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Live from DNC: Hillary the Angry Populist, Part II (Day 3)

Clinton's speech was very environment-friendly: it was all recycled.

by
Robert Stacy McCain

Bio

August 27, 2008 - 11:44 am
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Sen. Hillary Clinton’s big speech Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention had a familiar ring to those who covered the former First Lady during the primaries.

Once she had name-checked Barack Obama, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and Bill Gwatney, Hillary said, “I ran for President to renew the promise of America,” and then went into a laundry list of promises recycled from the latter phase of her campaign.

After falling behind Obama in the delegate count, Hillary ditched her above-it-all demeanor and resorted to a fiery populist style that recalled Hubert Humphrey during the 1972 campaign, when the Democrat’s shameless promise-a-minute rhetoric caused gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson to dismiss Humphrey as “a shallow, contemptible and hopelessly dishonest old hack.”

Philip Klein of the American Spectator called it Hillary’s “Say Anything” campaign. By May, Klein observed, Clinton was “staking her candidacy on a barrage of policy proposals that are completely untenable, and focused mainly on inciting middle class anger toward a carefully chosen list of enemies.”

This neo-populist message was what Hillary recycled in her speech Tuesday: “a clean energy economy that will create millions of green collar jobs … a health care system that is universal, high quality, and affordable … a world class education system and make college affordable again … an America defined by deep and meaningful equality … promoting unionization … bring fiscal sanity back to Washington … end the war in Iraq, bring our troops home and honor their service by caring for our veterans.”

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