Hillary Rodham Clinton claims she has “solutions” while Barack Obama only has “speeches.” Obama, she says borrowing an old Texas cliché, is “all hat and no cattle.”
From this vantage point, we’ll take Obama’s words over Clinton’s solutions. Given her performance in the last eight Democratic Presidential primaries, we’d also say Hillary is all hat and no delegates.
As her rhetoric turns shriller, Clinton finds herself with fewer ears to assault. Blacks desert her in droves to back Obama. Latinos are taking a second look at the Senator from Illinois and liking what they see. Her base among older white women erodes daily.
At her cavernous campaign headquarters in Arlington, senior staff members scream at each other and point fingers of blame at anyone but themselves. Her attack dog husband, neutered by a backlash against his over-aggressive tactics last month, now utters the same shrill rhetoric as his wife.
Hillary is in trouble and it shows in every movement, every action and every bungled attempt to jumpstart her campaign. Her new strategy of putting everything on the line in the delegate-rich states of Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania threatens to turn her into the Rudy Giuliani of the Democratic Party.
She may still pull this one out. Nobody in politics can top the Clintons on comebacks but this time the odds are longer and the opponent may be better at the game than them.
Dissing Obama’s speeches is, at best, a risky strategy. Barack Obama is an exciting candidate and his charismatic appeal restores faith in a political system that many Americans despise because of the last seven years of George W. Bush, the eight years before that of Bill and Hillary Clinton and the terms of other Presidents going back to Richard M. Mixon and Watergate.
Obama brings hope in a time of despair and attracts those disillusioned by the system back into the electoral process.
As Americans, we desperately need to feel good once again about our country. We need someone to restore that pride that the Bushes, the Clintons and others have stripped away with too many lies, too many scandals and too many assaults on our freedoms.
Call it the “man on a white horse” syndrome, riding in to save the day. Perhaps it is fitting that the man riding that white horse may be black. In another time, perhaps it could be a woman on the white horse but at this time and place that woman does not appear to be Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Barack Obama is not perfect. No human being should claim perfection and no voter should expect it. But a real leader inspires the nation he or she serves. A real leader motivates. A real leader restores hope to a nation in despair.
The jury is still out on whether or not Barack Obama is that leader. Hillary Clinton clearly is not.