The comment came in the course of a "Today" interview with Meredith Vieira. Meredith began with a slow-pitch softball, asking whether Hillary believes the public has stopped listening to President Bush. Hillary allowed that "there's a great discouragement about the president's leadership."
But Meredith maximized the MPH with her next question:
"Many voters still have this very negative opinion of you, and some of the words that are used to describe you are not very kind." As Vieira beginning ticking off the awful adjectives: "strident, cold, scripted, phony," Hillary burst into this political season's most insincere laughter.
Check out Hillary's meretricious mirth in this video clip.
Meredith took note of Clinton's feigned frivolity: "You're laughing at that. Advisors have said that they want to humanize you. Why do people seem to have that perception of you after knowing you for 15 years."
Ouch. Being told that your handlers want to "humanize" you has got to hurt. And it was hard to mistake the implication of Vieira's mention of "15 years"? Hillary, at least in your case, familiarity really does breed contempt.
Hillary began by alluding to her two successful senate campaigns in New York, where she encountered the same kinds of "attitudes and stereotypes." For the record, I think Hillary gets way too much credit for winning there. In New York, registered Dems outnumber Republicans by 2 million, and Hillary ran first against a 'C'-list opponent and then against a virtual non-entity who didn't really bother to campaign.
Hillary then trotted out a line that she's begun using in recent days "I may be the most famous person you really don't know." Moving in for the kill, she encouraged people to "draw your own conclusion, don't draw it from what you hear somebody say on, you know, radio or cable TV."
I wonder if it occurred to Hillary that in pointedly singling out radio and cable TV, she was effectively making our NewsBusters case that broadcast TV is a Dem-friendly neighborhood?
Next, when it comes to Hillary taking out after her opponents, the Era of Good Feeling is officially over. That didn't last long!
Vieira: "[Edwards] has sort of positioned himself as the anti-war candidate. I'm envisioning the debate between the two of you when he turns to you and says 'I have repudiated my vote to go to war in Iraq, I have said it's a mistake. Senator, why can't you say your vote was a mistake?'"
Hillary: "Well, Meredith, I've taken responsibility for my vote. But I also as a member [with heavy emphasis on that word] of the United States Senate have a obligation to try to figure out what we're going to do now. I'm not on the sidelines, I'm in the arena."
Hillay didn't quite make the 'L' hand sign, but the message was unmistakable: "Johnny, why don't you go back to New Orleans, pound some more nails, and leave the driving to me?"
Aside: Since Hillary has flatly identified radio and cable TV as the enemy, how high might enactment of the "Fairness Doctrine," AKA the Hush Rush bill, be in a Clinton administration?Mark was in Iraq in November. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org