Hillary Clinton is running as Leonard Zelig – her proximity to the Commander-in-Chief, to military escorts and to world leaders and diplomats during her years as First Lady transforming her into an experienced leader that is Ready on Day One. Alas, the facts don’t not bear this out. As The Guardian of London recently noted:

[A]n initial reading of some of the more than 11,000 pages of Clinton’s schedules from her days as first lady… shows that she was often far from the site of decision-making during some of the most pivotal events of Bill Clinton’s presidency. …

On August 20, 1998, Bill Clinton ordered US missile strikes on suspected terrorist sites in Sudan and Afghanistan. The president and Hillary Clinton were on holiday on Martha’s Vineyard, a posh island vacation spot off the coast of Massachusetts. After announcing the attack, Clinton cut short his break and returned to Washington to confer with his national security team; Hillary Clinton remained on the Vineyard until August 30, her records show.

Barack Obama is running as Chauncey Gardiner – his lofty rhetoric induces voters to project onto him qualities that transform him into a uniter, a change agent and a post-racial candidate. Pollster Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, summarizes the findings from his organization’s latest poll of swing voters (i.e., white Dems) “about the personal qualities … they associated with each candidate …  and the general feelings that the two candidates stirred in them”: 

While Mr. Obama’s positive personal image plays an important role in his high favorable ratings, the polling found that his ratings are more influenced by how he makes voters feel than by specific characteristics they attributed to him. In particular, views that Mr. Obama inspires hope and pride are the strongest determinants of a person’s opinion of him. In other words, he is a charismatic candidate who has made large numbers of Democratic voters feel good, and this is even more important to them than specific perceptions of him.

Unfortunately, emerging evidence suggests Obama may be not be who voters think he is, but is instead just another cynical, ambitious pol.

Note: The Stiletto writes about politics and other stuff at The Stiletto Blog.

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