Every political season gives birth to one or two instant clichs. Outside of politics a phrase often takes generations to be spoiled as an effective term by long familiarity, or to become dull and meaningless by overuse. In today's politics a genuine clich can be created in a month due to its intense repetition by TV and print pundits, as well as by a myriad of bloggers.
But at least non-political clichs have the advantage of pointing out something usually true. Go outside at 4 a.m., and you will note the truth of the clich that it is always darkest before the dawn. Have a small tear in a piece of clothing promptly sewed up and you learn that a stitch in time does save nine (stitches). Or perhaps, more accurately, don't have it promptly repaired and you'll have to pay for extensive stitching.
But this season's premier political clich is already both hackneyed and trite, while having no obvious truth to it. I am referring to the claim that Sen. Barack Obama would bring real change to America, while Sen. Hillary Clinton would bring extensive experience to the office.
First, it is interesting to note where this clich came from. As far as I can tell, its origins are nothing more than the campaign claims of the two candidates. Sen. Hillary Milhous Clinton has been lumbering around the political landscape talking about herself as commander in chief. She joined the Senate Armed Services Committee as a freshman seven short years ago and has managed to pick up enough military jargon to sound like an Army major on his third tour of duty in the Pentagon's administrative office. She has taken on the world-weary sound of a veteran European diplomat -- although she has not carried out even one day's duty as a diplomat.
In fact, prior to being elected to the Senate in 2000, her only recent professional employment had been as a lawyer in Little Rock, Ark., while her husband, coincidentally, was governor of that state. She represented clients who sometimes had an interest in getting to know her husband better. She has never managed anything larger than a Senate office, although she did exercise the traditional first lady's prerogative of trying to get various members of her husband's staff fired.
Her international activities while first lady were more in line with the ceremonial responsibilities of a Pat Nixon or Laura Bush than with the actual interventions of Eleanor Roosevelt -- who she does claim to have spoken to via sance.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.