't know who Cohen was listening to.

Posted by: a vote for hillary | August 27, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"It was a smashing night for John McCain."

I agree 100%...McCain was completely smashed.

Posted by: trippin | August 27, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

There are many things Hillary could have said about Obama but didn't. Why should she? The Clintons remain unscrupulous, ambitiious, deceitful and just plain dangerous for our democracy.

Posted by: norman ravitch | August 27, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

JH: Maybe she could bake him some cookies, too. No, I think Hillary's job was to say, this is NOT personal. This is about the future of our country. This is not about love or hate, it is about survival. Get a grip, Richard.

Posted by: Kelly | August 27, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Why must it always be about the Clintons and their supporters? In case you have not noticed, the Democratic Party, namely the Kennedy's have longed move past the Clintons. Just listen with a third ear and watch with a third ear, the party does not belong to the Clintons anymore and it will never will belong to them again. Listen to the leaders of the Party, you can hear it in their voices and see it in their actions...And that's a good thing...

Posted by: Greg285 | August 27, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Cohen, you are *such* a tool. America's most beloved "liberal" concern troll.

Please, please just go away. As a Washingtonian, I want to be able to pay for the Washington Post again, really I do. But Hiatt's gang are such a collective skid-mark on the franchise, I just can't bring myself to do it.

Posted by: ibc | August 27, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps it is NOT about "I like the man....I like Obama......He's a family guy......He's just like us, etc.......It is about

WHO HAS THE MOST EXPERIENCE. Mr. Obama appears to have NO EXPERIENCE, so QUIT asking Hillary to stand up and say he is experienced. You can't make someone be what they are not, and THAT is WHY Mr. Obama can't pull ahead.
And GET OUT OF HERE BLAMING+++++ Hillary for EVERYTHING including is the sun coming up tomorrow!.......The media chose this man who is all SMOKE & MIRRORS, and the people are NOT buying it. We just finished 8!! horrible years with someone with NO EXPERIENCE, and do NOT wish to repeat that

The TRUE legitimate candidate with 18+ MILLION HISTORIC VOTES.

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

"I don't know who Cohen was listening to."

Hiatt, Gerson, and the rest of the echo-chamber that is the Washington Post editorial page.

Funny, have they said anything worth saying in the last decade. If Katherine Graham were to return today, she'd never stop throwing up.

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

Cohen you need to take a chill pill. She did more than any other second-place finisher snubbed as VP choice to support the winner. Gary Hart and Ted Kennedy acted like whiny testerone impaired brats -- just as you are. When will men stop demanding that women fix shyt for them? After all of the billions of dollars he has raised and millions of crying people packing football stands to see him - why does Obama need Clinton (someone his supporters demonized) to humanize him?

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

Reading comments such as those by Norman Ravitch, one gets the sense that nothing Senator Clinton said could ever be enough. Fortunately, Senator Obama doesn't feel that way.

Posted by: ezr1 | August 27, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least Mr. Cohen has given up his right to complain about the candidates not focusing on the issues. Not that it will stop him. I mean, how dare she talk about the actual issues voters care about and what Obama will do to address them rather than tell an amusing antidote!

Posted by: Jeff | August 27, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Cohen must be living in a parallel universe???
I thought she hit McCain quite hard and showed her support for Obama quite clearly. Does anyone else get the picture that a LOT of "media types" seem to only want to keep the Obama-Clinton race going? Are they closet Republicans?
I'm getting where I hit the mute on most talking heads added value to the equation. Cohen is more of the same.

Posted by: Herman | August 27, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

RE: Cohen and those who have that psychic ability to read "subtexts" and hidden agendas in Hillary Clinton's speech: all is jaundiced to the jaundiced eye. You begin with Hillary hatred and there's no way you can give an objective evaluation of ANYTHING she does.

Now, the armchair psychologists in the media and among Obama supporters imagine things that they feel should've been in the speech as a willful attempt to undermine Obama's candidacy. Ignore Hillary's powerful statement that this election was never about her, but about the Americans she met during the campaign, Americans who, as she said, Barack Obama will give voice to and remove the cloak of invisibility from.

And I don't mean to impose any "fairness doctrine", but Cohen and company should look at the historical record regarding runners up: Jimmy Carter is still waiting for Ted Kennedy to shake his hand after Carter defeated Kennedy's challenge in 1980; Jerry Brown, Bill Bradley did not endorse the nominees who defeated them until well after the conventions. Yet Hillary endorsed Obama on June 7 and has made appeals to donors and supporters to support his candidacy on many occasions since.

Yes, at this point Cohen and his ilk in the media and among Democrats are poised to once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by creating discord where there really is no cause for it.

Posted by: mkevinf | August 27, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

And it will be a smashing week for John McCain too. The press will make much of the still divided Democrats. The world famous but still essentially unknown Obama. And poor Hillary, after being cheated of her victory Obama didn't even bother vetting her for VP. Yet she now owes him undivided loyalty. Etc. Etc.

Of all the years to divide up the party in the quest for first, first woman nominee, first black nominee, they have to pick 2008 to do it all don't they? The poor poor Dems.

Posted by: tom007 | August 27, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

By now, Mr. Cohen's agenda is apparent. This is a man who had an affair with Peter Jennings wife, so I don't put a great deal of stock in him as a man or a person. He will continue to attempt to influence this election with yellow journalism. He is obviously a fraud, a man with no personal scruples or journalistic integrity.

Posted by: James King | August 27, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"The TRUE legitimate candidate with 18+ MILLION HISTORIC VOTES."

Well, won't that be special when your daughters are getting their back-alley abortions ten years from now?

Like Hillary said, she's fought for women's rights her entire adult life, and now--in a fit of petulance--you're going to betray everything she's worked for. What a tribute!

Posted by: ibc | August 27, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Is she supposed to make up credentials for the guy? He went from Jr. State Senator to Presidential Candidate in four years. He does not have any experience. Why should she have to lie and say he does? I wish the media would start focusing on Obama for a change. It's his job to show the American people that he's qualified.

Posted by: Nicole | August 27, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

BO's ego is his worst enemy, not HRC. If he'd have chosen her as running mate, he would have sailed into office. Obviously, he underestimated how much he needed her EIGHTEEN MILLION voters. He has no one to blame but himself now for making his own campaign excruciatingly difficult. And, because of his haughtiness, ALL democrats will pay the price as a republican gets elected in November. (Excuse me now, I'm going to go climb under a rock.)

Posted by: DebbieB | August 27, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

It's ironic that Cohen, the whiner in chief recently, has a column titled "When you can't say something nice," which implies Hillary should have. He then goes on to say nothing nice at all. I'm glad I don't live in your world Cohen. Must be bitter and unsatisfying.

Posted by: bigeugene | August 27, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

To all McCain supporters:

America is in the toilet. When you can point to one REAL example of Republican success in the last 8 years, then you may have some credibility.

And please spare me the "no terrorist acts" nonsense, because the most significant attack in U.S. history came on G.W.'s watch.

Posted by: James King | August 27, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I find it difficult to understand why Mr Cohen feels Hillary's speech wasn't up to par last night. It was up to her to try her hardest to unify the Democrats and she was quite successful. Mr Obama is running for President and he needs to sell himself. Some of you reporters who think you know so much obviously know very little, or just don't care. You tend to be negative no matter what. It is what makes politics so disgusting!

Posted by: Pat | August 27, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I admire her for her courage, candor and unity which is what I thought her motive was.

Posted by: lg | August 27, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Clinton was forceful in her speech in support of Obama. She didn't have to be overly schmaltzy in talking about Obama, that's a lot of nonsense. Cohen and most of the cosnervative pundits are really being very partisan and are showing the readership why the mainstream media is no longer a source of balanced objective analysis.

Posted by: M. Stratas | August 27, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Cohen and Gerson are two of the same. Both should give up writing and pursue a career that would be more fitting. SWIFT BOAT CAPTAINS.

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

To all the "Hillary supporters":

No amount of kissing your tails will make you like Obama, so I very much agree with his stance to run his campaign without pandering to you.

Hillary fought dirty, got dirty, and lost. That's what happens when you run a "scorched earth" campaign. She did the stand up thing and has thrown her support behind the candidate with the agenda most similar to hers.

This isn't (or, rather, shouldn't) be a popularity contest? Are you pro-choice? Want equal pay for equal work? Want improvements to our national infrastructure? Want more jobs to be created? Want a government with a responsible environmental agenda? Want the troops home sometime this century?

Then the choice is clear. Here's a hint: it's the same candidate Hillary is voting for...

Barack Obama

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

For the last time, it isn't up to Hillary to unite the party and heal it's divisions; it's up to the standard bearer. So far, he's failed. His surrogates, at least, in calling Clinton's appeal racist, are calling those 18 million largely working class voters of hers bigots. So far, he hasn't done much to heal the divisions and bring them in. He could, though, if he chooses, in a way neither Hillary nor any other Democrat can: He can call for an end to race based affirmative action, shifting to an income based aid program that would benefit deserving people of all races.

Working class people of every color are struggling, and it's past time to get them all pulling together.

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

Cohen and Gerson both came to the same conclusion.

Posted by: dmm | August 27, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Don't you find unbelievably ironic how Obama supporters tell you the Clintons don't matter anymore, then turn around and dissect the words and nuances of the Clintons' every utterance as if it's all that matters?

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

harpmick - I think the point is that the close to 50% of the Democratic party may not switch to Obama. While I'm sure a large portion will vote along party lines, there are some that have been so opposed to Obama that they may choose another candidate or not vote at all. Her speech should have been designed to "hand over" all of her supporters to Obama but seems to "hold back". By not converting all of her supporters to Obama supporters, that is the "great night for McCain".

Personally, I see the contradictory video clips in the Republican ads as being a bigger problem. Clinton's staying in the nomination race for as long as she did may hurt Obama because Clinton spent a good bit of time trying to differentiate herself from Obama. The Republican party will attempt to exploit that to sway the Clinton supporters that even Clinton opposed Obama over McCain.

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

Cohen's comments just go to show that people like Hillary will be condemned no matter what they do.

He seems to forget that Hillary has no moral obligation to support Obama at all. This is a free country. If she wanted to she could have said, "I didn't think Barack was qualified to be president before, and I still don't now. I think I would be a better president. And I deeply resent that he didn't even consider me for vice-president, given that I won at least nearly as many primary votes as him, and possibly even more." Saying something like this would, of course, divide the Democrats, but it was still within Hillary's right to do.

Hillary Clinton has shown a great deal of maturity and magnaminity in the way she has dealt with her defeat. Nitpickers like Cohen are best ignored.

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

What on earth is the following doing on your site? I disagree with many of Mr Cohen's Denver opinions, but there should be no place in the Washington Post for this:
"By now, Mr. Cohen's agenda is apparent. This is a man who had an affair with Peter Jennings wife, so I don't put a great deal of stock in him as a man or a person. He will continue to attempt to influence this election with yellow journalism. He is obviously a fraud, a man with no personal scruples or journalistic integrity.

Posted by: James King | August 27, 2008 10:14 AM

Posted by: Jack Altman | August 27, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Gee, I thought the purpose of the speech, as stated a 1000x1000 times by the talking heads was to transfer HER SUPPORT to Senator Obama. That means she had to convince bitter people who like her better to vote for Senator Obama. That an argument that isn't ever going to be won by talking up Senator Obama's merits, its won by showing how Senator Obama supports the same causes and ideals. Senator Clinton hit that ball out of the park.
No one else can convince people Senator Obama is a good leader but Senator Obama, if Senator Clinton had tried, it would have badly hurt Senator Obama's chances. An endorsement of your leadership by an older white woman is your best argument about how well you can lead? Maybe Mr Cohen brought his mother to job interviews, but it wouldn't work for President.

Posted by: Muddy | August 27, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

What speech did Cohen watch yesterday? Hillary did say nice things about Obama, she called out those who claimed to support her but now said they were voting for McCain, and made it quite clear that 4 years of McCain was 4 more years of Bush. What else was she supposed to do?

Cohen is becoming more irrelavent by the day.

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

To GrannyM - "For the last time, it isn't up to Hillary to unite the party and heal it's divisions; it's up to the standard bearer. So far, he's failed. His surrogates, at least, in calling Clinton's appeal racist, are calling those 18 million largely working class voters of hers bigots. So far, he hasn't done much to heal the divisions and bring them in."

Maybe because a great many of them are quoted as saying "I won't vote for a Black guy." That makes them racist. And affirmative action has done far more for WOMEN than for minorities, but let's throw the baby out with the bathwater, eh Granny?

When I read stuff like this, I immediately think "McCain shill." But, the sad thing is, people really are just this uninformed.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

How many past presidential candidates who lost in the primary got out and campaigned for their once opponent?. Come on people, leave her alone. If Obama is such a superman, let him earn his victory.

Posted by: Val | August 27, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Let me see, HRC didn't say anything nice for the candidate that said her husband was a racist (see 5 page talking points memo to media by the Obama campaign) and that she hoped that something bad would happen to Obama re: RFK comment (Obama campaign distributing Keith Olberman's diatribe). HRC has been more respectful to Obama than he has been to her (Your likable enough Hillary).

Posted by: dem008 | August 27, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Dick: so glad you got your Fox News/Republican Party talking points and that you incorporated every one of them in the draft of the column format we gave you earlier this week.

You're doing a great job for all of us greedy lying right wing fascists, distorters aka George Bush, Dick Cheney, Rupert Murdoch, Fox News and the Republikkkan party.

We knew we could count on you as always. Keep up the great propaganda machine.


We'll send you the next column very soon.

Posted by: Karl Rove | August 27, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Nothing will ever please you. Clinton's job was to her supporters, who know Obama is not qualified, to vote for him anyway, because he is better than the alternative. Obama had a great night. Lots of smart people, who could not see themselves voting for someone so inexperienced and unqualified, are going to vote for him anyway--solely because Clinton said so.

It is Obama's job to make his case to the American people at large, not Clinton's. If he loses this campaign, it will be his fault, and his fault alone.

