THE PLANK DECEMBER 7, 2007
Before she developed her famous campaign discipline, there was one thing about Hillary Clinton that used to render me utterly apopleptic: She has something akin to political Tourette's Syndrome. Lord knows, it can't be easy to have your any stray word worked-over by a 24/7 media, but she still stood out for occasionally blurting out surprisingly inappropriate sentiments.
For example, in May 2006 she blustered, apropos of nothing, that young people today "think work is a four-letter word," prompting an angry call from her daughter. On Martin Luther King, Jr., Day in 2006, she fumed that "the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation, and you know what I'm talking about." Mercifully, Hillary managed to get her inner monologue under control in time for primary season.
But now, with Obama's poll numbers rising (kids these days ...), I can't help but wonder if we're seeing a relapse. How else to explain her campaign's irrelevant, tone-deaf attack on Barack Obama's kindergarten aspirations? How else to explain her less-than-tactful remark that similar hit-jobs are "the fun part" of campaign season?
Maybe, under pressure, she's again lost her ability to discriminate between insults that make sense and comments that hover somewhere between absurd and offensive.