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– 33 minutes ago

Calculation


Some friends an I were discussing the Clinton’s and the subject of the infamous video at Ron Brown’s funeral came up. You remember the one, right? Bill Clinton is walking along yucking it up with friends – grinning and laughing right up until the moment he sees the camera. Instantly his whole face changes to a somber expression and he begins wiping his eyes as if he’s been crying.

Now, normally I’m not one to question the sincerity of someone else. I’ve been accused of being cold and calculating. For the record, I’m not. Instead, I freely admit most of what I have accomplished in life was completely by accident. I’ve stumbled into almost everything.

The Clinton’s, however, are a whole different breed. I don’t think either of them has done anything in life that wasn’t planned. That’s why I have serious doubts about another, more recent Clinton moment.

You’re looking at declining poll numbers, and people are writing columns asking if you can be dull and studious and still appeal when your opponent is dynamic and inspiring.

Clinton talked about issue after issue in almost mind-numbing detail and answered question after question in an event that lasted more than an hour and a half.

Both drew large crowds. But Clinton’s crowd was much smaller at the end of her speech than at the beginning.

Hundreds of people trickled and then streamed out while Clinton was still talking. But she went on and on as if she did not mind. And maybe she didn’t.

“You campaign in poetry, but you govern in prose,” Clinton said, quoting Mario Cuomo.

In other words: Dull is good. Dull is a sign of competence.

You’re known for being guarded and shrewd, and “nothing but business” and suddenly you break down in front of a camera at a time when people are telling you to be more human.

That the question was a softball at a roundtable focused on issues really makes me wonder if the question wasn’t planted. Watch the MSNBC video linked above and even the reporter comments on the fact that the question was out of left field and people in the audience rolled their eyes.

So my question is, was this a genuine moment, or another calculated political move by one of the two most calculating people in the business? The timing, to me at least, seems a little odd.



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Written by Michael Turk