Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Comecbacks

I know, I know--I don't call, I don't write. Fuck off. (I, of course, am using the lesser-known affectionate definition of "Fuck off.")

So... I'm a Hillary fan. Always have been. Proud to say I've voted for her twice -- and immensely proud that she won re-election as New York's Junior Senator with nearly 70% of the vote in a state that, while decidedly blue, is nowhere near 70% blue.

That said, I'm liking Obama more and more. I admit it. And someday, I might be able to really get behind him--but not yet. The fact that he was in the Illinois state legislature something like two and a half years ago is a dealbreaker for me. He needs more experience on the Federal level. A lot more.

I'm totally willing to pencil him in for 2016, though, particularly if he's just spent 8 years as Veep.

Anyway, after Iowa, I found myself in full-on mourning for the Hillary campaign.

I was convinced (like everyone else, apparently, including Hillary and her team) that it was time to take her out of the oven. She was done. Her consolation prize for losing (nomination or presidency) isn't too shabby, of course: if she stays in the Senate, she'll almost certainly be Majority Leader someday.

Still, I had my heart set on the Hillary Clinton Administration.

I usually have a little New Hampshire Primary party where my political junkie friends and I parse the results and scream at the TV (and each other) til we're hoarse, very much the way (I imagine) sportsfans do during a big game...

Instead of that, I did the gayest thing I could possibly think to do. I went to see a production of The Pirates of Penzance.

I didn't want to anguish over the death of my favored candidate's presidential ambitions picosecond by picosecond. Anguish after the fact would be just fine, thanks.

So I got home from the show, I was on the phone with Chas (doing our usual post-theatre debrief), washing dishes, setting up the coffee pot for the morning, etc, etc, for almost 10 minutes before I stopped short and went, "holy shit, New Hampshire!"

Duh.

Turned on the TV, saw "Clinton 39%, Obama 32%" -- and screamed. Literally screamed. A deep, manly scream of the sort one would typically expect to hear at the Super Bowl or whatever you call it. (I don't follow basketball.)

Anyway, about 90 seconds later, my best friend (who lives below me, link NSFW) was pounding on my door, having somehow ascertained that I'd come home and seen the news. (Can't think how.)

It was right then that MSNBC called it for Hillary.

And, of course, much hilarity ensued.

But why did she win? Were the polls -- public polls, internal campaign polls, all of them -- that wrong? I don't think so. Was it the so-called Bradley Effect? God, I hope not.

DeDe Meyers--who I like and respect a lot, and who was the inspiration for CJ Cregg on my beloved West Wing (S1-4)--has bee repeating over and over today that the women of New Hampshire just had enough. She spins it thusly, and persuasively: "The women of New Hampshire declared, 'She may lose in the end, but not today, not like this.'"

I think she's right. I think it was the women, more of whom came out to vote for Hillary than for all the other candidates, regardless of party, combined. I tend to doubt that would've happened if the (largely male) punditocracy hadn't thrown themselves into dancing oh-so-gleefully on her political grave after Iowa.

"Not like this," indeed.

I also think people, and especially women, were genuinely moved by The Clip. Note, like every other clip I checked out, the one embedded below omits the question Hillary is answering, which makes it possible to spin the context, so much the better for those who want to claim it was a calculated, rather than authentic moment. (Because in addition to being a lesbian--and therefore dangerous--Hillary Clinton is also a robotron, incapable of feeling, let alone expressing genuine emotion.)

So, for the record, the question was: ""How do you do it? .... How [do] you get out the door every day?"

Here's her response:



Believe it or not, people who know Hillary Clinton personally tend to say that she is a warm, genuine, wickedly funny person (they emphasize the "wickedly funny" bit) -- which, obviously, is a far cry from the Hillary Clinton the public was at all acquainted with. At least until that clip.

We've known for years that she's brilliant; that she boasts a unique on-the-job training experience (as a first lady who was also a member of her husband's senior staff). We've also known for years that she's a toughie, a fighter with an impressive work ethic and a preternatural command of policy minutiae.

