Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 8, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

"THE MOMENT"....Did Hillary's "emotional moment" on Monday end up helping her? I have to say that I find that deeply unlikely, and yet.....it was on virtually a continuous loop on every cable news channel in the country for the past 24 hours. And Hillary did win the women's vote by a huge margin. And something obviously changed at the very last minute. So I dunno. Maybe.

In any case, Hillary herself seems to think so. She opened her victory speech by saying, "I listened to you, and in the process I found my own voice," and surely that didn't refer to the wonkfests that she apparently conducted in most of her venues over the past few days. So maybe that moment really did make an outsized impression on both her and the voters.

Kevin Drum 11:19 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (177)

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I think it did, though not substantially (I'm sure the polling was off.) The idiots in the media who were quick to decree that she was "cracking" and heading towards a meltdown in NH instead drove sympathetic voters to vote for her.

Posted by: Xanthippas on January 8, 2008 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

From what I've heard around here and there, women were less affected by that moment than they were pissed off by the general media mysogynist bullshit of the past few days.

Posted by: jnfr on January 8, 2008 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think so, at least don't have any reason to believe that is the case, and prefer to think that Hillary "found her voice" in the debate the other night, not tearing up at a campaign function.

Posted by: Jimm on January 8, 2008 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

puh-lease.

jnfr is much closer to the mark

Posted by: craigie on January 8, 2008 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

So why were the polls so far off?

Posted by: Horatio Parker on January 8, 2008 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

But what about her speech? Yuck. She needs someone who writes better than a fifth grader...
Obama's was so inspiring and powerful that Hannity had to break into the ending; Hillary's was "all about me." Leaden delivery, too. No thanks.

Posted by: Karen on January 8, 2008 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see Hillary's "moment" as a "woman's moment", but rather a "patriot's moment."

When her eyes welled up, it was not as she was speaking of how hard campaigning is for her, but of her concern for the condition of the country, and as she expressed her desire to restore its greatness and potential for most Americans.

I'd take that as a positive in any candidate, whether male or female.

Posted by: mccord on January 8, 2008 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

That speech tonight was like none she's given before. She was genuine, spoke from the heart, and expressed her goals for her presidency clearly and persuasively. You could see the real person, not the scripted candidate who measures every word. I'm so thrilled the sexist media pundits were proven wrong tonight.
Thank you, women of New Hampshire!

Posted by: sgl on January 8, 2008 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, I need to have my own personal sexist moment here.

Typical woman. She cried and got her way.

There. It's over. I know it was wrong, but I just had to say it. We can all move on now.

Posted by: Mr No on January 8, 2008 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

Once again, oh please. Girl. Rest.

This was not an "upset." The media was wrong.

They were so excited that they thought they raped her to death they and you were just wrong.

THis was not an upset. The loaded, biased, bigoted media was wrong.

How the does that make the voters wrong, and not the media? Upset of what? The media lies.

(Ps. this is from an Edwards contributor.)

Posted by: bamjaya on January 8, 2008 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

I've not been a Hillary fan since forever [Edwards then Obama for me], but that raggedy-edge moment for Hillary made me much more likely to vote for her than before. Of course, if she's the Democratic Party nominee, I'll be voting for here, no question. Just that it didn't hurt her chances to become the nominee in my eyes. I was even wondering while watching it, "why are the Repugs/media idiots/pundits thinking this will hurt her?"

Posted by: Howard on January 8, 2008 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

SGL is on crack. That speech was horrible. I think Hillary is supremely competent to be the President, even if I won't vote for her, but she can't give a good speech to save her life.

And what does "get out of Iraq the right way" mean?

It sounds a lot like "peace with honor" to me. I hope the people who vote for Hillary just because she has two X chromosomes are going to sleep well knowing that thousands of more people, including women, are going to die so that a woman can win.

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on January 8, 2008 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

I have no idea how Hillary won. I don't think much of her at all, and I was wrong that other Democrats care about her Iraq War vote as much as I do.

But congratulations to her. This was a huge victory, and whatever I might think of her, puts her on the road to the nomination.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 8, 2008 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

I think it helped, though I don't know how much. There was a definite gender gap in voting.

Doesn't matter to me anyway. I still haven't seen anything that really convinces me to vote for any of the "Big Three" or "Big Two" Democrats.

For info on Green Party candidates, click here.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on January 8, 2008 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

I am hearing a lot of talk that women were just fed up with the sexist treatment about Hillary, particularly from bozos like Chris Matthews. I know I have been appalled by the things both he and Tucker Carlson have said about her being castrating and equally appalled at how little attention their statements got.

Posted by: BernieO on January 8, 2008 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

I think the "emotional moment" might have helped Hillary in NH, although I am sure jnfr probably has a point as well. I'm a strong Obama supporter simply because Hillary is too conservative for me, especially her views on Executive power. However, just like Kevin was not horribly upset when Obama won in Iowa, I find myself not horribly upset that Hillary won tonight. The media treatment of her lately has been horrible and this is almost as good as getting a chance to tell Chris Matthews to go F himself.
When I originally heard about Hillary's "Emotional moment", my first thought was that Hillary was cracking. After watching the video myself however, my perspective changed. I found it a very human moment for Hillary. She wasn't feeling sorry for herself, as I think some of the media reports hinted, she seemed to be feeling sorry that all of these things she wanted to accomplish for the American people were slipping away. I think that resonated with people in New Hampshire, although we may never know.

Over all though, I think it's a good thing that Hillary keeps this a race. I've always hated the short primary schedule. Just like Kevin, I'm excited that my vote may actually matter this year.

Posted by: Karinthy on January 8, 2008 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

Dinner tonight with friends in NYC. All are very progressive, mostly for Edwards. We were all so mad at Hillary's treatment we were ready to vote for her. I know some think this is stupid, and I admit it's not rational; but is was surprisingly very real.

Posted by: Polyblog on January 8, 2008 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

But what about her speech? Yuck. She needs someone who writes better than a fifth grader...

Why don't you just say it. A chipmunk full of sound bites switching moods like a manic street preacher. But, I definitely have a better handle on what kind of president she would be. I never liked flowery speeches with teleprompters. Great to sea Chelsea too. Leave Bill at home.

Anyone raising the "race-conscious poll participant" explanation?

Posted by: B on January 8, 2008 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

The "found my voice" comment was politically brilliant; whether or not she thinks the last five days really changed her, it gives the press a narrative that allows her to present herself as a changed candidate post-Iowa.

As for the choked-up moment, I said yesterday that I thought it played well for her (I empathized, and I'm an Obama supporter), but I didn't imagine it could possibly swing 5+ points in the polls. I'm not sure now whether that's what happened or not.

One thing that surprised me on that front, though: my wife (who, like me, supports Obama but very much likes Clinton) thinks that moment may have swung the polls, and she really doesn't like that. She says she doesn't mind Clinton getting choked up in general, and that it could have even been a moving campaign moment, but that she doesn't like that Clinton's reaction came in response to a question about the strain of campaigning...

Just a random datum from California.

Which may now be the most important state in the country for Democratic politics. Wow. Who'd have thought?

Posted by: Adam on January 8, 2008 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

My 2 cents. I didn't see the crying speech on TV, but I heard it on the radio. Hillary sounded more compassionate, committed, and all together more human than in any of her speeches. Bill's great gift was to communicate how he "felt our pain"- up to now Hillary has not been able to capture that tone.

But looking forward, all three leading D candidates are great, and I want to see them go ahead and butt heads and knock elbows, so that the final winner is validated as the best candidate. I am tired of McGovern, Dukakis, Kerry style candidates who run a great primary race and then can't deliver in November.

Posted by: fafner1 on January 8, 2008 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

I heard some pundit say yesterday that New Hampshire likes to reverse Iowa.

All the candidates in both parties are so mediocre, voters probably pick on the basis of personal likes and dislikes, prejudices and inanities, leading to difficult analyses.

Posted by: Luther on January 8, 2008 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

I've got to admit, as a non-clinton supporter, i did find that moment touching and sympathetic. It was the first time i've seen a candidate get that emotional and have it seem authentic, unlike Romney's constant BS crying which is just embarrassing. Now, this touching moment would not change my vote, but I can imagine it could change others votes. Particularly many women (though that might just be my own sexism) who I've often heard call Clonton too cold.

Posted by: kahner on January 8, 2008 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

I personally didn't care one way or another a month ago. But between mean spirited coverage by the media and disparaging treatment by other candidates (particularly Edwards) I've been flipped. Particularly annoying to see gutsy positions by clinton ignored and others misinterpreted in extremely negative light. At the moment I'd love to see a Clinton Obama ticket. Maybe as the primary season progresses I'll care less who's at the top of the ticket.

Posted by: B on January 8, 2008 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

I think the media coverage of Hillary's " meltdown" pissed off women mightily and might have contributed to a larger turnout. Even tonight NBC couldn't resist cracking: "Big girls don't cry, but if they do, they win." Women are entitled to decide the feminist and family issues are important.

Posted by: Redstocking on January 8, 2008 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

From what I've heard around here and there, women were less affected by that moment than they were pissed off by the general media mysogynist bullshit of the past few days.

Yep. Pretty much. I've been supporting Richardson and waffling back and forth between Hillary and Edwards as my second choice. But after yesterday, I wrote Johnny-good-hair off.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 8, 2008 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Iowa made Obama a challenger to the long-time front runner and kept Edwards in the race.

New Hampshire is keeping the competition between Clinton and Obama alive.

I'd say they've played their roles well in selecting the two most electable Democrats. It will be good for them to fight for it if they do it the right way.

Posted by: Louie on January 9, 2008 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

In every Presidential election, many people complain incessantly that the field is quite mediocre. Can someone give me an example of an election in which the candidates were not mediocre? Carter? Reagan? Dukasis? What kind of candidates other than Gore Vidal would you like to see?

Posted by: gregor on January 9, 2008 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

I would prefer not to see the Clinton's back in the White House, and I think that the crying helped with women, but, if push comes to shove, she's better than any Republican.

That said, ANYTHING that makes that douchebag Chris Matthews look even more douchey than usual is OK with me.

Posted by: Shine on January 9, 2008 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

... I didn't imagine it could possibly swing 5+ points in the polls. I'm not sure now whether that's what happened or not.