Posted by: Rosepetals64 | August 27, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Cohen, who were you listening to? You're obviously another deaf Republican.....the same old, unbelievable politics

Posted by: USneedsObama | August 27, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Hey Dick...can you say something nice?

Posted by: Robert | August 27, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

To Jack Altman:

Which part was incorrect?

The affair thing?:

Or the "yellow journalism" thing?:

Your righteous outrage is missplaced.

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

No surprise that Richard Cohen, who "metaphorically" has never stepped off the McCain bus circa 2000, managed to filter Hillary's classy, superbly effective speech through his rose-colored lens of perpetual McCainophilia. Here in the rational world of thinking human beings, however, we're plenty energized by her crystal clear call to remember what is at stake this year - no McSame, no way, no how.

Even though, Richard, I'm sure the memory of his salty jokes about strippers in Rio will keep you in chortles and guffaws for years to come...

Posted by: KatieLa | August 27, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Do some of Hillary's supporters really believe she didn't say anything nice about Barack because she couldn't bring herself to lie?

There is no power in the universe stronger than the human capacity for denial, apparently. Even so, you have GOT to be friggin kidding me.

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

One thing is for sure; the Republicans have all but killed us over the last 8 years and if people want to be crazy enough to elect 4 more years of bush-cheney politics by way of voting for's only their lives and the lives of their children and families that they will be hurting. You think gas prices are at $4 a gallon now...this time in the next year or two under McCain, it will be $7 a gallon and only hiw rich friends will be able to buy know the ones that make more than $5 million a year!

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

Richard Cohen has been living in the Bizarro world for some time now. How out of touch can one pundit be??

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

This kind of blog makes me glad that real issues don't matter. If they did America would be in trouble.

Posted by: PDQ | August 27, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I thought Clinton's opening remarks were so self-serving I actually had to turn off the TV. Her best remarks were still institutional, fulfilling only the minimum required by the occasion. Mr. Cohen's take was pretty much on the mark.

Posted by: Rudy Dalpra | August 27, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

What happened to people like Cohen? Where did they park their integrity for the duration? Clinton gives the speech of her life for Democratic unity, and Cohen snarks that she didn't mention ethanol. How can people like Cohen look in the mirror and say, "I'm a journalist"?

Posted by: Steve Silberman | August 27, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, Mr. Cohen remains a vitim of his Jewish upbringing. For him, the glass will always be half empty. Ignore the aging fool.

Posted by: The Jewish Problem | August 27, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

There is only one thing that I have to know about Obama and it is one thing I do KNOW about Obams - Barrack Obama will make an infinitely better president than John McCain and he will be president, that I can guarentee.

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

Can someone at WaPo please make sure that Cohen is taking his meds? The gentleman's affect is curiously odd and his words are divorced from reality.

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

"When you can't say something nice," the subtext for Cohen's sour blogs.

Posted by: Dr. Lewis Keizer | August 27, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The election will be decided on the commander-in-chief issue. The country is comfortable with McCain in that role, but not Obama, and Hillary helped make it that way. For the sake of her party, she needed to undo that damage while she had the spotlight. She chose not to. Get used to the words, "President McCain."

Posted by: JGinAZ | August 27, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I hate all this bickering, but what must she do lie? Think about it.

Posted by: annbier | August 27, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Why must Hillary be "nice" considering the lack of respect she and William Jefferson have received from that empty shell? She had the ideas and the drive and executive experience needed to save this country from the likes of Bush/MacCain. Without her and Bill in the White House, I don't see how the next 4-8 years will be any improvement over what we have now. A night for MacCain? So what? What's the difference? At least MacCain would only be president for 4 years, while the great unwashed are likely to return what's-his-name for 8.

Posted by: Tamerina | August 27, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

OK, enough already. If we don't know what kind of man Obama is we aren't paying attention. Countless people have told the anecdotes and history that paint the picture of Barack Obama, and yet the GOP has seeded the media with so much of their message "But you don't really know him do you? Not really...he's weird." everyone seems to actually believe it. Maybe if we hear from the waiter at his favorite restaurant and his 8th grade teacher we'll be satisfied...oh no we won't because "We don't know him yet."

Listen to what people are saying about Obama who know him, not about what people are saying about not knowing Obama.

Posted by: Gina | August 27, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I hate all this bickering, but what much she do - lie? Think about it.

Posted by: annbier | August 27, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

another hillary-bashing pundit, the acts of whom (the male press pundits) were the main reason she lost her very closely divided democratiic primary last june; what else do you expect from mr. cohen, one of those in the recent past ...

Posted by: vogol | August 27, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

She could have ran up to Obama vaulted onto his manly frame and frenched him right there--- but she didn't

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

Mr Cohen has, in spite of the comments made thus far, done his normal superb job of telling the truth.

SEN Clinton appears to be incapable of doing what is good for the Party.

I do not like her. Or SEN Obama. Or McCain so much for what it matters. But at least on Iraq she has shown some intestinal fortitude. It is very easy to be against something when you are a junior member of a state legislature with no impact on decisions. SEN Clinton made her decision based on the evidence available. She has the right to change her mind based on new evidence, but to then say that her initial support of the UN-approved actions was wrong would be merely pandering to Democratic voters. For that she has my admiration and respect.

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

I think Richard Cohen makes a good point. HRC basically said that if you love what I stand for then vote for Obama. She did not say anything positive about Obama in a direct and personal way. But I think that would really be asking too much of her. She did what she had to and she did it very well. Saying anything more would have seemed insincere.

In the meantime, the remaining die hard Hillary supporters that continue to divide the Dem party I truly do believe are for the most part racist and filled with prejudice. There are people who are just not ready to vote for a black man and the emphasis on his so called lack of "experience" is just an excuse for their own racially based fears and distrust of the capablity of a black man leading our nation. Anyone who logically views the devastating mess the Bush/Cheney administration has left our country in and then would vote for more of the same McCain because he has "experience" is just fooling themselves.

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

Hillary was between a rock and a Republican Smear Machine on this one. I could just imagine the ads that Rove's clone Schmidt would have thrown at Hillary if she listened to Mr.Cohen. Instead she give the Republicans nothing and the democrats everything!

Lets be thankful that it don't turn into The Burr–Hamilton duel of 1804! We have come a long way since then.

Hope has a chance!

Obama/Biden '08

Posted by: Yeil's Daughter | August 27, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

One more commetn, to Mr. Norman Ravetch, so the Clintons are unscrupulous. I do not agree but maybe it is true, but you should have conceded in your posting that despite all of this Bill Clinton made an infinitely better president than George W. Bush. Only a moron would concede differently, and that Hillary would, had she been elected, proven to, again, be an infinitely better president than George Bush or John McCain, for that matter. And, again, only an idiot who doesn't care about this country would think differently. I am sick and tired of these commentators who continually pull down Democrats without conceding that the Republicans are far and away morally bankrupt, uncaring, and dangerous, that they have fostered three of the worst presidents in history - Bush, Reagan, Bush, while the Democrats have fostered two of the best - Carter and Clinton. Got it?

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

You REALLY need to bring your Grandfather back! You were waiting to attack and so you did. Grow up and report for a change. HRC was magnificient!

Posted by: Mego | August 27, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

To GrannyM:

As for racism...

Posted by: James King | August 27, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I have news for all you Democrats who keep trying to link McCain to Bush. It ain't working. Just look at the polls. It could have been a referendum on Bush's last eight years. But McCain is seen by most as his own man who has paid his due to his country in spades. And on TV at least he comes across as a humorous thoughtful reasonable middle of the road type. It's not for no reason the Republicans pick him this year. On the other hand by nominating an unknown and a guy full of question marks in his background you have now turned the election into a referendum on Obama instead. You Democrats ask for it. Now you need to deal with it. This thing about Hillary and her supporters is at best a sideshow. The One is the main event now.

Posted by: tom007 | August 27, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

An analysis of Richard Cohen is not the point here. The point is that, however strong and forceful, Hillary Rodham Clinton gave us another self-serving, look-at-me speech once again.

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

True Democrats are extraordinarilly proud of Hillary Clinton and eagerly anticipating the moment when Bill steps up to bat tonight.

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

Democrats rumble against Republican Attack Machine! But unlike McCain's team also present a positive message!

Last night was Hillary's moment! Yes we heard her rally cry for Obama, herself and all of us Democrats, Republicans and Independents against a 3rd Bush term. Bill will come through tonight too. A lot is at stake here not just for Obama but for Biden, Hillary, Bill and all of us too. Biden's rally cry will be equally compelling! The scrappy kid from Scranton will come through too. This convention will be remember as the one that represented us in our Time. Now it will be up to Obama in front of 75,000 supporters and millions of voters watching on TV to make the sale after traveling across America for the past year and half listening to the concerns of the voters. The energy will be electric in that stadium. The pundits and writers will feel it. We too will feel it just watching on TV. This will become America's moment.

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”
Robert Kennedy

Obama/Biden '08

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

Actually, I'm a firm believer in Obama's leadership and no friend to McCain. But Richard Cohen is quite right - Hillary spent 80% of the night talking about herself, with two or three offhanded segues into "and that's why you should vote for Obama". I think it is woefully obtuse to claim that this speech galvanized the party. That night was about one person - Hillary - and how she was so gallant as to endorse her victor three months after the fight. Of course there were tears in Michelle Obama's eyes; she was straining to hold herself back from strangling her.

For the rest who think in measured sound bites, yes-it was a nice speech. She unified the party. Now go out there and recite catchphrases!

OK, now for those of you still listening, how many times did you get up to go to the bathroom, muttering "when is she going to stop talking about herself…” during the course of her speech? Mine was only two, but that's because I was anxious that they would cut over to "Wipeout" and I would miss the opening.

Posted by: leathej1 | August 27, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Obama: The Big O for President.
It feels so good for a moment. Then you realize he's screwed you.

Posted by: DemsareHollow | August 27, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

what a absolutely lost analysis. did you have to go to school to learn how to twist the truth in this manner?

Posted by: John | August 27, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

To Tamerina - "At least MacCain would only be president for 4 years, while the great unwashed are likely to return what's-his-name for 8."

More than enough time to put you "back in your place" as a female. More than enough time to bankrupt this country. More than enough time to get more people killed in Iraq. More than enough time to destroy the environment.

Wake up.

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

I thought Hill's speech was what she needed to say. Yes, it was "all about Me" to a point.Thats Hillary. But if you think about it, isn't that what the Hillary holdouts are too? So you speak to what they understand. ME . Good god, hasn't anyone here ever dated an Americain girl!hmm On second thought, I guess most of Hill's holdouts have.....

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

Astounding, Mrs. Clinton delivers a genius of a speech, full of positive support for Obama, yet Richard Cohen sees a diatribe full of negativity. Absolutely amazing. From what other cynical universe do these talking heads come?

Posted by: tharriso | August 27, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"It was a smashing night for John McCain."

Actually, if the night did what it was supposed to (convince the MAJORITY of Hillary supporter to vote for Obama) than it was a horrible night for McCain.

Hillary didn't have to praise Obama. She just had to convince her supporters. Even though some will choose McCain and some will choose not to vote at all, I think her speech will ultimately have helped win many back to Obama. And those will be votes needed in the election to win. She did Obama a great favor last night.

Posted by: Gary | August 27, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Mr cohen your unmitigated hate and distrust of HRC is personal and petty. For a respected journalist like you writing for a serious paper like yours is a shame.

Posted by: mr Black | August 27, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Yes, yes, we get it Richard. You don't like Obama.

Posted by: Joe R | August 27, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Maybe people have forgotten, it's not Hillary's obligation to praise Obama. I solute to her for honesty on this. The sickest thing would have been an insincere praise for Obama coming from her. She didn't do it, and by that she earns more respect from me.
Obama babies, quit whining. Obama is an adult and he should solve his own problems. However, I doubt if he can do it and I can forsee people blaming Hillary for his eventual defeat.

Posted by: Funny | August 27, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

A question for Rudy Dalpra and others who found Senator Clinton's remarks too self-serving. I don't know you, so I'm genuinely asking to better understand. (Cohen is well known for his narcissism around DC, so he's fairly easy to understand given that context.) When you say you had to leave the room because Clinton's remarks were so self-serving, I wondered if you had the same reaction to Senator Obama's speech when he famously said that history would mark his clinching the nomination as, "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." That's pretty self-serving, even grandiose. So it's difficult for me to fully understand your point of view.

Posted by: ezr1 | August 27, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

To Tom007:

"I have news for all you Democrats who keep trying to link McCain to Bush. It ain't working. Just look at the polls. It could have been a referendum on Bush's last eight years. But McCain is seen by most as his own man who has paid his due to his country in spades. And on TV at least he comes across as a humorous thoughtful reasonable middle of the road type."

And Bush seemed like a down-home guy you'd want to have a beer with. Republicans are great at APPEARING certain ways. Let's look at some:

Repubs are "tough" - War hawks yet many hid behind their money and family connections to avoid the same types of conflicts they quickly send other people's children to die in;

Repubs are "fiscally responsible" - Massive deficits, rampant earmarking, crony capitalism, etc. Nuff said;

Repubs are for "smaller government" - Yet have presided over the most massive government expansion in U.S. history;

Repubs are "patriotic" - yet have ruthlessly attacked personal liberties by pushing legislation that protects illegal wiretapping, torture, suspension of habeus corpus, etc.

And those aren't even the outright things for which they are hostile to the general public, ie. abortion, women's right, affirmative action, the environment, healthcare...

So McCain may "seem" reasonable, but his policies aren't. He's a Bush man, plain and simple.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Mr.Cohen: MEOW!!!! Same old stuff. Glad you have so many dissenters. Does my heart good!!!!!

Posted by: JPrior | August 27, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Richard Cohen's been going down hill for a long time. He's like a rotting, diseased part of the body that needs to be surgically removed for the health of the rest. There's a cadre down there at the Post who fit this description -- Fred Hiatt and Robert Kaiser formost among them.

