Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Party on the Beach!

Reading through MSNBC's FirstRead detailing Hillary's swing through Puerto Rico this weekend brings about an almost surreal feeling. On Sunday she attended and spoke at an evangelical church:

Clinton has a big smile as the dancers perform in front of her, at first swaying subtly and then earnestly weaving back and forth and clapping to the beat. "This is the day that the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it," she says to the crowd. "And this is a church that rejoices."

She also says it's providence that has brought her here, and keeps her in the race. "I am very grateful that I have this opportunity to come to Puerto Rico to talk with you, to listen, to visit across from one end of the islands to the other with my message that there isn't anything we cannot do together if we seek God's blessing and if we stay committed, and are not deterred by the setbacks that often fall in every life," she says. "If I had listened to those who had been talking over the last several months we would not be having this campaign in Puerto Rico today."

I wish someone would search and see if Hillary ever in her lifetime uttered the words "if we seek God's blessings" or anything close to it while not campaigning. Huckabee or Bush says such a thing and and the left thinks we are heading for a theocracy. Hillary says it and they just yawn.

After Church:

Clinton has ditched her turquoise pantsuit and is now donning a bright pink tropical shirt as she arrives at the beach in Boqueron. Again she finds herself taken to the rhythms of a local dance ensemble and musical group, and is dancing in her own subtle way along with them. As the dance troop finishes, she reaches out her arms to beckon one of the young girls to come close, and gives her a big hug. The mayor of Boqueron, herself a woman, speaks briefly and says in English, "I love you." Clinton speaks briefly, saying, "I am very grateful to all of you. I want to tell you how much I love being here. This reminds me of very happy days."

She then starts toward the beach, and the local and traveling press ignores demands to keep a distance. A chaotic scene ensues as the press battles with some of the surprised beach goers in vying for Clinton's attention. But eventually the campaign finds a few strings of rope to keep a makeshift barrier around the candidate at all times. At one point as she walks past me on the sand, I say to Clinton that this sure seems a long way from New Hampshire, doesn't it. "It's great. So pretty here," she says. She then keeps pressing the flesh, as a drum band keeps a beat around her.

She's smiling broadly the entire time.

Later Clinton speaks at the Casa Cuba, a gathering place for Cuban ex-pats:

..she says. "I hope some day to be able to visit Cuba, and to be able to talk freely and walk freely and hear the desires and the needs of the people of Cuba. "But I will not give away the chance for real change. I think we must see evidence of reform before we allow the current government in Cuba to benefit from the prestige and power of a presidential meeting. They must show their good faith, and we will work with them if they do."

Take that Obama!

Later at Sabor Latino, a bar in San Juan:

As she mingles with the crowd, Clinton encounters the four network embedded reporters, some of whom have been following her for more than a year now. "You guys can drink, too," she says after raising her beer in our direction. One says that there might be plans for that later in the evening. "I think you would," she says.

And with the sounds of Enrique Iglesias' "Be With You" in the background, Aaron Bruns, another reporter is nodding along with it. Clinton then decides to very briefly dance with him, closing her eyes and nodding her head, before patting him on the shoulder and moving ahead. A somewhat bewildered Bruns can't believe what just happened, as some of Clinton's staff turn back to laugh at the scene.

Surreal enough for you? Who is this person??

Now, in case you haven't heard, that same Sunday Bill Clinton was in South Dakota saying that the Democrats were likely to lose if they don't nominate Hillary and had this to say:

"I can’t believe it. It is just frantic the way they are trying to push and pressure and bully all these superdelegates to come out,” he said at a South Dakota campaign stop Sunday, in remarks first reported by ABC News. “'Oh, this is so terrible: The people they want her. Oh, this is so terrible: She is winning the general election, and he is not. Oh my goodness, we have to cover this up.'"

The former president added that his wife had not been given the respect she deserved as a legitimate presidential candidate. "She is winning the general election today and he is not, according to all the evidence,” he said. “And I have never seen anything like it. I have never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully just for running.”

I'm betting the behind the scenes atmosphere at the DNC is FRANTIC. Hillary is having the time of her life. She is sticking it in the faces of the DNC and Obama.

Just when I think that something rational will happen here and Hillary and Obama will make nice somehow and all this theatre will be over (how sad that will be!), Hillary just keeps on going like the energizer bunny and it's clear that her and her hubby are determined to keep their dream alive.

Don't you just love it???