But until The Clip (which everyone even remotely connected to the world saw multiple times thanks to the newsmedia--and the net) I'm not sure she'd given any potential voter the opportunity to say, "You know, there might be a cool person under all that armor... Someone I'd enjoy hanging out with."

I don't think likability should matter the way it does (or, hell, even at all). But it does--So if that's what turned it around for Hillary in New Hampshire, so be it, but--please--people, I know it's been said before but it bears repeating: we're not electing a drinking buddy.

We're hiring someone for a job. A hard job -- hardest in the world. Many lives will be lost and saved, literally and figuratively, based on who we decide to hire.

So fuck lkability--It's nice that it's there, but let's keep our eye on the ball, as Hillary did:

I just don't want to see us fall backwards, you know? So, you know, this is very personal for me. It's not just political, it's not just public. I see what's happening, and we have to reverse it. And some people think elections are a game. They think it's like who's up or who's down. It's about our country, and it's about our kids' futures.

Madame President.

I especially appreciate the bolded part, which should be her "ten words" aka, the raison d'etre for her campaign distilled to its elemental core:

"I see what's happening, and we have to reverse it."

Amen. For all his impressive rhetorical skill, Obama hasn't been able to say it that well. He hasn't even come close.

She said it right.

So Hill's the Comecback Gal for now, but It could easily be a real knock down/drag out all the way through Super Tuesday, aaaand beeee-yond (MUA HA HA). Who knows, maybe it'll even be a real convention in August... How cool would that be? Nerve-wracking, sure, but still -- very, very cool. (Especially with no scripted TV.)

But my gut says Hillary clinched it last night, and even if Obama wins both Nevada (where he picked up an important union endorsement today) and South Carolina (where he oh-so-memorably played the bigot card usually reserved for use by Republican candidates to demonize people who look like him), I think we're gonna see a Hillary Sweep on Super Tuesday. (Hopefully I didn't just jinx it.)

Obama's appeal to independents won't matter in states where only registered party members can vote--and the party establishment seems to be pretty solidly behind Hillary. Meanwhile, the ace up his sleeve--the kids--won't matter either if they forget to show up. (Bong Hits? Guitar Hero? Bit o' both?)

On another matter entirely, Chris Matthews' bias against Hillary has gone far, far beyond his purview as a commentator (who is well within his rights to advocate for a point of view, unlike a journalist). Years ago, I respected Matthews, but it's been a long time since I could say that, and now the things that come out of his mouth where Hillary is concerned are so ... unhinged and incredibly unprofessional ... that he's crossed the line into overt misogyny. He's in good company there. Or bad. YMMV.

In just the couple of hours I watched, I saw Tom Brokaw and Keith Olberman shoot him perplexed, angry looks at least half a dozen times each -- invariably after some perfectly reasonable remark about Hillary's forked tongue.

[DanAckroyd]Tweety, you chauvanist prick.[/DanAckroyd] In the unlikely event you or your (I'm sure long-suffering) PA are googling... Seriously, man. Get help.

And on the flipside: Darrel Hammond -- please burn last night's diatribe to DVD and file it away for eventual adaption into sketch comedy gold. Assuming we ever get scripted TV back.

Fuckin AMPTP... but that is, perhaps an overly long rant for another time...

4 Comments:

Anonymous ewe said...

And it is so big of her that she tolerates gay people too. She's a winner. (irony)

By the way, you are very handsome.

1/12/08, 8:40 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

She's the single most gay-friendly Democrat vying for the nomination. At least she didn't send Donnie McClurkin to headline a fundraising tour in south carolina like Obama dd.

1/13/08, 1:20 PM  
OpenID subwaycait said...

I think I could have written that entire entry myself [well except the whole 'voted for her twice part]. In any event I SO agree with you. I was almost in tears [of joy] the night of NH. She never lost her lead. It was something. It was even better to watch Tweety begin to lose it.

Life is good, and I'm voting for Hillary.

1/15/08, 4:03 PM  
Blogger bj said...

is it wrong for me to be irritated by that extra C in comebacks??? or is there something I am not getting....?

or did you wan to be the only search result in google for Comecbacks? hehe!

1/18/08, 7:27 PM  

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