Saturday, January 20, 2007

Senator Clinton's Announcement

Ann Althouse exegetes Senator Hillary Clinton's announcement that she's forming an exploratory committee to look into a presidential campaign. I respond (and expand a bit below):
(1) The phrase, "work hard and play by the rules" is one that Bill Clinton used over and over. It obviously still tests well.

(2) The "let's chat" motif comes right out of her first campaign for the Senate in New York. Before actually announcing, the then-First Lady went out on a "listening tour." It was a more low-key approach, designed to dispel the apprehensions that many felt about a "carpetbagger" from Illinois and Arkansas becoming their US Senator.

(3) I also think that the emphases on a "conversation" or "chat" and the cozy setting for her statement were designed to round off the edges of a figure often seen as strident or shrill. In a way, I think there was an attempt here to feminize Hillary, which may either be a tacit acknowledgement of what many suspect--that she will be a tough sell to women across America--or an attempt to pump up a base of support they assume is hers.

(4) It's interesting to compare and contrast the web-based announcements of Clinton, Barack Obama, and Sam Brownback. Clinton and Obama talked about national dialogues. Obama also spoke of the period before making an announcement of his intentions on February 10 as a period of discernment. Brownback seemed to be running for a fictional national pastor's slot rather than the presidency. Clinton and Obama claim to have not decided about the presidential race, although Clinton's web site titles the announcement, "I'm In." Brownback, however shows no such reticence. He's running.
[THANKS TO: Matt Brown of Good Brownie for linking to this post.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't it be "Hillary's Announcement"? On the front page of her site, there's absolutely no mention that she is the junior senator from New York. Intriguing, to say the least.