It's anyone's guess, but she might've gotten exactly what the polls said she would, but the undecideds broke to her. That was something like 15%, if I remember correctly. In any event, maybe this will bring me back a candidate instead of a rock star. Don't much care for those.

Posted by: junebug on January 9, 2008 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

don't know if it was on purpose or not but the subject line of her first campaign email tonight is:

"From the bottom of my heart"

Posted by: John on January 9, 2008 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

Several years ago I was at home on the weekend nursing a cold, watching C-SPAN 2 book events. Hillary had published 'Living History' and C-SPAN was covering a book signing at a Wal-Mart. The camera panned the line of people (mostly women as I recall) waiting for her to sign her book. The table was set up at the back of the store; the line went through the length of the store, out the door, and around the building, almost lapping itself. She arrived, sat down, started signing and greeting each person. The camera stayed back probably 20 feet, so you couldn't hear everything that was said, but she engaged each person who came up to her - and I mean really engaged. I've been around a lot of politicians, leaders, and I was stunned at what I was seeing. Then I forgot about it - life went on. When I saw the video of Hillary answering the question of why she stays in the race, I immediately remembered how she engaged the folks at Wal-Mart, and remembered how authentic she was then - and how authentic she was when she answered that question a couple of nights ago. I think a lot of women recognized that authenticity, and have thought the same thing for their children, wanting so much for them. It rang a bell for me, and I would vote for her.

Posted by: Lois Quick on January 9, 2008 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

I think that there may have been a backlash in favor of Hillary because of the savage press she has been getting. I'm an Obama supporter and I certainly felt that way. I would have voted for Hillary yesterday because I think she has been held to an entirely different standard than the men in this race. We keep hearing how she is too cold, then too emotional. She was criticized for not taking questions, then Dana Milbank and Roger Simon said she was dull because she did. Anything negative she said about Obama was criticized, while Romney got a pass for running negative ads.

And let's not forget the Drudge photo, the NYPOst cover and the one man hate band that Chris Matthews leads every night against Hillary.

I still like Obama better and now I can vote for him in South Carolina knowing that Hillary has gotten a little support in return for what she has done for our country and the Democrat party.

Heck, GWB is pond scum and he has never been treated to 1/10th of the crap in the MSM that Hillary has gotten.

Posted by: Teresa on January 9, 2008 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

You know, it's not just the "moment." She really is quite likable when you get her off the world stage and into a relaxed setting. Just google some videos of her talk show appearances. The only reason she hides her "personality" is because she takes statesmanship seriously. Not such a bad thing after the swaggering joke that is W.

Her main weakness is her husband -- too many unanswered questions there. How much does he influence how she thinks? What role would he play in her administration? Would it be Clinton redux or something totally different? People would support her in droves if it weren't for this "baggage." She needs to turn the page on this chapter in the nation's history ASAP.

Otherwise, her arguments against Obama were heard. He's unvetted. Why coronate him now? It's a big risk when he's been getting such a freeride in the press. More than anything, the NH results were an admonishment to a media too eager to lap up Barack's empty rhetoric and peddle a sexist line.

It may turn out that it's the Illinois senator who is only "likable enough."

Posted by: Illume on January 9, 2008 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

Of course her emotional moment helped her. That's exactly what was missing from her image: people were saying she was too cold, artificial, scripted. Suddenly she became human. Bingo.

It would be great to have a president who used the words "vast right-wing conspiracy" on national TV. And to have a break from the white male habit.

Now if she could only lose Holbrooke.

Posted by: JS on January 9, 2008 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

Why haven't I heard any of the pundits talk about the possible impact of independents on today's primary? The polls showed Obama being such a lock that all the independents who said they were voting for him decided they wouldn't waste their vote and went to vote for McCain instead. It seems to be the only theory that explains the results versus what the polls said.

Posted by: tja on January 9, 2008 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

I think B has it right. It's called the Bradley effect (Tom Bradley vs George Deukmejian in the 1982 California gubenatorial election). New Hampshire voters simply voted contrary to their previously stated intentions once they got in the voting booth. Because once they got in the voting booth they decided, in sufficient numbers to give Clinton a victory, to not cast their ballot for a person of color. Please discard the facil "vulnerability", "piling on", and "anger at the press" explanations.

Posted by: Greg on January 9, 2008 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

Greg-- spare us the Bradley effect nonsense. Because that would mean that only white women lie to pollsters, not white men. Obama carried the white male vote by a large percentage. Women were just fed up with Hillary being villified by the media. It had nothing to do with the crying -- I was turned off by that -- but I've been fuming to my poor husband for weeks that the media coverage of Hillary was going to turn me reluctantly from an Obama supporter to a Hillary voter out of solidarity.

Now I can vote for Obama knowing that the fever swamp and Chris Matthews took it in the teeth tonight.

Posted by: Teresa on January 9, 2008 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with most of the commenters re being fed up with the media pile-on. Chris Matthews and Andrew Sullivan can suck on it. And I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Obama supporter.

But I can't see this having legs, really. For the whole point of the incident is that it was spontaneous, not staged. Which means it's not repeatable. And though people may treat Hillary a little better after this (I sure hope they do), I don't see this propelling her to victory. I mean, she and her campaign still have a lot of other problems that aren't related to what we call 'character'.

Posted by: lampwick on January 9, 2008 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

"People must not be humiliated, that is the main thing." A. Chekhov

Posted by: lampwick on January 9, 2008 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

I think B has it right. It's called the Bradley effect

Just to be clear, I wasn't supporting the concept. Just wondering if anyone was espousing it.

Personally I lie to every pollster / telemarketer I talk to. Usually something like "Ik spreek het geen Engels" or "I'm sorry sonny boy, could you speak up. I don't have any saturday newspapers to sell".

Posted by: B on January 9, 2008 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

even if hillary manipulated the narrative to lower expectations, it was a good stroke. a victory well done.

and now if she can beat mccain/bush or romney/huckabee.

Posted by: gregor on January 9, 2008 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

Personally I lie to every pollster / telemarketer I talk to.

Me too. It's especially fun to lie to the fox affiliate when they are conducting exit polls.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

I'm so impressed by everything I see in the comments; I think everyone is just exactly right. I've NEVER liked Hillary--too DLC centrist, shrill ice bitch, all that. But I cried when Hillary was crying, even though it was only a question that was about the stress of campaigning (I wished it had been about something bigger than herself as well). And when Chris Matthews pinched her cheek, I would have voted for her ass too. I've been liking her more and more despite her wan kind of hawkish centrism, and I couldn't BELIEVE her snapping one sentence in the debate was headlined "Hillary's Temper Tantrum." Seriously? My boy Edwards shouts his angry ass through every speech, adn we all love him for it. I'm done with the way the media's been treating her AND she helped herself with me with her soft-voiced moment. Yay! Everybody's right!

Posted by: rebecca on January 9, 2008 at 1:36 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with most of the commenters re being fed up with the media pile-on.

But I can't see this having legs, really. For the whole point of the incident is that it was spontaneous, not staged. Which means it's not repeatable. -- Lampwick at 1:00 am

Her emotional moment doesn’t have to be repeated. That is the beauty of Hillary’s great comeback win. Maybe, from now on, the chastened media will back off from its snarky treatment of her and Hillary can just concentrate on connecting with the voters and getting her message out.

She said it best. She has found her voice.

Posted by: emmarose on January 9, 2008 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

Greg, I remember the very real "Bradley Effect" in the 1982 California gubernatorial race, but I don't think it applies in this case, for the reasons that Teresa implied.

The key demographic in Sen. Clinton's New Hampshire triumph was women, particularly women over the age of 40, which she won overwhelmingly. And in a primary where 57% of Democratic voter were women, I believe that this was decisive in the outcome.

To offer a personal anecdote, I live in a household with three women (my wife and two teenaged daughters), and I can't begin to describe accurately their utter resentment and contempt over what they saw as open misogyny in full bloom on the cable news outlets and news programs over the last few weeks.

Add to that the fact that my mother and aunt were also visiting us this weekend while on their way to Japan, and I became the designated surrogate male whipping post for five females over not only the media abuse of Mrs. Clinton, but also the issue of men's treatment of women in general.

Neither my mother or aunt (both in their 70s) are necessarily supporters of Mrs. Clinton's candidacy (as of yet!), but in our discussions this weekend, the corrosive effect of decades of suffering in silence the condescension and discrimination at the hands of men was clearly palpable.

I would offer that at this point, the intangible bonds of sisterhood may well be the trump card in determining who gets their vote in the California primary on February 5.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

Well: I'm glad she found her voice. But this is an election about the future of the United States, not the soul of Hillary Clinton. I felt some satisfaction on her behalf tonite, but no pride in my country. Some justice was done, by acknowledging the contribution that she (and Bill) have made, but as you yourself admit, she's still the same old policy wonk.

All Obama has to do is remain gracious and respectful towards her, and from this point on she will simply disappear.

Posted by: lampwick on January 9, 2008 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

My mother was saying today how touching she found Hillary's "emotional moment" and was appalled that I agreed with the Republican naysayers that nothing about it seemed real, that every word and syllable sounded false, hollow, and practiced.

Posted by: Anon on January 9, 2008 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

How come this great leader with 35 years experience had to rely upon one question, or perhaps 2 or 3 days of campaigning in New Hampshire, to find her voice? The words in the speech were about as obviously a scripted line as I have ever heard. It may work. The tears in the eyes obviously worked. She and her consultants just as obviously thought they should emphasize it in the victory speech.

I thought the rest of her speech was mediocre, and Obama's speech was great. I have no idea how the battle between them will play out, but the only democratic route I see to the presidency is if Hillary beats him and then is smart enought to offer and lucky enough to persuade him to take the VP slot. It could happen. They also could stalemate and allow Gore to move in - unlikely, but now possible.

Posted by: brian on January 9, 2008 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

let me see if i understand this... someone certainly shouldn't vote for/elect a candidate based on soaring, empty rhetoric; but voting for someone as a way to stick it to the pundits for "piling on" is totally legit?

