Hillary Clinton, graduate of Wellesley and Yale Law School, former first-lady, and one-half of a power couple that has raked in $ 109 million since leaving office, is trying to convince the middle class voters of Indiana that she feels their pain:
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — All politicians talk about jobs, but these days Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton does it with tactile, almost sensuous detail. She began a rally here on Saturday morning with memories of her father’s fabric-printing business, feeling aloud the cloth, the silk screen and the squeegee he used to create patterns that would decorate strangers’ drapes.
“I’m trying to paint a word picture, and when I think about helping my dad at his print plant it’s very physical, the memories,” she recalled in an interview after the crowds had dispersed.
Mrs. Clinton has spent her whole life climbing the ladders of education, wealth and power. Now, as part of her effort to hold off Senator Barack Obama and claim the Democratic presidential nomination, she is climbing back down them, sounding less like a Wellesley alumna than Roseanne Barr’s old sitcom character, the den mother of her factory floor.
Mrs. Clinton’s campaign has hung on in part by asserting that Mr. Obama cannot win the crucial category of white working-class Democrats. Those men and women won her the Ohio primary, they won her Pennsylvania, and for the logic of her campaign to hold, they must again side with her in Indiana, where polls suggest the race could be tight.
So every speech she gave in Indiana on Friday and Saturday had the same topic sentence. “My campaign is about jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs,” she said, always to thunderous applause.
In Bloomington, she promised to bring nothing less than economic revolution to the decaying Rust Belt. “You’ve heard of white-collar jobs and blue-collar jobs,” she informed her Fort Wayne audience, setting up a line about how efforts to address global warming and other environmental problems could spawn new industries. “We’re going to create green-collar jobs.”
Yea, but what are you gonna to about ring around the collar ?