Cohen is often wrong these days. But this thing he wrote has to be the worst -- my god man, where are your eyes to see, ears to hear, where's your brain??? Apart from the sheer forceful of Hillary's speech, and the fact she electrified what's been a pretty flat convention, the essence of it is that she rose above the 'personal', making a crystal clear appeal on principles, shared values, and the good of the people of this country.

A deep thinker a little while back said mankind was finished, at a dead end because, "we can nolonger rise above ourselves, see beyond ourselves, and do what's essentially right." Well, Hillary did all three. And your lead is about how she didn't tell personal anecdotes, and this was a smashing night for McCain?

The Cohen mentality on display here is willfully blind to the reality of what happened last night, and trying to pull others into the desolation of his own imaginings. It's a malignancy that's spread through the body politic, thanks to men like him. He should be deeply ashamed of who he's become. And we should throw off this twisted, tortured negativity.

Posted by: stan jorgensen | August 27, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The desperate efforts to compare McCain with Bush by some liberals are amazing. McCain is not Bush, simple and clear. McCain is a moderate republican, which I deem the best choice for president.
People are not stupid, liberals.

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

Anyone who thinks there is unity is NUTS... the whole thing was FAKE last night... First there is NO WAY Hillary wants Obama to win, she's just doing what she has to so if he loses they can't blame her.. leaving her a clear shot in 2012. Then Michele Obama acting like she is so happy what Hillary was saying, she can't stand Hillary, probably part of the reason Hillary was never in consideration for V.P. Then you have announcers like Keith Obermann showering praise on Hillary when just a few months ago he was ripping her apart.. And lastly Bill, clapping all the while as his wife "says" shes endorsing Obama when just a couple of days ago he couldn't even bring himself to say Obama is qualified to be President. But to me the worst are the Obama's... To me there are 2 types of people there, Democrats..
and the Obama's who are OBAMACRATS!!! Yet all these people think Obama is speaking for them.. when all he cares about is HIMSELF!!! Oh and where is Rev Wright??? Obama's MENTOR, FRIEND and SPIRITUAL ADVISER.. The person who married the Obama's and christened their kids.. the person Obama said he could never disown because it would be the same as disowning the Black community. He dumped him fast enough didn't he. I heard they asked Obama what he thought of Hillary's speech and he said he was "satisfied" well isn't that nice.. I guess Hillary didn't humble herself enough before Lord Obama to get a better answer than that. You have to think IF Obama had won 18 million votes but came in second and was still not even considered to be V.P. he wouldn't even have showed up. Obama is such a phony.. I don't see how any Hillary supporter can vote for him. Well at last we KNOW now the Clintons themselves WON'T!!!

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

Of course Hillary wants mcCain to win so she can run in 2012. This has been clear to me since about halfway through the primaries. Sh

Posted by: TJF | August 27, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Republican hate machine at it again!!

Posted by: Tom | August 27, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh boy, time to put Cohen out to pasture. Had Hillary presented glowing "personal anecdotes" about Barack, Cohen would have been the first to say how disingenuous she was being. Since she took the approach she did -- a fantastic and substantive one at that -- he still has to whine and moan (probably from the comfort of his pajamas and fluffy slippers).

Posted by: WV-DC | August 27, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

To Funny:

"McCain is a moderate republican, which I deem the best choice for president."

McCain's voting record is firmly conservative. Do your homework.

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

I disagree with Cohen's comment that it was terrific night for McCain. I dont't know how he can say that after Ms. Clinton gave a woderful speech to unite the party which is going to happen. Mr. Cohen you're wrong.

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

Mr. Cohen we respect your opinion. Lots of Internet traffic will be reading your article. We disagree with you but hey this is a democracy! Hillary was great and inspired us to come together. So I hope you don't mind if we court some voters with our own virtual internet concert for Obama/Biden.

The Chantay's - Pipeline (Lawrence Welk Show)

Leesha Harvey- Coal Train

John Mellencamp - Small Town

Bruce Springsteen - Radio Nowhere

Obama/Biden 08

Posted by: Eagle nas gadooshu | August 27, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Just to knock down a few frequently-occurring straw-man arguments here:

1) Gerson and Cohen are both spinning for the Right. Anybody who thinks otherwise isn't paying attention.

2) Hillary isn't offended about the VP thing. Inside word is she didn't want to be VP and REALLY didn't want to be vetted.

3) Hillary's job was to say the two things she said: Her candidate is Obama, and the future of the Republic depends on electing him, because McCain is poison and we've already been drinking that poison for 8 years. One more swallow and the Constitution is dead.

Posted by: martimr1 | August 27, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Re James King's comment---Mr. Cohen had an affair with Peter Jenning's wife? Where did that come from, and is it true? I'm almost embarrassed to be the first person to ask about it since Mr. King posted his comment over an hour ago.

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

OK, Obama is still pretty unknown. We all know John McCain!
We know he is 90% with Bush. We know he is beholden to that wing of the Republican Party that still thinks women should be barefoot, pregnant and subservient. We know he voted against equal pay for women.
And now we know how many houses he owns!
I'll vote for the person who I KNOW is on my side, thank you.

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

Hillary went out of her way to be civil in her speech last night.

She's not going to fabricate something that McCain's hatchet men would pull apart instantly.

She did a fine job. Now, with that job in hand, onward to a Hillary victory in 2012.

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

Madeline @ 11AM: "I think Richard Cohen makes a good point. HRC basically said that if you love what I stand for then vote for Obama. She did not say anything positive about Obama in a direct and personal way."

I am not surprised that neither you nor Cohen understand the point Hilary was making. It does not matter about what Hilary thinks of Obama as a person. It does not matter if Hilary does or does not have a lovely anecdote about Obama. What does matter is the issues at hand. What Hilary was saying that matters is that a vote for Obama is eqiuvalent to voting for the issues that Hilary has supported and fought for her entire political career. Personal feelings are irrelevant; it is the issues affecting all Americans that truly matter.

Unless you, Cohen, and any disgruntled Hilary supporters realize that fact, the same policies that have been promoted the last 8 years will continue. That was the point of Hilary's speech. You want happy feelings and smiles - go watch the Teletubbies. Actually, the Teletubbies could probably provide more insight than Cohen.

Posted by: Surly Duff | August 27, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

It's about the lowest common denominator and it always will be. It's not about Hillary, her past, present, or future asperations or accomplishments or Barack for that matter. It's about everyday John Doe Americans, every make and model, accepting personal responsibility for there share of this American dream. That's what makes Barack Obamas story so compelling. A Black man, no disrespect to all you women out there who have lived with discrimnation, who is transending perhaps the most previlant and persistant plight on this country and it's people. Clasification, catagoriazion, subjection, and flat out disrespect for another human being based solely on skin pigment, cultural, and social background. Barack has, and is, raising the bar for all people of color. This coming from a Caucasion American of Europian descent that has known privilage. Hillary, perhaps aware of and compelled to find the moral high ground, falls short time and again through no fault of her own. She's throttled by our history a fact made all too apparent by the pundents and the demoographics on their screens. All those rural white americans longing for the good old days. Her block. These are extraodinary times and it's a pleasure to see, though dimmly and perhaps in the later hours of this experiment called America, a black man once considered a fraction of a human being in this state rise up. He transcends in a way no other has done before him and that makes me proud to be and American. Proud because I get it, we get it, because we can.

Posted by: SRich | August 27, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Madeline @ 11AM: "I think Richard Cohen makes a good point. HRC basically said that if you love what I stand for then vote for Obama. She did not say anything positive about Obama in a direct and personal way."

I am not surprised that neither you nor Cohen understand the point Hilary was making. It does not matter about what Hilary thinks of Obama as a person. It does not matter if Hilary does or does not have a lovely anecdote about Obama. What does matter is the issues at hand. What Hilary was saying that matters is that a vote for Obama is eqiuvalent to voting for the issues that Hilary has supported and fought for her entire political career. Personal feelings are irrelevant; it is the issues affecting all Americans that truly matter.

Unless you, Cohen, and any disgruntled Hilary supporters realize that fact, the same policies that have been promoted the last 8 years will continue. That was the point of Hilary's speech. You want happy feelings and smiles - go watch the Teletubbies. Actually, the Teletubbies could probably provide more insight than Cohen.

Posted by: Surly Duff | August 27, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

There is nothing good to say about Obama. She did the best she could given the limited resume of the "chosen one".

All the talk of Unity is just a smoke screen for Obama's devisive nature and his inablilty to lead. Obama talks of reaching across the isle but he can't even reach out to the Clintons and unify the party. His loss to McCain in november is going to destroy the once great democratic party.

I was so proud of Hillary last night. She was more presidential than ever. She showed everyone how badly they blew it when they voted for Obama.

Hillary has positioned herself very well now. She can pick up the shattered pieces of the democratic party after the election and remake it into a more moderate, tempered tool. One that reflects the values of moderates and the majority of americans. The far left kooks will get banished to siberia.

Posted by: Hillary2012 | August 27, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't disagree with Cohen here. Hillary could have mentioned that SHE LOST the primary race and that her tongue wagged thusly as an opponent in that race. Then she could have denounced the McCain camp for using her primary race words against Obama now. God help us if McCain picks as VP any of his primarry opponents.

Posted by: Betty Jean | August 27, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't disagree with Cohen here. Hillary could have mentioned that SHE LOST the primary race and that her tongue wagged thusly as an opponent in that race. Then she could have denounced the McCain camp for using her primary race words against Obama now. God help us if McCain picks as VP any of his primary opponents.

Posted by: Betty Jean | August 27, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I might as well add to the flurry of hate mail on this article. It's a joke. Pointless Hillary bashing like this is the reason the democratic party could lose the election.
If you can't report the facts, don't report anything at all.

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

I agree-- I'm sort of tired of Cohen's take on this entire tamasha. It's one thing to be analytical, and another to live in some bizarre bubble. Sir, I am not of your bubble, but I am your reader. Write what I wish to read.

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

Richard Cohen is 100% right. The Clintons and their Clintonista leadership: Carville, Begala, Wolfson, Rendell could not stay on message and do their damn well to pump up the party. Instead, they made this a typical Clinton drama, highlighting their self importance, how they could have done things better and undermining the Obama campaign subtlely. But the subtext was clear. On the surface, Hillary did what she had to, but in the shadows, I just think that they are angling for Obama's narrow defeat and then to hold the party hostage in 2012 by saying, we can deliver the people that Obama could not.

Posted by: Christopher London | August 27, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

The fact is that Hillary Clinton and all her democratic supporters are well aware of Nobama shortfallings and inadequacies and we understand that the serious problems our country is facing requires a president that has the experience and knowledge to fix them efficiently.

Clinton supporters love our country and know we can not afford an affirmative action president and that is why we can not vote for Nobama and will have to make a difficult choice in the November elections between staying home and not vote or be responsible and vote for John McCain, a patriot that loves and cares for America in his conservative way.

There is only one person to blame for the division of the democratic party: Barack Nobama!

He missed the opportunity of uniting the democratic party and creating a strong ticket by accepting the fact that 18 million democrats support Hillary Clinton and she was the best option for VP.

Shame on you Nobama!

Posted by: Manolete | August 27, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Could we please just go ahead and hold the presidential election next week? I for one have no time for all the useless blather between now and early November. And none of that blather will change the fact that Obama will lose in a landslide.

What's next from the donkey party: a high school graduate with no work experience...?

Next time, Democrat party, please nominate someone who can actually win and who can actually govern the nation. There are many of us independents in the nation who would vastly prefer a two-horse race.

Posted by: Mark | August 27, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I thought it interesting, how Hillary during the primaries called Obama not qualified, and in her speech last night, still didn't call him qualified, but she did say she has been in the "trenches" for 35 yrs. It sounded like a vote for me speech, oh, yea, and vote for Obama, if things don't work out in the roll call.

Posted by: Rusty | August 27, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Was Obama talking about Hillary when he made his now infamous "bitter" comment?

Because she is and she doesn't hide it well. She just comes off as a shrew and there isn't any changing that. Her die hard fans are shrewish too.

Posted by: Sparky | August 27, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

OMG! Hillary gave the most impassioned speech possible supporting Obama and giving her supporters meaningful reasons to vote for him. And Cohen conjures up the paltry criticism that she wasn't sincere because she didn't "humanize" him enough???? Because she didn't say "I like him!!???" I'm not voting for a nanny, Cohen, I'm voting for the President of U.S. I don't give a rat's patootie whether Hillary or anyone else "likes him." I want to know Obama's priorities for the country and Hillary told me. If she had spouted the kind of pap you're suggesting, it would have been meaningless. This column truly reflects Cohen's intention to criticize the Clintons even if he has to make himself look really stupid, petty, and unprofessional in the process. And he succeeded tremendously at that!

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

Cohen is just spewing sour grapes. Her speach was fantastic, well delivered, and hit all the marks. Cohen is just like Sean Hannity, trying to find something to fault in her speach. Cohen is just an negative, droll dolt.

Posted by: Kelly Stevens | August 27, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Been following Cohens scribblings all week, and in every single one it's "Bad for Obama". Cohen, the man who wrote before the invasion of Iraq "Anybody who doubts Saddam has WMDs is either a fool.....or French!" still can't stand the idea of anyone who doesn't believe the war was a good idea being President. Cohen is pathetic and out of touch, just part of that axis-of-neocons (like Krauthammer and Hiatt) who will support the invasion (with words, not deeds) till the last soldier dies for a lost cause. Does anyone think Cohen is honest or serious?

Posted by: Marc Edward | August 27, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Cohen. A tired confused old man. That makes two of them

Posted by: Polaris | August 27, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Obama/Biden. Republicans are going to eat this ticket up. The ads that will use Biden's own words criticizing Obama are going to be fun to watch.

Posted by: Simon | August 27, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Cohen is just spewing sour grapes. Her speech was fantastic, well delivered, and hit all the marks. Cohen is just like Sean Hannity, trying to find something to fault in her speech. Cohen is just an negative, droll dolt.

