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Bob Somerby, noted DowdHater® and author of the Daily Howler accuses Maureen Dowd of mangling a quote Hillary made in El Paso, Texas, last week.
Let's be frank: The Times op-ed page is an intellectual sewer. Yesterday, Dowd was at it again. After some brain-dead Hopi humor, she lodged this hiss-spitting claim against her favorite target: "Hillary says Obama is 'all hat and no cattle.'" But The Dim One was playing her readers a tad. Here's what Clinton actually said, last Tuesday night, in Texas. We'll cite Beth Fouhy's AP report, since the Times didn't even report the comment:First off, the full speech is available on the New York Times website, so there goes that weird slam, but more importantly, is Dowd so crazy as to mix up W and Obambi like that? Let's read the paragraph following that cattle remark and figure out who Clinton is really talking about:
FOUHY (2/13/08): She slipped into a "you all" and criticized Bush, the former Texas governor. "There's a great saying in Texas," she said, "all hat and no cattle. Well after seven years of George W. Bush, we need a lot less hat and a lot more cattle."
Huh! She had criticized Bush—but Obama worked better. So the Times let their crazy girl type it.
And we're going to sweep across Texas in the next three weeks, bringing our message about what we need in America, the kind of president that will be required on day one to be commander-in-chief to turn the economy around. I'm tested. I'm ready. Let's make it happen. (APPLAUSE) You know, there's a great saying in Texas -- you've all heard it -- "all hat and no cattle." Well, after seven years of George Bush, we need a lot less hat and a lot more cattle. Texas needs a president who actually understands what it's going to take to turn the economy around, to get us universal health care, to save hardworking Americans homes from foreclosure at the abusive practices of the mortgage companies.The key phrase here is "the next three weeks." Hillary is not running, now or ever, against George Bush; she's running against Barack Obama who she is trying to portray as inexperienced and full of hot air, i.e. all hat and no cattle.
Is Muareen Dowd off-base is implying this spin to the comment. Anne E. Kornblut of the Washington Post was there and reported the event this way:
"You know, there's a great saying in Texas -- you've all heard it, 'All hat and no cattle,'" Clinton told a massive audience here. "Well, after seven years of George Bush, we need a lot less hat, and a lot more cattle." She continued, in an apparent swipe at both Bush and Sen. Barack Obama, the candidate gaining momenum in the Democratic race: "Texas needs a president who actually undersdtands what its going to take to turn the economy around, to get us universal health care."John Kelso of the Austin Statesman also saw a shot at Obama in those words:
At a campaign stop in El Paso, she took a shot at President Bush, and perhaps Obama, by using the expression "all hat and no cattle." Obama could respond by saying she's "no hat and all pants suit."Newsweek reported the quote this way:
"There's a great saying in Texas. You've heard it: all hat and no cattle. After seven years of George Bush we need a lot less hat and a lot more cattle," Clinton told the crowd, in a barely veiled swipe at her opponent. "Texas needs a president who actually understands what it's going to take to turn the economy around, to get us universal health care, to save hard-working Americans' homes from foreclosure."And the well-respected Economist clearly saw the saying as an attack on Hillary's primary opponent:
Her quip on Tuesday night—that Mr Obama is "all hat and no cattle"—will provide the subtext of everything she says.And the key word there is "subtext." A good candidate never explicitly calls out his or her opponent by name when a well crafted innuendo will do. So, no, Hillary's hat and cattle comment was not explicitly aimed at Obama but only the most blinded partisan would not realize who the jab was clearly aimed at.