Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"Yes We Can" vs. "Me Me Me"

Obama may be more proficient in the vocabulary of leadership, but Clinton's speech proved her campaign right when they said she represents a real change. Most leaders use the words "we," "us" and "our" to draw in their listeners, to make them feel as if they're part of the team -- to make them feel invested in the leader's success. Not Clinton. Compare Obama's old school approach vs. Clinton's radically different one. She doesn't pander to the togetherist lobby. She turns conventional wisdom on its head by choosing language that gives the impression it's all about her. "I listened to you... I found my voice." That line in particular was brilliant. We know it was brilliant. If it had been a pathetic admission that she's given to falling out of touch with the American people, the Media would've told us so. But they told us it was brilliant, which, to me, was a big relief.

Let's compare Old School Obama to New Jack Clinton. Here's Obama's South Carolina victory speech...

...vs. Clinton's New Hampshire victory speech.

I have to admit, she lapsed a bit toward the end. A few "we" and "us" buzzwords crept in. But what a rousing start.


Paul said...

Hillary didn't just find her voice, she found herself. Hillary's part of the ME Generation!

GT said...

I don't know what it is about the Clintons, but it's always been just about them. That's got to have something to do with how Democrats in the Senate and the House lost seats during Clinton's presidency. I don't think Hillary would have any bigger coat tails than Bill had. But Obama just might.

If Democrats want to hold on to the Congress and have a chance of increasing their majorities there, they'll vote for Obama. If they want to give the Clintons a reward for their '90s administration even if it costs them Congress, they'll vote for Hillary.

Anonymous said...

I heard you on Fair Game Friday night and Ive blogged about your protest tomorrow (this) morning. You've made a fan. I cant believe youve been out there so long and Ive never read your strip or even heard of it.

I sponsored an upcoming strip and I look forward to being a regular reader.

The Clintons have typlified what irritates me about many white Democrats in that they are so quick to make use of us to build their plurality but so dismissive of our issues.

Genshed said...

Sen. Clinton's rhetorical devices, IMHO, mirror her steely determination to win at all costs.
Note: that was not intended to be complimentary to her. I knew people like that at university, and they always distressed me greatly.
I'm not claiming that Sen. Obama isn't ambitious, but there's a difference in tone. I happened across a thread on another forum where someone was comparing the relative likelihood of either President McCain or President Obama living through a first term,and someone commented that President Clinton wouldn't have to worry about that - unless someone found the wooden chest she'd hidden her beating heart in.

I don't think she'd be a _bad_ POTUS - granted, she'd have an easy act to follow on that score - and I'm far from convinced that Sen. Obama would be a good one, but there's something to be said for being a living, breathing human being with human hopes and fears. And I think he outranks her on that score.

Also, he annoys the rightwingnuts almost as much as she does, so good for him!