Friday, August 31, 2007

JunkThief: Nixon Youth Organizer

Did anyone else catch last night's appearance by Hillary on Letterman? Junk Thief is so ancient that he can remember when Presidential candidates did radical things like give interviews with journalists instead of comics and people got their political information from Meet the Press not The Daily Show.

Granted, it's still more than a year away, but I am still pretty ambivalent on all Democrats and wish I were a little less cynical. But, as evidenced in this actually reasonable dialogue in the clip, I felt unusually comforted after watching it since it did feel like sitting and overhearing a sane conversation with a couple of friends, not an inarticulate madman. Sometimes I scold myself for wanting to vote for her just on principle, but then what's so wrong for voting for anyone on principle. I remember living in New York in 1992 when all the "Hillary for President" button were worn with irony without much hope of that ever being a viable reality. I wonder what those 1992 buttons fetch on eBay these days.

I've coached a number of women of Hillary's age and sensibilities on public appearances and media interviews, and I could smell plenty of technique as she tried to catch the right vibe of humor that obviously not her natural style but something she did extremely well and appropriately while ultimately steering things back for the appropriate amount of message.

Mid-way through when Letterman quizzed her on her youth as a Republican, I wondered if that question was her own plant (I suspect it was to show that anyone can jump the fence), it really started feeling familiar. She qualified that she came from a privileged white suburb in the Midwest and did not have her eyes open until making visits into inner city Chicago. Although from a long line of left leaning Democrats on my mother's side, guess who was a regional Youth for Nixon organizer in 1972 and made a tumultuous shift to the McGovern camp in the 11th hour? That's a whole different post at another time, but it certainly made the interview feel even more as if it were with some family member.

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