This pattern was brought vividly to mind as I read of Hillary!® Clinton's recent debate with B. Hussein Obama.
- Proverbs 1:31 ...therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices.
- Proverbs 14:14 The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.
- Proverbs 26:27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
- Proverbs 28:10 Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.
Hillary!® pointed out that Obama has lifted words from others' speeches without attribution. Hillary!® said—
Well, I think that if your candidacy is going to be about words, then they should be your own words. That’s, I think, a very simple proposition. (APPLAUSE) And, you know, lifting whole passages from someone else’s speeches is not change you can believe in, it’s change you can Xerox.Then she went on to hammer him pretty well and at length on the fact that it will take a lot more than talk to bring about the change he promises.
But the line fell flat, it even got boo's. Why? Because Obama had just said, about this very issue, "...I’m happy to have a debate on the issues, but what we shouldn’t be spending time doing is tearing each other down. We should be spending time lifting the country up."
Oh, my. Old enough to know who that (dodge) sounds like?
How about this? Again, Hillary!® had been hitting at Obama's weakest point, his — to be charitable — light resume. Chris Matthews totally stumped an Obama supporter, State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-TX), by asking for a list of Senator Obama's accomplishments.
Watson could not name even one.
But no fear. Obama himself defanged this, too, with these words:
Senator Clinton of late has said: Let’s get real. The implication is that the people who’ve been voting for me or involved in my campaign are somehow delusional.Oh, ow.
I made an instant connection with the campaign Hillary!®'s husband, here known largely as The Nameless One (TNO), ran against George Bush Sr. Every specific was deflected with glossy, billowy rhetoric. Later on in the campaign, Sr. finally woke up and began trying to get a little aggressive in his approach. It didn't work. TNO had a slick, contentless, glitzy dodge for every charge.
Bush would finally nail TNO on specifics as to policy or ideology, and TNO would ramble on about how "sad" and "disappointing" and "desperate" the poor old man was being, how "divisive" such talk was, how "tired" people were of this sort of rhetoric. He'd always position himself and his supporters as somehow apart from and above the fray, and specifically the delusive, vicious rants of his opponents. It was hollow, slick, disingenuous, and very effective.
So it struck me: Obama is out-Clintoning a Clinton. He's beating her by doing what her husband did so effectively: running a campaign that is all style and show and rhetoric and platitudes, and very light on substance. Oh, doubtless, he's got plans. But like your friendly neighborhood Mormons, he's saving them for later.
So if the (sigh) McCain people have a brain among the whole lot of them, they'll be studying TNO's campaigns, and readying their responses. They'll be figuring out where Bush (and Dole) went wrong, and getting some sharp, pointed, red-hot responses. They should expect the same sorts of campaign, with the same props. Why, I bet a team of the best Ivy-league economists have already signed a document saying that Obama's plan for America is the best they've ever seen — before they even see it!
If the McCain team can rub two neurons together, they're already preparing responses for this.
But that's an awfully big "if." If they can't think of any, I can. They can call me.
Meanwhile, it's difficult not to see a touch of justice in seeing the slick Clinton approach used on the Clintons themselves — and so effectively.
On a lighter note, Saturday Night Live even parodied the media's love-affair with The Obamessiah. It isn't their best, but there's a chuckle or two:
UPDATE: the Battle of the Clintons is ON!
What shall I do? Update this same post periodically, or make it a series? I mean, here we are, the post hardly a day old, and I have yet another classic example.
So Hillary!®'s campaign reportedly releases this photo:
Lovely. I could say... many things. I shall refrain.
How does the Obama campaign respond? In classic TNO fashion, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said
On the very day that Senator Clinton is giving a speech about restoring respect for America in the world, her campaign has engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election. This is part of a disturbing pattern that led her county chairs to resign in Iowa, her campaign chairman to resign in New Hampshire, and it’s exactly the kind of divisive politics that turns away Americans of all parties and diminishes respect for America in the worldNot to be out-Clintoned by a non-Clinton, Hillary!® herself retorted:
This is one more attempt by my opponent's campaign to change the subject.... From his health-care plan that won't cover everybody, from an economic plan that won't produce jobs, and from a record that is pretty thin when it comes to national security and standing up for our country around the world.This may end up being a battle as to who does the better Clinton — The Obamessiah, or Hillary!® herself?
And if Obama out-Clintons Clinton, perhaps he will give TNO a phonecall, and cry, "Clinton, you magnificent bad-boy, I read your book!"