Friday, October 13, 2006

Ladies And Gentlemen, Your Next President

She came, she saw, she kicked ass...
As a New Yorker, I have had an unique perspective on watching Hillry evolve as a campaigner, and let me tell you, the scripted robot of the 2000 Senate campaign, where there were legitimate concerns that she'd lose the race simply because she couldn't string a paragraph of cogent thought together, even scripted, are gone.

I do have a critique of her campaign staff: work on your fire. I realize there's 25 days until the election and you have an insurmountable lead, but the point of last night's rally was to fire people (crowd was pretty sparse, I might add) up to go out and get out the vote in their districts. If you guys can't summon up the passion for this, then no one's going to want to go out and take on the tasks of defeating peter King or John Sweeney. Your shpiel needed punch and vinegar. Other than moments when you alluded to Hillary running for president, the crowd was pretty much getting drunk at the bar.

After a spirited and unique performance by a hip-hop violinist (yes, you read that correctly, and as soon as I can dig up her name, I'll edit this post and link to her stuff), including a pretty....errrrr...interesting rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, the lady herself came out from backstage for a fifteen minute pep talk.

She had fire, and spark, and the crowd responded nicely. She talked about universal healthcare and not getting into a war ever again without knowing all the facts and explaining all the facts ahead of time. She stumbled momentarily at this point, repeating this theme of "knowing going in" for some domestic policy which was clearly a mistake (she even caught herself) but she has the polish now not to let a slip up like that throw her off stride.

She ran with it, completed the thought, then went right back and corrected herself.

Most important, she reminded people that she has two opponents: John Spencer, but also, voter apathy. Not so much for her or Elliot Spitzer, but for people like John Hall, Kristen Gillibrand, and Eric Massa, among other New York State Dems running to take Republican seats away, and also took the time to mention three races in Connecticut that New Yorkers can and should get involved with, to unseat Republicans in that state.

But her biggest cheer came when she mentioned never having to see Rick Santorum in the Senate again.