The “Substance” Sham

Another blogger buys into the myth that Hillary is somehow more "substantive" than Obama.

In this case, blogger Fred Wilson who voted for Hillary and says that  "a big part of [his] decision was the substance she showed in contrast to
the lack of substance that Obama showed
in the Los Angeles debate." (emphasis mine)

To say I’m stunned by this would be an understatement. Granted, I’m an Obama partisan, but that certainly was not the debate I saw. Nor the debate that most thoughtful independent pundits saw. Read the transcript (carefully) and judge for yourself.

It’s really odd. When people write or talk about why they support Clinton it’s because of this — her "substance"  or that she has more "experience." In the next breath, you often hear them deride Obama as just a puff-pastry orator, all hat and no cattle.

But ask them for the details about the "substance" or the exact, specific and relevant "experience" she brings, you don’t get much back. Ask what significant bill she has passed in her nearly 7 years in the Senate and you usually draw blanks. Could it be that people are falling for the appearance of substance and experience? Supporters of Senator Clinton — where’s the beef?! Ah, the irony.

So I have this proposal for Senator Obama — he ought to start reading the tax code at his speeches. Stop the high-minded and inspirational oratory. Dampen down the enthusiasm of his supporters (they’re too "cult-like"). Channel Hillary’s inner Dukakis, and bore us for a while with the detail. Some people seem to buy that.

UPDATE: Fred Wilson’s initial post was about Hillary’s request for more debates (Hillary had asked for four more). Obama has apparently agreed to do two more, that sounds about right to me. Clearly, she’s a better debater. She’s quick on her feet. But I like what I saw in the one-on-one last week.  And I think a few more of these will allow him to draw sharper distinctions about their records (Iraq), without looking like a mean man.