Hermits Rock

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In the face of the Obama campaign’s recent good news, Senator Clinton’s eleventh-hour stump speech falls kinda flat. In October when she was in the lead, Clinton ignored her Democratic rivals and criticized the President’s policies; her aim was to ride his failures to her victory. The speech is different now. She rehashes her qualifications, an asserts her character, and outlines her goals—all necessary on the stump, but built entirely on intellectual appeal. The speech is a basic plea for her case, an assertion that she can too do the job of President. But I think it’s too late for that plea. Were I in her shoes, my inclination would be to assume that my message has reached who it is going to reach; the aim of my campaign appearances, then, would be to distill my message, to purify it into as clear a case for my candidacy as possible. Edwards is doing exactly that; so too is Obama (if David Broder’s slobbering over it is any indication, “erogenous zones of various Democratic constituencies” notwithstanding). The purpose of the speech should have changed by now, and the message should have been abbreviated to accomodate that shifted purpose. Now is the time to build up ardor in her campaign, to create passion for the undecideds to latch onto. She didn’t do that tonight.

On the plus side, Tom Vilsack and Chelsea were there…

And JAW won a signed lapel pin for knowing that HRC won a Grammy for the audiobook of It Takes a Village!

JAW wins!



JAW is trying to finish “I’ve Been a Nerd in All Fifty States” BINGO before he turns forty.

Can you believe he squealed last night with excitement? I can just imagine what he’s like today with Edwards and Obama back-to-back.

I can only imagine that going to hear Edwards and Obama with JAW will be a bit like going to a Tennessee football game with him. The squealing will reach untold levels.

Alas, I must miss the experience: I had to go back to work today, and both O & E are here this afternoon.

And Deeth weighs in again with a devastating story of a Clinton precinct captain having been snatched up by Obama just last night:

After the Clinton rally last night in Iowa City, a Clinton precinct captain sighed in frustration and, insisting on anonymity, shared this story. The precinct captain’s friend, a school principal, had said he was trying to choose between Clinton and Obama. He was on his way into the rally when his cell phone rang. It was Obama.

Not a campaign staffer, a volunteer, or a robo-call. It was Barack Obama himself.

The personal request proved to be sufficient, as the principal pledged his support directly to the candidate, turned on his heels, and walked out of the Clinton event.

That’s brutally smart retail politics on Obama’s part. The rest of Deeth’s analysis is parallel to what I said above (and more informed).

I squealed even more when I shook Edwards’ hand. Oh, and seeing C sit next to Elizabeth Edwards and chat her up made me squeal too, only quieter.

I tried to go to the big Obama event at the Marriott yesterday, but the room was full and going to the audio-only overflow room was the only option, so I left. Bummer.