Posted by: Kelly Stevens | August 27, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Clinton delivered a good speech and Obama will beat McBain..cose closed..good job HC..go Barak..

Posted by: Mr.Truth | August 27, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

experience, experience, experience...

does experience making bad decisions count?

How much experience did JFK have before he became President?

Judgment counts more than experience. Hillary showed extremely poor judgment in her attacks on Obama this spring, which is why we see these McCain ads where Hillary is endorsing McCain.

We saw poor judgment in the Hillary camp even considering presenting Obama as "unAmerican" (in the Atlantic Monthly memos). With the Clintons it's all "me, me, me" and the country be damned.

McCain is a loose cannon, who has completely lost his moorings. He has lost his moral compass, and will do anything to get elected. I guess he now embraces the methods of Bush, as well as Bush himself. Having lost the 2000 SC primary because he allowed Bush/Rove to spread false rumors about McCain having an illegitimate black child, McCain is willing to make an sort of false statement it takes to become President.

Anyone who wants to know about McCain's moral fiber should read:

Posted by: hmp | August 27, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Cohen is 'yes' man and of no value to people of the United States of America. Lying , misrepresenting, and blind support have no place in 21st century America.

Posted by: data khan | August 27, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Hillary's speech was a vote for me, but if roll call votes don't work, then, I guess, vote for Obama. she still didn't sell him as qualified to be president. But she pointed out, she's been in the trenches for 35 yrs.

Posted by: swinko05 | August 27, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

How can anybody suggest that what she did was bad for the Democratic Party? What she did was GREAT for the Democratic Party. She explained to everybody what it means to be a Democrat. That is what her and her husband have always been best at.

So what if she didn't praise Obama. Everybody has their own part in this theatrical production. Tuesday was Bash McCain night. Thursday will be Praise Obama night.

Posted by: DR | August 27, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

It's interesting that all the McCanin pundents are spending their time discussing what Senator Clinton "didn't" say. The speech could only last so long, and she used the time to remind people of what she believed in, then said Barack Obama shared her beliefs, the reason why she's charging all of her followers to now join her in backing Obama. That was all she needed to say. I would expect even if the speech had lasted four hours Cohen would probably have pointed out Senator Clinton did not mention that Obama has a nice looking mouth or some other miniscule point. Let's see what the former opponents of McCain "leave out" of their speeches, that is if the republican convention has the guts to do what the dems. did and let them talk at all.

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

Only Obama can "humanize" himself. Nobody can do it for him.

Posted by: Bob | August 27, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Hillary did more or less what was asked of her in the only way she's capable of doing it. I didn't expect her to do his entire job for him in one speech after he knocked her out of the race (one that she expected to win). True competitors won't apologize and will be very brief in acknowledging their recent competitor's positives. And quite honestly, if her supporters are dumb enough to actually vote for McCain just because she's not on the ticket, then we are in a much deeper sinkhole than the republicans have set up already over the last 8 years.

I mean seriously - if Barack and Hillary were so similiar on so many issues (based on their numerous debates), how is it such a stretch to vote for the guy. And what - just 'cause McCain is twice as old as Obama makes him more ready? Has he been president anywhere else? No - I didn't catch that on his resume either. So how exactly is he more ready? Bush was older than Obama 8 years ago as well - did that make him readier? Stop being stubborn and wake up - if you were to clear the slate, erase the 2 candidates names & pictures, and just simply look at their opposite points of view on major issues - this would be a no brainer.

Posted by: Matt | August 27, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

There is so much perversion in Cohen's article, if I get started, I would feel like I was talking down to him.

Posted by: Doug LaPlante | August 27, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Hey, maybe all these Fortune 500 companies can hire high school students to run their operations. After, it seems that experience doesn't count.

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

The Clintons are so petty, so self absorbed, so egotistical, and so blinded by their own self serving ambition........ this could not have been a surprise to even someone who suffers from a total lack of judgment such as NOscama.

That he would include someone who has nothing good to say about him only goes to show the extreme desperation of his current situation. The whole affair points to his need for her supporters nonetheless because he surely knows without them - NOscama will return to obscurity where he perhaps best belongs.

Posted by: Robert Campbell | August 27, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

To Moe:

Yes, Cohen had an affair with Jennings (ex)wife:

Posted by: James King | August 27, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

If you McCain supporters think for one minute that McCain is not MORE OF THE SAME, then you do not understand how the executive branch works. The Republicans have devoured the government agencies that operate under the executive branch (the patent office, FEMA, the EPA, Homeland Security, etc.) so McCain would provide more of the same failed leadership with Republican rule.

Posted by: Lucy | August 27, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

good lord, you are becoming nothing but a Johnny One Note with a tired refrain.

whatever you're drinking, it must be strong stuff ... I'm neither a Clinton-lover nor an Obama-lover but I sure think you got it about 180 degrees backwards (again).

Posted by: fendertweed | August 27, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton's speech and delivery were both excellent. It doesn't matter what her feelings are or what her personal agenda is. She did her job and she did it superbly. Obama and Democrats in general should be very satisfied with the performance. Yes, it was a performance but so it is every time any politician stands out to publicly speak - including Obama - every time. She deserves congratulations.
Hillary Clinton is without contest an amazing woman. She would have and still may make an incredible President. She works hard and is accomplished. Liked or hated she would have worked for the people of the U.S. and the world. I will vote for Obama but I wait for his halo of popularity to wear off once he is elected. It will happen and it will be interesting.

Posted by: Adam | August 27, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

We DON'T WANT stories or a joker; we want a &*^%ing winning ticket!!!!!!!!! It's not about Hillary; it's about a fair, on air roll call - Alabama throught Wyoming. Why should she say "nice things" about a man that discounted women, values voters, and hispanics. This has been a Kennedy Family-Dean-Pelosi cabbash from the get-go.
Hillary/Richardson 08.

Posted by: JC | August 27, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

It's not Hillary's job to tell a few jokes, at her own expense, to tell America what Obama is like...that's the job of the candidate and his staff. Hillary will get the blame if he Democrats lose, but will surely not get the credit she'll deserve if he wins.

Posted by: JAL | August 27, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Hillary did say nice things about Obama, but do we believe her. I believe she is a party faithful that said what the party wants her to say, but deep down she wants Obama to lose so she can run in 2012.

Posted by: JOHN | August 27, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"But Clinton, as we all know, does not apologize."

If you know this, why are you asking her to do it, then? Pundits are a trip.

The speech was fine.

Posted by: mypitts2 | August 27, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it was a lot all about Hillary. It was her history making campaign; it was her 50% votes. It was also, all about us, her 18 million voters who have felt so heartbroken and in need of someone to remind us that a presidential campaign is more than a committment to a person. The goals of her speech were clear. She accomplished her goals in a magnificent way. She succeeded. Nothing rang clear to me than her question, "Were you in this for me only?"....She set the priority. It was not her job to tell anecdotes about the man, Obama. She does not know him as well as his family and long-time friends and associates who have done a good enough job of that. That story is done. It was not her job to apologize for her campaigning as his opponent any more than it is Obama's job to apologize for disrespecting the former President of his own party and for the "dirty campaigning" of his own, which is always in the eye of the beholder. It was her job to bring her supporters, all of us having such a difficult time, on board with support and votes for Obama, and to do it with conviction. She did this and much more! She is the consummate professional, a class act, a true leader. Those people she spoke of love her. We need to transfer our hopes to someone else. She made that a lot easier with her dignity and her truth to self. Anything other than what she did would have been hypocritical and not to the point.
Tonight, we get the heavyweights of Prez Clinton and Sen Biden to speak of "experience"....who ever has "experience" to be President of the USA. Nothing can prepare you for it unless you have done it before. The secret is to be motivated for the right reasons: service, not power; to have a logical, orderly thought process that facilitates problem solving; to surround yourself with credible, intelligent, knowledgeable people who also desire to serve; to listen to many opinions; to make decisions based on factual information and not phoney baloney. One would have thought Chaney would have had the "experience" to guide the president of the baseball team. What he brought to the table was a consumed desire for power and greed, a paranoia that necessitates his spending most of his time in undisclosed locations, and a total disregard for the Constitution.
"Tell me who you walk with and I will tell you who you are."
The woman is magnificent; she was smashing! And you and the rest of the sexist, biased, MSM can just eat crow. She has, for me, in her speech and her character, resolved all of the injustice and heartbreak I have felt for over 18 months of a grueling, difficult campaign wherein it seems the dogs were after her, chasing with torches, calling her names, and she kept going, kept going, kept going!!

Posted by: TJ | August 27, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

As per "Funny":The desperate efforts to compare McCain with Bush by some liberals are amazing. McCain is not Bush, simple and clear. McCain is a moderate republican, which I deem the best choice for president. People are not stupid, liberals.

Funny - McCain proclaims himself a "proud Conservative" he brags about his ultra conservative credentials. He wants to stack the Supreme Court against Roe V Wade, he wants to privatize Soc Sec, continue giving tax breaks to the richest one percent of our country and the oil companies and continue to provoke and bully the world with cowboy international politics. So when you say "people are not stupid - liberals" and you mischaracterize McCain as a "moderate" you are not only fooling yourself you making yourelf appear to be the one who is "stupid".

Posted by: Madeleine | August 27, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

James King: "More than enough time to put you "back in your place" as a female."

And that would be different than what the Obama's have attempted to do to Hillary? Please do not pretend to lecture me on what being a female is like.

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

Lets face it folks, politicians serve up vomit and nothing else. At least Ms. Clinton did not spray paint it like Mr. Obama does.

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

What speech was Cohen watching? It doesn't matter. He was determined to view in the light least favorable to Hillary, along with his hack colleague, Milbank.

While virtually every real reporter watching the event saw Hillary's speech as gracious and deeply supportive of Obama, Cohen "reads between the lines" and sees something sinister and insulting.

But this is what your mainstream media hacks always do when the facts don't fit their preconceived narrative. They make sh*t up.

I'm glad to see others on this board are tired of this kind of clowning as well.

Posted by: Monk | August 27, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Hillary kept quoting about the struggling people who need national health care, etc. But am the only one who sees the phoniness of immensely rich politicians saying that only they can do a better job of allocating tax payers' money to help these suffering people?

Why can't they create a new foundation to help with health care for the uninsured people and raise funds from rich people and contribute their own?

Obama is not that rich and Biden is still a middle class guy. Give them a chance to do something good.

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

Mr Cohen embodies the dishonest, goebelsian tactics of many journalists and “political experts” in the mainstream media. When the political choice that best serves the interests of the majority is obvious, they try to create imaginary problems and divert attention from the important issues of the campaign to soap-opera like conflicts.
My American friends, please vote for John McCain. This will accelerate the downfall of the US empire and will facilitate the end of American hegemony in the economic and scientific field. Mr McCain will continue the good work initiated by his predecessor and will further weaken the international position of the USA, decreasing the capability of your country to intervene in order to support its own interests. This will be great news for the rest of the world.

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

I thought the speech was absolutely incredible. Perfect. McCain is beholden to the same constituency as Bush now. Whatever moderate leanings he may have, he will do their bidding. Wake up, America. Please wake up. Obama is not perfect, but he is INFINITELY better than more of the same; and this is what Hillary made abundantly clear last night.

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

I guess it never occurred to you that the fault is with OBAMA. Hillary couldn't come up with anything because there is nothing to come up with.

Obama got to where he is because of an adoring, unquestioning press. But you put Hillary under an sexist microscope and now you expect her to bow to the man who defeated her with the MSM's help and when she does, you say it isn't good enough.

This isn't about wanting Hillary to show unequivocal support for Obama to you. She SHOWED that. No, it's all about wanting her total, abject, humiliation - or maybe just her annihilation. Then and only then will you be satisfied.

It isn't up to HILLARY to elect Obama. That would be the job of his campaign and his supporters. But I find it interesting, and typically hypocritical, that the same woman you so eagerly trash is the the only one you seem to think can save Obama.

And if the worst happens and Obama loses - because a combination of the McCain enabling press and whatever Diebold is calling itself these days will see to that - you won't blame Obama's lousy campaign. You won't blame the MSM's double standards. You won't blame the usual Republican criminal activity. No, you'll blame HILLARY CLINTON because a strong woman who can't be beaten down by the likes of you is the scariest thing you can conceive of.

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

Tamerina: "And that would be different than what the Obama's have attempted to do to Hillary? Please do not pretend to lecture me on what being a female is like."

So what exactly did the Obamas attempt to do to Hillary? It can't be the "Commander in Chief Test" comment or other disparaging remarks about his "experience" because that was all Hillary. Come back with something substantial . .like maybe something that he actually SAID to Hillary to "lecture her on what being a female is like".

For someone claiming 35 years in the trenches, she should've known better.

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

Notice the McCain supporter talking points:

We "know" McCain - code for we KNOW McCain is white and Barack is Black. If you actually KNEW McCain, you'd know that his voting record pisses on 99% of American;

Barack is an "affirmative action" candidate - Once again, racist code for "he's Black." Forget that affirmative action has done far more for women than minorities. More fear-mongering;

He's "haughty" - that's code for "that uppity negro should learn his place." Maybe he should do a soft-shoe tap... that should soften you up, right;

He's an "elitist" - code for "he's intelligent and well-spoken." This one is for all the uneducated whites who still believe that minorities are taking their jobs. Forget that corporate (read: rich, white) America is off-shoring your jobs or bringing foreign workers via H-1Bs to this country to take jobs from Americans. Dirty little capitalist secret: Labor is one of the highest business expenses and one of the easiest to control. There is NO INCENTIVE for businesses to create jobs... in fact, businesses will always look for ways to cut labor costs. The only way that new, better-paying jobs will be created in the creation of NEW INDUSTRIES and job categories, like the so-called "green collar" jobs mentioned by Hillary. The Dems FAR AND AWAY have a better record of CREATING new jobs;

He's "inexperienced" - The same was said about Bill Clinton, the best president of our generation, Same was said about G.W. Bush, the worst president of our generation.

