Friday night CSPAN replayed a Hillary Clinton speech from South Carolina. She was poised, non-screeching and the model of bipartisan calm. “There are no Democratic answers or Republican answers.” She told a lovely story of Madeleine Albright’s trip to Czechoslovakia for the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II and her discovery that people had kept 48-starred flags which soldiers had given them in 1945 because they loved America so and aspired to be free as well. She praised America as the greatest country in the world and declared her desire to restore that type of respect for America around the world. Any of the Republicans now running could have given that speech (at least the part I saw). It again brought home the reality that any of the GOP contenders will have a very tough time against her.
On the GOP side, it is worthwhile to take a look at this video
capturing Mitt Romney both on and off the air with a local Iowa radio host. Romney, unlike his usual hyper-polished presentation, gets into it off the air with the host on Mormonism and religion in politics. He also resists the host’s whacky view that Presidents can just disregard Supreme Court cases they don’t like, which, as he points out, would lead to dangerous results as a Hillary decides which cases she will follow and which she will ignore. Romney shows some passion, some toughness and even some anger as he explains that his religion’s condemnation of abortion does not require Mormons politically to be pro-life, although he has reached that position for himself politically. I think a less controlled and pristine Romney is more effective and a flash of anger here and there is not a bad thing for a politician who has gotten tagged as “perfect.” (Incidentally, his explanation that someone in their personal life can oppose and counsel against abortion but not violate his religion’s dictates by reaching a different conclusion with regard to the legal status of abortion is one of the best explanations I’ve heard of the “I hate abortion but don’t think you should legally dictate the decision” position. It is a measure of Romney’s rhetorical skills that he can explain a position he no longer holds so well and in such convincing terms.)