June 07, 2008
Thoughts After Hillary’s Speech

Just finished listening to Hillary’s speech, which struck me as graceful and useful. And from as much of the subsequent pundibabble as I could endure, this seemed to be the consensus.

So I’ll only bother to add two things that are unlikely to come up in everybody else’s instant analysis.

First, both Hillary and Chelsea clapped back at the audience. New rule, as Bill Maher says: Keep your hands to yourself. Otherwise you look as stupid as every show biz jackass who bounds into camera range clapping for — well, for whom?

If for your own wonderful self, it amounts to an unattractive act of public masturbation. If for the audience, it is the gesture of a desperate suck-up.

The second thing was Hillary’s juxtaposition of two words that I doubt have been uttered in sequence by any major presidential candidate, Democrat or Republican, for 30 years. They are “promoting” and “unionization,” presented as a desirable goal.

Not “recognizing the importance of” unionization. ” Not “backing” or “championing” or “defending” it. Promoting it. Maybe the word was carelessly chosen or insincerely spoken. But if not — if the active promoting of unionization by government has become mentionable once more in mainstream Democratic rhetoric — this could turn out to be huge.


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at June 07, 2008 02:50 PM
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Obama claps for himself, too. It's a Me Generation thing. Oh wait a minute. How about Hillary? Maybe it's a Baby Boomer thing too.

Posted by: PSymbol on June 8, 2008 7:15 AM

As regards the clapping, although I agree with you and "Bill," I think in this instance both Chelsea and Hillary were clapping for the audience, in general, for being supporters of the campaign, and in some instances pointing to specific people in the audience, so I tend to give them a pass in this particular circumstance.

I'm delighted you noticed that bit about promoting unionism; it stuck me as going to the heart of why we've had those declining rates of unionization for so many decades - government as run by Republicans is in the business of stopping unionizing on behalf of their own corporate base.

Posted by: Leah on June 8, 2008 8:35 AM

i have always been annoyed with Hillary's clapping but dont know why and still dont / great speech though

Posted by: Katherine Hunter on June 9, 2008 8:40 PM
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