Posted by: tony h on January 9, 2008 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

I'll second Donald's comments upthread. I don't think it was Hillary's "emotional moment" that got Democratic voters, particularly women, riled up, but the absolutely horrible way the press piled on what appeared to me, at least, to be a fairly innocuous and fleeting choke-up with all the "can a chick handle the pressure?" crap. I'm no huge fan of Hillary's but the whole thing was so idiotic that I can totally see a significant percentage of Granite State women deciding in the polling booth at the last minute to stick it to the man and give the nod to Clinton just to spite all the pundits and media jackasses who made a huge deal about this. On the other hand, it also means that New Hampshire was more of a lucky break for Clinton rather than an actual comeback. Whatever, as Kevin says, it makes things even more interesting going forward, so that can only be good.

Posted by: jonas on January 9, 2008 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

I also think Edwards' obnoxious behavior helped her. He shamelessly attacked her on Saturday to try to allign himself with Obama and finish her off. Then he attacked her for getting emotional, but later said "absolutely not" when asked if he had been critical of her. Then, he gave that same phony speech after the results, this time claiming falsely that he congratulated Obama last week - he did not say anything congratulatory to Obama in his speech last week. A guy who can lie that easily is dangerous.

With that cheesy grin, he is about the phoniest serious candidate for president I have ever seen. He is obviously done in terms of getting the nomination this time, but he still in a position to hurt Clinton if he gets out. My guess is that he quietly offers his support first to Obama in return for the vp slot again and, if rejected, he makes the same offer to Clinton. He is obsessed with becoming president and his calculation will be that the best step for him to someday become president is to again be the vp nominee. I'm sure neither Clinton nor Obama wants him, but in their death match, they may be willing to make a deal with the devil.

Posted by: brian on January 9, 2008 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

>>Maybe, from now on, the chastened media will back off from its snarky treatment of her

You must be dreaming right? No chance.

Posted by: bob on January 9, 2008 at 2:58 AM | PERMALINK

A question about the “Bradley effect”: Can anyone explain why a white person being asked about his or her preferred candidate in the Democratic primary in New Hampshire would feel socially uncomfortable expressing support for John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson or Dennis Kucinich and so feel pressure to express false support for Obama to avoid seeming bigoted in the eyes of a pollster? As I understand it, this is the basis of the “Bradley effect” so in the absence of such an explanation or a plausible theory, I don’t see how the “Bradley effect” is relevant to the result in New Hampshire

Posted by: Mitch Guthman on January 9, 2008 at 3:07 AM | PERMALINK

To Donald in Hawaii and to Teresa: It would appear that I have been unclear in communicating the applicability of the Bradley effect. For this I apologize. It is my feeling that this phenomenon is all the more relevant in New Hampshire today (key demographics and gender voting percentages notwithstanding), where the population is 95% white, as opposed to California, where the population is 43% white. These are figues published in today's Los Angeles Times. In 1982 the percentage of whites in California was probably marginally more than 43%, but nowhere near the overwhelming numbers reflected in today's NH breakdown.

Posted by: Greg on January 9, 2008 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

Whatever brian. You've been an idiot about pretty much everything to this point - no reason why you should change now.

The Democrats have several candidates who would be good Preseidents. On the other hand the Republicans have no candidates who are worthy of being appointed to watch television.

Now, by nature, Republicans aren't really cut out to hold elective office. If you think that government doesn't work, you shouldn't be begging people to give you a chance to prove it. But this crop makes one long for the comptence of a Reagan. Yes, even with the napping and the Alzheimer's he stands head and shoulders above the guys who all arive at the debates in the same VW Beetle wearing giant shoes and flowers that squirt water.

Posted by: heavy on January 9, 2008 at 3:45 AM | PERMALINK

brian: "How come this great leader with 35 years experience had to rely upon one question, or perhaps 2 or 3 days of campaigning in New Hampshire, to find her voice?"

Please excuse me while I find mine -- yeah, there it is, right where I left it, on the dining room table. Testing 1-2-3 ... Okay, sounds good, let's try it out:

"Blow it out your ass, clown!"

Yep ... still works.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 4:03 AM | PERMALINK

jonas: "On the other hand, it also means that New Hampshire was more of a lucky break for Clinton rather than an actual comeback."

History and politics can and will often turn randomly on luck and chance.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 5:01 AM | PERMALINK

I suspect having spent the week watching NFL players like Jeff Garcia and innumerable college players getting misty and choked up just reinforced the double standard for most people.

If the conventional wisdom becomes that the attacks on HRC as "emotional" backfired and motivated women to turnout for her, does that take away an important line of attack for the Republicans in the general election? (Assuming she makes that far)

Posted by: Tentakles on January 9, 2008 at 5:12 AM | PERMALINK

Anon: "My mother was saying today how touching she found Hillary's 'emotional moment' and was appalled that I agreed with the Republican naysayers that nothing about it seemed real, that every word and syllable sounded false, hollow, and practiced."

I appreciate your honesty, Anon. Now, you should really get back to your room, before your mother catches you on the computer after she grounded you.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 5:42 AM | PERMALINK

For me at least, that was a small part of it. I resent the media trying to pick a candidate(Obama) and foist him on us. If Obama wants the nomination, then he needs to fight for it and earn it.

I also have been very turned off by many of the Obama supporters. I suspect that a lot of them are very young(read: obnoxious), and some of them basically have been telling us to leave the party. They forget that they will need our help in November is Obama is the nominee.

Posted by: Susan on January 9, 2008 at 6:51 AM | PERMALINK

[trolling deleted]

Posted by: Susan is probably a racist on January 9, 2008 at 7:17 AM | PERMALINK

The media effort to trash Hillary really backfired. Tom Brokaw was really great in letting Chris Matthews have it and explaining journalistic ethics to Matthews. The Matthews and David Gregorys of the media really overstepped the line of journalistic ethics and responsibility with their simplistic Saint Obama and Demon Hillary. Unfortunately its unlikely they have the decency to stop trying to turn candidates into saints or demons and just do real reporting.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 9, 2008 at 7:23 AM | PERMALINK


"Because that would mean that only white women lie to pollsters, not white men

Well, white women are far less likely than white men to date interracially. And a white woman is the frontrunner, not a white man. So it is white women who would have a motive to lie. Not to mention old white women, not old white men, run the Democratic Party. If you don't like the anti-male, pro-white sentiments of the Democratic Party, I don't know what to tell you. I guess you could vote for Obama.
Posted by: Susan is probably a racist on January 9, 2008 at 7:17 AM | PERMALINK"


???? Are there two Susans on this thread? Or are you quoting someone else?

Posted by: Susan on January 9, 2008 at 7:28 AM | PERMALINK

[trolling deleted]

Posted by: Susan is probably a racist on January 9, 2008 at 7:42 AM | PERMALINK

It wasn't the tears, it was that moment in the NH debate when she said it hurt her feelings that people found her unlikable and Obama responded by saying, in a flat voice, "Oh, you're likable enough." She came off as human and he came off as ungracious, rubbing it in like that.

Posted by: GEM on January 9, 2008 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

These campaigns are all manipulation and the Clintons may be the supreme masters of the game -- her crying routine in combination with Bill's "I can't make her taller" comments were masterstrokes.

Posted by: leo on January 9, 2008 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

I'll add that this "I've found my voice" stuff is just more manipulative PR bs... after 35 years of making change she's suddenly and finally found her voice? Campaigns are all about herding sheep.

Posted by: leo on January 9, 2008 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

let me see if i understand this... someone certainly shouldn't vote for/elect a candidate based on soaring, empty rhetoric; but voting for someone as a way to stick it to the pundits for "piling on" is totally legit?

No, I don't think you do. You see, the pundits appear to have been using a completely different yard stick for Hillary, turning every possible news story into a negative, and arguing that we shouldn't vote for her because she is a self-motivated, calculating, bitch. To the observant, this forces a reevaluation of the facts -- particularly as to whether Hillary really is a self-motivated, calculating, bitch, and whether that belief was the only thing keeping them from voting for her. In the absence of the Colbert Report, Chris Matthews and Bill O play the over-the-top haters and push the audience gently toward the opposite conclusions and they become more educated about politics.

The other candidates didn't notice this humanization trend soon enough and were left were their own bad moments -- piling on at the wrong time and trying to utilize a negative Hillary meme after it had disappeared in the minds of a good number of voters. Using aggression at the wrong moment or allowing yourself to be interpreted as heartless is a great way to lose a good 5 to 10 points. Ask Gore or Dukakis.

Posted by: B on January 9, 2008 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Well, all I can say is Susan is probably a racist is most certainly a trollish, first-class twerp who has difficulty distinguishing between the names, Susan and Teresa (which I guess seem similar to a troll). And that the content of this trollish comment is as wildly off as the Teresa/Susan name thing. Aim like this is worthy of a drunken duck-hunting VP.

And I am oh so tired of the Bradley effect comments.

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 9, 2008 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

I am dismayed by the idea that the primaries have become a vehicle to stick it to the media, or revenge misogyny from time immemorial. It took all this time for Hillary to find her voice? Are we to accept that Hillary has suffered more as a woman than a black man in America? Is this race about the tribulations of a candidate, or the tribulations of a country? Is this race about personal vendettas, or is it about who can win in November and most effectively govern?

Note to John Edwards, who was my second choice: thanks a lot.

Posted by: Lucy on January 9, 2008 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

I just don't see how the Bradley effect could possibly underly the discrepancy between the poll results and the election results.

The cases I have heard of representing the Bradley effect are cases in which the socially acceptable candidate is a black -- so far as I know, always a Democrat -- and the white candidate is a troglodyte -- i.e., a Republican. People simply don't want to admit that they are voting for the troglodyte, so say they're voting for the black candidate.

I just don't see how that dynamic might play out between Hillary and Obama. What voter would ever be embarrassed to admit they are voting for Hillary (obviously a woman, and therefore breaking ground herself), and would feel obliged to say they're voting for Obama instead? It just doesn't make a bit of sense.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2008 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

leo, if the Clinton "routine" was a masterstroke then the initial Edwards/Obama reactions were supreme gaffes. I personally noticed that Hillary was a human way back in the 1990's. Very sneaky of her to wait till now to break it to the public. I'll bet she's been paying off all those wingnuts and pundits to overstate her robotic bitchiness.

