Wednesday, January 9, 2008

OC-Ed: Talkin' Hillary

Last night, I was watching results from the New Hampshire primary on MSNBC somewhat bleary-eyed while working late on writing assignments. It was entertaining enough to watch the speculation, the most amusing of which was the “weather theory” – the warm weather helped get all the old people who support Hillary Clinton and who are generally afraid of a fifteen degree temperature change out to the polls. This was either an overlooked “not so sturdy” demographic or somewhere in the halls of research that pundits use to analyze the habits of primary voters, there’s a big folder marked “what happens if it’s sixty degrees” that finally came into play.

After 66% of the vote was in, Clinton was ahead 39% to 36%, which made MSNBC comfortable in projecting Clinton the winner. Apparently, 34% of the vote couldn’t make a 3% difference, but then again, I’m the kind of guy who watches the last second of every football game even if the team I’m rooting for is down by three touchdowns.

After this projection was made, Keith Olbermann interviewed Jay Carson, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign. Carson was ecstatic with the win (at some point in the evening, someone called it the greatest comeback in American political history), and said the people of New Hampshire had answered the questions “who can be the best president” and “who can win in November” with “a resounding Hillary Clinton.”

Just as I was pondering what a “resounding Hillary Clinton” translates into in real world terms, Carson offered the following:

“She got out there, she made the case that the American people and people of New Hampshire need talk and not just action and the people responded. We’re gonna have a great night, and we’re gonna go on. We’re going to keep on fighting, we’re gonna fight all the way through February fifth, and we feel the whole country is going to respond to that message.”

I laughed out loud at the gaffe, which Carson didn’t notice. For a moment, I was pondering whether Clinton had suddenly turned honest about her campaign rhetoric. Then Carson almost said it a second time, but finally caught himself, “People want talk – people want action, not just talk after seven years of George Bush.”

Honesty is often inadvertent. This election, the American people truly need talk and not just action. They should be well sated by November.

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