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Hillary Clinton and the Herbert Hoover card

In the very first words she uttered reacting to John McCain's speech on the housing market crisis Tuesday, Hillary Clinton evinced part of her appeal to older voters: her frame of reference is theirs.

"It sounds remarkably like Herbert Hoover," Clinton said of McCain's assertion that he is not inclined -- and probably never will be -- to embrace aggressive, sweeping government efforts to confront the problem of rising home foreclosures.

Specifically, McCain opined that "it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers."

By mentioning Hoover, whose tepid response to the Great Depression helped keep the White House in Democratic hands for 20 straight years after he was bounced from office in the 1932 election, Clinton invoked what once was a can't-miss applause line among Democrats. Into the 1960s, speeches at major party gatherings were sure to include denunciations of "Hooverism."

But while Clinton's remark took us back, it also underscored the generational split that is a key dynamic in her fight with Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. Among younger voters -- who in most states have proved a loyal Obama bloc -- references to the Hoover administration aren't likely to have much (if any) resonance.

As Obama returned to the campaign trail today ....

after his short break in the U.S. Virgin Islands, his response to McCain's speech focused on what has become the default position for Democrats criticizing the presumed Republican nominee on the No. 1 domestic issue.

"John McCain has admitted that he doesn't understand the economy as well as he should," Obama said at a town-hall meeting in Greensboro, N.C. "And yesterday, he proved it in a speech he gave on the housing crisis."

And when Obama called forth his version of a GOP bogeyman, it wasn't Hoover but the current occupant of the White House.

"We’ve been down this road before," he said of McCain's hands-off policy. "It’s the road that George Bush has taken for the last eight years."   

-- Don Frederick

Comments () | Archives (56)

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i think that john mccaine is a damn fine man,but iraq is only one of the problems( a problem created by a corrupt republican govt} in spite of this i would like to see him as leader of us ,but if he dosent soon start to address the larger problems, ie our domestic problems, our dependence on foreign.oil, poising the world at the cost of our children,
speaking of which are receiving good educations, mortality,
healthcare, what about congressional treason on k street.what about housing, the mortgage problem. how about skyrocketing crime rate,deteriorating infrastructure.
HOW ABOUT THE DEFICIT. im not saying screw iraq, but what about our nation. till bush & chenry got hold of it we were a proud & decent nation.HOW YOU GOING TO FIX THAT SIR. and i8f you dont have an answer for these problems we should vote for obama, because he's
young, has fresh ideas, and he hasnt had enough time
on capitol hil to have become the whore that most of the
rest of our elested officials.

One MUST admire and vote for Hillary!
After all, she was willing to sacrifice her only begotten child to sniper fire!

I just love Hillary, and she's so cool, and she'd make one heck of a first gal President (WAY better than Obama!),
and I trust her!

Hillary - just imagine how good she (AND Bill!) could run this country!!!!!!!!

If Hagee had been McCain's pastor over the past twenty years, I would not even consider voting for McCain. Politicians often accept (with a smile) endorsements from morons and offensive people. There is a world of difference between accepting Hagee's endorsement and having him as a spiritual guide for two decades. I hold Obama to this simple standard of behavior: if my pastor claimed that the US invented AIDS to destroy people of color, I would have no choice but to find another church. I realize that Obama doesn't agree with Pastor Wright, and that he only stayed in the church to gain Wright's influential backing. However, I demand that my President show the same integrity I demand of myself. Obama failed himself and me. For me, personal integrity is the single most critical attribute in a President; Obama's lack of it outweighs his truly remarkable intelligence and charisma.

Is "Misspoke" 'New-speak' for lied? "Misspoke?" Just once? (No, at least 3 times). "Made a mistake?" What was the mistake? Does Senator Clinton mean it was a mistake to lie? Or does she mean that she is mistaken about exactly when she was under sniper fire? Is she suggesting that she was under sniper fire on some other trip and forgot just when? This seems like a clear case of lying to present a false image to a gullible public. She says, "It just proves I'm human." I think it proves she's a liar. There are many, many human traits. Hillary's response to being caught in a lie shows her to to be a very weak human. When confronted on lying she just "Misspeaks" more.. Is this the kind of president we need? Again?

A very interesting website about how this sub-prime crisis came to be

Just so we're clear Shannon, Halliburton was awarded more no-bid under Clinton then "McBush". The reason? No competition you clueless moron. The roles of the government is very clearly explained in a document known as the Constitution of the United States of America. Perhaps you should try reading it sometime.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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