Clinton Speech

This sounds pretty bad to me, especially compared to Edwards' performance. The difference, I think, is that Edwards has a clear cause: his populism. That made for good speeches during the leadup to Iowa, and it makes a good speech in the wake of Iowa. It's a fighting creed. Barack Obama's message, in its different way, also is. But Hillary Clinton, sapped of her aura of inevitability, doesn't seem to have very much to say. Her candidacy is fundamentally about a kind of brokerage transaction; she herself is the logical convergence point for a group of people associated with her husband's administration and she's a competent steward of that network of supporters. But that's not a fighting message, it doesn't leave you with much to fall back on when times look grim.

You could see Madeleine Albright there in the background, but Albright's an eminence grise not someone you go to the mattresses with.