The Corner

Hillary Clinton and the Bare Minimum

I thought Hillary’s speech was workmanlike. She’s not a great performer and tonight reminded me of why she was bested by Obama, who can truly dazzle from behind a podium. But it was good enough and, as others have pointed out, said just enough about Obama. You can imagine Bill and Hillary, when the speech was being drafted, putting the stuff about Obama on a scale, and calibrating it word for word, syllable by syllable, until they had reached the perfect bare minimum about Obama. Michael Crowley thinks she didn’t want to appear insincere, but that’s never stopped her before. What wasn’t in the speech–anything remarkable, personal, or truly warm about Obama–speaks eloquently of how she still feels toward him. Consider this passage:

And when Barack Obama is in the White House, he’ll revitalize our economy, defend the working people of America, and meet the global challenges of our time. Democrats know how to do this. As I recall, President Clinton and the Democrats did it before. And President Obama and the Democrats will do it again.

If revitalizing the economy, etc. sound like pretty impressive accomplishments, the reason Obama will be able to do them is because he’s a Democrat. And in the same breath she’s bragging about the Clinton presidency. What so great about Barack Obama? He happens to be a member of the same party as Bill Clinton. Nothing she said tonight will be incompatible with what she’ll want to say if Obama loses in November: “Told you so.”

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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