Hillary made her first swing through the early caucus state of Iowa this weekend.
Fox News’ “Campaign Carl” Cameron called it a “very smooth first trip onto the campaign trail.” But she had one of those surreal moments that can only occur on a Clinton campaign in Davenport.
town hall – er, “conversation stop”, she was asked the question, “with all the bad and evil men around the world, what equips her to deal with them?”
You can watch the video at the link above, but basically, she repeats the question, paraphrasing, “people like Osama bin Laden comes to mind… And what in my background… equips me to deal… with evil and bad men.” And she just lets loose this wicked grin, and without even a punchline, the audience supplies its own, and erupts with laughter. (There’s debate on the blogs about whether she’s referring to Republicans or her husband. I don’t know if she would put Ken Starr or Newt Gingrich in the same category as Osama bin Laden; if she did, she ought to get together with Dinesh D’Sousa. On the other hand, there’s something about the grin, the phrasing – perhaps it’s the shift from ‘evil’ men to ‘bad’ men – that I think suggested Bill, or at least I think that’s where the audiences minds went. But maybe I’m wrong.)
Afterwards, she apparently said she was trying to be serious. “I was thinking about how our leadership for the past six years hasn’t really produced results.”
When asked directly if she was referring to ‘the dark side’ of President Clinton, she said no, but that she had been trying to lighten up. (Kind of an odd question to “lighten up” on.)
Elsewhere, Chuck Todd notes that Hillary is talking about her aspirations to be the first woman president a lot. At the same time, she’s talking about being an incrementalist. Message: “I’m safe in terms of different policies, but bold in terms of being a different gender!”
Also this weekend, Hillary sang, um… less than perfectly. She actually didn’t start that badly, she just kind of wandered off-key, and never quite came back. But by the standards of, say, Rosanne Barr, it was downright… adequate.