COSTUME FLAP: Because Hillary Clinton is in an unpredictable state of mind, leading to weird character swings, and because MSNBC is not as friendly an environment as CNN, tonight’s debate requires Obama to take the high road with a vengeance. There is NO percentage in pushing the initial reaction of rage at the release of the costume photo. None at all. Whoever put the picture out, it is part of the mix and all one can say is that if a private moment on a visit to Africa is going to be used against me politically, that’s the breaks. The initial anger was to think that the Clinton campaign would stoop so low. That is legitimate. But let the sun set on it. High road in the debate is the only road. Cool is the only mode. Measured is the best response. Humor and ease the best attitude. Go back to the “when this is over” sentiment. If questioned on the, Are you tough enough? front (and I don’t doubt it will be asked, one way or another), talk about perceptions created in the public mind by the likes of Roger Ailes and other political enemies. Then simply say you do not come from 20 points down in a race for the Presidency without being tough, you do not learn to rise above the worst an opponent can throw at you without being tough, and you do not take a stand against the Iraq war when everyone is rushing to do the will of a deluded President without being tough. Tough and high road is the formula for winning when the knives are out. The audience is the American people and they will appreciate it.
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Whatever or whoever is running Hillary Clinton is killing her politically. The recent outbursts are doing her no good, so they cannot be argued to be effective. The Main Stream Media insist on believing polls that have been proven wrong. So they will not accept the probability that Obama will sweep next Tuesday. Hillary may be emoting at our expense and that would be the most charitable interpretation.
Her political death will be arrested only by a supreme act of damage control. She has lost her own five million. She has lost the respect of anyone who values decency — I am referring to her almost unpardonable descent into the politics of mockery.
She is doing her apparent constituency no good with her antics. It would seem this is a work in progress. I shudder to think of her public meltdown if she seeks to sustain her “let’s have a debate” pugilism. It leads to the supposition that she may want to provide herself as the reason for her coming humiliation in her firewall states.
She can get another five million by writing her story of this political season and advance the simple theory that she brought it on herself. She can then blame all the people who have been doing nothing at all to help her win a single vote.
Hillary Clinton’s political death is all the more horrible because she has willed, in a sleep-walking fashion, that it be played out before our eyes. She looks terrible in her role of angry pugilist. She is continually displayed in her various meltdowns. It will be impossible for her to morph back into the graceful figure who delivered her own valediction forbidding mourning last week.
It is really like watching an A. Alvarez suicide where the victim moves forward in response to forces over which one has no apparent control.
She will go back to the Senate and maybe she will get elected to another term. But she will do so without wresting any victory from the jaws of her defeat. That is a horrible thing to say or think. But this is shaping into an event of nearly tragic proportions.
It may be that Hillary Clinton will end up Like Nixon — larger than life — the subject of an opera some day. She should be so lucky. The other options are hardly appetizing.
La Jolla Symphony and Chorus: Debussy and Mahler
Listen while you read. There’s a lot more in this blog than meets the eye.