The media reported heavily on Hillary Clinton's appearance in Haverford, PA, 4/17, where she worked to showcase her softer-side, drawing a contrast between her friendly demeanor and the rancorous tone of the 4/16 debate:
• As she campaigned in the Philly suburbs 4/17, Clinton "sought to project a softer, more nurturing image than the stern figure on the debate stage" (O'Toole, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4/18).
• Clinton was "playing up her nice side" (Bender, Philadelphia Daily News, 4/18).
• Clinton "showcased a variety of family-friendly proposals, such as tax credits for long-term medical care and a call for a joint state-federal effort to add a paid leave component to existing family and medical leave programs" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4/18).
• Salon's Shapiro writes, Clinton used a "light touch in joking about her political negatives." When a male supporter in the audience at Haverford College asked for advice about how to persuade undecided voters as he canvassed his neighborhood, Clinton cracked: "Knock on the door and say, 'She's really nice.' Or you can say, 'She's not as bad as you think'" (Salon.com, 4/18).
• Newsweek's Romano writes "you'd be surprised at how convincingly Clinton "can convey warm and fuzzy in person. Sporting a soft brown pantsuit and a silky turquoise scarf, she replaced the flat Midwestern clang of her larger rallies with a hushed, confessional sigh" (4/17).
Give It Up For The Fourth Generation
Clinton "stood between her 88-year-old mother and 28-year-old daughter" 4/17 "to personalize issues for the 'sandwich generation' facing the demands of parents and children." In "renewing a push for the female voters who have drifted away from her campaign in recent weeks," Clinton said "the three generations of women in her family give her 'firsthand experience of all the challenges and changes that we face in our lives because different stages of life do present different questions.'" Dorothy Rodham "didn't speak during the event at Haverford College, but Chelsea Clinton" introduced HRC. Chelsea "revealed that she's 'someone who's thinking about having my own family in the not-too-distant future, something that will make my mother and grandmother infinitely happy'" (Pickler, AP, 4/18).
What Part Of The 90's Didn't You Like?
During a "street rally in working class northeast Philadelphia last night, Clinton told several hundred people that her husband's time" in the WH came down to two simple words. Clinton: "You know, sometimes during this campaign, my opponent criticizes the 90s, criticizes what my husband did, and that's fair because, after all, politics is about trying to make it clear why people should vote for you instead of your opponent. But when I hear him criticizing the 1990s, I'm always wondering which part of it didn't he like--the peace or the prosperity? Because I like both" (Pearson, "The Swamp," 4/18).
Complete Health Coverage
The American Leadership Project has "increased its purchase" of PA TV time on Clinton's behalf, spending an additional $200K to run an ad praising her health care plan in Pittsburgh (Luo, "The Caucus," 4/17).
Because Sam Malone Says So
Bill Clinton spent the day campaigning across PA 4/17, with an "itinerary" that brought him to "two towns in lumber country (Warren and Brookville), two cities in the heart of elk-watching country (St. Marys and Clearfield)," PA's "fourth-largest city (Erie) and a college town halfway across the state (Lock Haven)." During his visit to "Penn State Behrend's campus in Erie," B. Clinton "was introduced to the crowd by longtime friend and former 'Cheers' star Ted Danson, who called" HRC "the most authentic person I have ever met" (Santanam, AP, 4/18).
Some Kids Like Her
The Daily Pennsylvanian, the student newspaper of the Univ of PA, endorsed Clinton, noting: "We want to believe that Sen. Barack Obama can accomplish all he promises. His soaring rhetoric and compelling vision have inspired us and many other students. But while Obama's charisma far outshines" that of Clinton, "her public service, political experience and tenacity tell us not only 'Yes we can' but also 'How we can'" (4/17).
Clinton's camp, "with its earlier charges of elitism failing to stick, launched a new assault on Obama for his ties to" ex-Weather Undergrounder Bill Ayers. It's a "risky gambit" -- given that B. Clinton "commuted the sentences of two other Weather Underground members -- but her team insisted the connection is a potential game-changer that raises questions" about Obama's judgment. Clinton comm dir Howard Wolfson: "A man who said after 9/11 that his only regret was that he didn't plant more bombs hosted a political event for Barack Obama" (McAuliff, New York Daily News, 4/18).
A Thousand Points Of Light Go Dark
Wall Street Journal's Noonan writes, at Washington's Convention Center 4/15, Clinton "made the best speech of her campaign. She told the American Society of Newspaper Editors how she conceives 'the power and promise of the presidency.'" She asserted that Pres. Bush "had been 'unready' for the office, did not understand its 'constitutional character,' exhibited in his decisions an 'ideological disdain.' She said she hopes to 'restore balance and purpose' to the presidency, and detailed specific actions she would take immediately on entering" the WH.
"It didn't matter. Nobody noticed. A room full of journalists didn't notice this was something new and interesting. And they didn't notice because nobody is listening anymore." Political historians "will say her campaign sank with the mad Bosnia lie, but Bosnia broke through only because it expressed, crystallized, what people had already begun to think: too much mendacity there, too much manipulation" (4/18).
Des Moines Register's Basu writes, Clinton "is brilliant, shrewd and can stand up to anything. Yet rather than stressing her own impressive credentials, she's repeatedly undermined" Obama's. "Yes, politics can be cutthroat. But they should be ethical." In '93, Al Gore said: "This is a choice between the politics of fear and the politics of hope, between the past and the future, pessimism and optimism." How "easy it is to fall back into cynicism and fear-mongering. How critical it is to stay focused on hope" (4/18).
Wag Of The Finger
Clinton appeared on the "Colbert Report" last night. Obama and John Edwards were also on the show. See the DEM FIELD story for more and check out today's "Play of the Day."
This article appears in the April 18, 2008 edition of Latest Edition.