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March 09, 2008


"Never gave a second thought" is a turn of phrase that you are giving too many second thoughts to here. But I think that Herbert's implication is that had Hillary given it a second thought she wouldn't have done it. It's pretty shocking, really, the way that she has gone not only after Obama (expected and fair to draw contrasts) but after her party (tragic given the circumstances). Particularly irksome to those of us who can add is the fact that she is doing this at a point at which Obama has amassed a nearly insurmountable delegate lead, even if Florida and Michigan do-over their elections. Not that I think this thing is over, not by a longshot. But I think that Hillary could refrain from overtly campaigning for McCain ...

Brendan, it's a figure of speech, a somewhat imprecise bit of language in a column whose basic point is quite clear. What Herbert likely means in context, given his previous sentence about the Clinton campaign's proclivity for provocation, is that this behavior on the part of Senator Clinton fits a pattern in her choices--exemplifies a "Thou-shalt-attack-a-fellow-Democratic-primary-contender-when-it's-convenient-in-ways-that-could-help-Republicans" tendency in her campaigning style. If you disagree with this implicit assertion, why not critique it directly? When you engage in this kind of superficial faultfinding, you seem as though you harbor some phobic aversion to metaphor and vernacular language, which are the common coin of political discourse not only in America but I daresay the world over. It's not your best quality as a blogger.

What the other commenters said. Why would you pick on something this small and irrelevant?

And if you want to focus on the literal meaning of Herbert's words, "never gave it a second thought" is charitable to HRC, given what she said. It makes her statement sound like a spur-of-the-moment comment that she might retract after further reflection. Compare it with, "After considering the matter at length, HRC decided to compare her fellow Democrat unfavorably with McCain."

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