Hillary Clinton, obvious high on confidence from winning New Hampshire, took on one of her many arch nemeses, Timmy “The Quote Machine” Russert on this Sunday’s Meet the Press on NBC.
Man, how can one person have this many people who live with only the desire to beat the crap out of her (or her husband, either will do.) I can see why the Clintons would be so attractive to a political journalist to take down. They were country bumpkin outsiders who made it into the inside and then spent eight years of partisan warfare with the Republicans never getting pinned down and living to tell about it. Who wouldn’t want to beat the alleged unbeatable?
On the other side, going the full hour with Timmy and the army of direct quotes? Dicey for any politician, even for those with the last name Clinton. It could perilous. Suicidal even. And what if she busts out with that stupid laugh again? What then?
Well, Timmy did go for the jugular and used the “you voted for the authorization of the war in Iraq” jab consistently. But per usual, Clinton refused to go down. When Russert brought up her statements on LBJ and Bill Clinton’s statement about Barack Obama’s campaign being a “fairy tale,” Clinton clarified the LBJ debacle and then laid the beat down for Russert not playing Clinton’s whole quote where the former president lays out Obama for what he saw as Obama’s wavering stance on the war in Iraq. Russert then tried to slam Clinton with the “why beat up Obama for his voting on Iraq when you voted the exact same way?” And Clinton tossed out the fact that she wasn’t hiding from her votes and was running on her record.
And the rest can be described as 45 minutes of trying to say Obama would make a bad president without actually saying Obama would make a bad president. Russert tried to wrestle Clinton to the ground with damaging quotes by Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, columnist Maureen Dowd, her husband’s former campaign strategist James Carville and even the former president himself, Bill Clinton in a game of, “Your Husband and Barack said the same things about experience in politics.”
Papa Snob thought Hillary won her latest battle with Russert, especially when Russert busted out with all the polls that poo-poo Hillary’s chances, one even mentioning that Barack would be more likely to beat Huckabee if he’s the Republican nominee. Hillary dismissed that by saying that New Hampshire should have proved to everyone that you can’t trust the polling.
Of course, I don’t know if I’d trust any poll saying any Democrat could get beat by Huckabee,
Overall, I thought she did as well as could be expected. At least it was a more entertaining interview than the Full Ginsburg she pulled last year by appearing on all the Sunday talk shows the same day. Tim Russert brought his quoting A-game, but I was disappointed that he allowed his Clinton bias to pop up by only showing the end of Bill Clinton’s quote. He didn’t need to do that. There’s a phalanx of footage of Hillary and Bill contradicting themselves. Don’t be cheap about it.
Did the interview help any? I don’t know. They spent so much time fighting that they never really got to the heart of issues voters actually care about. But did going the full hour hurt? Not at all. No big gaffes.
The Clintons are throwing around the idea that its the Obama camp pushing the “Clinton’s are personally attacking Barack Obama” storyline and my answer is, of course they are. The Obama camp isn’t stupid. The Clinton camp has been pimping the “Everyone is hating on us, piling on, blah, blah, blather” since day one of the campaign. They said Barack was inexperienced, that his foreign policy positions were “naive.” One of their campaign managers liked to bring up the word “cocaine” a whole lot. Sure, to my annoyance, Barack would often bring up his youthful indiscretions with drugs all on his own, but the Clinton’s people all but called him out as some sort of drug addict/drug dealer. Cheap, cheap fouls there.
But these are the consequences when there is little substantial difference between the political views of HillaryCo and BarackCo. Both are running on an anti-war, pro-middle class, pro-universal health care, pro-environment, pro-human rights, anti-Guantanamo, pro-diplomacy, pro-gays in the military, anti-Bush platform. With that, all you can really do is quibble about is the specifics of the programs Barack and Hillary are proposing OR try to pull some political jujitsu and use the opponent’s attacks as leverage to launch a counter-attack at them.
But with all this Barack vs. Hillary action, what about John Edwards? The last white man standing? Call me superstitious, but until it’s just Barack and Hillary winning all the contests leading up to Super Tuesday, I can’t call Edwards as dead. Hillary and Barack are still waging war in uncharted waters. The last president we had that wasn’t a WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) was Kennedy, and he was just Catholic. And he barely beat thoroughly unlikeable then Vice President Richard Nixon.
And there has never been a woman contender at all. So as optimistic as I’m trying to be, I’ll believe it when I see Edwards step down. When he’s out of the game, it’s all over. We’re making history one way or another and the Democratic Party, once the bane of blacks existence in the south will have pulled the ultimate redemption act, proving that the could survive despite all the evidence that said their staunch, pro-civil rights stance would consistently sink their chances in the White House.
Yes. America will have to stare into the faces of both the past and the future in this election, one way or another.