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Sweet blog column: Obama opens Saturday Night Live. Slaps down Clinton in skit.

| 16 Comments

WASHINGTON—Live! From New York! It’s Barack Obama making a surprise visit to open NBC’s Saturday Night Live. LINK


Democratic presidential hopeful Obama played himself in a sketch where he one-upped a cast member playing chief rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, working in a campaign theme along the way—that he has nothing to hide and the calculating Clinton does.

Obama’s trip to New York was not on his schedule and had been kept under wraps. He flew in Saturday for a rehearsal after campaigning in Spartanburg, South Carolina. During a speech he slammed Clinton for running a skilled "textbook" campaign--with the textbook flawed.

"As we saw in the debate last week, it encourages vague, calculated answers to suit the politics of the moment, instead of clear consistent principles about how you would lead America," Obama said in the speech

The five minute, 17-second skit Obama was in started with SNL cast members playing Hillary and Bill hosting a Halloween party at their home in Chappaqua, NY., a get together with the Democratic presidential field to unwind after last Tuesday's debate.

The Clinton character is wearing a bride’s costume with the joke like this: various cast members are playing other Democratic contenders—John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd. Edwards compliments her on her “witch” costume and so does the Dodd player.

Then along comes a tall, slim, man in a big Barack Obama mask. He takes it off and…it’s Obama.

"So you dressed as yourself" asks "Clinton."

“Well you know Hillary, I have nothing to hide. I enjoy being myself,” Obama said. "I'm not going to change who I am just because it is Halloween."

Those lines were fraught with heavy political subtext, given the shot Obama hit Clinton with day about being calculating.

"And may I say you make a lovely bride?' says Obama

"Bill" can't help himself. "She's a witch!" prompting "Hillary" to complain.

Obama then delivers the traditional high spirited SNL greeting. "I just wanted to let the American people know Live! From New York! It's Saturday Night!"—taking the line expected to be delivered by guest host Brian Williams, the anchor of NBC Nightly News.

Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said the appearance “has been on the books for awhile" and that the campaign did have input into the script.

On Sunday, Obama headlines fund-raisers in Boca Raton, Florida and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

16 Comments

Infer is something the hearer does. Imply is something the speaker does. Hence, Obama implied that Clinton had something to hide.

Obama kind of put some fear in me with that it's saturday night thing. He looked like he was ready to fight.

Well we would need a fighter against the Republicans that's for sure.

Well I just think it was great. He needs all the exposure he can get. I meet hundreds of people everyday who still don't really know who he is, and that there are more options besides Hillary.

That was funny! Pegged all the canidates correctly. Go Obama!

Bill admiring Dennis' wife was the best joke.

Heaven help us if a Democrat gets into office.

that was a great skit one of thee funniest.

This skit has far deeper meanings than implying or infering it is a straight forward pivot of changing the narrative or decision dynamics of the Democratic Race and ultimately the Presidential race. Character & trust.

It places Rodham Clinton on the defensive in a place where her campaign strategy and natural political soul is based---tactical politics of the moment---it is unprincipled as a foundation ideology.

It dovetails back to the Bush-Cheney Governance as only 24% of the US believe the country is on the right track and 60% are seeking change. But change is uncertain and confidence can only be made with a foundation of vision, character, & trust. This all comes down to judgment.

The witch metaphor is a double entrendre where it connects with a public perception and the word game of which witch? I have always thought the Rodham Clinton campaign and its narrative was a paper lion akin to Stephen Douglas's in another era.

while obama is playing on snl what is he doing for the taxpayers
of Illinois ?? nothing that i can see and he's done nothing since he's been elected except think he's ready to be president ??
not ! and i'll never vote for him to be either again

clr,

I completely agree. Ever since Obama got elected he has done next to no legislating and angled himself towards a presidency he doesn't deserve.

clr and Tread, who needs your votes anyway. The KKK hasn't got a chance this election. The Republicans are HISTORY.

One of Obama's constant themes is that he is going to change the corrupt political environment in Washington. Obama is from Chicago and served in the Illinois State Senate. Illinois is among the most corrupt states in the country and Chicago is worse. Let the record show that Obama is part and parcel of the Democratic leaders who preside over the corruption and he supports them and they support him. Forget about the metaphysical writings in his books, look at his behavior. He is silent in the face of scandalous cases of giving minority set aside business to white supporters of the Mayor (they are now in jail); he is silent on the hundreds of cases of alleged police brutality against African Americans; he is silent when a Mayor's office official is sentenced to jail for changing test scores of innocent job applicants in favor of cronies; he is silent as the county hospital system that serves mainly African Americans is weakened by patronage and corruption, in fact he endorses the person who presides over this mess as "a good progressive Democrat". The list of situations that Obama is always silent about is endless. This is the same guy who is going to change the system in Washington. Judge Obama on what he has or has not done, not by what he says. There is no beef here only a clever performer with a driving ambition.

A good test (to me) whether a candidate has gone too far in attacking a fellow Democrat: Is when their attack words could be used by the Republicans in a character assassination ad.

Obama has failed this test: Rather than explaining WHY his position was better than Hillary's, Obama agreed to do a cheap character smear to call Hillary a witch.

Prior to this, I was seriously considering voting for Obama in the primary because I thought he had high integrity and intelligence. He just lost "my" vote.


As a state legislator, Obama gained bipartisan support for legislation reforming ethics and health care laws. He sponsored a law enhancing tax credits for low-income workers, negotiated welfare reform, and promoted increased subsidies for childcare. Obama also led the passage of legislation mandating videotaping of homicide interrogations, and a law to monitor racial profiling by requiring police to record the race of drivers they stopped.

Yes, the paragraph is in fact from 'wikipedia', but I only posted it out of laziness to type my own. If you check your references and do some actual research (other than just wikipedia of course) you'll realize that he has done a lot of great things not just as a state senator, but as a u.s senator as well. Being a senator and having good intentions doesn't mean that you can just snap your fingers and make everything right. You still have to deal with the bureaucracy and delegation that is our Democracy. And as someone said before with Chicago having a system as corrupt as it is, it would be even harder to get bills passed. Just because he comes from a place that has corruption don't simply label him as corrupt. Obama has sponsored and co-sponsored more bills as an young politician than most do in the entire political career. THAT is why he was so poised to run for president. I'm not saying that Obama is perfect, because nobody and no politician is perfect. However, I've done my research on every candidate and decided that Obama is the best choice for me. Just do the research before you judge, thats all I'm saying.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on November 3, 2007 9:36 PM.

Sweet blog column: Edwards advisor--abortion rights leader Kate Michelman-- tackles Clinton for "playing the victim" with gender card. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet Column: Obama record on transparency lacking. Where are his state senate records? is the next entry in this blog.

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