Wrong-wingers are beyond reason.

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

I am getting tired of Mr. Cohen. Weary, really. It is to be hoped that he will retire sometime soon.

Posted by: Neerja | August 27, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with this. Last night I worried Hillary wouldn't deliver. She surprised me by using the support words during her first line. I was also happy with other aspects of the speech. I didn't, however, appreciate all the focus on her (lost) campaign and then there was something else that left me hanging. I couldn't put my finger on it, but Cohen did.

Posted by: ChicagoDP | August 27, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Tamerina - you obviously NEED to be lectured because you don't know the difference between a political campaign and destructive policy.

Your high horse won't protect you from a Republican agenda designed to oppress you.

Posted by: James King | August 27, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Hillary was outstanding.............and Cohen is just like I thought he would is all MSNBC/FOX Idiots. One can only expect hatred from all the Press. I have not found one that is decent. I just knew last night that they would act like they thought she did a great job and then rehash to hatefulness in the morning.

Posted by: jane | August 27, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

OMG, despite his liberal orientation, I do believe Richard Cohen is at heart a bit of a male chauvinist pig (to use the nomenclature of his generation).

Senator Clinton and Michele Obama are both amazing women. Their speeches were totally appropriate to what they needed to achieve and should not be judged for failing to hit untenable targets.

Senator Clinton, like her or not, has achieved something no woman has before. Like her or not, she recognizes this and so do most who support her. She is now, to some extent, a symbol who transcends the vagaries of personality. Give her her due and back off.

And now, let her get back to work. Thank heavens she's still in the Senate.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Fendertweed, Neerja, Doug La Plante, Kelly Stevens, Polaris, Marc Edwards to name a few. Cohen has lost it and his views are way way off the mark. Doubt I'll be reading many more of his columns. Smashing night for McCain - what garbage.

Posted by: MEW | August 27, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Everybody knows EXACTLY who Obama is. A deeply intuitive and intellectual man who is absolutely confident in himself, and this man is black. Not only that, but he is quite obviously charismatic, good looking, has a beautiful family, is athletic, and has a dry and smart sense of humor.

People are envious of and spiteful towards Barack Obama, finito. We know EXACTLY who he is, he is the guy who you could never beat in a single thing. And he was always respectful about it; not only was he better than you, but he knew it and didn't mean to hurt your feelings about it.

People want imperfection... what fun is it never to be able to say, "man, our president is an idiot." Even when Obama is wrong about something, it seems he realizes it and reconsiders his position... Flip-Flop. Sick, because people are so often wrong, their "convictions" convince them that they are somehow right anyway.

Right now many people are dealing with their conviction that a black man is not intellectually capable or morally fit to lead our country... when the evidence right in front of their eyes is telling them they are so incredibly wrong... so much for convictions.

So some will say he disrespected hillary and all women, and some will say he isnt passionate enough. Some will say he is elitist, and some will say he just doesn't have enough experience. They don't want perfect, they want somebody they can really relate to, A COMPLETE ****ING IDIOT.

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

The Obama cult will not rest until Hillary gets on her knees in front of The One on prime TV. Only then will she be deemed sincere.

Posted by: KJH | August 27, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Cohen: Get lost. You're so much in the tank for Obama that Obama can do no wrong and Hillary can do no right.

Posted by: Democrat | August 27, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I think the high altitude of Denver must have left Cohen a bit light headed when he wrote this drivel. Clinton was not Obama's roommate in college or his long time neighbor or "traveling pants" buddy. She was his OPPONENT. It was not her function to laud all the great qualities of Obama as a human being to syrupy excess. That job goes to others who have had personal, as opposed to political, relationships with Obama. Her job was to pour political cement in between the cracks between the two formerly opposing groups of primary supporters and of the two make one again. And she did it with honor, grace and smarts. Kudos to her. Cohen, get some oxygen before writing your next column from Denver and clear your head.

Posted by: Tim | August 27, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

All you 'bama lovin' liberal tools really loooooved the Clintons when they were in the WH.

Of course the speech was about her; she was speaking to HER supporters. Not Independents, not moderates, not the general public, but to her supporters and addressed their concerns.

I want to see the real bloodletting when Barrack Hussein loses.

Posted by: Stick | August 27, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The best way to cut off Obama is for Hillary to run as independent and take half the democrats away with her. Is that what Cohn want? Hillary has done more than enough to support his candidacy symbolized by a counterfeit president seal. She did it graciously. Just look at Obama's thug wife while Hillary speaks. All you can see was hatred. This is no leadership, and the election is Obamas' to loose, and it is themselves to blame.

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

Mr. Cohen, can you spell Israel? Its OK to come out and say it. Obama doesnt convince you of his support for Israel first last and always. I realize you dont think Mr. Obama wont protect your precious ersatz homeland, but he has no other choice. So, start finding something positive to say about Mr. Obama or you will be labeled like your pals at AIPAC with being an Israel firster rather than an America firster.

Tony Gillotte

Posted by: Tony Gillotte | August 27, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Stick - Thanks for reminding me...

His middle name is "Hussein" - I guess, by this reasoning, everyone named Hussein is a terrorist. More ignorance for the wrong-wing.

Posted by: James King | August 27, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Hillary did great, she's always been smart. He would have annihilated any other opponent in the primary. Anyone who says otherwise is a republican or part of the media.

The speeches at this convention have been great and sincere, the coverage has been a media sham.

Posted by: Alex | August 27, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"God Knows" just refered to Michelle Obama as a thug and said all you could see was hatred in her eyes... Given the fact she was transfixed by the speech and pasionately applauding, that is some really really RACIST stuff. Our country would be sick to agree with that stuff... rise above.

Posted by: Alex | August 27, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Senator Clinton was practicing the old adage that "if you have nothing good to say about someone, say nothing at all."

Maybe Obama just doesn't give her anything to work with.

That's his problem. Don't make it hers.

Posted by: Lynn | August 27, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I agree with posters here that it was not up to Hillary to humanize or extol Obama. But Cohen is absolutely right that the speech was all about her, that it did not do a thing to assuage the bitterness many of her supporters feel--bitterness that was encouraged and fomented by Clinton's campaign long after it was obvious to the most casual observer that she had lost. Her praise of Obama yesterday was faint and generic, and could not help him with her supporters, nor did she attempt to redress the irrational fears her campaign flailingly sowed with the general public.

I hope Obama IS able to make the case for himself convincingly and put aside people's doubts. Any would-be president must ultimately do this. Should he lose a close election, however, the favor will be doubly repaid in 2012. The Democratic party will be further split along the same lines Clinton etched in her regrettable campaign. It did not have to be this way.

Posted by: ytomer | August 27, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen exemplifies the Obama cheering crowd in the MSM and the star-struck Obama fans who put an impossible burden on Hillary Clinton's shoulders--to whip her supporters into lining up behind Obama. By now attacking her, in spite of an extraordinary speech that left no doubt that her supporters must cast their votes for Senator Obama, they set her up as the scapegoat in case Obama himself fails to secure victory in November.
For more on this, read:

Posted by: BrigN. | August 27, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Now Cohen is an OBAMA supporter?

McCain shills, please stop. You are an affront to intelligent people everywhere.

Posted by: James King | August 27, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I should not comment because I went to bed before Hillary spoke. But from the number and range of comments it seems to me that there is some confusion in the "mission statement" of the convention. Michelle Obama tried to be a cheerleader but at this point it does make me wonder - is that still needed? Some of the "bytes" from the speeches makes me feel that they sound like a political science major would say. Hope somebody gets this act togehter!

Posted by: Frank | August 27, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, can't agree. I don't see the Dems as being a party that will simply fall into line. That's for the steadfast GOP voters. Hillary ran a great campaign and deserved her day in the spotlight. Her voters are passionate about her and make up nearly half the delegates in the room. Why should they simply simply bow down to the person who won by a nose? They are a force in the Dem party and should be acknowledged as such.
Winning often means putting together coalitions. You don't do that by belittling prospective coalition members for taking their priorities seriously. The Clintonites had their day, now it is time for them to rally around Obama. The Obama people need to stop being do thin skinned and recognize that because there are people who don't fawn all over their guy, it doesn't mean that they're racist, dumb, blind, obstinate or anything else that comes to mind. They just see the world a little differently or have genuine concern about electing a President that has so little in the way of experience.

Posted by: TK113 | August 27, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton did exactly what she was asked to do, and exactly what should have been expected of her. With that being said, I was pleasantly surprised by the path her speech took. There was an unexpected element of surprise. When she spoke of her journey through the campaign, I wondered where Mrs. Clinton was taking us. But the suspense was exactly what was needed to highlight her support of Barack Obama. The reason die-hard Obama supporters may be disappointed is because Hillary Clinton wasn't gushing over Obama. Well she was absolutely honest. And that change while refreshing, added legitimacy to her endorsement and support.

Now, having been a longtime reader of the Post, Mr. Cohen strikes me as an attention hungry individual. Taking an opposing stand to the popular view is an important job for an opinion writer. However, Mr. Cohen seems to have made a fine art of inciting readers and attracting attention to himself by making flagrant statements or taking an unpopular and often incorrect standpoint on a subject.

One visit to his wikipedia profile ( ought to clear any doubt. The man who thinks that "Isreal itself is a mistake" and that "Algebra is useless" is nothing more than a cross between Ann Coulter and Paris Hilton. For a newspaper of the caliber of the Washington Post to run editorials by such "sensationalist journalists" only detracts from its prestige.

Posted by: Alok Shah | August 27, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Sounded to me like a semi-subtle bid to seek the 2012 nomination. I expect the same from her spouse, but not as subtle.

Posted by: Lu Franklin | August 27, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Hillaty did it all right.
She gave Obama her support and outlined their common agenda. And pointed out DP winning in November as the main goal.

She was not supposed to tell people out there how she loved him. She did not.
And there are too many love and worship him.

Posted by: vanitsky | August 27, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Richard Cohen, phony liberal, has long been a front for the GOP. His transparent practice of psyops has never been very proficient.

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

Clinton gave a pretty good speech that touched her supporters and stoked her and Bill's egos. The entire Clinton run for the nomination has been a gift to McCain. He's even taking ad talking points from her speeches! I guess we all should have just sat there and took it when the Clinton machine rolled in and announced that she was going to be the nominee. But, believe me, if we had nominated her, the Republicans would have been dancing in the streets. It's tough to get past HRC and onto the business of electing Obama, but we can and we will.

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

A smashing night for McCain?

You really shouldn't drink and write - you just make yourself look foolish.


Posted by: L Crider | August 27, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I hate it when a liberal writer at my liberal paper writes something that isn't absolutely glowing about my favorite candidate. When that happens I like to call him a "hack" or a neocon supporter or other perjorative terms. Of course, when he writes a favorable column I'll start praising his abilities and reasonableness once again. That's because I'm a democrat and I don't have a single moral or value that I can't compromise for one reason or another.

Posted by: No so sensitive | August 27, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Cohen is insane. What did he think she was talking about all night? Answer: the difference between Democrats and Republicans and how critical it is to support Barack Obama and defeat John McCain. Cohen wanted warm and fuzzy anecdotes about Obama? What an idiot! Hillary Clinton gave an honest, from the heart endorsement. Anything more would have been phony and would not have been believed.

Posted by: Chuck | August 27, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes it was a great night for Mccain, the speech she gave was very well crafted for her political future,and if you think she was sincere take a look at the 3'oclock ad from Mccain camp, she looked very sincere when she claimed that McCain was bringing 35 years of experience while Obama was bringing just a speech, With that ad, thanks to hillary Obama is destroyed, for the first time I believe that Obama will not win the presidency and Hillary will get her wish to run in 2012 but she will never be president

Posted by: Joe | August 27, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Dick, what speech did you watch last night? For those of us who were listening to what she had to say -- instead of dreaming up ways to write a snarky rebuttal for the next day's paper -- she gave a really thoughtful, and inspiring, speech on why Obama should win over McCain. Perhaps you're bitter that she didn't consult you for your input on the speech? I'd bet everyone could think of one thing they would want her to say, but it was her speech to give, not yours, nor mine. She nailed it and the media should stop kicking this dead horse of some mythical rift in the party. I was a whole-hearted Hillary supporter in the primaries, but being a respecter of rules, I accept that she lost and that it is time to move forward with my party's nominee.


Posted by: Hills Rocked! | August 27, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Let's see if I have this right: Cohen is complaining because we don't have a sound-bite description of Obama?

Too bad for Cohen. He might have to use his brain.

Posted by: egc52556 | August 27, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen has been writing articles against Hillary Clinton for some time now. This latest attack should come as no surprise. He obviously just simply dislikes her and is unable to write an objective piece for the WaPo.

Posted by: Tricky Dick | August 27, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"the evidence Colin Powell presented to the United Nations — some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail — had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn't accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool — or possibly a Frenchman — could conclude otherwise."

-Richard Cohen, 2003

Posted by: Jasp | August 27, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I think I must have watched a different speech than Mr. Cohen.

How exactly was it a good night for McCain when Hillary spent 5 minutes ripping him apart?

How do you think she's not nice to Obama when she endorsed him in about 5 different ways in 20 minutes?

Posted by: pierresd | August 27, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

If a Democratic chicken laid a golden egg, you'd complain that it made for a poor omelet.

Posted by: synykyl | August 27, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Cohen was right on. I watched on FOX last night and all the commentators said she didn't do Obama any favors in her speech because there was nothing said about Obama to give her supporters a reason to vote for him. I thought the comments were because FOX is a conservative station. Then this morning on Good Morning America who seem to be the biggest bunch of Obama supporters on TV, they said the exact same thing. She didn't make a case for Obama except to say we need a Democrat in the White House. She said nothing about him being qualified or ready or even that he is a nice guy. She only said he is a Democrat. All of you who think she helped him seem to be out of touch with the media professionals on both sides of the aisles. for the first time I can remember they all agree that she really did nothing to advance Obama cause. Maybe you should watch it again and also pay close attention to Bill's speech tonight. I am sure he will do the same or worse for Obama.

