by Max Brantley
What is it about this election? Once again, I find myself agreeing with Charles Krauthammer, who thinks a more important moment for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire wasn't her cracked voice episode, but an Obama misstep during the debate.
It showed a side of Barack Obama not seen before or since. And it wasn't pretty. Asked in the Saturday Democratic debate about her dearth of "likability," Clinton offered an answer both artful and sweet -- first, demurely saying her feelings were hurt and mock-heroically adding that she would try to carry on regardless, then generously conceding that Obama is very likable and "I don't think I'm that bad."
At which point, Obama, yielding to some inexplicable impulse, gave the other memorable unscripted moment of the New Hampshire campaign -- the gratuitous self-indicting aside: "You're likable enough, Hillary." He said it looking down and with not a smile but a smirk.
Rising rock star puts down struggling diva -- an unkind cut, deeply ungracious, almost cruel, from a candidate who had the country in a swoon over his campaign of grace and uplift. The media gave that moment little play, but millions saw it live, and I could surely not have been the only one who found it jarring.
My larger agreement is with the rest of the column. Krauthammer then proceeds to blast Obama's record and question media fawning over him. This is probably Hillary's fault, too, since she and Kraut. are so close and all.
UPDATE: Here's a New York Daily News columnist who thinks Obama's rep as an agent of change has been overblown. Check HIS corporate connections -- Wall Street, the nuclear energy industry.