Janesville49.5°

White with foam

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Rick Horowitz
April 15, 2008

Up for a little mental gymnastics, boys and girls? Nothing like a bit of cranial exertion to get things moving first thing in the morning, don’t you agree?


Excellent! So let’s cast our memories back a million years or so—which is to say, a month or two ago.


It only feels like a million years; it’s a presidential campaign.


Do you remember, way back then, when large chunks of the political world seemed to have fallen in love with that heart-tugging, pearl-speaking underdog from Illinois, Barack Obama?


(Admit it—it does feel like a million years ago, doesn’t it?)


Do you also remember, way back then, how the former frontrunner, Hillary Clinton (aka “The Inevitable One”), responded to this sudden boulder in her career path?


Well, yes—she did go on the attack. “She went on the attack” is almost always the correct answer to Hillary Clinton campaign questions. But I’m looking for more specifics. Do you happen to remember one particular aspect of that attack?


I’m talking about the beer thing.


You do remember the beer thing, don’t you?


Having pretty much run through every other gimmick to try to stop Obama’s post-Super Tuesday winning streak, do you remember how Clinton tried to turn his strengths into flaws? She tried going after his likability. She tried turning him into George Bush.


Barack Obama might be a friendly guy, Clinton warned in her most ominous tones. He might be a good guy to have a beer with. But we’ve already elected a president we thought would be a good guy to have a beer with, and that didn’t work out so well.


Leave aside for a moment the utter creakiness of the Clinton logic: Bush is likable. Obama is likable. Bush has been a disaster as president. So Obama would be a disaster as president. We need leaders, not lagers—Vote for Hillary!


You see where this is going, don’t you?


This is going straight into the Pennsylvania primary, where Clinton is desperate to keep her campaign alive and happy to jump on any opening Obama gives her. His recent comments about working-class worries turning some working-class people “bitter,” for instance. She’s been pounding on that for days.


Clinton has apparently decided that the problem with Obama isn’t that he’s the kind of candidate people might want to have a beer with. The problem with Obama, she’s now decided, is that he isn’t the kind of candidate they’d want to have a beer with.

He’s “condescending.” He’s “divisive.” He’s “elitist.”


Unlike, say, Hillary Clinton, who’s trying mightily to convince Pennsylvanians that there’s nothing in the world she likes better than a nice frosty one—except maybe a nice frosty one that follows a good strong shot of whiskey, especially when the nice frosty one and the good strong shot of whiskey just happen to be served up in a friendly Pennsylvania tavern with the cameras rolling.


Forget what she said a million years ago. A month or two ago. We need leaders with lagers—Vote for Hillary! Our Hillary—just your average gal with the house in Georgetown and the house in Westchester and the degree from Wellesley and the degree from Yale and the Hollywood pals and the Renaissance Weekends and the Elton John fund-raisers and the hundred-million bucks.

Another round, barkeep.


Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at rickhoro@execpc.com.

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