Posted by: John H | August 27, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Mr Cohen, come on down and get your check from the repukelicans. Wow, she backs him 100%, rips mccstanks head off and she still didn't say what you wanted, ooops I mean what the repukes wanted to hear. You're nothing but a puppet mouthpiece for a corrupt political party witnessing it's demise from the whitehouse. don't worry though, we have a Obama/Biden 08 T-shirt for ya! lolol you're such a TARD!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Cohen, Dowd, Robinson. Boring.

Posted by: Echo21 | August 27, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Why Cohen demand so much for Hillery?

I am sure it is Barack Obama's own duty and responsibility to unite the Democratic Party, as he is to be nominated.

Posted by: Shinya | August 27, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Do they have any personal history, apart from the recent campaigns, from which she might draw such a vignetter? He was pretty much a no show for most of his Senate term, as she pointed out frequently during the debates, and a nonentity on his committee, as she also pointed out during the debates? From what history is she supposed to tell tales of Obama to inspire the Democrats? She would have been slammed for hipocracy had she pulled an "I like Barry" bit. Cohen, your pen must be running out of ink - it keeps spewing the same nonsense column after column.

Posted by: Pat | August 27, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Rabbe Kohen, it must be the Hyde Park crowd with valet parking at Miss Michelle's Hospital that finds the Messiah so interllectual. It hard on us ignorant folks to understand. (je ne pas comprehdre, Ich versthe nicht, I hab koane verstand). Words just word, speeches just words.

Posted by: awheck | August 27, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"Most sentient members of the human race are by now pretty familiar with Obama’s ideology and his political positions . . . ."

Richard Cohen cannot mean this. No one knows Sen. Obama's ideology or political positions because the press, including the Post, isn't interested in exploring his ideology or political positions. The Post accepts, uncritically and without skepticism, Sen. Obama's "narrative" that he is a "post-partisan unifier."

What in his record makes anyone believe he actually is a "post-partisan unifier"? What in his record makes anyone believe he will govern as anything other than a hard-left, partisan liberal?

The Obamperor has no clothes.

Posted by: dockeppins | August 27, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

If you don't know anything about Obama its because you are a Republican and haven't taken the time to find out what you want to know about him. I don't know anything about John McCain except that he was a POW a long time ago. He is alot older than Obama so he must have done something else in his life besides being a POW. Who will McCain have on stage to tell us a bunch of cute little personal stories about him? The only thing I remember about McCains 2000 campaign is how cranky he was all the time, its no wonder he lost the nomination then. I'm still wondering how he got it this time around.

Posted by: Jann | August 27, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton is a pathetic egomaniac who just can never stop talking about herself. Fortunately, she lost to Barack Obama and she will never quite get over this painful defeat. Neither will Buba Bill, so together Team Billary can continue to be in denial and continue to each talk about how great they each are! Boring boring boring!

Posted by: widollar | August 27, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Nice speech. But it told voters absolutely nothing. Besides, Hillary's little talk was nothing more than a continuation of her campaign speech from the primary. I guess that someone need to remind her that the primary is over. I take it that the Clintons don't get that already.

This convention is really disappointing, because it's still all about the Clintons, and nothing that I can take away from the convention tells me nothing about the vision of the Democratic Party. Hopefully, only Obama can rescue this sorry convention and put the focus back on the important matters for voters.

To the DNC -- is this convention the best you can do? I find it hard to believe that this event is being sold as the "Obama convention" when in actuality, the convention is coming off as the "Clinton convention."

Gotta go and get that oxygen tank, 'cause I'm choking from the stale message.

Posted by: Yawn | August 27, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I know I won't vote for McBush!

When Hillary voted for the illegal invasion of a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, she lost my vote for good.
But since then, I've been appalled at her subtle hints during the primaries about a possible Obama assassination.

Hillary couldn't lie? Didn't she do a photo-op during the primaries about being under fire over there? And it turned out to be untrue?

Also, what is Hillary's experience? Did she serve as a Cabinet member? I'm just curious.

Barack Obama gave Hillary too much opportunity to sabotage his campaign. Hopefully, his "sharp intellect" will kick in from now on!

Posted by: Al M. | August 27, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I've gotta agree with Mr. Cohen, Hillary's speech was more notable for what she did not say than her insincere boilplate pronuncements about party unity. If she really wanted party unity, she would have ended her campaign in March rather than in June. Hillary strikes me an a very mean woman.

Posted by: Elon | August 27, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"By now, Mr. Cohen's agenda is apparent. This is a man who had an affair with Peter Jennings wife, so I don't put a great deal of stock in him as a man or a person. He will continue to attempt to influence this election with yellow journalism. He is obviously a fraud, a man with no personal scruples or journalistic integrity.

Posted by: James King | August 27, 2008 10:14 AM

Posted by: Jack Altman | August 27, 2008 10:32 AM

Well, it was news to me (or a reminder, I am not sure). And it is relevant; what did he write about John Edwards (Cohen, apparently, also dumped his wife)?

Apparently, there's aslo a sexual harassment charge in his past, which he denies, but was resolved, as I read it, by moving his office out of the building.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 27, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The idiot men like Cohen, will not be satisfied until they see Hillary lick the boots of Obama...Hillary is too classy of a woman to lick any mans boots...If Cohen loves Obama so, he can lick his boots for him, maybe this will make Cohen feel better....

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't Richard Cohen ever say one thing nice about Hillary???

Posted by: Joan Gosewisch | August 27, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

One question for all those lingering, digruntled Hilary supporters: Do you REALLY want to see two or three new Supreme Court seats filled by folks appointed by McCain? Come on, this IS about party and positions, and it's time to get over the disappointment and support what you believe in for the long term. Can you really say that means voting for--or allowing victory to by NOT voting at all--another term of Bush III?

Posted by: David Hassler | August 27, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

When Hillary first started running for prez seriously, I couldn't stand her and I couldn't stand the idea of having Bill back in the White House. He'd disrespected the office b4, I could see it happening again. And she'd "stood by her man", which I found equally disgusting.

Then along came Obama. It was really impressive to watch him, an unknown, do so well in the primaries. I never thought her campaign got any uglier than any other campaign, though; but people hate it when women are witchy. Men can do things like refuse to shake the other's hand, but women have to wear a smile at all times, even when they're being hung out to dry.

Hillary lost better than a lot of people have won. She showed real class. And she showed some interesting leadership. Even the stories about her whacking her staff I found to be interesting -- again, men fire their staff or fuss at them, and it's a sign of leadership. Women do it, and we're just a bunch of witches.

Over time I have come to respect Hillary a lot. I believe I would have voted for her if the Dems had put her up as their candidate.

Wouldn't it be fun if there was a roll call, and it went for Hill?

But cheer up, all. This morning I heard Glen Beck compare Obama to Mussolini. Seriously -- Beck thinks that Obama is some kind of fascist in the making, and went to great lengths to explain to us all, in childish terms, just what a fascist is and why Obama is one. Now THAT's a whack job if I've ever heard one. Can you imagine? Even Limbaugh doesn't go that far. Cohen pales in comparison.

Hill, I'll be voting for you in 2012. Hang in there.

Posted by: Lane | August 27, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

What drivel. I don't care "who" Barack Obama is or "who" John McCain is. It's crap.

The government is run by 3000 top level appointees. These 3000 will be the same people we have now if John McCain is elected. Likewise, it would be basically the same 3,000 regardless of whether HRC or Obama were the Democratic nominee.

How stupid have people become?

70% of the population disapproves of George Bush, meaning 30% approve. Yet 51% voted for him in 2004, meaning that 21% of the population are complete morons. Bush was perfectly clear about his policies and priorities and NOTHING he has done since 1/20/05 is surprising or unexpected.

80% of the people in this country think it's on the wrong track. Yet 46% plan today to vote for McCain -- to keep this country on the same track. That means 26% are complete morons -- we have more morons now than we did 4 years ago.

It's because of the mindless emphasis on the superficial and meaningless. This column is a perfect example of the intense stupidity of our political culture.

Posted by: mnjam | August 27, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Every farm animal knows that the minute you get a name your life on the farm will be easier than the dogs. If all you have is a number, however, sooner or later you are going to be on someone's dinner plate. The only way trade in your number for a name is to endear yourself so much with the farmer he doesn't have the heart to send you to the meat locker.

Senator Clinton has been scheming to how to lead Obama to the slaughter since 2004's keynote address when it became apparent to everyone with a heartbeat that he was the bright new kid. Even if she has come around and is a dedicated Obama fan, lets face it, she's not going to have too many precious moments with the man. Because you can't be cataloging nice times with someone you want to do in.

Posted by: muD | August 27, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse


What you took away from her speech was that it was a "smashing night for WcCain"????

What planet were you on last night?

Good wonder why Cohen is swinging from WcCain's nuts.

He's as clueless as WcCain is....

Posted by: WTF??? | August 27, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Hillary made a great speech. On NBC Today, news analysts reminded us that it took McCain seven years to reconcile his loss to Bush in the primaries of Election year 2000. In other words, Hillary's TEAM SPIRIT is very strong.

As for not saying something nice about Obama (according to Cohen), what more would you expect than, "Barrack is my candidate"? I think Hillary found the right balance of emphasizing POLICY vs. PERSONALITY. In other words, the election should be about POLICY not PERSONALITY.

I also liked Hillary's slogan: "no way, no how, no McCain". In other words, Democrats are on the same team, with a single purpose: ELECT OBAMA 2008.

MEMO TO COHEN: vote for who ever you choose, but don't tell us this was a "great night for McCain". That is incredible. It should be obvious that McCain was not making a speech at the Democratic National Convention, and Hillary was not promoting McCain as a spoiler. I have to wonder if you saw and heard the great speech delivered by Hillary?

Posted by: Richard | August 27, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The Post's new publisher should sack Robinson, Broder, Cohen and Krauthammer and redesign their entire Commentary page and try to inject some rational objectivity back into the stuff they print there.

Posted by: TLC20011 | August 27, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

It is sad that Mr. Cohen still feel that Hillary has not done enough in support of Barack to date. I guess to satisfy his camp she has to go out and win the election for him. When was Barack gracious towards Hillary, to my mind and in the minds of many she did a great job for him. Michelle offered Hillary a one liner not for her but for delegates support.
What else should she do for him? Enough is enough, she does not owe him anything and she has done more than enough for the Party.

Posted by: mybuddy | August 27, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

This column is patently absurd. Hillary gave an incredible speech. Richard Cohen is not a credible journalist.

Posted by: Steve Baker | August 27, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is all about Hillary. That's obvious - and it's a big reason that she should never be allowed to be president. A woman in the oval office? Fine. Hillary in the oval office? DISASTER!

Posted by: Hillary for Hillary | August 27, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

O.K. Richard Cohen, based on what I hear from you, she said everything except that she is in love with him, and unfortunately she didn't give that excuse to you to make a scandal for both of them. Right?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm laughing!

Hillary forgot to say "I like you Barack."

Am I detecting something of a hint racial condescension?

Mr. Cohen, if you're thinking of adopting a baby, and diaper-training him, Obama is not your boy. He needs you to see that he is a grown man now, and you should respect him for that.

Posted by: paul taylor | August 27, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Cohen is right. She did it for the party, not for Obama.

Obama dismissed the Clintons like he dismisses everything else he doesn't like as either inferior or racist.

Bravo Hillary. Let's not expect anything less from Bill tonight. They are both individuals with good taste and it will show as they both toss Obama aside like a used rag.

Posted by: Patriots Against Obama | August 27, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Cohen, if you have a point to make, make it. It seems today that you DO NOT. So, you are upset that Hillary Clinton did not offer an anecdote about Obama...instead choosing to outline how his approach and outlook on issues is similar to her own?

America is tired of anecdotes and sales talk. In other words, "cut the crap". We actually prefer to hear real issues discussed and how our potential leaders will address out concerns and needs as a people.

You been slammed.

Posted by: Donny | August 27, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

So tired of people like you. The best reasons to vote for Obama do not have to do with his charming personality. They have to do with his policy positions. Certainly, those are the reasons which we can expect would most move Clinton's supporters, who probably tend to assign less weight to charisma (even on your peculiarly unattractive conception of it) than do Obama's supporters. Everyone knows Obama is smart and charming. A lot of people think McCain has his own personal virtues. Clinton needed to remind her disgruntled supporters that it's the policies and politial ideology that count most, and here there is no comparison. And she made these points wonderfully.

Posted by: A | August 27, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Obama's Temple:

“Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's big speech on Thursday night will be delivered from an elaborate columned stage resembling a miniature Greek temple.

The stage, similar to structures used for rock concerts, has been set up at the 50-yard-line, the midpoint of Invesco Field, the stadium where the Denver Broncos' National Football League team plays.

Some 80,000 supporters will see Obama appear from between plywood columns painted off-white, reminiscent of Washington's Capitol building or even the White House, to accept the party's nomination for president.

He will stride out to a raised platform to a podium that can be raised from beneath the floor.”

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Clinton's lack of personal comment was the first thing I noticed about the speech. I don't think anyone would have bought her suddenly touting his experience and good judgement, but I felt like a more personal, more emotional appreciation of Obama could have been made for the very personally and emotionally loyal fans of Clintons. I've been an Obama supporter from the very beginning (since Clinton's flag-burning pandering) and think that if he addresses the pragmatic concerns of all Democrats in a more personal way (no more 75,000 units arena), Obama can make up for Clinton's inability to say one good thing about Obama's character.
Clinton didn't present herself as a beacon of feminism until the polls started showing her leads with women. Her speech, meant to fire up her voters for Obama, included way too much about her, her journey. She ran a poor campaign that revealed a fuzzy strategy and fuzzier bookeepping. She lost and now owes millions and millions of dollars. We've celebrated her efforts at the non-concession speech on the last primary night and the okay-I-lost speech 4 days later.
Hell, she's a senator in the middle of her second term, who was an enthusiastic but on-the-sidelines-spouse of a former president. If she wants to count all of her working years as experience for the president, then she's not that far ahead of Obama. I hope she is offered a very important job in the Obama adminstration (supreme court, secretary of state?) but she needs to step back and stop talking about herself and her efforts.

