Sunday, February 07, 2016


Here's Maureen Dowd today on the absence of poetry in Hillary Clinton's campaign rhetoric:
As a woman, as a former first lady, senator and secretary of state, she’s uniquely equipped to deliver a big, inspiring message with a showstopping speech that goes beyond income inequality, that sweeps up broader themes of intolerance, fusing the economic, cultural and international issues at stake.

She could, as one talented political speechwriter riffed, say something like this: “We’re a stronger country when more people have higher incomes; when women get paid the same as men; when we draw on the diverse talents of immigrants; when we show the world that America is a place that embraces all religions, that offers refuge to the persecuted and the terrorized. When a few old rich white men are the only ones who succeed, that’s not just unfair, it’s untenable.”
Yeah! Why won't Clinton say something like that in a speech? Or like this?
While many of you are working multiple jobs to make ends meet, you see the top 25 hedge fund managers making more than all of America’s kindergarten teachers combined. And, often paying a lower tax rate.

So, you have to wonder: “When does my hard work pay off? When does my family get ahead?”


I say now.

Prosperity can’t be just for CEOs and hedge fund managers.

Democracy can’t be just for billionaires and corporations.

Prosperity and democracy are part of your basic bargain too.

You brought our country back.

Now it’s time -- your time to secure the gains and move ahead.

And, you know what?

America can’t succeed unless you succeed.
Or this?
I believe that success isn’t measured by how much the wealthiest Americans have, but by how many children climb out of poverty...

How many start-ups and small businesses open and thrive...

How many young people go to college without drowning in debt...

How many people find a good job...

How many families get ahead and stay ahead.
Or this?
... I believe we have a continuing rendezvous with destiny. Each American and the country we cherish.

I’m running to make our economy work for you and for every American.

For the successful and the struggling.

For the innovators and inventors.

For those breaking barriers in technology and discovering cures for diseases.

For the factory workers and food servers who stand on their feet all day.

For the nurses who work the night shift.

For the truckers who drive for hours and the farmers who feed us.

For the veterans who served our country.

For the small business owners who took a risk.

For everyone who’s ever been knocked down, but refused to be knocked out.

I’m not running for some Americans, but for all Americans.
Oh, wait -- she did say all that, in her campaign kickoff speech last June.

Clinton's campaign has been too prose-y since then -- and, in some moments, worse than just prose-y:
Hillary Clinton’s older feminist supporters have a message for young women who are not backing her candidacy: Shame on you....

While introducing Mrs. Clinton at a rally in New Hampshire on Saturday, Madeleine Albright, the first female secretary of state, talked about the importance of electing the first female president.... she scolded any woman who felt otherwise.

“We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it’s done. It’s not done,” Ms. Albright said of the broader fight for women’s equality. “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”

... Gloria Steinem, one of the most famous spokeswomen of the feminist movement, took the sentiment a step further on Friday in an interview with the talk show host Bill Maher. Explaining how women tend to become more active in politics as they become older, she suggested younger women were just backing Mr. Sanders so that they could meet young men.

“When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,’” Ms. Steinem said.
But before that, there was an optimistic vision. There was some poetry. Clinton said exactly what Dowd insists she hasn't said. If Dowd had done a minimal level of due diligence before writing her column, she'd know that.


Leo Artunian said...

Steve, if Dowd did a minimal level of due diligence before writing *any* of her columns she'd have very little to say, and she certainly wouldn't be Maureen Dowd.

Steve Gerrard said...

Maureen is right, though, that Hilary needs to be saying that stuff again. Not again and again like Rubio, but again and again like Obama in 2008. She needs to have some juice going on.

Boudica said...

If I vote for Clinton it won't be because she's a woman, and Albright and Steinem are just pissing young women off with their rhetoric. Push her abilities not her gender.

Unknown said...

Athletes acknowledge, however grudgingly, that there comes a time when their skills atrophy, when they can no longer perform at an elite level, and so they must cede the field to younger talent. Public intellectuals like Gloria Steinem ought to learn the same lesson.

Peter VE said...

"If Dowd had done a minimal level of due diligence before writing her column,..." it would be the first time.