Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Hillary-Bashing Continues...

Empty pantsuit - The Phoenix: By: STEVEN STARK

The reaction of one Hillary spokesperson (she has many) to the two books was, “Is it possible to be quoted yawning?” And he’s right, albeit for the wrong reasons....

The main problem, however, is the subject itself. To continue the cliché metaphor, with Hillary, there is no forest. Or, as Gertrude Stein once said of Oakland, “there’s no there there.”

The press’s assumption about Hillary has always been that she’s the power behind the throne: the smart, savvy one at Yale Law School, who got better grades but postponed her own political career for the benefit of her husband. David Brock wrote an earlier biography, The Education of Hillary Rodham, that advanced this thesis, making the claim that Hillary, not Bill, was the leading light of the twosome.

There’s only one problem with this theory: there isn’t evidence to support it. ...

The truth is that whenever Hillary has tried to do something important on her own — and it hasn’t been very often — she’s botched it rather spectacularly. The health-care “debacle” she managed during her husband’s first term was rightly named. And, not only did she get it wrong initially on Iraq — her most important vote in a fairly undistinguished Senate career to date — she refuses, to this day, to apologize for it, thereby confirming the suspicion that she is unpleasantly imperious.

Barack Obama doesn’t exactly have a lengthy résumé, either. But he differs from Hillary in two key ways. First, if you’ve read his book, you know he’s genuinely interesting, with a set of thoughtful and original political ideas, forged in a rather unconventional background. It’s fun to read his autobiography — though it remains to be seen if this intriguing persona translates into presidential material.

Second, he’s self-made and paid his dues as a community organizer and state legislator — which provided an education in itself. He didn’t get his Senate seat by being the husband of Michelle Obama (and then pretending that somehow his spouse had nothing to do with his rise to prominence).

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