“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Hillary's 911 Moment. Very Presidential.

Hillary was very cool under fire. A nut-job duct taped road flairs around his waist and held a store front campaign office hostage. Hillary was in Washington, not reading stories to children when it happened. According to MSNBC, she looked very presidential when she spoke to the nation later in the evening. Hillary used a microphone in lieu of a bullhorn.

Hillary did look very snappy during the evening chat to calm the nation. It was after cocktail hour, so I was already quite calm, but the background during the live talk had a darkened White House feel. You could almost picture Marine One off to the side.

I am very relieved.

Here is how the New York Times saw the moment:

Analysis: Clinton Calm in Hostage Crisis

Published: December 1, 2007
Filed at 6:39 a.m. ET

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) -- When the hostages had been released and their alleged captor arrested, a regal-looking Hillary Rodham Clinton strolled out of her Washington home, the picture of calm in the face of crisis.

The image, broadcast just as the network news began, conveyed the message a thousand town hall meetings and campaign commercials strive for -- namely, that the Democratic presidential contender can face disorder in a most orderly manner.

''I am very grateful that this difficult day has ended so well,'' she declared as she stood alone at the microphone.

Little more than three hours later, just in time for the 11 p.m. local news, Clinton reaffirmed that perspective. In New Hampshire, she embraced her staffers and their families, and lauded the law enforcement officials who brought a siege at her local campaign headquarters to a peaceful conclusion.

It was a vintage example of a candidate taking a negative and turning it into a positive. And coming just six weeks before the presidential voting begins, the timing could hardly have been more beneficial to someone hoping to stave off a loss in the Iowa caucuses and secure a win in the New Hampshire primary.

Aides said Clinton was home Friday afternoon, getting ready to deliver a partisan speech in Virginia to the Democratic National Committee, when she was told three workers in her Rochester, N.H., headquarters had been taken hostage by a man claiming to have a bomb.

Police later arrested 47-year-old Leeland Eisenberg of Somersworth, N.H., and charged him with kidnapping and reckless conduct. They said he walked into the office, demanding to speak to Clinton and complaining about inadequate access to mental care.

The aides said Clinton immediately canceled her trip and began working the phones. She later told reporters she had New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, a fellow Democrat, on the phone in eight minutes.

Over the ensuing five hours, as a state trooper negotiated with the suspect and hostages were released one-by-one, Clinton continued to call up and down the law enforcement food chain, from local to county to state to federal officials.

''I knew I was bugging a lot of these people, it felt like on a minute-by-minute basis, trying to make sure that I knew everything that was going on so I was in a position to tell the families, to tell my campaign and to be available to do anything that they asked of me,'' the New York senator said.

At the same time, the woman striving to move from former first lady to the first female president was eager to convey that she knew the traditional lines of command and control in a crisis, even if the events inside the storefront on North Main Street were far short of a world calamity.

''They were the professionals, they were in charge of this situation, whatever they asked me or my campaign to do is what we would do,'' Clinton said.

Along with taking charge while giving the professionals free rein, Clinton offered up a third dimension to her crisis character: humanity. She said she felt ''grave concern'' when she first heard the news of the hostage-taking.

''It affected me not only because they were my staff members and volunteers, but as a mother, it was just a horrible sense of bewilderment, confusion, outrage, frustration, anger, everything at the same time,'' Clinton said.

It was a thawing moment for a stoic figure who once snapped that she opted for professional life instead of staying home to bake cookies.

She buttressed it with one final message. Clinton sought to use the sad moment as a national teaching opportunity, another skill often employed by presidents.

She paid tribute to the thousands of believers who set aside their lives every four years so they can propel presidential campaigns on little more than blood, sweat and tears.

''They believe in our future. They work around the clock. They are so committed to their cause, and I just want to commend every one of them from every campaign who really makes what is a sacrifice and a commitment,'' Clinton said. ''A lot of them postpone school, leave their families, move across the country, and I'm so grateful for them every single day, and I'm especially just relieved to have this situation end so peacefully without anyone being injured.

