By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Clinton and Obama

I’m watching Hillary Clinton’s speech right now, and the atmospherics are interesting. The crowd behind her is much younger than the one that was with her in Iowa, which shows that she learned from Barack Obama’s event last week. For that matter, she looks younger. So does Bill.

Obama’s speech was characteristically excellent, but it differed little from the one he delivered in Iowa. For that matter, it differed little from the one he might have given if he’d won tonight. Could he have been unprepared for defeat?

Clinton’s speech, at least in a surface kind of way, makes me think of McCain’s — pedestrian, but warm enough to compensate. Clinton does not often strike people as warm, so this could prove to be pretty effective.

She’s promising “to end the war in Iraq the right way,” a mild shot at Obama’s unqualified pledge to bring the troops home.

She’s really pushing the youth thing: “I want to thank the young people in New Hampshire who came out. They asked the hard questions, and they voted their hearts and minds. And I really appreciate it.”

So now what? She survived a near-death experience and won New Hampshire, the first and arguably the most important primary. Clearly nobody knows anything, least of all me. I’ll point out only that for the past year, Clinton has seemed like the inevitable nominee with the exception of just the past five days. Now she’s the inevitable nominee once again. Unless and until she isn’t.

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The AP calls it for Clinton


Times’ robot goes green


  1. O-FISH-L

    At 11:09 Dan said: “For that matter, she looks younger. So does Bill.”Dan, other than waiting for Hillary after the speech off-stage, where did you see Bill? One of the pundits on FNC (Dick Morris, perhaps) was quick to note that Bill was intentionally kept off-stage in order to make the “change” theme seem plausible. I’m sure the teeny-boppers as backdrop was choreographed for the same reason. I guess the hybrid campaign bus is next for her. Maybe we’ll get to see the selections on her iPod too.

  2. Anonymous

    I hope you’ll allow this Dan. Here’s Barnicle making fun of McCain’s Victory speech and unfortunately using language meant to infer that McCain “didn’t write” his own speech… can think of little less vile.

  3. lucy the dog

    I was in the eighth grade when George H.W. Bush took office.If Hillary wins and ‘serves’ two terms, I’ll be in my early forties when the Bush/Clinton dynasty comes to an end.I realize that’s looking far ahead, but the mere prospect is too depressing for words.

  4. Dan Kennedy

    Fish: Right at the beginning, before they zoomed in on her. I didn’t see him again. Good grief, I swear I saw him up there.

  5. Dan Kennedy

    Fish: Don’t give me heart failure. Take a look at the front of the New York Times.

  6. Tony

    He was there.After she thanked the crowd a few times, my wife and I both wondered, Where’s Bill? She then waved both Chelsea and Bill up, they hugged, and then they both scurried back down the stairs to the base of the podium. Later, one of the feeds had the camera on Bill and Chelsea at the bottom of the stairs, smiling up at Hillary.This was the smart thing to do. She’s running a national campaign a Bill is liked and despised just as she is. Better to quickly shoo him off stage so he doesn’t do anymore damage to the campaign. Interesting how the polls were completely off in the late stages. All the talk of Obama zooms to 10 points-plus – and that doesn’t include all the young people without land lines. Just a few days ago, Hillary was 10-plus up herself. She won a squeaker and probably never truly lost the lead.

  7. mike_b1

    lucy, don’t forget Jeb Bush is waiting in the wings.

  8. ben

    When is Frank Luntz going to realize that his focus groups are just way too small a sample? His analysis is interesting to watch on C-span when there’s nothing else on but its all but useless to extrapolate anything.Dan — McCain “sounds like he’s reading” because he is. Never heard a politician pause in the wrong spots more. They’re going to have write in where to pause and look up for him.

  9. DJS

    I’m wondering whom Richardson’s 5% will support once he withdraws from the race.Who are they — centrists? Young? Hispanic? Democrats? Independents? Suburban?I don’t expect Edwards to withdraw any time soon, and my hunch is that Richardson’s supporters will end up in Clinton’s camp.Doug

  10. Anonymous

    Dan, I had the same reaction to all the “young faces” behind Hillary — it was clearly a reaction to Obama’s “appeal to youth.” Sort of like rock bands putting the pretty girls near the stage when filming a video.I can’t agree on But while I found myself being carried along by the cadences of Obama’s speech, I found that after a while he wasn’t saying anything of substance.In fact, the only one of the top three Democrats who actually said something of substance during his speech Tuesday night was Edwards. Perhaps substance indicates desperation, or is just bad politics.Bob in Peabody

  11. mike_b1

    Per the data CNN posted last night, some 15% of the Dem voters went to the polls undecided. That’s enough to swing a 10-point Obama lead to a 2-point Clinton win. Perhaps the polls were right, and the media simply misunderstood what the data were revealing.

  12. Anonymous

    Anon 12:58, Arguably more vile than Barnicle(!) criticizing the provenance of McCain’s speech was the suck-up laughter by studio groupies when Olbermann gave his pro-forma apology. They think Keith is E.R. Murrow and he has probably the lowest “Q score” in TV history.

  13. Anonymous

    or Dan making no comment on that disgusting display

  14. Robin Edgar

    :She’s really pushing the youth thing: “I want to thank the young people in New Hampshire who came out. They asked the hard questions, and they voted their hearts and minds. And I really appreciate it.”Interestingly enough, it ws reported on CBC news tonight that the demographic that actually swung the vote in Hillary Clinton`s favor was women over the age of 65 massively coming out to vote in New Hampshire. Perhaps Hillary should really be thanking all the older women of New Hampshire who voted for her.

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