I mean, Hillary Clinton took the stage at Manual High this afternoon and, instead of hitting on the same old same old, proceeded to offer a detailed and informed preview of tonight’s U of L-UNC match-up in the East Regional final.
“Obviously, the Cards have to keep the Heels from running up and down the court. They’ll have to try to control the pace while keeping things up-tempo. Terrence Williams needs to take the ball to the hole more often, and either pull up for short jumpers or dish off when they pick him up. And David Padgett is the best point center I’ve ever seen. What an inspiring story.”
Oops. Then I woke up. Not that it was boring. Actually, it was. I tried to get into her roundtable thingy over in New Albany earlier today, but it was just too crowded to even get to the media check-in. one thing I’ve learned over the years is that it’s not smart to negotiate with cops when national political figures are involved.
So, off to Manual I went, where Ms. Clinton took the stage about 5 p.m. and spoke for more than 40 minutes. She touched on a number of major themes: health care (she helped make it better back in the day, but it still lacks); energy (end subsidies for oil companies, invest in green initiatives as a job generator); education (end the unfunded mandate of No Child Left Behind); science (fund stem cell research); the war (time to get out of Iraq — and pass a GI Bill to take care of our returning veterans) and so on.
The audience — I’d say 1,500-1,800 people, including lots of young folks, a seemingly equal number of men and women, and a fairly small number of non-white faces — was into it, in spite of cooling their heels for more than two hours before the guest of honor took the stage.
The Manual kids had made a bunch of signs, just like it was a pep session, which hung on the balcony rails and drew a compliment from the candidate.
Tina Ward-Pugh and Judy Green of the Metro Council were there and made opening remarks. The head of the Young Dems at Manual made a few opening remarks. Former KDP chair Jerry Lundergan made opening remarks. A handful of female state legislators accompanied Hillary when she took the stage.
We heard a lot of Springsteen songs while we waited — “The Rising,” “The Promised Land,” “Land of Hope and Dreams” — and even Petty’s “American Girl,” which includes the line, “Even if she had to die trying/she had one little promise/she was gonna keep.” Hmmm.
Hillary wore a bright orange jacket — more like tangerine, or maybe salmon — and navy blue slacks. She was slightly hoarse, which is no surprise when you think of the crazy schedules and all the talking the candidates do. Bill’s got nothing on her when it comes to talk, talk, talking. She seemed to get a little choked up during the speech when … just kidding.
There weren’t any surprises. Expecting something beyond the same old talking points would be like going to McDonald’s and getting upset when they wouldn’t sell you a filet mignon.
Would Hillary make a bad president? Probably not. She is certainly wonkish and can say the right things, even make you think she believes it. But even in the game of politics, where you realize that the participants will behave politically, many people detect something about her that seems to be over that line. That, I think, helps explain why so many people who want a Republican-free White House have gotten behind Barack Obama. By the way, his name never came up at Manual.
Hillary had a dinner to make, and she closed by calling out Billy Packer for fellating the ACC teams, and then said, “I hope Edgar Sosa gets his head out of his ass. Tonight would be a good time for that.”
At least that’s what I think she said. I might have been dreaming. (CS)