You might want to be a little more subtle with the anti-Hillary rhetoric lest she utilize the momentum of your ill timed right hook ( like the political kung-fu master sheep herder that she is ) to your disadvantage.

Posted by: B on January 9, 2008 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

Honestly, I think that claims of the Bradley effect are absurdly off the mark that they really represent the Obama effect: the ability to find racist explanations for any kind of setback or criticism of Obama.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2008 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

"I also have been very turned off by many of the Obama supporters. I suspect that a lot of them are very young(read: obnoxious), and some of them basically have been telling us to leave the party. They forget that they will need our help in November is Obama is the nominee.

The above is a quote from you. I take it your "us" and "our" and "they are young" comments mean you are an older, white woman. Yes, you are the person I am calling a racist."

LOL, well, the race card is very convenient. But if you think that what I said is racist, then you are just dumb. I have read posts very similar to that on this blog, and on HuffPo, to mention just two. Posts that anoint one candidate this early and basically tell the rest of us to get lost are smug and obnoxious. If thinking that makes me racist in your eyes, then so be it.

Posted by: Susan on January 9, 2008 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

[trolling deleted]

Posted by: Susan is probably a racist on January 9, 2008 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

nt

Posted by: "Susan is probably a racist" is definitely a moron on January 9, 2008 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

"LOL, well, the race card is very convenient.

Umm, I'm an Edwards supporter. But I still think you're a racist."

Ok, you just think that then. Enjoy. Oh, and no matter who you're supporting, you're still pulling the race card. The fact that you don't realize it speaks volumes.

Posted by: Susan on January 9, 2008 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

Umm, I'm an Edwards supporter

that I doubt.

But I still think you're a racist.

I know you're a troll. But do you have to be this clumsy!

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 9, 2008 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

B, I'm not anti-Hillary... she's probably my choice for President (given the choices available). I just think that campaigns/politicians are manipulative, and have to be (I just react negatively/cynically when I see it). Campaigns are sheep herding for the most part, big gestures and grand acts rather than weedy details.

Posted by: leo on January 9, 2008 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

The commenter critcizing Susan is abusive. Needs to be *'d just like mhr.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 9, 2008 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

"Dinner tonight with friends in NYC. All are very progressive, mostly for Edwards. We were all so mad at Hillary's treatment we were ready to vote for her. I know some think this is stupid, and I admit it's not rational; but is was surprisingly very real."

Ditto for me.

Posted by: David in NY on January 9, 2008 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

I hear talk of an exchange between Brokaw and Matthews, and also earlier some notes of similar exchanges between Rachel(?) and Matthews. Anybody got a link to video of these events?

Posted by: David in NY on January 9, 2008 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

leo, agreed. I was referring to your anti-Hillary rhetoric, not saying that you are necessarily anti-Hillary. The cynical viewpoint is a pretty good starting point. They should teach it in school.

I have to say I disagree if you think the Hillary reactions were premeditated. Both "moments" were brought on by direct questions concerning her likeability and the negativity of the press. The questions themselves were sympathetic and indicate that the pendulum was already moving back in her favor. Considering the heights that the press had pushed that damn pendulum I think a five year old could have hit it out of the park. You'd have to have a Dukakis moment to fall on your face.

Posted by: B on January 9, 2008 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

The ultimate cruel irony: I'd wager that a very large majority of the women who supported Clinton passionately believe in ending the war, yet they are supporting someone who has absolutely no intention of ending it.

She supported the war enthusiastically, and has been consistently dishonest about her reasons for doing so.

Posted by: Brautigan on January 9, 2008 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

I'm a white male Obama supporter. Clinton's emotional moment seemed genuine and attractive to me. The press's response to it was absurd and infuriating. The whole thing reminded me of how deeply unfair the media's treatment of Hillary has been for an unbelievable amount of time. Same reaction from my father. I find it easy to believe that this led a lot of wavering voters to vote for Hillary. I also believe that all the talk of landslide depressed youth and independent turnout for Obama.

Posted by: Liberal Chris on January 9, 2008 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

I sure hope it didn't help her, as it struck me as being a little contrived--and I've always liked her (although I like her better as a Senator than a Presidential candidate) and I'm female. While I think she was sincere in what she was saying as she had this 'emotional' moment, it felt to me that she was deliberately pushing the teariness and the emoting a bit.

But what is making me most ANNOYED is the press characterizing the outcome as a huge victory for Clinton when the REALITY is that the percentages (and actual number of votes) indicates it was so much closer than that: Clinton at 39 percent, Obama 36 percent. Is there even a statistically significant difference here?
I'd like to see a huge backlash against this sort of hyped up spin (but I won't hold my breath...) And the press is doing the same thing for McCain; calling it a big 'comeback' when he did in NH essentially as well as everyone was expecting he would do.
Things are so far very interesting, except the news media is doing their idiotic thing and I hope they don't ruin all the fun.

Posted by: Varecia on January 9, 2008 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Karinthy,

The media treatment of her lately has been horrible and this is almost as good as getting a chance to tell Chris Matthews to go F himself.

Oh yeah. As a guy I'd like a chance to punch Chris Matthews in his big fat mouth, but this is almost as good.

Posted by: Tripp on January 9, 2008 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

She got much needed airtime and the coverage ate up some of the oxygen of Obama's ballon from Iowa.

Posted by: clevergirl on January 9, 2008 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

Anon,
My mother was saying today how touching she found Hillary's "emotional moment" and was appalled that I agreed with the Republican naysayers that nothing about it seemed real, that every word and syllable sounded false, hollow, and practiced.

Listen to your Mother, son. Now off to bed.

Posted by: Tripp on January 9, 2008 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

...And I forgot to add, I think the NH results are attributable to the 'embarrassment of riches' effect. I find myself subject to it, so I have to think others are too: I like all the Democratic candidates. I especially like the last one I've seen/heard...whoever that may be at the time! I can't decide and stick to that decision, so whoever I hear last I'm liking a lot.

Posted by: Varecia on January 9, 2008 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

She supported the war enthusiastically, and has been consistently dishonest about her reasons for doing so.

As tempting as it is to play whack-a-mole, I have to go to work.

Posted by: B on January 9, 2008 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

It doesn't seem as if there has ever been a primary race that divided and brought out so much vitriol. And it does seem to be coming mostly from the camp that says things like "we're not going to kneecap her" and "we've got her in our sights".

I've never seen such division as I have with the Obama campaign and supporters. There has been resentment based on age/generation (calling people old and out-of-touch), resentment based on race (calling anyone who does not get Obama's appeal racist).

If this is the CHANGE Obama and his supporters are bringing, give me the past prosperity and decency of the Clintons, who had everything but the kitchen sink thrown at them by the media and the right wing and never responded with anger.

I wish Hillary would drop the stupid CHANGE meme and go on her strength - return to prosperity and respect.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 9, 2008 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

Ya’ know, I felt like it was an Oprah moment. It was emotional nakedness in the context of victimhood, struggle, hope and overcoming. It is a powerful formula on TV, but it has never really been exploited in politics before. I guess Bill Clinton had shades of this narrative. Happily it is probably inaccessible to the Republicans since they can only be manly men from manlymenland.

Posted by: bellumregio on January 9, 2008 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

I'm amused at the men who don't get this: we women bite our tongue most of the time at the indignities we experience in addition to what we see served out to other women. In this instance, women had a chance to do something about it and they did. I'm an ardent Obama supporter and I may have voted for Hillary if I had been in NH yesterday.

Posted by: BEmama on January 9, 2008 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Tom Toles nailed it in his cartoon today. I'm more of an Obama supporter, but I would have been tempted to vote for Hillary out of solidarity. Screw you, Chris Matthews. How can your wife stand you?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/opinions/cartoonsandvideos/toles_main.html

Well, white women are far less likely than white men to date interracially. And a white woman is the frontrunner, not a white man.

Uh, obviously you really are clueless.

Posted by: lou on January 9, 2008 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Susan is probably a racist, or whoever the fuck you are, you're proving yourself an exceptionally immature and very poor loser, even if it is only vicariously.

Further, your repeated charge of racism is particularly rancid, supported as it is by such nonsensical statements as "old white women, not old white men, run the Democratic Party", which is something you've clearly pulled from your own ass with a pair of vice-grips.

Therefore, why don't you just shut the fuck up, lest you do any further collateral damage to the very candidate you ostensibly think you're supporting with such vile temper tantrums?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the victim card has always worked for her before. Now that she has learned to cry on cue, she can ride that wave of tears all the way to the White House. Maybe John Edwards should take some acting lessons, You can fool some of the people all of the time.

Posted by: C.S. on January 9, 2008 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

The Tom Toles cartoon mentioned upthread is truly a thing of beauty.

Here's a clickable link to it for those who don't want to bother to cut and paste.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2008 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary Clinton is no victim, nor is she the standard-bearer of downtrodden, excluded and exploited women everywhere. Maybe this could be said about Shirley Chisholm back in 1972, but not about Hillary Clinton in 2008. This is a wedge. It is wedge-shaped; it is tailor cut straight through the liberal coalition and appears at a time when a wedge is needed to knock down Obama. As far as it goes it is fine, but it has nothing to do with the reality of her power, or her backers or their agenda.

Posted by: bellumregio on January 9, 2008 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Varecia: "Clinton at 39 percent, Obama 36 percent. Is there even a statistically significant difference here?"

Why, yes, there is. It's three percentage points, as you've just helpfully noted.

Further, Sen. Clinton carried registered Democratic voters in New Hampshire by a rather significant 46%-34% margin over Sen. Obama. That's something to keep in mind as we move on to the next few rounds of Democratic primaries and caucuses through "Super Tuesday", since many of these will not be open to crossover participation by independents and Republicans, as was the case in both New Hampshire and Iowa.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

[I suggest posting your unfounded conspiracy theories in another forum, not here. --Mod]

Posted by: That Which Shall Not Be Discussed on January 9, 2008 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

That speech tonight was like none she's given before. She was genuine, spoke from the heart, and expressed her goals for her presidency clearly and persuasively. You could see the real person, not the scripted candidate who measures every word.

She delivered it well for her, but it was a mostly poorly written speech that she read. I wonder if that will bother the person who (incredibly) bitched about Obama's having the nerve to read a prepared speech after Iowa?

