On Obama's V-Day, Clinton Loyalists Sell a Different Reality

So there at the Hillary Clinton event at Baruch College was Lanny Davis, Senator Clinton’s old pal from Yale–speaking to reporters, he stressed, as just a private citizen. Barack Obama, he said, “is strong in places where she isn’t strong.” Also Mr. Davis had called Senator Clinton that morning to tell her he was starting a campaign on a web site, one that would launch at midnight, after the victory speech!

One the web site, womenforfairpolitics.com, women may send a form letter to Barack Obama, asking him to make Hillary Clinton his pick for vice president.

Mr. Davis said that he did not know what she thought of this, despite their conversation.

So on Mrs. Clinton’s last primary victory night, it was like all the Clinton surrogates had gone way off the reservation! Except they never do, so therefore they hadn’t.

Mr. Davis rewrote some serious history, to the distress of reporters. “Everyone accused her of being negative,” he said, but she never, ever had been! But what about remarks by Bill Clinton, and all that hubbub down in South Carolina? What about when Mr. Clinton said– “I bet you he didn’t mean that,” Mr. Davis said. This was crazy. The press was getting gas-lighted!

“This night is a celebration for a candidate that has finished the course,” said Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, one of Hillary Clinton’s national campaign co-chairs. Surely she did not mean to use the word “finished”? Where is this reservation now? Are we near it? “She’s had her fans,” Ms. Jackson Lee said of Ms. Clinton. Oh had she?

Hillary Clinton finally gave her South Dakota primary victory speech, down in the weird, cellphone-dead zone of Baruch College’s basement gym. Why? No one knew! “Our theory is that she’s taking us hostage and releasing us in a one-for-one exchange for superdelegates,” said a reporter.

Terry McAuliffe, chairman of Hillary Clinton for President, introduced Senator Clinton as “the next president of the United States.” One reporter’s mouth actually went Wha?

Mrs. Clinton wore an electric just-brighter-than-Yves-Klein-blue pantsuit. She began with praise of Barack Obama. She called him “my friend.” The speech was good but a little manipulative. Like how she kept touting her 18 million votes, like a club. “The question,” she asked near the end “is where do we go from here?” Then, after she needlessly invoked 9/11, the stage was stormed by some pals, like Governor David Paterson. Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best” played. Her hair was extra-sleeked; it had no movement whatsoever.

“I just sent you an email,” Lanny Davis said then, as the Clintons and friends were leaving the stage. Even as she had been making her victory speech, her best friend had been working the press regarding his campaign to get her selected as Mr. Obama’s running mate.

Outside, a crowd gathered to watch her motorcade leave, at the corner of Third Avenue and 23rd Street.

Two Obama supporters were there with signs. One read “Unite For A Change.” The other read “Drop Out Now.”

“What do you think man, you feeling it?” one of the white Obama supporters asked a black man who was considering their proposal.

The man didn’t answer for a while. Then: “All of a sudden you’re all right?” he asked. “You’re pulling my nuts out all year.”

“Politics are dirty,” said the Obama supporter.

“You rob me and treat me to lunch–that make you all right?” said the black man. He was in a panama hat and salmon-colored summer pants and shirt. “Fuck that,” he said. “Get the fuck out of here.”

On Obama's V-Day, Clinton Loyalists Sell a Different Reality