The Corner

Pointlets on HRC

1. It was a top-notch speech — politically shrewd, effectively delivered. Very, very effectively delivered, in fact.

2. The introductory video laid great, great stress on the fact that she is a woman. I’ve never quite understood this. You have to do a Betty Friedan act, even now? I don’t think of her as a woman (and I mean no offense, I swear): I think of her as Hillary Rodham Clinton — leader of the Democratic Left.

3. As she took the stage, Bill Clinton looked at her as adoringly as a person can. He even mouthed “I love you,” several times. Was this real — heartfelt? Who knows?

4. It seemed to me that, after Hillary entered, people were semi-afraid to stop applauding — sort of like in Stalin’s day. (Very, very awkward, this business of when to stop applauding a godhead.)

5. She called herself a “proud mother,” a “proud Democrat,” etc. — longish list. She did not say “proud wife.” I thought that might have followed “proud mother.” Anyway . . .

6. I just hate the phrase “advocate for” — hate it. It seems like, two seconds ago, we didn’t have it. Now it is a veritable weed. (I should note that, in “advocate for,” I’m talking about the verb — the verb “advocate,” not the noun.)

7. This insistence on the centrality of politics is distressing — and not very democratic. You know, everything hinges on this election, everything hinges on politics: our future, our children, our destiny, our health, our every breath. Nonsense. It’s not supposed to be like that in a liberal democracy. We are governed by a constitution — by laws, not men. And mature people know that most of the important things in life are private, not public.

8. Again, soldiers are portrayed as victims, or fragile children. That is a full-blown theme of this convention.

9. She mentioned those two recent deaths — of the Arkansas Democratic-party leader and the congresswoman — and linked them to an anti-Bush point, or riff. I thought that was gross. Almost obscene.

10. “Green-collar” jobs — oh, geez. That’s a new one to me. Maybe I haven’t noticed.

11. “Promoting unionization” — now there’s a good, honest Democratic phrase. (And one reason I’m not a Democrat.)

12. We’re “giving windfall profits to the oil companies.” I can’t tell you — can’t tell you — how much I hate that kind of populism. “Cheap demagoguery,” Reagan used to call it (or “sheer demagoguery”).

13. She talked through applause, not wanting to lose her momentum — very, very shrewd. If you let the audience’s applause control you and your speech, you’re screwed.

14. Again, this was a top-notch political speech. If I were a Hillary fan, or a liberal Democrat — same thing, I guess — I would have loved it.

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