And what does "get out of Iraq the right way" mean? It sounds a lot like "peace with honor" to me.

Bingo. No one can say she didn't warn us.

The "found my voice" comment was politically brilliant

Think so? My reaction was, "Senator, if you haven't 'found' it by now--a seasoned politician who's running for president..." It made a demonstrably strong person sound awfully weak. I wish she had said "rediscovered" or "refocused" or "found a different aspect of" or something similar. Because as much as I wasn't turned off by her almost-tears, I also don't want them to be her defining "voice."

Despite these criticisms, I'm happy we have a real race and happy as hell that the misogyny fest of the past few days was put in its place. Of course, today's version will just be modeled on Mr. No's post.

Posted by: shortstop on January 9, 2008 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

To me the remarkable thing about Hillary's final and decisive appeal to women is how much it arose out of the circumstances of the moment, and how little of it might possibly have been planned and consciously exploited by the campaign. The truth is, I think that people were quite right about Hillary's campaign: it simply had no plan for dealing with NH after a loss in Iowa. What happened, took place spontaneously.

Her frustration in the debate was clearly real. And I don't see how anyone objective can look at her "moment" and declare that it was faked. Really, just look at how she behaved; everything about what she did suggests that she was doing all she could to maintain her composure. To me, the most telling sign of that was when, at the exact moment when she seemed most to be near tears, she put her hand under her face, obviously struggling to keep herself from losing control. And note too (as my wife pointed out) that she never made any effort to wipe the tears from her face -- the exact thing you would expect someone to do if they were trying to make a "statement" by showing some emotion.

I think the spontaneity of how everything played out in NH for Hillary was absolutely key for the tremendous surge of sympathy with her. And, of course, one has to add to the mix here the spontaneous outburst of vile abuse and dismissiveness she received at the hands of the pundits and her opponents.

The whole thing has a Zen like quality to it, because so much went on without a rational understanding of the process.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2008 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

"Clinton at 39 percent, Obama 36 percent. Is there even a statistically significant difference here?"

Do you have any idea how little rational sense that this makes?

Hint: an election isn't a poll.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2008 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

C.S.: "Now that she has learned to cry on cue, she can ride that wave of tears all the way to the White House."

As has already been discussed upthread ad nauseum, it's blatantly sexist, demeaning and obnoxious commentary such as yours that holds such rich potential to provoke a visceral backlash amongst women, which may well prove to be the decisive factor in this race.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

"I was referring to your anti-Hillary rhetoric"

B, I'll put it this way... I can't think of any big emotional scenes driving McCain's successful campaign (just the newspaper endorsements) but there's a list leading to Hillary's win.

And I'll again repeat that I probably will wind up voting for her.

Posted by: leo on January 9, 2008 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

So why were the polls so far off?

Yeah, why?

Posted by: John Kerry '04 on January 9, 2008 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

I sent this in to Talkingpointsmemo:

I haven't really dug through the polling data in any detail, but my sense is that Hillary won the NH primary based on the female vote. If this is indeed accurate, I don't think that it is any accident. Also, from my vantage point (someone trying to sort through the echo chamber of news, pundits, etc.) HIllary's campaign organization accomplished this in a manner that would have made Karl Rove proud. Further, it gets to your questioning as to whether Hillary's org had a "plan B." I think that they did, but it required a lot of finesse. In summary, I think that the plan emphasized explicitly targeting the female vote with the notion of eking out the few thousand votes necessary to win. Unfortunately, I also have the sense that the strategy played a bit on racial stereotypes, but in a way that permitted deniability in a very Rovian fashion. Let me explain.

1) Going into the Iowa caucuses it was increasingly clear that Obama and/or Edwards had a good shot of winning. Nothing was certain, of course. What interested me at the time was that Hillary org. began to float the meme that the Iowa caucuses were biased against women. This was a pure "victim" play, and the natural rejoinder that I did read in one or two places was, "Well, it's even more biased against african americans." But my sense is that this comment wasn't picked up on that much, mostly because the Obama org. didn't push back with the just-mentioned rejoinder. Why didn't they? I'll get to that.

2) After Iowa you and a few others pointed out that in retrospect Iowa's voting demographics were tailor made for Obama, and that New Hampshire was a different ball game. You also mentioned the very tight schedule. Regarding the latter, it plays both ways. A tight schedule leaves very little time to mount a broad strategic defense. On the other hand it is perfect for a quick, dirty tactical defense. If it works, the press is going to focus on the winning, and look forward. If it doesn't work, well, Hillary's org didn't have much to lose.

3) It would be interesting to go back and look at all of Hillary's talking points over the days between Iowa and New Hampshire. I was most struck by two phrases. The first was her comment that Martin Luther King inspired but it took LBJ to implement. The second was her famous "voice cracking" episode. I'm of the opinion that the latter was staged, only because of the transcript that went along with it. But let's start with the first comment. What on earth was Hillary getting at? It's the kind of comment you'd expect of an insensitive Republican. Taking a swipe at the man who risked fire-bombs, jails, lynchings... in the cause of social justice??! Seems crazy, and then elevating a man who, yes, passed legislation for a "war on poverty" but who also escalated Vietnam??! This also seems crazy, as it risks allusions to Iraq that I wouldn't think Hillary would want to make. So, what was this comment supposed to accomplish? To my mind it bears an eery resemblance to comments made by sports casters...comments that cost certain sports casters their jobs. e.g., "Magic Johnson had raw talent, but Larry Bird had to work hard." or "White coaches have the sports IQ, whereas the black players have the speed and agility." So, I think Hillary's MLK-LBJ comment was meant to echo such sentiments. We've all heard of Repub's including language that "secretly" (i.e., if you don't travel in evangelical circles) targets the religious base. Well, I'm pretty convinced that Hillary's comment was meant to do something similar. It's subtle, and within a 3-4 day window deniable. What such a comment serves to do is remind potential voters that on some level the "race" is between a white (read, experienced, intelligent) and a black (read, raw, powerful).

4) This leads me to Hillary's "voice cracking." As I mentioned above, I'm convinced the episode was planned with the goal of targeting female voters, and subtly playing off the racial undercurrents mentioned above. Take a look at what Hillary was saying as her voice "cracked." She's still hitting all of her talking points. But let's unpack this maneuver. What does it do? Well, first off it emphasizes that Hillary has been a victim of "harsh treatment." This meme was already floated back in the debate a month ago when the story coming out was that the all-male group of debaters had ganged up on Hillary (who, of course, was the front-runner and front-runners tend to get ganged-up on...just ask Mitt). But Hillary's voice cracking reintroduces the meme. And in reading many, many discussion boards, it seems to me that people responded to this: e.g., "I was so pissed off at how the press treated Hillary that if I could I would have voted for her, myself." But here's the thing. Hillary's voice cracking, and then verbal references to Obama's talkingpoints also bring up some pretty uncomfortable racial tags that are a riff on the MLK-LBJ comment. If Hillary is the experienced and intelligent white to Obama's raw, powerful black, well, now she's managed to introduce the tag that she is also the victimized [white] woman. And once this is done, well, there is a whole panoply of pretty negative racial references out there that become primed. Makes me want to watch _To Kill a Mocking Bird_ again.

5) Finally, as was widely mentioned, Hillary's org sent out a mass mailing on the eve of the primary that targeted reproductive rights. My understanding was that this mailing was more inflammatory than accurate. But again, the target is the female vote.


So there you have it. My hypothesis is that Hillary's org did have a plan B, and it involved introducing "hot" emotions that would swing the female vote. As Karl Rove showed again and again, it's not policy but emotion that turns out votes, and the more primal the emotion the better. If my hypothesis is at all accurate, then it reflects some brilliant politicking -- dirty, but brilliant, and given the political brain-power on Hillary's side, I simply can't imagine that the issue has not been thought out. Obama cannot win an election if he is seen as primarily an african american candidate, that is, if race becomes the defining meme of his campaign. A sad comment on our society, but no more sad than the fact that Hillary cannot win an election if she is seen as primarily a female candidate. That said, in a two-way race between a white female candidate and a black male candidate (i.e., if those adjectives are emphasized in the campaign), it's my opinion that in the near-term the primal undercurrent / bias will favor the white female candidate.

Posted by: Noogs on January 9, 2008 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmmmmmmm... once again an election where Diebold machines were prevalent, and where wild divergences from statistical probability of lottery winning proportions ONLY in the Diebold areas and ONLY for Hillary?

Hmmmmmmmm... go back to sleep America, we have provided you an explanation. Go back to sleep America, Hillary was emotional and statistical/mathematical theory ceased to function. Go back to sleep America.

Posted by: That Which Shall Not Be Discussed on January 9, 2008 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Noogs,

The problem with your only too elaborate scenario is that everything about Hillary's campaign in NH suggests that it was in disarray, and had NO plan to deal with the loss in Iowa. Wasn't that in fact the very thing all of her critics were pointing out with glee just the day before yesterday? You know, "Stupid, stupid, arrogant Hillary. Thinking she was just going to win it all without lifting a finger. So caught up with her own inevitability that she couldn't even come up with a Plan B if she lost in Iowa."

Ironically, it was exactly the inability of Hillary's campaign to have an effective plan B that forced Hillary into spontaneity.

And God did it work.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2008 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

"I wish she had said 'rediscovered' or 'refocused' or 'found a different aspect of' or something similar."

I have to respectfully disagree. That would have sounded awfully robotic, and not unlike the Coneheads' standing invitation to their guests to "consume mass quantities" on vintage Saturday Night Live episodes from the late '70s.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

franklyo,

And note too (as my wife pointed out) that she never made any effort to wipe the tears from her face -- the exact thing you would expect someone to do if they were trying to make a "statement" by showing some emotion.

I've stated that I believe the moment was sincere, too, but I'm sorry to say it really could have been acting. I've taken the class. They teach how to stage cry. You recall an emotional memory, (ideally) well up, pause, then talk through it. Do not pull inward, keep your face and focus out. Let the audience do your crying for you.

If you bawl like a baby the audience will not cry. The only time you 'wipe' is to fake it if you can't produce the tears, pretty much bad acting or maybe, in the movies, the result of too many takes. It is really hard to well up after about 5 times.

Also, acting involves the entire body.

