November 30, 2007

Ouch, What a Nickname!

Hatched by Dafydd

Because of her propensity for dodging reporters, ducking questions, and avoiding any substantive answers even when she's cornered, Washington Post staffer Howard Kurtz has now given Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-Carpetbag, 95%) a new nickname: She's officially the "Catch me if you can" candidate:

ABC correspondent Kate Snow was ready to push through the crowd and ask Hillary Clinton a question until an aide blocked the path of Snow's sound man as he aimed his boom mike in the senator's direction.

"Sorry, we've gotta go," the woman said, though it was clear that Clinton would be shaking hands for some time....

Such is life spent trailing the Clinton juggernaut, where reporters can generally get close enough to watch but no further, as if separated from the candidate by an invisible sheet of glass.

Hillary Clinton and especially her handlers seem to do everything they can to prevent any sort of meaningful exchange between "Milady de Winter" and the fourth estate, even physically throwing a block, as in this case. Except for carefully controlled, coordinated, and (I suspect) carefully scripted events -- such as an interview with CBS's Katie Couric earlier this month -- Team Hillary allows only canned communications from the candidate: speeches, e-mails, and blog posts that can be vetted by the staff.

They provide no bus or van for the press, who are forced to chase the senator around the campaign trail like paparazzi pursuing Princess Di. Even reporters for major national media resources are "frustrated by a lack of access to Clinton."

Unlike her husband -- who loved to talk to the press and routinely made a beeline for the nearest media gaggle -- Hillary is aloof and solitary, and she shies away from questions far more than a typical politician. All candidates (except Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, 65%) are wary; but Clinton's press paranoia seems virtually Nixonesque:

Newsweek's Andrew Romano says the press didn't even get to take the tour when Clinton visited a Las Vegas sheet-metal factory. "The way we were herded into a small area to watch her walk into a room and meet with union officials just seemed slightly absurd," he says. When a colleague asked the staff for a chance to question Clinton, "they just kind of laughed it off."

Hilarious.

Clearly, Hillary does not think much of freedom of the press or the accountability of public officials. Worse, she is actually starting to sound spooked by the upcoming primaries; while talking with Katie Couric -- her only press contact scheduled that day -- Clinton did not sound like a confident candidate at all, according to Kurtz:

After the Concord event, Clinton retreated to a previously scheduled taping with Katie Couric, her only sustained encounter that day with the national media. The CBS anchor asked how disappointed she would be if she isn't the nominee. "Well, it will be me," Clinton said. When Couric pressed, Clinton insisted -- not terribly convincingly -- that she hadn't even considered the possibility she could lose.

Perhaps she sees mere voters, not just the press, as peons to be avoided, except insofar as they can help her -- and are screened in advance to make sure they'll ask the "correct" questions. (If they're not sure what they're allowed to ask, I'm sure a Hillary staffer will be quick with a stack of hand-out questions for audience members to memorize.)

The reason she is so insulated seems obvious to me: Her people know that whenever she opens her mouth, she offends another group of potential voters. She's condescending, her voice grates, and she can barely conceal her radical hatred of much of traditional American culture, as when she sneered at the First Lady of Country Tammy Wynette and denigrated housewives who stayed home and "baked cookies."

Even in this short piece about her unavailability to the press, Kurtz manages to quote something she said that will infuriate a whole segment of the voting public:

For more than an hour, 30 journalists watched from the small, darkened living room as Clinton chatted, awkwardly at first, with the five preselected guests. Her rhetoric against health insurance companies was harsher than might have been expected. They give patients the "runaround," deny care, "slow-walk" the payment of bills, she declared. "This is all part of their business model. This is how they make money. . . . The small-business health-care market is really rigged."

I wonder if she realizes that doctors themselves are also part of "the small-business health-care market?" Is Hillary Clinton saying that your family doctor is part of a get-rich-quick scheme to systematically deny you health care?

I don't think she can sustain this campaign model; it may have worked in New York in 2000 and 2006, but New York is not all of America. Sooner or later, she will either have to come out from her bubble and face the consequences of her radicalism and her Leona Helmsley-like condescention towards the "little people"... or else face equivalent wrath from voters for refusing to engage, for acting like the office is hers by right.

That will be "el momento de la verdad," the greatest test she has ever faced. And given what we know about her response to flunking the Washington D.C. bar exam -- she married Bill and fled to Arkansas -- I eagerly anticipate that moment of truth in the campaign.

Catch me if you can!

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 30, 2007, at the time of 5:50 PM

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Comments

The following hissed in response by: Fat Man

She assumes, probably correctly, that the MSM is in the tank for her and that they will do as they are told.

I am sure that the grand poobahs back at HQ will tell their little reporters and reporteretts to suck it up and mind their Ps and Qs. Theirs is not to reason why, and as She Herself has often said: you don't have to fall in love, you just have to fall in line.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

The above hissed in response by: Fat Man [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 30, 2007 6:09 PM

The following hissed in response by: Davod

She is following the example of Cristina Fern√°ndez de Kirchner who just became Argentina's first woman president (She is also the wife of the previous President).

Kirchner gave no interviews and was not available to the press.

The above hissed in response by: Davod [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 30, 2007 9:17 PM

The following hissed in response by: Davod

New headline - Clinton acts like she is running in South America.

The above hissed in response by: Davod [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 30, 2007 9:27 PM

The following hissed in response by: Fritz

One of the more amusing things about the situation is that those in the news media continually complain about their lack of access to Pres. Bush, yet they continue to shill for Sen. Clinton. She is even more secretive than Bush is.

The above hissed in response by: Fritz [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 1, 2007 3:25 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terry Gain

Bush secretive? Except for his phenomenal ability to maintain good humor and composure in the face of the most vile and vicious criticism, Bush seems quite normal to me.

The above hissed in response by: Terry Gain [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 1, 2007 4:01 AM

The following hissed in response by: Wave Maker

This is indicative of the persona of Hillary that make people distrust her reflexively, and it is one of the reasons that I predict (boldly) that despite her current standings in the polls, she will suffer a spectacular crash and burn before the Democratic convention. It will be Deanesque, and half the MSM will turn on her while the other half experiences schadenfreude.

It will be a thing of beauty.

(somebody slap me.)

The above hissed in response by: Wave Maker [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 1, 2007 8:11 AM

The following hissed in response by: Da Coyote

I just learned (via blogs talking about Bernstein's Today interview) that the Hillabeast flunked the DC bar. Nothing special about flunking the bar - many have done so - but her "World's Smartest Woman" mantle is becoming stained. She's now in a "class" with Teddy K.

The above hissed in response by: Da Coyote [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 1, 2007 3:52 PM

The following hissed in response by: LarryD

A way the press could get back at her, would be to list her last in any news about the race, as: "Sen. Clinton was unavailable for comment."

The above hissed in response by: LarryD [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 2, 2007 7:10 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

James:

Is this a real comment, or is this spam? It looks an awful lot like you just posted to get your link up here.

If you don't return within 24 hours and answer that it's real, I'll delete the comment on sheer suspicion!

In the meantime, just to be on the safe side, I've removed the link. If you answer that you're real, I might restore it. (That "5050webs" thingie.)

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 28, 2008 3:58 AM

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