Rolling Stone: Hillary, Obama Both 'Superficial Conservatives'

Terminally tasteless Rolling Stone political reporter Matt Taibbi has a new piece in the February 7 edition proclaiming Hillary Clinton is "The New Nixon." The article comes complete with a cartoon of Hillary with Nixon's ski-lift nose. (Earth to Rolling Stone: the Weekly Standard beat you to this punch by at least a decade.) Taibbi is so far left that both Hillary and Barack Obama are on the right. The pull quote reads "It's Kennedy-Nixon redux -- two superficial conservatives selling highly similar politics."

The longer quote in the text is this: "In Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, we've basically got Kennedy-Nixon redux, and I mean that in the most negative possible sense for both of them -- a pair of superficial, posturing conservatives selling highly similar political packages using different emotional strategies." I quote this not because Taibbi is worth reading, but because his political radar is so mangled.

Earlier in the piece, Taibbi declares Hillary "is basically a Republican at heart...Hillary has basically run exactly Nixon's 1968 campaign." She was "on the opposite side of every issue that sent lefties into the streets in the Bush years, from the war to free trade to the Patriot Act."

The subtitle to the article mentions how her strategy is "straight out of Tricky Dick's paranoid, press-bashing playbook," but there's almost nothing her on her press relations. There's just this:

Hillary's campaign is and always has been presented as a pitched battle for political survival against bitter enemies, and no reporter who has watched the way she stage-manages every last utterance and generally treats the press like a gang of rattlesnakes (which they are, of course) can possibly fail to appreciate the similarity to Nixon's own troubled, hypervigilant relationship with the fourth estate.

To Taibbi, the Nixon analogies continued to flow. Hillary's tearing up in New Hampshire was "Hillary's own personal Checkers speech, a painful bit of self-mutilation tossed off on the last step before the political gallows -- a pure sea-cucumber tactic, scaring us off with a display of vulnerable green guts."

Her victory in New Hampshire reminded him of "all the reasons why we came to hate the Clintons over the years -- why there were scores of very smart people who by November 2000 were actually willing to pull a lever for Ralph Nader rather than go anywhere near a Democratic Party ticket."

Rolling Stone Matt Taibbi
Tim Graham's picture