Posted by: Tripp on January 9, 2008 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the victim card has always worked for her before. Now that she has learned to cry on cue, she can ride that wave of tears all the way to the White House. Maybe John Edwards should take some acting lessons, You can fool some of the people all of the time.

Hey, C.S. Iron my fucking shirt!

By all means, keep up the petulant sexist crap. Please. I beg of you - let the misogynist genie out of the bottle. Let's deal with this shit once and for all. I'm a woman "of a certain age" and I have dealt with it all my life. Please do galvanize and piss off all of us testy old broads over 40 who bypassed e-fucking-nuff of this crap 30 years ago!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Looking back over the last five days as objectively as I can, the outcome should never really have been in doubt (with 20-20 hindsight, of course):

Obama a sure winner according to the press.
Hillary's feelings hurt by a question at the debate.
Qbama dismissively saying, "You're likable enough, Hillary."
Hillary getting all misty-eyed -- authentic or not.
Edwards, in unsympathetic response, saying "We need a strong leader."
Matthews being the chauvinistic pig that he is.
The MSM piling on and on and on.
Bill saying I can't make her male.

I don't mean this in any way as an insult, but HRC, Bill, and the campaign played this perfectly. Congrats to them. They get to carry on.

FWIW, even though Joe Scarborough is completely reprehensible, he did summarize the event perfectly when he read a note from his mother stating that she always hated Hillary, but given the bad treatment of her, she would have crossed over as an independent and voted for her.

I think the outcome makes us as dems stronger.


Posted by: Econobuzz on January 9, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary has always been my least favorite choice, but I think the coverage of her by the Dowds, Matthewses, and their ilk, has been appalling. On the other hand, I thought her speech was crummy. Get out of Iraq "in the right way"? All of a sudden she's discovered that there's a problem with the oil, pharmaceutical and insurance lobbies? Spare me.

Posted by: David in NY on January 9, 2008 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

That Which Shall Not Be Discussed: "Hmmmmmmmm ..."

We read your baseless insinuation the first time, and ignored it just to be polite.

And FYI, New Hampshire voters use paper ballots for use in optical scanners, which are a product of ES&S, not Diebold. Therefore, there is a paper trail, should any candidate desire to contest the outcome.

Posted by: Donal from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

leo, I have no problem with your anti-Hillary rhetoric being meant as an anti-politician rhetoric. I'll point out flaws in my own candidates too. Sorry if you thought you were misinterpreted.

I think McCain would have a hard time being believed if he got emotional about the media's coverage of his campaign. I could imagine him getting emotional about veterans or war but it would take a very unusual set of circumstances to pull it off.

They're different candidates and they've been treated very differently by the media. McCain's low numbers this summer were the result of taking some very unpopular positions on an unpopular war during a particularly bad interval of bombings. Of late he's had ridiculously good coverage. For instance, being declared the winner in Iowa by coming in fourth.

Posted by: B on January 9, 2008 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Let me say, however, that my late Mom put Hillary's and Eleanor Roosevelt's names in the same sentence, and not to contrast them. And everything I have heard about her, from inside and out, suggests she is a really good Senator, and has the capacity to be an extraordinarily competent President.

On the third hand, she should throw out all of her "advisors."

Posted by: David in NY on January 9, 2008 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Tripp,

The one thing you're forgetting in your analysis is that Hillary wasn't on stage trying to communicate emotion. She was in front of TV cameras trying to communicate in a political campaign.

The point is, if she wanted to communicate emotion in that context, great subtlety was not in order. The point would have to be quite noticeable. Moreover, I think that learning the art of crying in the way you suggest is not something one easily masters in any case -- and I certainly don't think that Hillary would ordinarily be regarded as someone with a great natural gift for acting. Is it really imaginable that she had been training for this for weeks or months?

And there's the other point I raised, which I actually consider more telling: the way she put her hand under her face in an attempt to maintain composure. Maybe they teach that in acting class, but I should think that would be a very, very advanced course. That's the sort of subtle, unexpected gesture that would not ordinarily be regarded as something you would necessarily do if you were crying. It would really be quite specific to a case in which you were struggling NOT to cry.

I just don't see how something so elaborate could be staged in advance so that it worked. Hillary isn't Meryl Streep, for God's sakes.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2008 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

David in NY: "Spare me."

Sorry. We take no prisoners.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

I agree that the "crying" incident was ridiculously overblown, the coverage overtly sexist and that it kicked several percentage points to Clinton's favor.

However, doesn't this play right into the troglodyte misogynist's stereotype of women?

Posted by: uri on January 9, 2008 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Others have said part of Sen. Clinton's appeal is her vulnerability. The media's emphasizing Clinton's soft spoken reply about the drudgery of the campaign as crying helped to remind people of her vulnerability and womanliness, which has been a primary source of her popularity.

I am puzzled by my relief of her win in NH and distress over her loss in Iowa. I do not like Sen. Clinton's platform any more than I like Sen. Obama's or the hedgefund consultant Edwards'. I think it has to do with the familiarity that television provides. I know Hillary better than I know those other candidates, and have more empathy for her because of it. I do not think Sen. Clinton will be a good president, nor do I think a woman who relies upon her husband's electoral success for her own advances women's issues. I guess I understand her appeal better than I do those other candidates, which is why I am able to discuss her campaign strategy.

Posted by: Brojo on January 9, 2008 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

franklyO: "Hillary isn't Meryl Streep, for God's sakes."

No, she most certainly is not. However, she would have been perfectly cast as Miss Balbricker, the girl's P.E. teacher in Porky's.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

All this scrutiny of Hillary's Oprah moment is simply diversionary. These people are all politicians, for god's sake. We can never really know how sincere or theatrical Hillary may have been during this episode, and what difference does it make, really? I recall the gist of that speech as an assertion that Hillary has what it takes to keep the country that she loves so deeply from going "backward". Come on.

There are two overriding questions that should concern Democrats in this race.

Which candidate has the best chances of winning the general election?

Which candidate will have the most powerful impact downticket and have the best shot at ending the occupation of Iraq and pushing through a liberal agenda?

All else is secondary.

Posted by: Lucy on January 9, 2008 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

However, doesn't this play right into the troglodyte misogynist's stereotype of women?

The struggle has always been to delegitimize the misogynist’s paternalistic moral order which draws a sharp line between emotional sensitivity (feminine) and the strength of leadership (masculine), but it is sweet to think such a move, staged or not, can be used against the troglodytes to enthrone their enemy.

Posted by: bellumregio on January 9, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Oops. I should have said that the gist was that according to Hillary, only Hillary has what it takes to keep the country from going into further tailspin.

Not convinced.

Posted by: Lucy on January 9, 2008 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Brojo: "The media's emphasizing Clinton's soft spoken reply about the drudgery of the campaign as crying helped to remind people of her vulnerability and womanliness, which has been a primary source of her popularity. ... I guess I understand her appeal better than I do those other candidates, which is why I am able to discuss her campaign strategy."

Somebody please remind me not to hire Brojo as a consultant when I run for governor.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

In less than one hour ...

As has already been discussed upthread ad nauseum, it's blatantly sexist, demeaning and obnoxious commentary such as yours that holds such rich potential to provoke a visceral backlash amongst women, which may well prove to be the decisive factor in this race.
Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 10:51 AM

... Donald has been assimilated:

No, she most certainly is not. However, she would have been perfectly cast as Miss Balbricker, the girl's P.E. teacher in Porky's.
Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 11:33 AM

Thank you for providing 'the decisive factor in this race,' O Agent Provocateur!
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on January 9, 2008 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Look, the "cry" or whatever was real. They (her campaign) would have done anything to avoid it if they could. Look at Bill's stupid remarks about not being able to make her into a man. To imagine that they could foresee the favorable result it would have (which probably was not a result of the event at all, but of the misogynistic reaction to it), invests them with foresight that only true Clinton-paranoiacs could believe they would have. The Clinton campaign was as surprised as anybody at the result though they are certainly grateful for it now.

Posted by: David in NY on January 9, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Just one other point about Hillary and the "moment".

If you want to see how poor an actress Hillary is, just go back to the episode when she was laughing giddily at every question she was being asked in an interview.

Now, THAT was staged, no doubt about it. It's exactly the sort of performance you'd expect out of someone who was coached to come across a certain way, and really wasn't very good at it.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

John Kerry '04: "Yeah, why [were the polls that far off]?"

For that matter, why did Anna Nicole Smith and her son Danny die within only a few months of one another?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

"Wonkfest," Kevin? I assume you are referring to her Q&A I saw on C-Span? David Broder couldn't have put it better. But she was also excellent, responding knowledgeably and thoughtfully to the actual question, avoiding campaign cant, connecting with the person asking the question, showing a sense of humor. I saw nobody shifting in their seats on any of the questions or her answers. I still like Barack the best, but my thought was, with her wealth of knowledge and experience, she is nevertheless a national treasure. If people don't get that, they are idiots.

Posted by: urban legend on January 9, 2008 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

franklyo,

The one thing you're forgetting in your analysis is that Hillary wasn't on stage trying to communicate emotion. She was in front of TV cameras trying to communicate in a political campaign.

The point is, if she wanted to communicate emotion in that context, great subtlety was not in order. The point would have to be quite noticeable.

Well, actually you generally need the bigger gestures on stage and much smaller ones on TV. Even subtle, Hillary displaying a 'real' emotion was bound to be quite noticeable given the microscope she is under.

Personally, I was taught stage-crying in an intermediate acting class at the Guthrie Theatre. I never bothered with the advanced acting classes. Chekhov and 'sense memory' did not interest me.

But I do see the point that if Hillary actually could 'fake sincerity,' as they say, why hasn't she done it all along?

Posted by: Tripp on January 9, 2008 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, Blue Girl, iron your own shirt! I am also a testy broad over forty, and I happen to think that there is no need to tilt the playing field for a woman - we can compete without playing "oh, woe is me, I'm a poor little woman". And I am sorry that you have reached your advanced age and are still so gullible.

