THE BLOG

Hill, You've Got $100 Million; Show Some Class

05/25/2011 12:30 pm ET
  • Trey Ellis Novelist, Screenwriter, and Associate Professor at Columbia University

She had her chance at being part of the Dream Team, although not at the top of the ticket as she had hoped, however her Swiftboating of Obama with her "bitter" new ad campaign sank any hope she might have had of rescuing her campaign from abject defeat. I'm not a Hillary hater and have defended her against months of unfair and often misogynistic ad hominem attacks but this latest round of ugliness from her side has proven that she is unfit to lead the Democratic party.

Yes, Obama's gaffe was a big one and as his opponent she has every right to go after him but she never coupled that with an even more devastating critique of McCain. She is the weakest link in a three-way-race right now so her labeling Obama "elitist" carries much more water for McCain than it does for her slim-to-none chance at victory. An opponent who understood the larger goal of electing a Democrat to the White House would have said to rural Pennsylvanians, "Obama doesn't get it, McCain certainly doesn't get it. However I understand your pain and promise to fight to bring jobs back to America's industrial heartland."

Of course this is not the first time she's played nasty. Saying that only she and McCain were ready on day one was her second strike in my book. Her first came earlier, when 60 Minutes asked her if she thought Obama was a Muslim. Her crack that he wasn't, "as far as I know," made me originally suspect her integrity.

Look, Obama is going to have real problems with this snob issue during the general election. (Note to HuffPost editors, try to avoid using any more of those photos of him with his nose in the air. They make him look like Louis XIV's love child.) This "elitism" is a narrative that began with his "You're likable enough," crack which may have helped him lose New Hampshire, to the gutter ball (please, sir, never again bowl in a tie), to "bittergate." In the short run polls show he's already recovered from the comment and the 24-hour news networks' orgiastic fixation with it seems to have already backfired on Tricky Hill.

Obama can win over enough of the rural and the rustbelters by being his authentic, down-home self. I remember years ago seeing him at a fundraiser in LA for his Senate campaign and he said that the whites of southern Illinois were flocking to his rallies. His state is not all that different from PA. Voters just need to be assured that he is regular folks. When they offer him chocolates he's gotta eat them. Drink the beer. He needs to be less professorial and more cool high school science teacher/basketball coach ("Hey, Mr. O! Mr. O! My frog's legs are still kicking.") They need to see him, tie off, jacket off, shooting free throws with a rural Pennsylvania high school basketball team. Obama needs to run for president as if he was running for the mayor of Altoona, PA.

And Hillary needs to go on a long vacation.