Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 10, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

JUST KEEP TRUCKIN'....Whatever the real reason, the storybook reason for Hillary Clinton's victory in New Hampshire appears to have hardened into concrete: She won because she finally displayed some emotion and showed voters her "human side." The LA Times rounds up the conventional wisdom as well as anyone:

Campaign activists here suggest that the election shifted, at first imperceptibly, in Saturday night's debate when John Edwards and Barack Obama ganged up on her and when Clinton was faced with another blunt question about her likability.

The shift became more noticeable Monday, when Clinton momentarily welled with tears — though she did not go off-message — at a gathering on the campaign's closing day. Television pictures of the event broadcast endlessly through election day.

"It made her seem like a person getting picked on, and she responded the way a real person would," said Andy Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire poll. That rare break in Clinton's composure — and the chord it struck in voters — was particularly compelling to women....

Maybe this is true, maybe it isn't. At this point, it hardly matters. Virtually everyone seems to think it's true, so it might as well be.

Whatever. It's not the worst thing in the world. But I sure hope that the Clinton campaign doesn't learn the wrong lesson from this and start thinking up dozens of ways to "humanize" Hillary over the next couple of weeks. I don't think I could stand that. And there's a pretty good chance it would backfire anyway. So here's my plea to Hillaryland: don't go there. Just don't. Please.

Kevin Drum 3:14 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (108)

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Comments

as Howie wrote:
"...The media, of course, have to reduce everything to one thing, one event, one incident we can all argue about. Preferably with video. Gore sighing. The Dean scream. The macaca moment. So now, the entire New Hampshire primary comes down to Hillary's choked up moment in a coffee shop...."

Let's just be glad she wasn't screaming, only a bit teary-eyed. I hope she doesn't laugh at someone's joke at lunch next week and have Diet Soda pour out of her nose.

Posted by: * on January 10, 2008 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Dammit Kevin, stop helping her. Seriously, she's found her "voice" so she's gonna have to keep speaking with that "voice" less she be exposed as a phony.

Posted by: Keith on January 10, 2008 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

No! That would be really cool!

Posted by: wihntr on January 10, 2008 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

That should be "lest" not less.

Posted by: Keith on January 10, 2008 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

"don't go there. