Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

The voters of New Hampshire, especially the women, reminded us that there remains a deep reservoir of goodwill for Sen. Clinton. Over the last four days, we have heard and read endless talk about Obama's groundbreaking campaign and the word "change." We forgot that for women, it's Hillary who's breaking new ground. While some see her as representing the establishment, she is still the first woman with a significant shot at becoming president.
As for the media who were quick to declare an end to her ambitions, well the Clintons have endured previous near death experiences, while their critics were busy typing up the death certificate.
The widely reported incident of Hillary's eyes welling up with tears did more than show a rare glimpse of her human side; it demonstrated her toughness. I respond more
positively to someone who can keep going through low moments than someone who never show emotion at all. I don't think the reaction was so much one of sympathy, but of admiration for someone who has perservered for years despite unrelenting criticism and derision. If Hillary Clinton is elected, it will be in part because people thinks she's tough enough for the job.
Of course, Obama has shown some staying power himself, and could well rebound in South Carolina and Nevada, setting us up for a stack of primaries on February 5 that still won't decide the nomination.
It is amusing and infuriating how the media careen from one story line to another. The
New York Times called her 3 point margin an upset and a "resounding victory," perhaps forgetting that last week it was Obama who delivered the upset. Welcome to short attention span theater.
It has often been observed that the big media have hard time presenting more than one narrative at a time. Yesterday's Democratic primary leaves us with three: Obama's hope, Clinton's resilience and Edwards' stubborn populism. On the GOP side we have at least five: the second coming of John McCain, Huckabee's geniality, Romney's message tested talking points, Rudy's limited vocabulary and the insistent sound of Ron Paul pounding on the door.
It's a big country, and voters make decisions for a variety of reasons. That's why we have election campaigns.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Alan Coffey said...

I have to admit I was hoping for a better showing from Ron Paul in NH.
But how about Obama and his positive attitude about America! I have not heard that kind of talk in a long time. Hope is one thing, confidence in our national capacities is another.

1:16 PM, January 09, 2008  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

I was given a copy of The Audacity of Hope a year ago, and have finally gotten around to reading it.

2:28 PM, January 09, 2008  
Blogger Shirley Vandever said...

“ The New York Times called her 3 point margin an upset and a "resounding victory," perhaps forgetting that last week it was Obama who delivered the upset. “

One of the many insidious things about this is that believe it or not (smile), there are people out there who do not follow the process closely. Unlike some bloggers and other news junkies, most rely on the mainstream media for information. Even then, all they hear is snippets.

A woman at work yesterday asked me, “Does Barack still have a chance? Is he still in it ?”. All she had heard was the latest MSM blather over the New Hampshire results. She got her information in between taking care of her three children and working her temp job.

In the end, we only have ourselves to blame, however the mainstream media, with their ever-present lack-of-reality-based hype sure doesn’t help.

8:02 AM, January 10, 2008  

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