Thursday, January 5, 2017

Color Me Pissed At Hillary & Company

I'm still pissed at Hillary Clinton. It's strange to be pissed at someone for her incompetence, but there it is.

So here's Nicole Wallace on MSNBC with Jenn Palmieri, the Clinton campaign spokesperson, asking her about the campaign. They point back to a speech Hillary gave in June in San Diego, where she was going to talk about foreign policy, and they chose for her to talk about how Trump was unqualified to be President.

“Why didn't that work?” asks Nicole. Palmieri says that it was a bold and gutsy thing to do, that it was true, and that the press chose to cover it with the angle of: she was going to have a major address on foreign policy, but she chose to talk about Trump.

So Nicole says, “So the press was the problem?” They are friends, Nicole and Jenn, and they're doing their jobs, but with some delicacy, because their friends. But this is the issue, right on. Jenn hardly answers because she understands that her excuse has been exposed, so she murmurs no, that's not it, but then complains about press coverage some more.

Gutsy isn't the issue, Jenn. Jenn is older than I thought she would be; I've known about her but haven't seen her. She is tentative, the opposite of the reviled Kellyanne Conway, more delicate, and in the end of course, as Donald would say without a trace of delicacy at all, a loser. She is blaming the press.

I remember that whole episode. That's exactly what I thought at the time, what the press observed. Hillary and her people don't have enough confidence in the candidate, don't have enough confidence for her to present her views, and to make the campaign about issues, and about her, to some extent? OK, the press might not cover issues with enthusiasm, and the amount of time they spent on issues this time through is scandalous. But if your on the Dem's side, and you see Hillary playing ad hominem ball, you can hardly complain. She chose to say, I'm not very attractive, but he's really appalling.

Not to everyone, he wasn't.

And then Jenn says, we'll be fine, Hillary and I. In fact, our lives will be a lot easier and more enjoyable. But we're disappointed because we wanted to do this for the American people.

What an asshole thing to say. Bubble inhabitants. “We'll be fine.” Especially her with a couple of hundred million in her pocket. No fucking shit. “We're doing this for others.” Right. Ambition has nothing to do with it. Right.  Sounds an awful lot like "Living well is the best revenge."  Revenge against whom, exactly?  Those who didn't vote for you, in whose interest it would have been to make you guys President?  Who were too stupid and deluded to see that?  Which is why they are in the state their in and will continue to be because they didn't recognize your excellence?  True enough, guys, true enough, but as the man said, the terrible man ... sad.  So sad.

Jenn could have gone on to say that of the many things that could have tipped the election, the failure of enough African-Americans to vote in Philadelphia and Milwaukee was among them.  And what was the reaction of the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus a week prior to the election, when it became obvious to her that this would be the case?  She said, it's Hillary's fault, because she champion the African-Americans enough, she went with the Hispanics.  Let's see how she likes those cookies, the chairwoman said.  Talk about dysfunction, I think I hear it.  But I divert.

And then Palmieri said that Hillary was one of the least surprised that she lost. She mumbled some things that said, basically, something about what they faced, "the problems." I thought, what is she trying to say with that? Then I saw what she meant, that they knew that Hillary was a lousy campaigner. Mumble mumble. Yeah, especially when she takes her strength – issues, preparation, intelligence – and squanders it in favor of bitching at her opponent. Great decision, you guys. Very gutsy. And you know what the gut produces, at the end.

These people are all friends. Nicole's a Republican and Jenn's a Democrat. Two shows before – yes, we watched a lot of MSNBC tonight – Rachel Maddow welcomed Greta Van Sustaren from Fox over to MSNBC, saying how they were friends and liked to toss down a few together, even though they have worked for competing networks. They're in their own bubble, too. I like them, but they're in the bubble. David Brooks declared that this was his problem, too, and has pledged to get out more. Hey, we're all in our own bubble. Maybe that's the human condition, the blind men and the elephant. I'm getting that metaphor into my blogs as much as Gail Collins got in Mitt Romney's transporting Seamus his Irish setter on the roof of his car. She's got the record. She's so funny.

The last subject for Nicole and Jenn was, why was Hillary going to the inauguration. “I told her she didn't have to go,” said Jenn. But “she's got the responsibility gene, you know.” That's her burden. Pity poor, responsible, Methodist, Niebuhr accolyte, Children's Defense Fund working Hillary. She wouldn't have to go, sure, but Bill has to go, he's a former President, and how would it look if Bill went without Hillary? (He could take his neighbor lady from Chappaqua, the one the Secret Service says they ignore when she come unannounced into the Clinton house, more frequently when Hillary's away, but I guess that wouldn't wash.) Maybe there will be some TV time spent on her as she soldiers though the ordeal as the world grieves for her. Give me a break. At least we won't have to see her striding onto the stage with mouth open and pointing at the crowd.

It's what the awful Kellyanne said; the Clinton campaign seemed totally joyless. An ordeal for everyone, inside or outside. And still an ordeal, if you ask me. She and Bill cleared the field and then she was struck with the yips, couldn't make the easy throw to first, deal with the issues and let others decide on the Trump personality. She questioned Trump's character, providing the opening to be assaulted with her own weakness, her own character. If she had stuck to the issues, she could have asked the media to concentrate on that with some conviction. But to focus on the Trump character and then be offended when her own is questioned – were you born yesterday?

So, go on, complain, soldier on, have yourself a merry little Christmas or two. You screwed everyone, but good, both of you. And probably Robbie Mook, too, the campaign chairman. Can't wait to hear him opining. Go run a campaign for school board. Maybe blame the Russians and Comey when you lose.

Color me so pissed I can't see straight. Can't wait to see pictures of them all lunching in Manhattan like the ladies from Sex and the City. Maybe worrying that Chelsea's cleaning lady isn't doing a good job. Self-pity with a bank account.


Budd Shenkin

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