The Corner

In the Moment with Hil, Chameleon

So, you need me to be a Jack Kennedy/Scoop Jackson/Joe Lieberman Sensible Lefty?  I’m so there!

Masterful performance by Mrs. Clinton on O’Reilly (I caught only about 10 min, but that was enough).  I was brought back to exactly my mindset throughout the Clinton admin, which was obviously based on what I did for a living:  The Clintons are exactly like criminal defense lawyers:  every day is a new day, with yesterday’s disastrous slate wiped clean. 

If I start out arguing mistaken identity, and it turns out you have a picture showing I was there robbing the bank, I say the teller misunderstood the note.  If you produce the graphic note and two other tellers saying I was waving a gun, I say the note was a withdrawal slip taken out of context and the gun was a toy.  If the “toy” gun proves to have been loaded and operable, I say I was temporarily insane, driven to despond over losing my healthcare when I was fired by the big bad bank where I used to work.  If the doctor says I was perfectly sane, I say my mom needed an operation … and what was I supposed to do without all that healthcare?

The routine never works on a jury.  They sit there day after day, even if it takes a few months.  They hear the whole thing, compare today with yesterday, and recognize a tissue of lies.  If something sounds fishy, they get to ask for a read-back.  If the case doesn’t hang together, they laugh it out of court.

But the routine always works on the media.  The press is supposed to be our jury, but they’re not tested for objectivity and they don’t have the requisite attention span.  They don’t remember yesterday.  They have 20 minutes of the Now, or 10, or 5, or 2.  The defense counsel doesn’t need to account for yesterday.  He need only sound compelling in the Now.  When yesterday doesn’t count, and you are both talented and without scruples, you can always win the Now.

Hil won the Now with O’Reilly tonight.  Still, if she had to, she could win the Now with MoveOn.org tomorrow.  After all, tonight’s Now will be gone with the ether.  And viewers of either (who will not be the same viewers) will say, “She has such passion” … even if today she condemned Barack’s Weather Underground friends and tomorrow she defends Bill’s Weather Underground pardons.

So it goes.

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