'Bomber' takes hostages at Hillary Clinton's campaign headquarters
Saturday, December 1st 2007, 4:00 AM

A deranged man claiming to have a bomb invaded one of Sen. Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire campaign offices Friday, took a half-dozen hostages - and kept cops at bay for five hours before meekly surrendering.
When 47-year-old Leeland Eisenberg finally gave up, he stripped off the device he had taped to his waist - harmless road flares - then lay facedown on the street before heavily armed cops.
It was a dramatic ending to a five-hour ordeal that transfixed the country and forced the Democratic front-runner to cancel a speech for party faithful in Virginia.
It also cast the spotlight on a disturbed man with a history of mental illness and substance abuse who moved to tiny Rochester, N.H., from Massachusetts to escape a troubled past.
Clinton, who flew to New Hampshire from Washington to hold a press conference in Portsmouth, praised her staffers for their courage and "coolness under pressure" and thanked law enforcement for getting them out unharmed.
"This was a tense and difficult day for my campaign and me," she said. "It affected me not only because these were my staff members and volunteers, but as a mother. It was just a horrible sense of bewilderment, confusion, outrage, frustration, anger - everything at the same time. I am grateful it has ended so well."
Clinton said she kept the hostages' families posted on developments during the day, getting information from authorities by "what seemed like bugging them from minute to minute to minute."
She later met with the freed hostages and their families.
It was the first time in recent memory that hostages had been taken at a presidential candidate's office, and it prompted calls of concern from Clinton's rivals, including Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)
...(the rest here)


  1. It's easy to be "cool" when all you see is free publicity/opportunity.

  2. I had an uncle, a psychology professor, nice guy, but he'd always get around to asking the impolitic, impolite question, the one you're not supposed to ask, or even think, like, wouldn't you have been happy if a suicide bomber had gotten to Hillary, and pushed the button? Well, yes, or no?

  3. Bobal: No

    Same for anyone. And think of the bystanders.

  4. I'm considering the matter.

    I'm thinking of the bystanders when she becomes President:)

  5. "She paid tribute to the thousands of believers who set aside their lives every four years so they can propel presidential campaigns on little more than blood, sweat and tears."


    God Almightly!

  6. I remind everyone that all the presidential candidates are protected by the US Secret Service and even comments made in jest may come to their attention.

  7. I am a peaceful man. I support the political process. All that know me would testify to that. I urge everyone to vote against Hillary.

  8. Yep, fanciful threats upon life and limb, they take a criminal tone, when the Law is watching.

    Typed with malice and fore thought, by fellows that often claim to own guns or, sometimes, USMC/CIA sniper experience.

    To wish death and destruction upon other folk, not the Christian thing to do.

    To advocate for that outcome, sometimes illegal, depending upon the rhetoricly targeted.

    Sometimes advocating violence is given a hoorah!!!

    Gotta know the limitations,
    of what speach is allowed

    What's within the bounds of correct moral behaviour, enforced by the Federal cyber-police and the Secret Service.

  9. For all the laws she's violated, Hillary ought to be in jail, rather than on the campaign trail. But she's a divinity, dontcha know-- she has believers! :):(

  10. Hillary pays tribute to her believers---ahhhh, I'm goin' back to bed.

  11. And as soon as it ended, Clinton took full advantage of the opportunity she had unexpectedly been handed.

    In her New Hampshire press conference, she stood before a column of police in green and tan uniforms. She talked of meeting with hostages. She mentioned that she spoke to the state’s governor about eight minutes after the incident began.

    The scene was one of a woman in charge.

    “It looked and sounded presidential,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “This was an instance of the White House experience of this campaign. They knew how to handle this.”

    Even I admit she's great at taking advantage of opportunities. And it's easy enough to do when you got a fawning press.

  12. I remind everyone that all the presidential candidates are protected by the US Secret Service and even comments made in jest may come to their attention.

    In an airport recently, I happened to see a lady deplaning. You know the type of lady -- in her 40s, seriously overweight, grumpy & unsmiling, dressed like a bag lady -- a definite liberal. She had two buttons on her long cardigan.

    One read "Impeach Bush". OK -- that is free speech.

