Hillary in Oregon

Hillary Clinton was at South Eugene High School in Eugene, Oregon, yesterday. Jesus’ General The Unapologetic Mexican was there, too. TUM’s conclusion? Clinton worked hard, but overall she was not well received:

The truth is, Clinton did her best (even pushing through a tired and “froggy” sounding voice), and her supporters cheered their loudest, and I appreciate her (and their) spirit and ambition and Clinton’s manner of laying out her platform. But it was inarguably not a good day for Clinton. She was late, she made everyone wait in the rain longer than we were supposed to, and then inside we waited longer than scheduled. She was heckled about her vote authorizing the Iraq invasion and No Child Left Behind, and about two out of five (I have to check my tape to be sure) questions came to her from Obama supporters. …

It felt a bit sad to me. I can’t even count how many times speakers tried to get everyone to cheer louder or longer. At one point, this anchorwoman (in the foto to the right) was telling her cameraman about speaking purposely fast and breathless to give the feeling that the energy in the room was very high. I overheard it, and tried to catch some with the shotgun mic attached to my sound recorder, but pointing one of those at someone (especially a media person) has the result of them quieting down a lot. By the time I had it on and pointed, she was whispering. But truthfully, there was this sort of effort in a few places. Ted Kulongowski, Oregon’s governor (who introduced Clinton) seemed absolutely possessed, bobbing and stooping and dancing around trying to rouse the crowd, trying to pass on his frenzy. It was almost as if the campaign/event was competing with the ghost of Obama’s recent appearance, which had raised the rafters and blew out the town with buzz.

You will see very plainly from the videotape that many of the people behind Clinton (even though handpicked by the campaign) were definitely not excited, and in fact often looked very bored, didn’t clap when they were supposed to, or made tired, perfunctory “golf claps” on the applause lines. I honestly felt embarrassed for the Senator more than once.

Fernando Suarez at CBS News has more details on the questions Clinton was asked, and how she responded:

But her calm tone and relaxed demeanor soon became sharp and fiery. “Elections are about choices. You are supposed to present your case and you’re supposed to critique the other case. That’s what you do in an election, it is not a coronation, it is a contest, this country is worth fighting for, and I’m going to fight for it!”

Over at The Moderate Voice, Jazz Shaw is trying not to lose his breakfast:

Speaking as a veteran of the Rick Lazio campaign of 2000, and being married to a woman who worked in vain attempting to get some sort of meaningful Democratic primary contest going that year, there are really no words to describe my reaction to Hillary Clinton accusing anyone else of wanting a “coronation” in an election. Senator Clinton has never faced any real, significant opposition in any of the entire two elections she has faced for public office over the course of her extensive political career.

After her handlers determined that our soon to be vacant Senate seat in New York would be her fastest path to the Presidency and quickly putting a down payment on new digs in the Empire State, Team Clinton began plans for the coronation. Aided by the Democratic Party at the national level and a massive war chest, we were soon deluged with adoring press coverage indicating that there would be no need to waste voters’ precious time with a Democratic primary election. We already had our nominee! Lucky us! Protests from local Democrats who dared to suggest we might nominate someone who was a bit more … ummm… you know… errr… from New York were shot down in flames. They were “standing in the way” or woman haters, or Clinton haters, or certainly haters of something.
[…]
My friends, if you ever wanted to see a coronation… THAT was a coronation to put a blush on the cheeks of Prince Albert of Monaco. To hear this recipient of the all time Silver Spoon of Politics in Mouth Award level a charge of an opponent wanting a coronation…

Clinton was also challenged on her claimed readiness to answer 3 a.m. emergency calls when her judgment on the Iraq war was so off:

… Clinton defended her vote on the war saying voters should compare both her and Obama’s records.

“I made a considered judgment, I didn’t make a speech, I made a decision and it was a decision based on my best assessment on what would be in the interest of our country at that very uncertain time.”

Clinton said that historians will judge if her decision was the right one, but she reminded voters that Obama’s voting record on the war is not very different than hers.

“When you want to compare, compare decisions so when Senator Obama came to the Senate, he and I voted exactly the same except for one vote and that happens to be the facts.”

Obama has been credited with foreseeing a troublesome war in Iraq primarily due to a speech he gave in 2002 while he was a state senator, where he spoke out against the war. Clinton said, “I started criticizing the war in Iraq before he did. So, I’m well aware that his entire campaign is premised on a speech he gave in 2002 and I give him credit for making that speech. But that was not a decision.”

Once again, Clinton is playing fast and loose with the truth:

The notion that Obama has premised “his entire campaign” on a 2002 speech strikes me as pretty unfair, but it’s that first line that might raise a few eyebrows: “I started criticizing the war in Iraq before he did.”

My hunch is that Clinton wishes she could take that one back, because she almost certainly didn’t mean it. Indeed, it contradicted her own remarks at the event — Obama warned in ‘02 that the war would be a mistake, while Clinton was making a “considered judgment” that gave the White House the green light for war. She wasn’t criticizing the war before Obama, she was helping clear the way for war while Obama was urging the nation to follow a smarter course.

I’m not inclined to hold Clinton’s ‘02 vote against her. I’m also inclined to shrug my shoulders about Clinton’s reluctance to acknowledge that her vote was a mistake. But it’s discouraging that she was willing, at least yesterday, to start bragging about criticism she didn’t make.

All links herein are via Memeorandum.

2 Responses to “Hillary in Oregon”

  1. matttbastard says:

    Hi, Kathy — the Jesus General post was actually written by the one and only Nezua Limón Xolagrafik-Jonez, aka The Unapologetic Mexican (if TUM isn’t on your blogroll…*looks down and to the left*)

  2. nancy bobal says:

    i thank the state of mich and florida should start law suits against the head of the dem partys in those states for changing the dates for our voting , those are our votes and if we didnt’ want them to count we wouldn’t have waisted our time going to the polls.also why are they asking clinton or abama to approve the re-election. did they ask them if they could change the date for the election.i thank clinton should keep pushing for a re-vote.and i thank the head dems running those states should lose their jobs……what happened to every vote counts??????????

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