If I Were Writing Hillary Clinton’s Stump Speech…

I don’t think it serves Hillary well to continue to throw the kitchen sink (as people are putting it) at Obama. It makes her look bad. And, in laying a foundation of doubt in voters’ minds about him (re NAFTA, Rezko, 3 A.M. phone calls, etc.), she has already done what she needed to do. At this point, if I were she, this is what I’d say:

“My opponent, Barack Obama, is an honorable public servant—and a politician. I, too, am an honorable public servant—and a politician. As honorable public servants, we have both done good things. As politicians, we have both had to make compromises we wish we hadn’t made. Neither one of us is perfect—any more perfect than any of you.

“Therefore, don’t judge either of us in comparison to a standard of perfection. You won’t find either one of us coming close. You won’t find me coming closer than my opponent to being an angel, nor will you find him coming closer to being an angel than me. We are both good, imperfect people, making the best decisions we can and doing the best we can for you, as we see it.

“That is all I ask you to keep in mind when you compare us. If you can put it out of your mind that this is a race between a messiah and an ordinary mortal, a race between someone capable of magic and someone capable of mere earthly deeds, and compare us instead on a level playing field of human strength and weakness, as we deserve to be compared, then I am satisfied to be judged on our other, real, differences. If you find my opponent’s policies better than mine, vote for him, and if the opposite, vote for me. If you judge him better able than I to carry out the responsibilities of the job, and to accomplish an agenda, then vote for him, and if your judgment is the opposite, then vote for me. I cannot ask for a fairer test than that. But I can insist on a test that meets this level of fairness. For to compare us as two entirely different animals—one divine, and one earthly—is not only to provide an unfair obstacle to me, it is to invite sure disappointment for you. Thank you, and God bless America.”

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One Comment on “If I Were Writing Hillary Clinton’s Stump Speech…”

  1. eksith says:

    This is an effort on Hillary’s part to show that they are not political clones (obvious differences aside).

    Unfortunately, as you pointed out, this has the possibility to backfire on her. I don’t think there is an easy way out here, because she will be criticised for being too lax on Obama, as the press has allegedly been, or too harsh as seen with the “Kitchen sink” situation.

    The double-edged sword is that she “needs” to point out that she is not Just-Another-Politician™ without morphing into Ghandi or Medusa herself. Obama seems to pull this off quite easily. Even with the recent questions re. NAFTA.

    I’m not sure if this can be solved with a soothing speech; I think a discussion is in order. Not a debate, but a discussion. Both opponents sit opposite each other and explain (without criticising the other) why they run for the job, and what needs to be done.

    They both need to prove to the public that they are actually going to do what they promise and, above all else, they are competent and know how to do it.

    Hillary needs to show that her experience means something and Obama needs to show his words mean something.

    This could also pave the way for an Obama-Hillary or Hillary-Obama ticket.


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