I just watched the Brit Hume News on Fox (no Brit tonight), featuring the nightly session with Fox All-Stars Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke and Charles Krauthammer. I like those guys but … so Inside-Washington. Evidently a photo is out today showing Bill & Hillary Clinton, in the early years of the Clinton White House, taking a big old smiley-face picture with Tony Rezko– the same (allegedly) corrupt slumlord Hil accused Barack Obama of being pals with at the no-holds-barred Dem debate the other night.
Fred, Mort and Charles all pooh-poohed the photo. “Everyone knows,” they say, that the President and First Lady get their picture taken with lots of other people — in fact, one of them pointed out in his best Beltway inside-baseball, this photo wasn’t even signed. Obviously, the Stars decreed, this was bad for … OBAMA. You see, it keeps the ISSUE alive, which can only hurt Barack because he has the deeper ties. Blah, blah, blah. “If a picture is worth a thousand words,” one of them (Mort, I think) pronounced, “this one is worth about four.”
I’ve tried a lot of cases, but I have to confess they were before normal people on juries, not Washington solons. My sense is that this picture is a coup for Obama.
For those who pay a little attention to politics but aren’t steeped, which is an awful lot of people, Hillary looks foolish: She tried to turn Rezko into something radioactive the other night, and now it turns out he was glowing all over the Clintons. Most people aren’t going to get into the weeds about how much he gave the Clintons in contributions (apparently zero) or that the photo wasn’t signed. Her defense is that she barely knows a guy she’s in a picture with posing like he’s her best buddy. Probably true … but it spells P-H-O-N-Y. Not helpful.
Earth to All-Stars: regular people, even in Washington and New York, like glossy pictures that seem to capture everything that’s relevant in the 10 seconds or so they are willing to spend to take it all in.