Clinton’s Blessing

All the pundits over at MSNBC are debating themselves about whether tonight is going to be about Obama declaring himself the nominee, or Clinton celebrating her own campaign and stealing his thunder.

But maybe they’re missing something. Clinton is going to be speaking at Baruch College. Here’s the school’s release about it.

New York, NY – June 3, 2008 – Presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) will address throngs of supporters at a celebration marking the close of the Democratic Party’s primary election season this evening at Baruch College’s Athletics and Recreation Center (ARC).

The event is scheduled to begin at 7 PM. The ARC will be closed to students and the general public at 3 PM, and the 24th Street entrance to the Newman Vertical Campus will be open for ticketed guests at 6 PM. Students, faculty, and staff should use the 25th Street entrance for classes and other events after 6 PM.

The Clinton campaign website indicates that tickets are no longer available for the speech. The major news channels are expected to provide live coverage of the event.

Senator Hillary Clinton’s campaign team chose Baruch College as the site of their primary election season finale.

They chose Baruch. I wonder why they chose Baruch over all the other places they could have held the address…

The word “baruch” is related to brucha, meaning a blessing in Hebrew. It’s also the equivalent of the Arabic and Swahili “barack.”

See where I’m going with this? Is Clinton going to give Obama her blessing tonight?

Updated, Three Hours Later

Yeah, maybe not.

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Hillary ClintonThat’s what a former boss of mine used to call it, and he grew up there, in the teeming metropolis of Boiling Springs, so I’m sure he always meant it in a positive way. Well, maybe not.

I’ve got my own slight connections to that other commonwealth: my family lived in Philadelphia in the early 1960s, while my father was working as a civilian at a military hospital, so apparently Philly is (or at least was, at the time) more pleasant than Viet Nam, where he would have been otherwise. As I understand it, we moved back to Brooklyn (the source of all life) a few months before I was born, so while I’ve never lived in Pennsylvania, I did gestate there.

I also attempted to go to college down there, but those snooty snobs at the U of P wait-listed me, then turned me down. Hmph.

I’ve got a good friend who grew up in Pittsburgh, but he got out of there and lives in London now.

Does it seem like I’m in a position to speak objectively about Pennsylvania? Nah. Screw those people.

I won’t get into my thoughts about the results of yesterday’s primary, as it would obviously just be a big, drippy case of sour grapes. But I do want to comment on Clinton’s victory speech:

The Guardian referred to this speech as “defiant” and “passionate.” I guess I missed that. It seems to me the speech is incredibly clumsy. She’s not connecting with the audience, even though they’re clearly on her side. Their cheering seems to get in her way, and she never seems to be comfortable in deciding whether to continue speaking over them, recognize the cheering, or join in.

As the goat said upon finding out he couldn’t afford the lederhosen, “I bet they would have chafed, anyway.”

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A Lifetime of Experience

Hillary Clinton

I helped to bring peace to Northern Ireland.

— Hillary Clinton

Lord Trimble

I don’t know there was much she did apart from accompanying Bill going around… She visited when things were happening, saw what was going on, she can certainly say it was part of her experience. I don’t want to rain on the thing for her but being a cheerleader for something is slightly different from being a principal player.

— Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey,
Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Conall McDevitt

There would have been no contact with her either in person or on the phone. I was with Hume regularly during calls in the months leading up to the Good Friday Agreement when he was taking calls from the White House and they were invariably coming from the president.

— Conall McDevitt,
an SDLP negotiator and aide to Mr Hume during the talks

Tim Pat Coogan

It was a nice thing to see her there, with the women’s groups. It helped, I suppose. But it was ancillary to the main thing. It was part of the stage effects, the optics. There were all kinds of peace movements, women’s movements throughout the Troubles. But it was more about the clout of Bill Clinton.

— Tim Pat Coogan,
Irish Historian

Brian Feeney

The road to peace was carefully documented, and she wasn’t on it.

— Brian Feeney,
former Belfast politician

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