January 25th, 2007

VDB Says Hillary “Liebermaniacal,” You say “Credible” — Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off (And Yes, McCain is “The New Bob Dole”)

by Philip Baruth

Admittedly, we jumped on the Obama bandwagon early here at VDB. Before there were any horses, as a matter of fact. And that’s something of which we’re proud, rather than ashamed.

Obama, Sanders, Welch, Bullhorn

But it does truncate our Primary coverage in certain ways. For instance, it makes it difficult to cover the Clinton campaign in anything other than lukewarm terms.

And for all of her Liebermaniacal positioning on The War, Hillary is, after all, a Democrat.

Solution? Long-time reader Rick writes in with his take on Hillary, Obama, and their various responses to the State of the Union. He came away unexpectedly impressed with HC.

We yield the floor to the Gentleman from Colorado.


Dear VDB,

I flipped channels last night after the speech and watched what, to me, was the more interesting and ultimately important “exchange” of the evening — the Barack-Hillary Response Contest.

And I hate to say it, but Hillary won hands down.

Barack appeared back to back on CNN and ABC — appeared on ABC right between McCain and Hillary, so the comparisons were easy to draw — and he sounded way too rehearsed and vague, although articulate as always.

Articulate murkiness, is how I’d put it.

He repeated the exact same four or five sound-bite platitudes in both of his interviews. He hovered in that murky middle that he seems to be staking out for himself, the Post-Boomer Young Guy New Candidate New Politik-Speak that sounds neat but feels fuzzy, especially right now when sharp lines need to be drawn.

Hillary, on the other hand, seemed far less-rehearsed yet satisfyingly specific in the ABC interview I saw.

In essence, of course, she and Barack were saying the same thing — draw down the troops responsibly while simultaneously engaging regional partners in diplomacy to find a political solution. But Hillary had the balls last night, man, and Barack didn’t.

obama, hillary

She wanted to hold Iraqi feet to the fire; she talked about finding “leverage” and making credible threats and she trashed that snake Maliki and she slapped down Charlie Gibson (who SO wanted to nail her) by talking in intelligent specifics, making him seem kind of bumbling and burbling after his initial “tough questions.”

She sounded like a person who knew the facts and had formulated a plan.

In comparison, Barack sounded almost slick. I was disappointed. Especially after Jim Webb had spoken (a perfect choice for The Response) and kicked some Bush ass again, I wanted a little fire from Barack.

In fact, last night I responded more to Webb than Obama. I think Webb has a real future.

I think people who support Barack right now are a little giddy with the Newness Factor. The same goofy fear of “non-electability” that knee-capped Howard Dean and supposedly cripples Hillary if she goes up against Manly McCain is a chimera.

Did you see McCain last night? Holy crap he’s old. He’s the new Bob Dole. I think the Hillary-McCain debates would be a blast for us.

And I think Barack supporters who support him by tearing down Hillary are making a huge mistake.

The Barack Backlash is beginning; if he handles it with grace AND a little kickass fire, my feelings will change. But there’s a long slog ahead, and I think Hillary is almost fireproof by now.

Plus I think she’d be a great freaking president.

— Rick

hillary, in a nice clean shot

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  1. on January 25th, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    […] A lot of folks, both in the media and in the public, were very taken with Jim Webb’s response to the State of the Union. […]