The Clinton Legacy

Obama’s criticism that Hillary cannot cherry pick what she wants to take credit for or distance herself from from the 1990s was strong, as was him pointing out that Clinton’s health care plan failed because “fighting” meant even alienating members of her own party.

Obama Is Winning Handily So Far

As long as Obama can come across as just as comfortable about details on health care, trade, and foreign policy, he neutralizes Clinton’s argument that she’s eminently more prepared to be president than he is, and I think he’s accomplishing that tonight. He also has been fluid in responding to her attacks. Temperment-wise, he’s been calm, and she’s come unhinged at times. Her complaints about always getting asked the first question, as I noted below, made her look nuts. And as they were going to a commercial break, she tried to shout down Brian Williams to make a point, and he had to cut her off to go to the commercials. It came across as domineering, and not in a good, take charge, kind of way.

Hillary Goes Captain Queeg

Clinton just had a paranoid outburst about how she always seems to get the first question in the debates. Then cited a SNL sketch asking if Obama could use a pillow. She came across as slightly nuts, I thought.
UPDATE: Here’s the sketch…

Now There’s An Idea

In criticizing Obama’s health care plan that doesn’t provide mandates, Hillary Clinton just said, “It would be as if Franklin Roosevelt said, let’s make Social Security voluntary.”

Sounds good to me.

Live From Cleveland

I’m here at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University waiting for the Democratic candidates to go head to head. My hope is that there will be some fireworks, so I don’t have to sit through 90 minutes of them debating their “stark” differences on issues.

The snow is still falling here in Cleveland, but that didn’t stop demonstrators from making their voices heard outside the arena. In addition to the usual anti- Iraq War and environmental protesters, there was a large pro-Serbian contingent, with signs and banners declaring “Kosovo is Serbia.” The group was large and loud enough to drown out the Obama and Clinton supporters.

It Hit Me Like A Ton Of Playing Cards

I hope you won’t mind me picking on Hillary Clinton again this afternoon, but having grown up with a father in the casino business, I cannot resist noting how badly she mangled a gambling idiom at the townhall meeting in Lorain, Ohio today.

One questioner asked her about the inequity of the tax code, specifically how the rich aren’t paying their fair share, so the burden falls on everybody else.

Clinton talked about how she empathizes, especially as somebody who grew up in a middle class family. She should have left it at that. Instead, she kept going.

“The deck is stacked against the middle class,” she lamented, “and under President Bush, that deck has gotten even bigger.”

Stacking, of course, is a way of cheating in card games whereby one player arranges the cards in the deck to his advantage. I can assure you that the size of the cards is not a factor.

Clinton has had a rough couple of weeks, but perhaps her luck would change if she hit the crap tables and rolled herself a jackpot.

Hillary and “Green Collar” Jobs

LORAIN, OH — Hillary Clinton held a town hall style meeting here on Monday that focused on economic issues, and she pulled a noteworthy bait and switch.

Clinton opened by discussing the need to restore manufacturing jobs and prevent outsourcing. “I think if a country doesn’t make things, you can’t stay a strong country with a strong economy,” she argued.

She described her plan to bring back manufacturing to the U.S. in part by investing in the alternative energy sector so we could create “green collar” jobs. As she often does when talking about solar energy, she said, “You cannot outsource these jobs, somebody has got to climb up on that roof and put that solar panel up.”

While I have heard her use that line before and it always rang hollow, I never thought about it long enough to explain why. Until today.

Here’s the deal. Surely, you cannot outsource to another country the task of installing something on an American roof, but such an occupation would be a service job. It is quite easy to outsource the manufacture of solar panels themselves. In fact, after doing a quick Google search, I came upon a website that sells solar panels, and among the leading brands listed are: Sharp, Kaneka, Kyocera, and Mitsubishi.

Her statement is the equivelent of describing the duties of a local auto mechanic who repairs cars by arguing that you cannot outsource that job. Of course, the car itself could have been manufactured in Japan, or Germany, or Korea, or wherever.

Sometimes New York Is Just Better

ATHENS, OH — I know it can come across as obnoxious for New Yorkers to visit the heartland of America and offer complaints, but there are occasions on which I just cannot resist. One of those occasions came on Monday.

After finishing up a Bill Clinton event in the late afternoon, I was hungry. Unfortunately, it was one of those odd eating times when it’s too early for dinner, but too late for lunch. In New York, the normal solution is just to grab a slice of pizza as a holdover.

With little time to spare, I punched away at my GPS to locate pizzerias, and I drove over to the closest one, about a mile away. I felt quite at home when I walked in. I approached the counter, and confidently ordered a slice. Then I was stunned.

“Sorry, we only have slices on weekends, after 12 o’clock at night,” the young man told me.

I was speechless. Who ever heard of such a rigid slice rationing program? I just mumbled something underneath my breath, and stumbled out the door like an alcoholic who had been cut off by a bartender.

Luckily, or so I thought, there was a place called Goodfellas Pizza a few blocks away. It seemed like a sure bet. Perhaps Henry Hill himself was tossing the dough.

I began to jog over there, and as I approached, I saw a hanging sign that boasted “Goodfellas: Pizza By The Slice.” See, I knew Tuddy wouldn’t dissapoint me. And I’m sure it would have been great–had it been open. Unfortunately, though it was a Monday afternoon, the place was all gated up as if it were Christmas Eve.

To make a long story short, I never got my slice. A few hours later, I settled for an Arby’s bacon cheddar roast beef combo with curly fries and a Dr. Pepper.