Posted by: Genevieve | August 27, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

The conventions are anachronisms, hangovers from a bygone era of vaudeville, minstrel shows and smoke filled rooms. Howard Dean and Internet fund raising were the last nail in the coffin of meaningful conventions- this one is mostly boring with far too many reporters and commentators. Maybe the hype would be more convincing if there was a month gap after the Olympics. Why doesn’t NPR just link to YouTube instead of wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on sophomoric commentators? I say that Hillary gave a good speech and that Bill's will probably be more self-indulgent and less compelling.

If we want change, we'll have to go a long way beyond electing Obama. War has changed, fancy missiles and aircraft are much less useful, the problems of the world have changed and the enthusiasm of McCain and many lesser pols for more drilling only illustrates how we cling to the ways of the past. Climate change is a serious issue and change won't be easy. Is our country too large to engender a spirit of community and sacrifice? Maybe yes, unless we have another Pearl Harbor.

Posted by: bobsnodgrass | August 27, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Geez, Cohen, go back to AIPAC.

Posted by: Gasmonkey | August 27, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I have to say, Rush Limbaugh's "invisible army of blog imposters" have been out in strength all over the WAPO site. He told them to pose as Dems and stir up as much phony disunity as possible nationwide/webwide.

They have been TRYING. I venture to say that no real Dems have been fooled. We know our only choice to make in November is Democrat (Obama) or Repub (McCain). Genevieve, I agree, I like the idea of Hillary as Supreme Court Justice for life. If the shoe was on the other foot, I'd like Obama in the role.

Posted by: Donny | August 27, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Cohen, if you have a point to make, make it. It seems today that you DO NOT. So, you are upset that Hillary Clinton did not offer an anecdote about Obama...instead choosing to outline how his approach and outlook on issues is similar to her own?

America is tired of anecdotes and sales talk. In other words, "cut the crap". We actually prefer to hear real issues discussed and how our potential leaders will address out concerns and needs as a people.

You been slammed.

Posted by: Donny | August 27, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

exr1 wrote: "...Senator Obama's speech when he famously said that history would mark his clinching the nomination as, "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." That's pretty self-serving, even grandiose. So it's difficult for me to fully understand your point of view."

You Republican shills never quit, do you? I know Sen. Obama's speech was really long but so you must have simply waited for the McCain machine to crank out the out-takes so you could repeat them ad nauseum. What you failed to note is the first part of the sentence you quote and its context. You conveniently left out the ellipses that SHOULD have been at the front of the sentence you cited. It wasn't about Obama's nomination but about Americans working together. And yes, it depends on getting him in the White House. That's not ego, that's fact. If you are going to act as a shill, at least be a precise shill. Correct quote below...

"Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth." Sen. Barack Obama

Posted by: Adrasteia | August 27, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I can't figure out what Mr. Cohen would have had Sen. Clinton do last night. He says he wanted "anecdotes." Really? I think most of us wanted to hear pretty much what we got; a reminder that the importance of electing a US President is vastly more important and far larger than personal hurts. And reassurance that she, too, knew that same truth.

It hasn't been easy to listen to everyone describe Sen Ted Kennedy as the perfect Democrat this week. Not when I recall the ugly floorfight he insisted upon in 1980 against Jimmy Carter. A fight he insisted upon when he had about a THOUSAND less delegates than Sen. Clinton (!) and yet, he was amongst those calling for her to drop out of the race.

Hillary did us all proud last night - Democrats, Women & Americans!

Posted by: ithinkthereforeipost | August 27, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Who cares whether she said anything nice about Obama? Did Kennedy say anything nice about LBJ. The only thing that's important about the speech is that she pointed out to her brain dead followers that if they supported her and her policies, then how in God's name could they support McCain over Obama. Hillary and Obama's policies are virtually the same. The person who should be concerned is her husband Bill. She was there as a proud Mother, a proud Democrat, etc., but she never said a proud or devoted wife.

Posted by: JT | August 27, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes Cohen! You hit it on the head. The speech was all about HER and a few snipets about uniting the party. This speech was really about setting her up for the next campaign in the next 4 years. She could have said a few kind words considering how she ripped into him during the campaidn, that would have been gracious. She forgot she got this speaking committment because of all the whining she and her supporters continue to do even after she dropped out of the campaign after losing. Still not sure of the point of the roll call other than a more pathetic attempt to keep herself in the spotlight.

Don't trust the clintons and never will and the fact they can't seem to move on graciously proves that the whole campaign was always about her self-centeredness which continues to be a neverending factor. Can't wait for her political blip to end. She thinks being wife to President was a real job that qualifies her to run country. A real JOKE! GO OBAMA 08!!!

Posted by: Susan | August 27, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

No doubt Hillary was sending out a subliminal for McCain. Or, maybe not???

Posted by: Jesse | August 27, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Cohen serves the useful purpose of irritating everyone out of their comfort zones. Keep up the "smashing' work, Richard.

Posted by: Njoka | August 27, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama, before starting his campaign, laid out his platform in great detail in his second book, "The Audacity of Hope." No one who hasn't read this book is entitled to claim that they don't know what Obama stands for. He has organized a 50-state campaign which runs like a well-oiled machine. He has chosen a very strong v-p running mate. He's ready to be President.

Posted by: oldhonky | August 27, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

If Sen. Clinton had packed any more "kind words" about Sen Obama into her speech or regaled us with some 'working-togther-in-Congress' anecdote, you guys would have been the first to rip her for being insincere.

The speech she delivered was heartfelt, honest, and will unite the party.

Posted by: ithinkthereforeipost | August 27, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama should not stand behind the Clintons and have them tell the voters, "vote for him". He must do this himself if he is as great as everyone thinks he is.

Posted by: KL | August 27, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is not responsible for Obama!!! Hello? He is.....He has to start taking responsibility. Who is he going to blame when he makes mistakes as president? Hillar?

You Clinton' haters, MOVE ON !!!!

Posted by: Maria Vitale | August 27, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Here's why you are very much off base, Mr. Cohen. Hillary made a point to say that it wasn't about her personally; it was about issues. Why then would she make it about Obama personally. I agree, maybe she should call Michelle in the morning to see if Barack is up as an indication of whether the sun is shining. Come on! What did you want from her. By the way, I think that Barack's response was on point as well. Democratic unity must be the biggest nightmare of the press, because who will they beat up on if the Clintons go away?

Posted by: CedMo | August 27, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Typical of you beltway insider types to take it as Dogma that Obama is inexperienced. He taught constitutional law for ten tears at one of the most prestigious and competitive universities in the world.

Have McCain or Hillary thought as carefully and with as much depth about how to achieve freedom and the American Dream n the face of increasing security threats and economic competition?

McCain could be any bellicose rich kid from any country on earth. For him, being American is a COINCIDENCE. For Obama, being American is an opportunity, and a responsibility.

With all best wishes,


Posted by: Amy | August 27, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Hillary and Barack...and a lesson in the angular momentum of spin, brought to you by the Rorschach-blotters, the tea-leaf readers and entrail-scrutinizers of the Press!

Any conceivable gesture of unity is either laughably artificial if proffered or glaringly conspicuous by its omission if avoided.

Did Hillary tell an anecdote? Wear an aggressive color? Jab the air with her fist? Fail to mention Bill? Blink 16.7 times each minute? Use the word "I" more than twice in a speech? It all adds up to ANOTHER SMASHING SUCCESS FOR MCCAIN!

Posted by: Adam | August 27, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Dude, what planet were you on last night? HRC's speech was brilliant and stellar and entirely appropriate. She could not have been more supportive of her former rival, even though it's questionable whether he's at all deserving (and even though, as an HRC supporter, I was not persuaded by her to drink the Obambi Kool Aid).

You'd obviously find fault with anything she does. (I'm half-surprised you didn't opine negatively on her orange pantsuit or her haircut.) And how she could have offered any more of a personal character reference of her former rival is beyond me. After all, by your own admission, it's only those "who have known him over the years" who have given the sort of Obambi "testimony" that you say is "impressive" and that, according to you, HRC should have also given. But HRC hasn't known the man that long. For goodness sake, he just emerged from the obscurity of a state legislature like, what, two minutes ago?

In all seriousness, though, they were *opponents* over the last several months, so why do you think that sort of relationship would or should have engendered on HRC's part any sort of warm, fuzzy feelings toward the guy that she would or should have talked about last night? (Recall his insulting debate remark to the effect that "you're likeable *enough*, Hillary.") For her to do so would have subjected her to charges (by you, I'm sure) of "insincerity" or "fakeness."

Besides, why is it up to HRC to go around saying "nice things" about Obambi (whatever those would be), when he has all of you gushy press types falling all over yourselves to do that for him?

Posted by: jbrumbel | August 27, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Finally, someone who saw the same speech that I did: but enough about me, let's talk about ME. She dropped a few crumbs for Obama toward the end but, as Richard Cohen points out, nothing personal.

In a vacuum, if one didn't have years of observing both Clintons' narcissism, one could pick out a few of the "right" sentences from the written text of her speech. But her delivery and the self-absorbed preamble were classic Clinton. The sooner that couple goes away, the better. They both had their chances and blew them. Enough.

Posted by: JBCinSD | August 27, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Maybe she couldn't think of one anecdote to commend him because there aren't any.

This is all too reminiscent of Bush's first term. Everything that went wrong was blamed on the Clintons. That's to be expected of Republican spin, but to tear down the one Democratic admininstration that gave us a decade of peace and prosperity is really a new low and simply an advance down payment on a possible Obama defeat.

Hear this now: the media and the DNC sold us this pig in a poke. Obama wins or loses on his own merits or failings. You cannot pin this donkey tail on Hillary or Bill Clinton.

Posted by: citizenjane | August 27, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

A question that I hope some posters will take seriously. What documented legislative activity as Illinois state senator or U.S. senator can you point out that you believe demonstrates Obama's judgment and leadership abilities?

Posted by: Simon | August 27, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Cohen and his ilk ever get tired of milking any possible rift between the Clintons and the public and ascribe nasty and evil intentions to them no matter what they do or say.

I am not a supporter of Sen. Clinton, never have been but I did admire her last night for the speech she gave.

Cohen and his ilk wouldn't be satisfied if Bill and Hillary and all 18 million of her supporters got in line to kiss Sen. Obama's A$$. Then he's complain that she was obsequious to that BLACK man and it was unseemly for a white woman to act so.

I am sometimes amazed at myself that as an old (70) white man I can pick up the racist overtones. David Gergen made the point on George Stephanopolous' program a few weeks ago that McCain is running a racist campaign with the code words they use that everyone raised in the South understands. And it looks like a lot of the Post flacks aren't ashamed of promoting it.

Posted by: jerry | August 27, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

to call your view of hillary's speech myopic would be kind. how do you manage to find your way in the world when your view is so narrow and constantly filtered through ideology. i'm not a big fan of hillary clinton but even i acknowledge that her speech last night was authentic and brilliantly delivered. you come across as more than a little constipated.

Posted by: chea prince | August 27, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was a good speech, and that at this point the minority of Clinton supporters (lets be honest, vocal minorities are still minorities despite the press exploding over the idea of a soap opera) are on board.

When I have listened in on reasons to still resist the Democratic candidate from the few ex-clintonites who still consider themselves useful threatening to vote for the candidate polar opposite the one they supported, it seems to have shifted to american idol type superficial preferences that boil down to "well, I don't care, I still have the right to abuse my right to choose".

As Clinton herself nicely put it last night, your voting for a platform not just a PR image, and the Democratic candidate is the candidate right now after 8 years of Bush and McCain's attack politics hiding a completely empty and bland man.

Why is it we know more about Obama than McCain yet all I hear about is how Barack is the one who has to prove himself human? All you know about McCain is his POW status, and that he has a record (not one I like). Stop saying Obama is everywhere yet we need to know more, what is it your really afraid of? That the right choice doesn't have to be a riddle?

Posted by: Iowa Grant | August 27, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"Still, what commends Obama to me is the impressive testimony of those who have known him over the years. In private conversations, they've told me -- sometimes in an awed way -- of what they describe as his special qualities, particularly the piercing intellect. This is the sort of testimony the American people have not heard -- or not heard enough of yet."

If Obama is unable to give any proof of his 'piercing intellect' that is nobody's fault but Obama's.

Posted by: Caronte | August 27, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

This was the most gracious speech and glowing endorsement ever given by a candidate finishing 2nd in a primary in American history. Hillary rocked it and came out strong for Barack and for the things that matter most to Democrats. The only thing you can fault her for is potentially upstaging Barack's Thursday night acceptance--she delivered a speech for the history books and political science classes of the future--the best of her career thus far. The above article, like yesterday's and like most of the media coverage is simply Republican spin, trying to chip away at any cracks in the Democratic family. Hillary emphasized what is important to her supporters and that is many of the same things that are important to Barack's supporters. We (Hillary supporters) may not get to take the path we had hoped for to reach America's promise, but we will continue to "run" and we will "keep going" and we are going to "get going" and we are going to support Barack (even if we don't really want to) because we cannot endure another 4 years: "no way, no how no McCain!" Hillary delivered what she needed to and in a big way-she called upon her staunchest supporters by appealing to what is most important to them, which frankly is not Obama's personal life.

Posted by: Driverlady | August 27, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

> "Most sentient members of the human race
> are aware of Barack Obama's position".

Well, you bet we are. That's not the problem.

The problem is that few others are.

Keep in mind this dialog between a supporter of Adlai Stevenson and the candidate:

"Every thinking American will vote for you !"

"Yes, madam, unfortunately, I need a majority."

