And as soon as it ended, Clinton took full advantage of the opportunity she had unexpectedly been handed.
In her New Hampshire press conference, she stood before a column of police in green and tan uniforms. She talked of meeting with hostages. She mentioned that she spoke to the state’s governor about eight minutes after the incident began.
The scene was one of a woman in charge.
“It looked and sounded presidential,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “This was an instance of the White House experience of this campaign. They knew how to handle this.”
That the crisis was outside Clinton’s control gave it a rare quality in this era of hyper-controlled politicking, Sabato added.
“What’s most important about it is that it’s not contrived. It’s a real event and that distinguishes it from 99 percent of what happens in the campaign season.”
Er, what? Sabato, who usually gives intelligent political analysis, must have inhaled a little deeply. Clinton was nowhere near New Hampshire during the entirety of the crisis. What was presidential about having the Rochester PD talk a hostage-taker out of a building? What “leadership” did Hillary show in Virginia during this crisis? She canceled a speech!
Well, look, Ed; let’s give Larry a little credit here. For you and I, and about half the country, looking presidential, means a vastly different thing, then it does to the other half. To the half containing you and I, looking presidential means there’s some substance there. To the other hand, not so much. Put another way, some of the people are easier to fool with appearances, than are others. Hilary knows that, and so does Sabato.
So I think from a strictly clinical point of view, Larry is quite right. She played this one just that she had to. He knows, as you and I do, that most of that kind of thing doesn’t have to involve any substance at all. It’s all about perception, and positioning.
Hillary Clinton canceled a speech, simply because the appearance at a news conference in Rochester was going to give her more news exposure than that speech would have. She knows full well that the press is going to be speaking of her actions , whatever they were, in reverent tones , and her loyalists outside the press were going to be lapping that message up. And in that sense, who can argue his point?
I agree there is no substance there. Then again, that wasn’t Larry’s point.
And let’s remember, too, that this kind of usurping of responsibility is a Clinton specialty. I said it often enough when Bubba was in the WH… that he had developed a knack for jumping in front of the Lynch mob, and convincing everybody that it was a parade that he was leading. This is simply more of the same.
Memeorandum has the conversation threaded. I note particularly that fellow Swamp Stomper Gaius over at Blue Crab Blvd has a decent reax roundup.