    The other read "Torture Cheney". Beyond its simple offensiveness, that certainly is not politically correct free speech. Definitely sounds threatening.

    You know what? No black-clad agent of our every-present federal forces materialized out the crowd to fling the fat broad to the ground, cuff her, and drag her off for questioning. Simply didn't happen.

    So I reckon that Bobal is safe -- for now!

    But remember President Bubba Clinton had some peaceful legitimate protestors at a rally in Chicago arrested? And remember he also had the IRS audit Paula Jones?

    If Mrs Rodham Clinton becomes president, Bobal had better watch out!

    Best thing would be to run for Mexico, Bobal. But be careful -- the Mexicans toss illegals out of their country

  13. I thought Hillary looked exceptionally good; as though she had been in a spa all afternoon. Her skin , makeup and hair were exceptionally nice.

    Her demeanor at the beginning of the press conference was suitably somber but a few minutes into it she couldn't suppress the smiles. It was as though she had the perfect ending to a wonderful day.

  14. Not quite perfect, Whit. If the guy had a bomb and went boom and took some people out, that would have been perfect for Hillary. She'd a had a month of headlines, and what's a few believers, for the cause?

  15. While I would never resort to illegal violence, if I had God's ear, I might suggest he trade a certain someone to get those 40,000 innocent victims of same someone back from the dead.
    ...just for all the children and the children of the departed parent/victims mind you.
    Burger King Bush

  16. Bush, the Burger King

    THE migrant farm workers who harvest tomatoes in South Florida have one of the nation’s most backbreaking jobs. For 10 to 12 hours a day, they pick tomatoes by hand, earning a piece-rate of about 45 cents for every 32-pound bucket. During a typical day each migrant picks, carries and unloads two tons of tomatoes. For their efforts, this holiday season many of them are about to get a 40 percent pay cut.

    Florida’s tomato growers have long faced pressure to reduce operating costs; one way to do that is to keep migrant wages as low as possible. Although some of the pressure has come from increased competition with Mexican growers, most of it has been forcefully applied by the largest purchaser of Florida tomatoes: American fast food chains that want millions of pounds of cheap tomatoes as a garnish for their hamburgers, tacos and salads.

  17. He provided his scrooge cronies with an all time 7 year record number of low wage/slave workers.
    (and rapists, ms-13, and common criminals)
    Whatta Guy!

  18. Oh, AND spent an all-time record amount of OUR money on "Border Security" and paying of Boeing Buddies for worthless technological crap.
    A real "RESULTS ORIENTED" fellow.
    MBA Boner, even.

  19. In 2005, Florida tomato pickers gained their first significant pay raise since the late 1970s when Taco Bell ended a consumer boycott by agreeing to pay an extra penny per pound for its tomatoes, with the extra cent going directly to the farm workers.

    Last April, McDonald’s agreed to a similar arrangement, increasing the wages of its tomato pickers to about 77 cents per bucket. But Burger King, whose headquarters are in Florida, has adamantly refused to pay the extra penny — and its refusal has encouraged tomato growers to cancel the deals already struck with Taco Bell and McDonald’s.

    This month the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, representing 90 percent of the state’s growers, announced that it will not allow any of its members to collect the extra penny for farm workers.

    Reggie Brown, the executive vice president of the group, described the surcharge for poor migrants as “pretty much near un-American.”

  20. Mətušélaḥ said...



    What a rube!

  21. LOL!

    No, Ash. Not a "rube", but learned enough to be wise of such incidents.

    To see, much like the Mohammed al-Dura incident, or the questions asked by the Jihadi and Commie plants in the CNN/YOUTUBE Republican Debate, or the Jihadi AP, Reuters, BBC, and Commie NYT propagandists that are in bed with these actors, such incidents are not innocent coincidences of chance.

    No Ash, the real "rubes" are those that still allow you to post here.

  22. Btw, Ash. You can dress in skirts all you want, but you're still an aggressive bestial, much like your Jihadi and Commie brethren.

  23. What are you talking about?
    Ash found no wrongdoing by CNN!