Homage to a Beautiful Speech


What First Lady Michelle Obama gave us was a gift, a way to imagine America differently, a reaffirmation of the American Dream drawn from the experience of those who should have every right to be bitter about it. And she transformed politics from a blood sport about our wants and needs and anger today into a sacred promise we hold with our children to shape their lives and their futures.

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Tempest in a Teacup

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The reporter’s first question was whether Melania Trump was guilty of plagiarism.

Essentially, I said no and yes. The fact that Mrs. Trump used the same clichés and stock phrases as Mrs. Obama—such as “your word is your bond,” “do what you say,” or “treat people with respect”—is not plagiarism.


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The enemy of my enemy is my candidate

Biden_ObamaI can see Biden’s point about solving the nation’s problems: If you’re working toward solutions, why call an advocate of a policy you oppose your “enemy,” when “my good friend across the aisle” will do? My reservation is that speaking well of the other party can drain genuinely moral disputes of authentic moral authority. Continue reading The enemy of my enemy is my candidate

Bernie has it. Trump has it. Joe has it. Does Hillary?

I respect and admire Clinton. So do many of Biden’s potential backers. They’re just imagining the damage that could be done when billions of dollars’ worth of attack ads drill “Hillary thinks the rules don’t apply to her” and “Hillary thinks she’s above the law” into voters’ brains. Accuracy will be irrelevant. They will be attached to a narrative “out there” purporting to connect the dots between Whitewater files that rematerialized, misremembered Bosnian sniper fire, Benghazi and, now, documents that weren’t classified that she didn’t send on personal email and didn’t scrub from her personal server.

What Biden has, what nervous Democrats fear Clinton lacks, is authenticity, the new It factor. The old It was ideological (Do they hate big government or racism as much as I do?), positional (Are they with me on guns or climate change?), demographic (Do they care about people like me?) and personal (Who I want to have a beer with?). The new It is ontological: Who’s real? Continue reading Bernie has it. Trump has it. Joe has it. Does Hillary?