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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    Hillary Clinton’s Big Speech

    By Kyle | August 26, 2008

    Hillary says she has spent “the last 35 years in the trenches.” Didn’t she spend some of them in law school and many subsquent years at an obscure corporate law firm in Arkansas? How are these things “trenches”? Is every law school student “in the trenches”? Is every fat-cat lawyer? “In the trenches” is a military metaphor. It’s a bit rich considering she has no military service on her resume. It’s a bit like John McCain claiming he’s got more soul than his opponent.

    “No way. No how. No McCain.”
    What does that mean? What reason has Hillary given us to vote against John McCain?

    “To my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits.” Funny. Kind of. But it shows Hillary is unaware of what pantsuits represent. They aren’t really an emblem of style. At least not the lumpy kind she favors.

    Me, me, me. There is a whole lot of me in this speech. “I ran for president…to sustain the American dream.” Fine. Weren’t you supposed to be talking about Barack Obama? Hillary Clinton is like the passive-aggressive monster Kristen Wiig plays on “Saturday Night Live.” It’s all, “Yes, Barack Obama is our great hope” (Um, I got 18 million votes.) “I support Barack Obama.” (Um, I’ve been doing this for 35 years, not half a Senate term). “Barack Obama represents hope and change.”) (Um, Georgia, Iran, Iraq…remind you of anything? Like the fact that I’ve got more foreign policy credentials.)

    At last, she has started beginning sentences with Barack Obama will do this and that. He’ll cure the economy and global warming and repair our alliances. Okay.

    “John McCain is my colleague and friend. He has served our country with honor and courage. More high gas prices and less alternative energy. More jobs getting shipped overseas. More war and less diplomacy.” That’s the stuff. But it’s a bit hard to prove, isn’t it?

    “In 2008 [McCain] still thinks it’s okay when women don’t earn equal pay for equal work.” Did I miss something? Did Barack Obama propose massive legislation to establish a vast new bureaucracy to go around figuring out how much work everyone does and making sure women and men doing exactly the same jobs, with, presumably, the same level of expertise and seniority and the same number of hours worked per week, get paid exactly the same? You would think I would have noticed. Or is the reason to vote against McCain what he “thinks” on this issue, irrespective of whether this has any policy implications? How does she know what McCain thinks, anyway?

    Harriet Tubman?
    Did Hillary Clinton just compare herself to a fugitive slave? Where exactly did she experience something comparable to slavery? in the wealthy suburb of Chicago where she grew up? Or at Wellesley?

    “We’re Americans. We’re not big on quitting.” Good line.

    “There is no chasm too deep. No ceiling too high.” A little fist-pumping action. Nice, positive. Effective. She’s forceful, seems confident and in charge, presidential. Pretty good speech. I don’t think it’s going to change many minds.

    Topics: Movies | 3 Comments »

    3 Responses to “Hillary Clinton’s Big Speech”

    1. kishke Says:
      August 27th, 2008 at 10:31 am

      This speech is not intended to change minds; it’s to get the faithful excited.

      No way. No how. No McCain.

      An unfortunate choice. The Republicans can turn it around with the far more catchy “No way; no how; Nobama.”

    2. Steven Says:
      August 27th, 2008 at 10:55 am

      “I ran for president…to sustain the American dream.”

      Uh huh. Right. How about, “I ran for president because I really really want to be president. I’m smarter than all of you, and I know better than you how to run things.”

    3. Patrick W. Says:
      August 27th, 2008 at 12:50 pm

      I kept thinking about carrots for some reason. The natural unsaid follow up to the Americans aren’t big on quitting line is – unless they are democrats and we are talking about Iraq.