Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Defining Moment

I was reminded of the Kennedy-Nixon debates watching Hillary and Obama last night. Nixon the experienced one, vs. Kennedy the smooth, good-looking Golden Child. There was a moment in one of the 1960 debates when Nixon was clumsily trying to make a point. The camera shifted to Kennedy, and you see him laughing at his opponent. The same thing happened last night, at 6:45 of this clip.

And he was laughing because he knew that in his reply he would be able to make Hillary seem silly, as indeed he did. He deftly made her seem petty, and even a bit silly, so the audience stated laughing. Hillary tried humor too. At the opening of the debate - alluding to the SNL skit that mocked the media's favoritism towards Obama - she said: "Maybe we need to see if he needs another pillow." That got groans from the audience.

She's tried everything in the last week, and nothing has worked. As Maureen Dowd says:
After saying she found her “voice” in New Hampshire, she has turned into Sybil. We’ve had Experienced Hillary, Soft Hillary, Hard Hillary, Misty Hillary, Sarcastic Hillary, Joined-at-the-Hip-to-Bill Hillary, Her-Own-Person-Who-Just-Happens-to-Be-Married-to-a Former-President Hillary, It’s-My-Turn Hillary, Cuddly Hillary, Let’s-Get-Down-in-the-Dirt-and Fight-Like-Dogs Hillary.

And it is all because she has no genuine voice, and the voters know it.

Here is something else worth reading. A long essay by Sean Wilentz that makes a strong case that that it hasn't been the Clintons who have been race baiting during the past few months - it has really been the Obama campaign.

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