U-G-L-Y SHE DON’T GOT NO ALIBI
Last month, I drew comparisons between Hillary Clinton and Tracy Flick, the character played by Reese Witherspoon in the movie Election, whose ambition, narcissism, and unscrupulousness swallowed up any positive traits she possessed as a political candidate. I thought, however, that the comparison was a bit harsh to Hillary and admitted as much – by acknowledging that Flick was, after all, a “stereotype.”
But that was before last night.
I don’t know how many of you had the displeasure of watching the Democratic Presidential debate in
Hillary wasn’t simply making faces; she was venting her spleen. Interrupting her opponents at will, she’d briskly unleash a diatribe against one Obama position after another. At times I felt she would mischaracterize the facts (I’m still puzzled by her criticizing him for saying he wouldn’t support any funding for the Iraq War; as far as I know, he opposed the war from the beginning, but never said that under no circumstances would he vote for war-funding bills), but then again, this wasn’t about the facts. She seemed more interested simply in showing that she was the aggressor, and as every fight fan knows, when in doubt, “give the round to the aggressor.”
Grudgingly, Hillary had to acknowledge Obama’s likeability, but that was about the only concession she made all night. Her campaign now has a mantra, which is, in essence, “Obama’s a guy who only talks about change, but Hillary will implement it.” If I heard that one time last night, I heard it ten times. And what it amounts to is the willingness to treat the Obama’s candidacy with utter disrespect. She didn’t explicitly call him an “empty suit,” but she may as well have. And this, folks, was in a primary. You can only imagine how she’d treat an opponent in a general election.
Perhaps this was a new strategy unveiled last night. Perhaps Hillary has decided that
If you’re trying to figure out the justification for Hillary’s new in-your-face strategy, look only to the words of her former co-President. After his gal lost in
“… “Nobody would be happier to see all this go away than us. But you can’t ask somebody who is at a breathtaking disadvantage in the information coming to the voters to ignore that disadvantage and basically agree to put bullets in their brains.”
Class, huh? And I think it is especially classy to use that “bullet in their brains” image to refer to a fight she is about to wage against an inspirational black candidate like Barack Obama.
Memo to Bill: You and your wife have been propped up by the media. You have no grounds to complain. It was the media who did your wife’s bidding by slamming Obama this past summer for daring to suggest that if our military had to go into
I’ll tell you why Bill Clinton invoked such a violent metaphor. It wasn’t because he wants to see someone use violence – these
The irony of Bill’s statement, of course, is that by fighting like Flick (unlike, say, the way Obama fought when he was behind in the polls this past fall), Hillary might indeed be destroying her own candidacy with the speed of a bullet. Bill might want Hillary to fight like the great Duk Koo Kim. (You might remember Kim as the Korean who fought brilliantly against Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini for 15 rounds, literally giving it all he had, but after he died from the injuries suffered in that fight, boxing reduced the number of rounds in championship fights from 15 to 12.) In fact, however, if the
Surely, Hillary’s biggest fans will enjoy performances like last night’s, just as Kim’s fans enjoyed the Mancini fight before they heard about its outcome. I can just imagine all the “You Go Girl” chants that erupted last night across the country. But if you want to win an election, you can’t just appeal to your base. You’ve got to reach out and attract the skeptical. And if many skeptics were persuaded by what they saw last night, then this country is even scarier than I thought it was.