Posted by: Toon Moene | August 27, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

After Hillary's speech, could somebody quote any of Michelle Obama's memorable phrases? Color or words are not the difference, brains are!

Posted by: Caronte | August 27, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen, If you think this helped John McCain you are out of your mind! "Barack Obama is my candidate and he must be our President." "This is a fight for the future and it is a fight we must win."
" He built his campaign on a fundamental belief that change must start from the top down .He knows that government must be about " We the people , not "We the favored few."" And when Barack Obama is in the White House he'll revitalize our economy, defend the working people of America, and meet the global challanges of our time."" No way . No how. No McCain."
The Democrats are hitting home runs. If John McCain is the answer , the question is ridiculous." " If you think the past eight years have been good you need toe vote for John McCain." " It makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities," " Because these days they're awfully hard to tell apart." I could go on and on and on but Mr. Cohen would still say?????? a good might for John McCain??? Wow

Posted by: avoter | August 27, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen, are you serious when you say "It was necessary to humanize Obama"?

Stop smoking that stuff because soon you will say that Obama can walk on water and transform it into wine!

Posted by: Caronte | August 27, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"Did Kennedy say anything nice about LBJ." What connection does a president speaking about his vice president have to do with a losing candidate speaking at the party convention about the party's nominee?
Clinton was invited (not any other former candidates who also have stellar careers) to get the party united as one behind the nominee.
Yes, it was excellent speech, making much green use of prior Clinton stump speech snippets. There was no purpose for her to speak other than to rally her sour grape supporters behind Obama. Since the elitist tag has been stuck onto Obama- yes, Clinton should have helped humanize him in her supporters eyes. Her inability to come up with testament to his character smacks of the same half-assed assessment of his religious affiliation - "He's not a muslim, as far as I know?". Really, Obama is so devoid of personal assets that she can't come up with a single statement praising his character. She did the minimum for this speech.
I fear for the between-the-lines sulking that Bill Clinton might do tonight.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

As a 60 year old woman who has always seen the naked ambition (and corporate backing) of Hillary as off-putting, the real deal killer was her war-mongering. She has the same inability to apologize that afflicts our current president, and she lost fair and square. So come off it, cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face folks who want to cut down Obama, help McCain, and be outraged that Hillary blew it.

Posted by: joanmartha | August 27, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Cohen, the next time you feel like pontificating on the topic of political selfishness, you might want to Google the name Ted Stevens. The indicted Senator easily won Alaska's GOP primary, possibly handing the seat to the Democrats.

Posted by: citizenjane | August 27, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

A question that I hope some posters will take seriously. What documented legislative activity as Illinois state senator or U.S. senator can you point out that you believe demonstrates Obama's judgment and leadership abilities?

Posted by: Simon | August 27, 2008 3:20 PM

Aside from his opposition to the War in Iraq from the start here you go:

The Lane Evans Veterans Health and Benefits Improvement Act of 2007 (S.117), "to improve benefits and services for members of the Armed Forces, veterans of the Global War on Terrorism, and other veterans, to require reports on the effects of the Global War on Terrorism."

The American Fuels Act of 2007 (S.133), "to promote the national security and stability of the economy of the United States by reducing the dependence of the United States on oil through the use of alternative fuels and new technology."

The Voter Advocate and Democracy Index Act of 2007 (S.737), "to measure, compare, and improve the quality of voter access to polls and voter services in the administration of Federal elections in the States."

The STOP FRAUD Act (S.1222), "to stop mortgage transactions which operate to promote fraud, risk, abuse, and under-development."

The Nuclear Weapons Threat Reduction Act of 2007 (S.1977), "to provide for sustained United States leadership in a cooperative global effort to prevent nuclear terrorism, reduce global nuclear arsenals, stop the spread of nuclear weapons and related material and technology, and support the responsible and peaceful use of nuclear technology."

I'd list WcCain's legislative accomplishments but he's since flip flopped on most of the bills he ever sponsored.

Imagine that....flip flopping on your own legislation!

How's that for showing "conviction"?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Mr Cohen had to have written that column before Hillary's speech. And if his view of what she said is that bias I think he needs to start writing fictions from this article he'd be pretty good at it. Maybe he needs to change his glasses so that he can view people through a different prism and maybe his hearing aid to so that he can hear with clarity of speech. From one who listened to the speech from beginning to end, boy did cohen distort what she said.

Posted by: Michael Gibbons | August 27, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I just want to know when did Hillary get experience in being the President of the USA? She was the President's wife! That does not give her experience as a President. She has experience as a US Senator the same as Barak! She couldn't even keep up with her own husband's activities. He was messing around right under her nose in the White House! Her campaigne was always out of money! She failed miserably at the one thing she was suppose to do while having access to the White House - develop and have passed a National Health Care Plan! Bill didn't even help her get that up and running. So, again I ask, "What experience does Hilary have as President of the USA!

Posted by: Esther | August 27, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Choen is certainly right on his analysis.
As for that fool Obama, He loused up by not choosing Hillary as vice president.
He would have won the presidency.

Posted by: Pablo R. | August 27, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Hillary sounded as if she were supporting Obama, but in reality, she was trying to save her political future. She divided the Democratic party and kept the divisiveness going much too long. If Obama loses, she'll have to accept a good portion of the blame. Goodby Hillary. I always thought you were more politically savvy than that.

Posted by: CRinVegas | August 27, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree with this guy completely. Hillary is me me me me me me and more me. And if she's not me, she's inserting her hideous daughterbot/clone or husband to talk about her her her her her. So boring. If I were Obama I'd be worried about anything remotely Clinton around me. The Clintons are in it for themselves and only themselves. As evidenced by 8 years of a Clinton in office. And what about Bill mugging for the camera? Ridiculous. I know you Clinton lovers will disagree but you all have your heads up your A@#$'s. Bush has been terrible, but worse still would be a Clinton. The biggest issue is that the presidency used to be something people aspired to. Now it's something they conive to. Embarrassing lot of candidates overall.

Posted by: Jake Ryan | August 27, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't mine the black skin but don 't like his red ideas. The Democratic Party is now the Socialist Party. The Republican Party is now the Democratic Party. So where do the old time Republicans go? Can someone give me a clue? We are left with no place to fit in.

Posted by: ldt1930 | August 27, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Some of the Democrats are beginning to scare me. On the one hand there are the Obama supporters like Cohen who are never happy with anything Clinton does--not the great major speeches, not the campaigning, nothing. On the other hand, there are the Clinton supporters who apparently are miffed at something and think McCain is a real alternative. And both groups seem to be unable to believe that Hillary, like many of the rest of us, really believes in the issues she has fought for her whole life. I grew up around politics and politicians, and the only real idealists I have ever met have been politicians. But who are these other people? (I mean, the ones that aren't just columnists and talking heads.)

Posted by: seller11 | August 27, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

After listening to the speech last night I honestly felt that Clinton herself would be voting for McCain, even as she has to campaign for obama. It is clear they are not on the same page - especially in the eyes of their respective spouses.
Her words showed me a bitter former candidate, and what she didn't say showed someone who hasn't bought into the current agenda. If mccain could woo her, she would make an interesting vp on his ticket...

Posted by: jesstyr | August 27, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Hillary has done more than enough for the empty suit Obama. Enough is enough . He has done NOTHING for her, He wont win because of his associations with a variety of villains. It wont be because of Hillary. More secrets will spill out on Obama and the robots that are so mesmerized by him -hELLO MAUREEN DOWD, CHRIS MATTHEWS< KEITH OLBERMAN ETC ETC will look like idiots when he is exposed as the fraud that he is,. No Bama - not way, not now, not EVER !!!

Posted by: JIMBO | August 27, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I used to *love* to read Mr. Cohen, but started losing my enthusiasm about five or six years ago when he seemed to become more negative, more bitter, more conciliatory toward George Bush and his policies. And so it was with interest that I read his column on Hillary Clinton's speech and I realize he is one of those people who loves to wallow in contention. I am a Hillary supporter, and I found her speech to be just the salve to heal the welts from the primary process. I suspect Mr. Cohen believes that she should have been submissive and fawning. Would Barack have done that had the situation been reversed? Hardly. It's the same speech he would have given. Kudos to Hillary Clinton for being a class act (that Mr. Cohen is not).

Posted by: SheRah | August 27, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Richard Cohen should take a piece of his own advice. when you can't say anything coherent that contributes to the debate, don't bother.

Posted by: SDM | August 27, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

JAMES KING: Tamerina - you obviously NEED to be lectured...

Just the type of holier than thou, blatantly sexist comment one would expect from the anointed one's male worshipers--a continuation of His campaign.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Cohen, please. "Still, what commends Obama to me is the impressive testimony of those who have known him over the years. In private conversations, they've told me -- sometimes in an awed way -- of what they describe as his special qualities, particularly the piercing intellect. This is the sort of testimony the American people have not heard -- or not heard enough of yet."

Are you joking? Why the hell do you think so many people decided to vote for him? Have you not watched the debates, the ads, the many news stories on the man? Do you not read anything besides your lame columns?

Also: "What sort of man is he? He is famously the man from everywhere, which means nowhere. He has a great and moving personal story, but he seems to withhold something -- to not need you as much as you need him. This is the essence of charisma: a cold love that goes only one way."

Does Cohen realize you can say the exact same thing about John McCain? More importantly, do we think Cohen would ever say that about McCain? Yeah, that's what I think, too.

Posted by: baltova | August 27, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

You're right, Richard.

I'll leave it for someone else to let you know that your career is in a tailspin.

Posted by: Joel | August 27, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

"Just the type of holier than thou, blatantly sexist comment one would expect from the anointed one's male worshipers--a continuation of His campaign."

Said the anonymous coward. More McCain shilling.
No facts, just fear and loathing.

Posted by: James King | August 27, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

How do you silence a Republican?

Simple... ask for FACTS.

I've read a lot of stuff from McCain supporters and I notice that absolutely none of it is fact based. Not a bit. It's either discredited lies, conjecture, or sublime racist attacks.

Wrong-wingers are liars and cowards. And so is their candidate.

Posted by: James King | August 27, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

She did a professional job and does support the nominee for the Democratic candidate. We all hope that the republicans (super rich corruption controlling via lies poorly educaed religious, patriotic, ordinary folks with wool over eyes, or cynical and selfish folk) get tossed out in the Fall. There is so much angry and unpolite, unthinking, writing here that I makes me feel not hope that the American people can work to a better future. Bravo to the folks who recognised Clintons true caring for the people of the United States of America. Racism and prejudice may rule in the end and it will be sad to see.

Posted by: westernseas | August 28, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Well, the coverage of this campaign has helped me get over my liberal bias. See, as a hyper-educated hyper-liberal, I always had this kind of prejudice that all smart, educated, articulate people were interested in substantive issues, and only people who did not have the benefits of privilege or education were interested in, well, stupid stuff. I mean, I genuinely believed that some conservatives were devoted to, you know, conservative ideas. And that their adherence to failed policies and ballsy bullies, and their espousal of "issues that mattered to real people", like Biblical creationism and homophobia, were all just part of a bargain they had to make to ensure tax cuts for the wealthy, oh, I mean free markets and unfettered growth, and stuff.

But I'm kind of getting the feeling that Cohen and other aging WaPo columnists and some teevee guys like Tweety and maybe even David Brooks, actually believe the pablum that they shovel at, you know, Real Americans.

Who is this Obama guy? What does he actually believe? What is he hiding?

If only he would write a book, maybe two. Or make a web site that had excruciatingly detailed policy papers, perhaps in easily downloadable pdf format. And I sure do wish his wife would stop lording that Harvard-Princeton crap over us all and talk about her family life. What kind of parent is she? Who were her parents? Did any of them have autoimmune diseases or anything? Do these people even love their children? How fast do the drive when coming home from the hospital? Who sits in the back with the baby?

I mean, perhaps my own Ph.D. from Columbia has advantaged me to be able to operate a keyboard, read from a screen, and listen, really listen, when people are speaking on my teevee. And maybe these journalists, like Cohen, have not had the benefit of a Ph.D., so I need to be less biased, less judgmental.

Well, the Chardonnay is getting warm and the arugula is starting to wilt. So I better get back to it.

By the way, I'm reading this really good book, called "The Audacity of Hope".

Posted by: maryQ | August 28, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

The American people are past the point where they need anecdotal frame work to elect a president.

They need someone who will tell them the truth, and Obama did that.

Hilary told all the truth she had to tell.

Obama wins, and the old man goes back to however many homes he owns.

Mr. Cohen is one of the many reasons we no longer subscribe to the paper version.

I wish the post better luck in the future.

Posted by: cynthia | August 28, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Cohen, please get a life, or at least get your hearing aid fixed, because you probably didn't hear the speech that everyone else did last night. Or maybe you didn't want to.

Posted by: Matt G. | August 28, 2008 3:52 AM | Report abuse

Richard Cohen has made his bed, now. The skirt-chasing, name-dropping Richard Cohen who writes to tell us that John McCain is extremely good-looking and that it would be ungentlemanly for Joe Biden to attack John McCain has made his bed, now. It's as if the Richard Cohen thinks he is the new David Broder. We can next expect that he will tell us how he too has enjoyed quail at the table of the oh-so-refined Karl Rove and his ilk. When Barack Obama is President, Richard Cohen will relentlessly smear him. He will tell us that Barack Obama came into this town, his town, and trashed the place, and it wasn't his place to trash.

Posted by: Mary | August 28, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Cohen's headline for this piece is certainly ironic. What a stretch he had to make to write this empty piece of "journalism."

Posted by: Armstrong | August 28, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Richard Cohen's problem is that Barack Obama was a young black male on 9/7/86.

Posted by: Aaron | August 28, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society. A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts."

Posted by: Publius | August 28, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I have come to respect Richard Cohen a great deal. I think he is a person of democratic leanings who can still think and write objectively. Neither party is served well by persons of irrational emotion and beliefs that do not budge regardless the reason.

Posted by: Aleks Rohde | August 29, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

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