July 11, 2005

What bugs me the most about Hillary Clinton saying "I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Newman is in charge in Washington."

It's so damned unoriginal. It's one of the oldest Bush-is-dumb jokes. That it got a laugh from her audience shows they're either:
starved for any morsel of humor


polite enough to laugh when the speaker says something in the form of a joke

so desperately anguished that Bush is President that just about anything can set them off.

Where was this audience? -- you may wonder. It was at something called the Aspen Ideas Festival. I don't know if the Aspen Ideas Festival has thought of using an acronym, but let me suggest: As-IF.

(And somebody tell Newsday that it's Alfred E. Neuman not Alfred E. Newman. Best not to misspell things, especially in headlines, when someone else is being called stupid.)


Beth said...

Alfred E. isn't stupid, he's blithe:
"What, me worry?"

And that's not an unfair comparison:
"Mission Accomplished!" "Now watch this drive!"

DaveG said...

I'm a little burned out on what must be a deliberate misunderstanding of the "Mission Accomplished" banner that has people so exercised.

A campaign, in this case defined as a war, is comprised of multiple missions. It is quite possible, and desireable, to accomplish many missions in the course of a campaign.

The aircraft carrier in question had, in fact, accomplished its mission. No one ever stated that the campaign to liberate Iraq was accomplished at that time. In fact, direct quotes to the opposite are not very difficult to find.

Ron said...

Isn't her nomination in the bag? What, she worry?

Anonymous said...

Poor Democrats: they can't seem to get even, so they get MAD.

Beth said...

Daveg-- I'll freely concede anyone can pick apart the two examples I gave. It's not worth beginning an entire new thread of argument.

My point was simply that using Alfred E. Neuman as a Bush comparison doesn't imply Bush is stupid, but rather that he is unconcerned. I don't for a moment think Bush is stupid, and I doubt Hillary Clinton misunderestimates Bush's intelligence, either.

Bruce Hayden said...

I agree, Mrs. Clinton probably doesn't misunderestimate President Bush. But she is playing to her base, which does think Bush is stupid.

Of course, they think that any Republican president is stupid, as are anyone who votes for them.

That said, I am not sure if intelligence, as it is typically measured is the best metric by which to measure the abilities of a president or presidential candidate. Her husband was probably the smartest president of my lifetime. But that clearly doesn't make him the best. Indeed, I would suggest that it may have been one of the factors that made him one of the worst.

While Mrs. Clinton may not be quite as smart as her husband, she is no dummy, by any means - Yale Law school graduation is quite an achievement. But that doesn't mean that she will be a good president.

Mark Daniels said...

Another recently misspelled headline:

"Spector speculates--zanily."

It seems to happen to the very best of us. I often wish that I had an editor at my elbow who would say, "Double-check that spelling, Preacher Man."

Ann Althouse said...

Mark: Whoops!

And right there in the previous post!

What can I say? I'm going to punish my proofreaders very severely.

Gateway Pundit said...

Ann- Someone needs to show Hillary the economic results posted on Polipundit last week.


Chimpy-Bush is not so stupid after all.

NotClauswitz said...

When your jokes are simply a meme repeating a cliché, then you've run out of ideas and humor.

knox said...

Opponents of Bush I know just can't stop riffing on the Bush=stupid motif. Every political conversation leads inevitably back to that.

I thought Hillary was taking a smarter approach by staying away from this sort of stuff. Must have been irresistible to get in one little barb.

Becca said...

as usual ... an excellent post ... could not agree more.

Anonymous said...

What, me innumerate?

"Ours will be the last generation to rely so exclusively on fossil fuels," she said, adding that the "ups and downs of the global oil market cost the U.S. economy $7 trillion last year ... almost enough to pay off our entire national debt."

jult52 said...

That statement of Clinton's which Paul Zrimsek links to is frightening in its level of ignorance.

EddieP said...

Good post professor, I'm glad I'm on your side!

Brown Line said...

Bruce Hayden wrote, "[Hillary Clinton's] husband was probably the smartest president of my lifetime."

From the 9/11 Commission Report, page 189:

"At some point during this period, President Cinton expressed his frustration with the lack of military options to take out Bin Ladin and the al Qaeda leadership, remarking to General Hugh Shelton, 'You know, it would scare the shit out of al-Qaeda if suddenly a bunch of black ninjas rappelled out of helicopters into the middle of their camp.' Although Shelton told the Commission he did not remember the statement, President Clinton recalled this remark as 'one of the many things I said.'"

Smartest president. Alfred E. Neuman. Whatever.

Blair said...

Alfred E. Neumann always struck me as being witty and clever, despite his lack of good looks. In fact, he was considered so wise that every issue of MAD had a quotation of his above the table of contents. If Bush is Alfred, then Hillary is starting to resemble Roger Kaputnik - always complaining about non-existent ailments!

Jim C. said...

Last month Hillary said Republicans were evil.

More recently she said we should raise the tone of political discourse.

Now this.

Of course, since Kerry's grades were lower than Bush's, what does that make him? Too bad her jab at Bush hurts Kerry more. Or maybe that was the point. Or maybe she's just an even bigger idiot.