Perhaps she was some “way-yaz tye-ard” from 11 hours of testimony on Benghazi Thursday – Hillary Clinton was 50 minutes late to her rally at Market Square in Old Town, Alexandria yesterday.
Hillary’s Virginia campaign, which has been collecting the 5,000 signatures she needs to be on the Democratic primary ballot, had announced her speech for half past noon, but she showed up at 1:20 pm.
The TSA-like Secret Service metal detectors and table search gates set up at the normally open venue used weekly by a farmer’s market had been open since 11 am. Even with a two and a half hour advance, the Square on King Street near the Potomac River was less than a third full, with only several hundred Hillaryites- about 85% female and 95% white – waiting to hear Mrs. Clinton. One hefty, crunchy granola-looking woman waiting in line with me to have her purse searched told her friend the crowd seemed smaller than the weekly farmers’ markets or Christmas fair held at the same venue.
A few people left around 1 pm and a few who stayed asked the organizers for an ETA with a little grumbling. Old Town was an appropriate venue – the bulk of the crowd were Ladies Who Lunch, 50- and 60-something women, who didn’t seem to have jobs or orher commitments to get back to. One near me explained to her friends that she worked for herself and could set her own schedule.
The Market Square area (and Old Town generally) is one of the wealthiest D.C. suburban neighborhoods, a business district consisting mainly of banks, real estate firms, restaurants, boutique dress shops, and especially trade and lobbying associations and government contractors. Only 3 minutes (7/10ths of a mile) away sits the four story waterfront rowhome style mini-mansion Clinton spinner James Carville sold for an even $4 million in June, 2013 before moving to New Orleans. (It’s a lovely mansion, looking out at a bridge across the Potomac to the National Harbor resort in Maryland – I’ve been to a fundraiser there thrown by Carville’s wife, Republican Mary Matalin.) The average household income in downtown Alexandria is $146,000, over twice the Virginia state average.
Mrs. Clinton was introduced by Governor Terry McAuliffe, who took credit for new jobs in Virginia and told the small crowd that a Clinton in office could bring the same good fortune to the whole country. He failed to mention that Virginia ranks first as the biggest recipent of government contracts (Maryland is 4th and DC 5th) with over $51 billion paid for with money taxed away from other states. How that model can be generalized was not explained – Mrs. Clinton did not propose taxing Canadians to fund government contracts for all of the 50 states.
Instead, she spoke with a normal cadence, unlike her slow roll speech to the Benghazi committee, and a normal accent, even though she was technically in the south – McAullife had already received applause from the upscale audience by announcing he was the first southern Governor to perform a gay wedding. Mrs. Clinton was short on policy ideas. She told personal anecdotes about her grandfather the lace maker and about a little girl who asked her if a girl president would be paid as much as a boy president. At one point she contrasted how incomes grew under her husband “unlike now,” without noting that increasing inequality and declining incomes have been occurring for 7 years under a Democratic president and a massive expansion of government control of the economy. Obama was mentioned only once or twice, mainly at the beginning when Mrs. Clinton announced that she was running on her own, not as a third term for either Bill Clinton or for Barack Obama.
A large bleacher was set up for the media, who were about 15% of the people there, shunting most of her other supporters – and interlopers like me – to the sides with obstructed views. On a riser behind Mrs. Clinton and Governor McAuliffe the supporters picked to be their background for the TV cameras included about half of the dozen African Americans at the event. The diversity included a light sprinkling of pajama boys and gays and lesbians, if my gaydar was working, but there were virtually no Hispanics or Asians. And I think no transgenders or indigenous peoples. After middle aged and older white women, the media were the biggest demographic.
But these old white ladies vote in high percentages, and Mrs. Clinton served up a laundry list of fossilized notions that they all agree with, a subsidy for this and a subsidy for that, stroking every old Democrat button. That the American economy is collapsing under trillions in debt or that parts of the world are being overrun by savages – anti-woman savages who auction off young girls as sex slaves – because of Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy failures, and sometimes armed with weapons paid for by the Obama regime – were among the many realities Clinton, McAullife and their fans continued to evade.