Post-debate: Clinton stresses humanity over attacks: The Swamp
The Swamp
Posted February 22, 2008 10:47 AM
The Swamp

By Jim Tankersley

Two moments stood out for Hillary Clinton in last night's presidential debate with rival Barack Obama, one a zinger that landed with a thud, and one a heartstring-tugger that drew a standing ovation.

Guess which one Clinton is eager to reprise this morning?

Early today, the New York senator's campaign mass e-mailed a clip of Clinton's debate-ending response to a question about the moment in her life that tested her the most. Clinton began with an apparent nod to her husband's White House infidelity - "Well, I think everybody here knows I've lived through some crises and some challenging moments in my life" - then continued through stories about the struggles other people share with her on the campaign trail. She concluded: "You know, the hits I've taken in life are nothing compared to what goes on every single day in the lives of people across our country."

Clinton reprised that message in interviews on morning news shows this morning, and she passed on invitations to build on her boo-drawing debate accusation that Obama, because he echoed his supporter Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick in a speech, was "the candidate of change you can Xerox."

"For me," Clinton said on NBC's "Today" show, "this election really is about, you know, whether we're going to have an economy that works for everybody again -- we sure haven't the last seven years -- you know, whether we're going to stop the home foreclosure crisis before more families, like the ones I've met throughout Ohio, who are, you know, just devastated because they're losing their homes -- a woman broke down and cried in Cincinnati when I was there last week; you know, the health care challenge and crisis. I mean, this is what motivates me. This is what I care about. And I know we can do so much better. There's no reason why our country would leave so many people in such a state of pain, anxiety and insecurity. And I think it's wrong."

On ABC's "Good Morning America," Clinton said her campaign is about "what happens to the people that I see every day. You know, you come up and grab my arm and say I've got the have healthcare, I don't have it. Or, I don't, you know, know what I'm going to do because I'm losing my home to foreclosure. You know, running for office, especially nationally, gives you such an intimate look with what's going on in people's lives. And it just gets me up every morning and motivates me to try and figure out what I'm going to do to, you know, help people who are trying as hard as they can; I just get so overwhelmed by, you know, the stories that I'm told."

And then there was this exchange, at the end of the "GMA" interview, when host Diane Sawyer launched a question by noting that Clinton had completed 398 days on the campaign trail.

Clinton laughed. "Oh, why is this counting?" she said.

Sawyer responded: "I was just going to say, why is she laughing. But last night, we look up there --"

Clinton cut in. "You have to laugh to keep from crying," she said.

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I do not understand why no one is quesioning Hillary's "borrowed" or "stolen" lines from other people, notably, Mario Quomo (the poetry/prose line), her husband, God (through the bible and Arkansas evangelists) and various politicians. SO "Hillary" to assume that people were standing for her in the end, rather than the probability that (since Obama had already summarized) they were merely standing at the end of the debate to applaud both candidates.

Why doesn't swamppolitics report:

When there was footage of Obama "plagiarizing" it was all over swammpolitics -now Hillary is doing it and it is nowhere to be found?!

For the record: I do not think it is plagiarism; I think it was a silly charge and over-reaching. Still, the media should show her hypocrisy.

I actually do think the people were standing for Hillary at the end. She gave a great little speech, it deserved applause. Though I think someone has been saying great speeches don't matter, that it takes more than words, words are cheap. Who said that?

So typical of "lori" to bash Hillary in the style of the worst right wing pundits. Sorry, Obama will NOT win a general, I don't care how many delegates he ends up with. You can win all the primaries and still lose--remember John Kerry?

The standing ovation began when Hillary said she was proud to be on the same stage with Sen. Obama and he reached and shook her hand in response. Also, the audience thought the debate was over. The ovation was for BOTH of them. Why must everything be a competition? Obama has proven that he can lead. He assembled a great campaign staff and has managed a brilliant campaign. Hillary had all the advantages, 30 year relationships with Democratic leaders across the country, 26 year control of the Democratic Party, she led in fundraising last summer, had huge name recognition--but Obama has overcome all Hillary's built-in advantages. Most telling, is that Hillary's team mismanaged their money (see the NYTimes tody.) How can she claim that she will be ready on Day One when she--and the staff she entrusted her campaign to--have failed. Mark Penn and Howard Wolfson should refund her for the millions of dollars they've wasted. Ultimately, though, the team she assembled, like her vote on the war, is an example of her judgment. Hillary is smart, she can memorize all the facts and recite them verbatim--but she doesn't seem to come to the best conclusions--and she lack the special something that makes one an inspiring, effective leader. Obama is the whole package. He is a once in a lifetime leader--like Lincoln and FDR--and the American voters are smart enough to recognize it. I was pleasantly surprised that Sen. Clinton took the high road at the end of the debate--and that for the first time, she acknowledged Sen. Obama's achievements and detailed plans. I hope she has the wisdom and grace to step aside when it is time and save the Democratic Party from a divisive, damaging fight in Denver. I hope she will do what is best for the Party and the country by supporting Obama.

An honest question :
Did Clinton's last comment really get a standing ovation as has been oft reported or was that just the end of the debate and the audience stood to pay respects to both candidates.
We, of course, could not see behind the cameras... and CNN did a terrible job with many things i.e.)debate flow, gale force winds on stage...
As for the standing ovation Clinton is purported to have received... although her last comment was her most positive... it looked to me as if the audience was cued behind camera that this was the end of the debate and that they paid respects to both candidates.

I hope she will do what is best for the Party and the country by supporting Obama.

Posted by: Margaret D

It is statements like this that make me want to stay home and not vote at all. It is divisive and states you do not want ALL of America to unite. Clinton and Obama are running for the POS NOT President of the Democratic Party!

Excuse me I meant they are running for POTUS not POS (Point of Sale) Doh!

Hillary Clinton projects an image of herself as someone who alone can solve the problems of America. Deceptively, Obama is more pragmatic. Change can be achieved, he says, if we all work together, which is a far more credible message, not to say empowering. Paradoxically, the very fact that he is inexperienced is his big selling point, for as Americans know only too well a savvy politician is inevitably in bed with the political establisment, and thus less in this instance is more. Obama is moreover pledging not to pander to special interests, and his credibility in that regard rests on the implication, in the very charges she levels against him, that he would make a mess of it anyway. Has Hillary stopped to even consider that Americans are thoroughly turned off by the slick well oiled machinery of Washington? The focus on his personality is central to his appeal. For his lack of experience is amply balanced by the great promise that not even Hillary would deny is embodied within his own persona.

Hillary Clinton has grown desperate and is now resorting to old attack style politics and hollow allegations that clearly reflect the bulldog tactic politics of advisors like James Carvill.

The Bush / Clinton era is OVER! The sooner they are gone, the better but they will try to pull everyone down with them in their desperation. It takes great vision for the people to see beyond the divisive politics that these bygone era politicians struggle to keep alive.

Richard says, "The Bush / Clinton era is OVER!". You know, unfortunately, as it turns out, Hillary is the most qualified/passionate out of the 4 of them...and here we are casting her lifelong work aside as if that kind of compassionate wisdom and experience comes along every day. I'm saddened to think what we, as a country, may come to truly regret if Hillary doesn't end up being our President.

Clinton has grown more frustrated, and her claimed experience is suffacing in way of dirty negative attacks and divisive tactics. Obama! you must take off the good guy's jacket, and slide on the bad guy's-jacket. It is getting late, hence, you cannot continuously be the good guy.

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