Posted by: C.S. on January 9, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Of all the ridiculous, sexist things Chris Matthews has done, the real horror was to watch the slob go over to Hillary and actually pinch her cheek, like she was a little kid. This was bizarre to the max. Can you imagine him going over to Obama or Richardson and pinching their cheek? Incredible this man is still on the air insulting women.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 9, 2008 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

P.S. He would have been fired or at the least counseled for doing this to a woman at work.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 9, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Grand Moff Texan: "In less than one hour. ... Thank you for providing 'the decisive factor in this race,' O Agent Provocateur!"

Why, you're quite welcome. While fully realizing the apparent inconsistency, I just couldn't resist frankly0's slow-pitched softball that he hung out over the plate like that.

C'mon, admit it -- she'd have been letter-perfect to play that infamous shower scene, especially if it was Bill on the other side of that wall.

Gotta go to work, gang. It's been fun. Aloha.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii - Agent Provocateur on January 9, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Balbricker"? Girls' P.E. teacher?

Jesus, Donald.

Posted by: shortstop on January 9, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Well, C.S., the soviets called people like you "useful idiots."

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Headline this morning, commentary straight from the horses mouth.

Clinton: Tearing Up Could Well Have Been My Turnaround.

I think Rove would be proud of her... it was a brilliant stroke that likely wouldn't have worked for a man.

The more I see... the more I wonder if maybe democracy won't work after all?

Posted by: Buford on January 9, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy: "Of all the ridiculous, sexist things Chris Matthews has done, the real horror was to watch the slob go over to Hillary and actually pinch her cheek, like she was a little kid."

UhM, Chrissy -- I saw the video last night on MSNBC, and I believe it was the opposite that occurred, unless there was a prior incident of which I'm unaware.

But I agree with your general sentiments. Matthews is a misogynist pig who makes sexist statements about Hillary, while also offering his viewers equally inexplicable homoerotic references to male GOP candidates like Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson. YUCK!!

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

And by the way - where did I ever say that we should "tilt the field" to help a woman? I have never said any such thing - and Hillary isn't my first choice for a candidate.

But you, being a "testy old broad" yourself, should be painfully aware of the soft misogyny of the workplace that we have all dealt with - and the media frenzy - especially the last few days has galvanized a lot of women. That's not gullibility, that's just reality.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop: "'Balbricker'"? Girls' P.E. teacher? Jesus, Donald."

I know. What can I say? At my primieval neandrethal core, I'm still a man. I saw Porky's when I was a freshman in college, and I'm ashamed to say that it had a profound influence on me.

Hard to believe that the director of that crude cinematic raunchfest, Bob Clark, was the same guy who only two years later brought us the cute and delightfully subversive A Christmas Story, which has since become a cult classic amongst holiday-themed films.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Donald, Matthews definitely pinched her cheek. And yes there is something noticeably wrong with his approach to men as well as women. Quite bizarre.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 9, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

The moment of vulnerability and the pile-on. I suspect these two things helped to swing the late deciders towards HRC at the end.

Is it possible, in addition, that Noogs upthread is correct?

If Hillary is [positioning herself as] the experienced and intelligent white to Obama's raw, powerful black, well, now she's managed to introduce the tag that she is also the victimized (white) woman. And once this is done, well, there is a whole panoply of pretty negative racial references out there that become primed. Makes me want to watch _To Kill a Mocking Bird_ again.

A family demographic-anecdote: my elderly Iowa-born mother, an FDR Dem who campaigned for RFK, moved over to the HRC camp a couple of months ago but welcomed Obama's victory in Iowa, said we were seeing "history" in NH, and prepared (as we all did) for him to win there.

On Monday, however, she had swung back to HRC only because of the pile on, out of sympathy. Now I myself am a largely lost demographic to HRC, a college-educated female boomer, and the emo moment in the diner did nothing for me--I watched the short and the extended clips.

I am not immune, however, to her winsome moments, and she does have them. But winsome, to me, does not a president make.

And then to think she wins votes on the experience business simply exasperates the hell out of me.

In the end, though, I confess that I am tired, bone tired, of the Clintons. I wish they'd get off the stage and join the Peace Corps or something.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 9, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

C.S., you are grossly mischaracterizing Blue Girl's position and comments on this issue. You're so far out of line, and evidently so powered by an inexplicable resentment, that no one should take you seriously.

Posted by: shortstop on January 9, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Fascinating the range of reactions to Hillary. I thought her tearing up was real watching it, and it must have helped her. But I have heard smart people reasonably argue it was contrived and, over time, that probably will become more accepted through repitition of the charge. So, my guess is long haul it hurts her and short run it helped her.

I was put off by her emotion seemingly being prompted by some combination of her feeling about losing and her belief about how the country would suffer so if she lost. I also noted how she was able to make a 180 to her campaign schtick right after the emotion and now seemlessly she then used it in her victory speech.

I assume like most everything else in the campaign, this will be mostly forgotten within a few days and we will be focusing on the next inconsequential campaign moment or gaff.

One problem, particularly on the democrat side, is that there is virtually no disagreement on issues. The campaign is left to focus on personalities, speechmaking, and campaign/process/poll issues. Obama should bring some of his great speech making abilities to the debates, where he more or less tries to answer questions instead of using his best stuff.

On other observation. Because the media does not think Edwards has a chance, they give him a pass. Like when asked about his biggest senate achievement, he identified the patients' bill of rights that never became law. Except for Hillary's immediate repsonse, everyone ignored it.

Posted by: brian on January 9, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

It will be interesting to see if the media has learned anything and changes it coverage of Clinton.

Last night, on Charlie Rose (PBS) six guests discussed the results of the NH primary for an hour. Towards the end, Mark Halperin of ABC brought up the issue of the media’s coverage of the primary candidates and the very obvious favoritism shown by reporters towards Obama (D) and McCain (R). He said that they are treated differently from the others.

I found two reactions very striking. Al Hunt, a former reporter for the WSJ and the husband of Judy Woodruff of PBS, who said that he was covering NH for the 11th time, said he saw no bias at all. (Amazing!) Arianna Huffington was practically foaming at the mouth in denying favoritism, while she used almost all of her time in response to the question attacking Hillary as much as she could and praising Obama. (She was so blinded by her Clinton hatred that she could not even see that she was illustrating Halperin’s point perfectly.)

Posted by: emmarose on January 9, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

brian: "I was put off by her emotion seemingly being prompted by some combination of her feeling about losing and her belief about how the country would suffer so if she lost."

And I'm under no doubt whatsoever that, should Mrs. Clinton somehow be elected come November, I'll soon be reading about how you're "put off" by her hosting children's easter egg hunts in the White House Rose Garden.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Andrew Sullivan links to a post by conservative blogger Edward Morrissey that spells out exactly why I have always opposed a Hillary candidacy. A nugget:

But everyone, Republicans and Democrats alike, know why the GOP wants to face Hillary in November. It's not because they like the Clintons, but because the Clintons unite the Republican base like no other Democrat -- and perhaps like no other Republican. Hillary will star in thousands of mailers, television ads, and websites, all cajoling Republicans to open their wallets, organize, and get to the voting booth.

And -- it will work.

I don't think the sympathy vote will be able to overcome that kind of mobilization in the general. Oh well, at least Chris Matthews will know that Democratic women voters are really, really mad at him.

Posted by: Lucy on January 9, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

I'll be put off by President HRC's bombing children in Iraq.

Posted by: Brojo on January 9, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Matthews is a misogynist pig who makes sexist statements about Hillary, while also offering his viewers equally inexplicable homoerotic references to male GOP candidates like Rudy Giuliani ...

Matthews on HRC: "Let’s not forget, and I’ll be brutal, the reason she’s a US Senator, the reason she’s a candidate for President, the reason she may be a front runner, is that her husband messed around. ... That’s how she got to be a Senator from New York. We keep forgetting it. She didn’t win it on her merit, she won because everybody felt, 'My God, this woman stood up under humiliation,' right? That’s what happened."

Matthews to Rudy: "I noticed working with a lot of reporters, even mild-mannered reporters from New York, they don't like you much. Are you being screwed by the press?" he asked?

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 9, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Edwards (and others) got the Patient Bill of Rights passed by the Senate. How is he not telling the truth when he said that he got it passed? It might not be all of the truth but it isn't a lie either. (And the House was controlled at the time by Tom Delay. Did any Senate Democrat get significant progressie legislation passed by both houses during that time?)

Posted by: PE on January 9, 2008 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

'I am dismayed by the idea that the primaries have become a vehicle to stick it to the media, or revenge misogyny from time immemorial.' - Lucy

Lucy, Excellent, excellent comment. (the entirety of it, not just the clip above). Far be it from me to defend Chris Matthews but I do remember that he was one of the few talking heads (not a news reporter!) who was against the Iraq War from the getgo. Tom Brokaw, on the other hand, is a news reporter and dutifully recited the nightly news spin from the administration with equanimity. Which better served the American people? Maybe I've missed some of Chris's more sexist comments. I'm unfamiliar with the incidents talked about above. But back to your comment. If we allow ourselves to be buffeted around by 'emotional' moments or a pundit's sexist remarks, then we are indeed 'sheeple.' Same goes for Obama's charisma. We need to look beyond or behind this amazing talent of his for solid policy positions. All of the above are hard for us humans to do but it's absolutely required. I've gotta say that so far I haven't been swept away by any of the candidates. As usual, my favorites are not electable. (Sheesh, I'm wiped out today. Forgive my rambling.)

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo, no one is ever going to pass your test of ideological purity. How many bombs would a president McCain drop before it necessarily ends due to economics?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, I am ready to begin the fight against the next Democractic president's bad policies.

Posted by: Brojo on January 9, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

hey, that's fine, but can we at least elect a Democrat first? Please?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

"Brojo, no one is ever going to pass your test of ideological purity." - BGRS

And don't you find that a very sad thing? I'm about ready to look away from the political arena and spend my time doing other things. I'm 60 years old and getting very tired of incrementalism and always having to choose the 'least' bad.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

No. No one is ever going to satisfy everyone. That's just reality. So fight it out, and may the best man - or woman - win, and we hold that persons feat to the fire. Seems pretty simple to me, but I'm more a realist than an idealist. in fact, I have no time for idealism. Others can feel free to pursue that dream, but I would rather win one sometimes.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS,

I understand your position. It's the rational one. But for an idealist (you're right) there comes a time when it's just damn disappointing.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Donald,

I don't want to get into it with you again, but didn't you find Hillary's remarks after the 'tears' revelatory? Actually the words Brian has problems with could be taken as a plus or a minus, but at the least I was taken aback by them. She more or less, seemingly from the heart, was expressing feelings about herself as being the only person capable of leading the country. Take from that what you will, certainly a strong self-confidence, but I think I responded like Brian while at the same time being amazed by the self-belief.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

It's true that the Democratic field isn't going to magically change things. Not one of them is willing to admit that we don't need to be the world's bully - every ten years knocking around some crappy little country. Not one of them is going to deign to notice that the bill of rights flies out the window the moment you apply for a job. Not one of them is going to keep the Fed from juicing the stock market at the expense of those who save money (and spare me the bullshit about "investment," it's gambling for rich people).

