Let’s Talk About Grammar

Earlier today the following headline scrolled across my Facebook news feed: “Hillary Campaign Manager: ‘I Know She Has Begun to Hate Everyday Americans.’

What followed was an article discussing “Hillary Clinton’s sense of entitlement” and how she really, secretly, hates the little guy and only tells these secrets to her friends on Wall Street. Now, I try not to get too political here at Warning Signs because that’s not what I want to do here, but something about that article didn’t seem right to me. Most specifically this passage:

“I know she has begun to hate everyday Americans, but I think we should use it once the first time she says I’m running for president because you and everyday Americans need a champion,”

Now, as a person with a certain enthusiasm for words I can see that, while somewhat damning, this doesn’t appear to make any sense. How would you spin your hatred for any specific group of people into a rallying cry, offering yourself up as said group’s champion, “I hate the little guy, that’s why I will fight for you, the little guy!” Nope, doesn’t make sense paraphrased either. Something’s wrong here.

My first instinct was to get on the denial wagon, “No,” I said, “WikiLeaks is run by people who don’t want Clinton in office, surely this has been altered.” Or, “It says ‘sent from iPhone,’ maybe this is auto-correct’s fault?” Whatever the case, the phrase still seems really out of context regardless of either of those explanations… Let’s do some more digging.

So, I went to WikiLeaks myself and found the actual email string in hopes it would provide some context clues so I could figure out why John Podesta randomly decided to throw into an unrelated conversation the damning admission of how much Hillary Clinton hates everyday Americans.

“I know she has begun to hate everyday Americans, but I think we should use it once the first time she says I’m running for president because you and everyday Americans need a champion,” (emphasis mine)

Didn’t matter how many times I read the quote, I couldn’t force it to make sense in the context of the email… Or in the context of rational thoughts. But what was bugging me most was the “it.” I felt like that was key. If I could figure out what “it” was I was sure I could nail this down. So I read all the other emails before it, trying to find an “it” that someone else might have mentioned which John Podesta might be referencing. I scoured it, fine-toothed combed it… Nothing.

That’s when it hit me, the second half of his email, “…the first time she says…” Podesta is talking about a speech. More specifically, the speech detailed earlier in the email. A quick CNTL+F for the word “champion” took me to the relevant passage of the speech which read; “I’m running for President because you and Americans everywhere need a champion.”

Boom. Figured it out. John Podesta doesn’t use quotes in his emails, at least when emailing from his iPhone. Now, let’s revise the offending quote:

“I know she has begun to hate ‘everyday Americans,’ but I think we should use it once the first time she says, ‘I’m running for president because you and everyday Americans need a champion,’”

That looks better. Now we can see that he’s specifically referencing a part of her speech. It also provides us with the elusive “it.” “It” is the phrase “everyday Americans.”

What we’re seeing here, despite the articles bold assertion, is not “John Podesta, Hillary’s campaign guru… admitting that Hillary Clinton hates everyday Americans.” What we’re seeing is a campaign manager making revisions to a speech to include a phrase that, for whatever reason, Hillary Clinton doesn’t like to use.

In fact, here’s an article from two days prior to the speech, one day before the email, specifically discussing her use of the phrase “everyday Americans.”

Throw on top of that the fact that this wasn’t some super-secret closed door meeting with Wall Street insiders, but rather this was a discussion of a speech she intended to make the next day at a Whitney Brother’s furniture plant in Keene, NH; April 20th, 2015… And suddenly this scandalously leaked e-mail becomes, well… Kinda boring.

In conclusion; this is why grammar is important, people. This is why I correct you. The fate of the free freaking world hangs in the balance! Alright, go ahead and point out all my ironic grammar errors.