After months of desperately trying to get in touch with her inner red-stater, Hillary Clinton appeared at the first major fundraiser of her re-election campaign today and offered the 1,000-strong crowd a heaping helping of Democratic red meat, lashing out at the Bush administration ("They want to undo and turn the clock back on the progress of the 20th Century") and Congressional Republicans ("It is very hard to stop people who have never been acquainted with the truth").
The crowd at the "Women for Hillary" gathering ate it up and handed over $250,000 in campaign cash.
The trouble with Hillary’s speech was that for all the partisan speechifying, it was almost exclusively empty rhetoric that she was dishing out. "We can’t ever, ever give in to the Republican agenda... it isn’t good for America," she declared. This from a United States Senator who voted to confirm Condoleezza Rice, supported the invasion of Iraq, and came back from a March trip to Iraq sounding more like a White House flack than a potential standard bearer of the opposition party.
Indeed, throughout the speech, Hillary adopted the tone of a powerless activist whining about those in power rather than a high-profile member of the World’s Most Exclusive club. The low point came when she blamed much of the Republicans’ success on a too timid press corps ("Where are the investigative reporters today? Why aren’t they asking the hard questions?") and suggested that reporters should look into such issues as the $9 billion missing in Iraq.
Of course she’s right about the mainstream media abdicating their investigative role... but, c’mon, it’s not like Senator Clinton and her congressional cohorts are powerless to look into such things. In fact, that’s what the constitution says they are there for. It’s called Congressional Oversight, HRC... I’m sure it was in the introductory packet they handed you when you first arrived. I mean, if you are so worried about the missing $9 billion, why not demand that the GOP pals you’ve famously been making in the Senate -- including Rick Santorum, after all -- create a modern Truman Committee and, if they refuse, keep bringing it up every day until they do. That’s your job -- and if you begin doing it maybe the media will be forced to do theirs.
My favorite bit was when she urged reporters to “get some spine.” Uh, right back at ya, Senator.