That said, the choices are the Democrats or the Republicans. We've had seven years of the most irresponsible most corrupt, and frankly anti-American governance by the Republicans. And the Republican field would continue every one of the worst policies of George Bush.

Given that perspective the Democrats have an embarrassment of riches in their candidates. Including HRC who will drive the morons crazy because they still can't get over the fact that their mock outrage over sex wasn't enough to overturn the will of the people.

Posted by: heavy on January 9, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

I can barely live with myself as an American knowing we have killed so many Iraqis these past four years. I did not vote for W. Bush, so was at least able to sleep at night even though I knew the bombs were falling. If I should vote for one of these Democratic front runners in the election and the withdrawal does not begin immediately after their inauguration, my guilt will be much worse.

I am in no way the virtuous person the British MP Wilberforce was protrayed in the film Amazing Grace, but I do share his visions of suffering victims caused by his fellow citizens. I do not want to become electorally complicit in the victimization of Iraqis, or anyone else. Where is the laudnum?

Posted by: Brojo on January 9, 2008 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

I couldn't get out of bed in the morning if I felt obligated to carry all the sins of the world. Do what you can and don't beat yourself up about it. Save that for the Republican candidates who will be on the ballot come November.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy,

You honestly think Clinton will mobilize the republican base more than a black man will? Holy moly, don't you have any idea where Bush's support came from?

Posted by: Tripp on January 9, 2008 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously I do think so!

Although I admit to doubts.

Posted by: Lucy on January 9, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

nepeta: "I understand your position. It's the rational one. But for an idealist (you're right) there comes a time when it's just damn disappointing."

Like Blue Girl, I consider myself a hard-edged political realist. But in the abstract, I like to think of ourselves as wisened, battle-hardened idealists who've learned through sometimes bitter experience to pick and choose our fights carefully.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Donald,

I certainly understand and if it weren't for the 'realists' like you and BGRS who knows where we would be. My emotionalism (and idealism) is what makes me say I could never be a politican, except perhaps in S. Korea where members of the legislature have fistfights. (gr) So carry on. I'll be watching from the sidelines with my teeth clenched.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

nepeta: "I don't want to get into it with you again, but didn't you find Hillary's remarks after the 'tears' revelatory?"

Yes, I did. But I freely admit, my own revelation was drawn from my experience as a child of my mother, widowed by the Vietnam War at age 30, who was forced to raise three young children on her own. She was unable to secure credit under her own name, because state law at the time did not allow married women to do so and made no real exception for widows, and my grandfather had to co-sign for her mortgage on our house.

My mother was also a person who kept her emotions both in check and well-hidden for fear of being labeled weak. That's not uncommon for women of her and Sen. Clinton's generation, especially those who either aspired to a career on their own, or had to work out of necessity as my mother did.

Believe me, as a child of such a reserved and private individual, I can easily spot it when such women let their guard down. And I can assure you, Hillary's response to that question in the diner was as honest and heartfelt as anything I've seen thus far this campaign season.

Certainly, I found it far more genuine than Sen. Obama's by-now-rote recitations from a teleprompter at his own victory celebration in Iowa last week. He's another very private, reserved individual, not unlike Mrs. Clinton.

You might well ask yourself if the media would light into him in a similar fashion as they did her, were he to ever express the same sort of feelings under similar circumstances.

nepeta: "Take from that what you will, certainly a strong self-confidence, but I think I responded like Brian while at the same time being amazed by the self-belief."

Show me a politician without self-belief, and I'll show you a perpetual loser.

And really, nepeta -- despite his many pretentions otherwise, brian is nothing but a cynical right-wing concern troll. While you and I may have our differences, some of them considerable, I woundn't dare to categorize you with that fuckin' clown.

So, don't you even think about doing that yourself. Trust me, that babooze is not your political soulmate.

Aloha.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp: "You honestly think Clinton will mobilize the republican base more than a black man will?"

Let's face facts here. The Republican base would mobilize if we nominated the Holy Mother Mary herself, and would no doubt criticize her ceaselessly for getting pregnant whilst engaged to another man, and then refusing to reveal the identity of the father.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 9, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Donald - So this Brian IS the same Brian from a month ago? I've been wondering about that. I'm close to the same age as Hillary and your mom, if not exactly the same age, so I'm quite familiar with that generational outlook. Beyond generational influence, though, there is personal psychological variability and individual personal experience, certainly evident in your mother's hard road. I believe that Hillary's comments were heartfelt, but to actually consider the country lost without her presidency seems a bit too self-important (or else she knows something that I don't?) If I'm overgeneralizing what I heard, I apologize, but I'm pretty sure that's what she said, not verbatim but in meaning.

Since the media was suggesting this might be Hillary's 'Muskie' moment, I assume something similar must have occured in that campaign. And, yes, I think if Obama had shed a tear, then the media would have gone after him in the same way. although I admit that the media has quite a tolerance for Bush's occasional tear-wipe or what I hear are Romney's rather frequent teary episodes. Maybe I just missed the media's misogeny with Hillary. Since pre-war days I watch almost no TV news *except for Olbermann* and stay away from MSM press in general.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

We read your baseless insinuation the first time, and ignored it just to be polite.

And FYI, New Hampshire voters use paper ballots for use in optical scanners, which are a product of ES&S, not Diebold. Therefore, there is a paper trail, should any candidate desire to contest the outcome.

Really Donald? Sure about that?

http://www.bradblog.com/?p=5530

Posted by: That Which Shall Not Be Discussed on January 9, 2008 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Donald, this is beyond the pale, your "believe me" assertion:

Believe me, as a child of such a reserved and private individual, I can easily spot it when such women let their guard down. And I can assure you, Hillary's response to that question in the diner was as honest and heartfelt as anything I've seen thus far this campaign season.

Your read on HRC's moment is no more valid than mine. We're human beings with unique life experiences that create personal filters, whether we like it or not. You're a forceful advocate for Clinton and lots of fun to read. But you've become something of a bully or a know-it-all on these interpretive issues. I for one wish you'd lighten up just a smidgen.

I'm sorry about your dad. My dad was an aviator and a veteran of three wars, and I'm familiar with women like your mom. She sounds great.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 9, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

paxr55, I'm simplt sick and tired of listening to people project their most poisonous characterizations onto Mrs. Clinton as though she was Mussolini in drag. It's wrong, and whatever you might think of her political policies, she simply doesn't deserve the very personal vitriole being lobbed at her.

She's not been my favorite person, either, in that I think she's kind of an ice queen, but I've just had it with the sheer viciousness and utter vindictiveness of the personal attacks directed at her, and I'm especially pissed to hear it come from Democrats -- and you all know who you are. I hope you're so proud of yourselves for becoming a pornographic soundtrack to Karl Rove's favorite wet dream.

So if I'm perceived as a bully for coming to Hillary Clinton's defense, well, so be it. That's really not my problem, and I'm not going to stop until those who engage in mindlessly attacking her in such personal, ugly ways come to their senses and cease fire.

And if people think I'm a know-it-all, well, then they need to start doing some research about issues before they offer up something so baseless and ignorant as to invite a forceful rebuttal and / or mocking reply.

I don't claim to know everything, and I'll freely admit when I'm wrong, as I was upthread when I mistakenly asserted that New Hampshire doesn't use Diebold optical scanners to tally the ballots. But if I or you or Blue Girl can take the time to look stuff up, so can others.

Look, I'm not asking the Hillary Clinton be worshipped or idolized. She's certainly no Mother Theresa, and there are a lot of issues for which she can and should be taken to task. I'm all for having this discussion, because we will be a better and stronger party fot it, and if she is eventually our party's nominee, she'll be the better candidate for it.

But certainly, we can do so without taking it to such base personal levels, resorting to calling Mrs. Clinton a bitch, criminal, murderer, cunt, whore, and sundry other vile things that no decent person would ever call his or her own mother or sister. We can express our disagreement with her positions assertively without simply pulling crap out of our own asses like we're apes at a zoo, flinging our poo at the crowd of onlookers outside the fence.

This in itself is a form of vicarious bullying, spewing venom about a public figure in manner that one would never do to their faces. It's cowardly and it's wrong, and yeah, when I'm around here and see it, I'm going to call people on it and confront them. You want me to stop, then I would suggest that you join me in urging people to adopt a more civil tone in our political discussions.

Nuf ced. Aloha

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii, a.k.a. Mr. Know-it-all on January 9, 2008 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

Donald,

I get your broader outrage and sympathize.

But my point was simpler, and concerned your specific bullying of fellow Dems who deviate from your orthodoxy on HRC. Nepeta, for example, whose insights into the "moment" were just as valid as yours or mine. Where was the vitriol in her comments, or those of other equally thoughtful commenters you browbeat so routinely?

That's all. Some sense of proportion, please.

Finally, HRC is a big girl. This is a blog. It's rude and bumptious. My hope was that I could convince you to limit your attacks to mutants and miscreants. It would make PA a little less rude and bumptious at least for me.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 10, 2008 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Sen. Clinton has much in common with Mother Teresa. They both take/took big corporate money while pleading for the impoverished, flying around in private jets, eating at five star restaurants and having meetings with billionators in exclusive ballrooms. Then they use the money they have raised to promote themselves.

I might vote for Sen. Clinton in the election, but I would never vote for Mother Teresa. The two-facedness of politicians is much more preferable than the hypocrisy of priests.

Posted by: Brojo on January 10, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK


Any film from Megaupload system is free to download at http://megauploadfiles.com/

Posted by: marti on January 23, 2009 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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