Monday, 11 February 2008

Leisure World, Silver Spring, Maryland

At break-neck speed up to Maryland, I just caught the second half of a Bill Clinton's latest campaign appearance- in a retirement village. A local party stalwart explained to me that this precinct has the highest turnout of any in Maryland and the second highest in the whole US. So you know that despite the fact that the minimum age of this community is 55, if they pledge support you are going to get their vote!

There are more College degrees in this community than you find amongst the staff of the average Harvard faculty. Almost. Maybe. The activists here wanted to talk to me about the issues: health insurance, child protection, the economy, scientific research, waiting times at CVS Pharmacy stores. OK, not the last one. But where Obama's supporters were inspired, these guys have calculated very precisely who is the President is for them. It's Hillary and the people of the Leisure World constitute the demographic that has supported her in droves.

As for Bill, he's still brilliant. On the drive back home I listened to Hillary's speech earlier today. The policy detail was the similar between the Bill and Hillary speeches. Hers felt like fusillade. His like a bowl of cookies and cream ice cream with a glass of milk. This is her problem for me. On one side there is Obama who is like a soul singer preacher and on the other is Bill who can weave the most brilliant and profound political narrative and play it to the public through a saxophone. She is formidable on the policy but is struggling to keep from being swallowed by the Potomac.

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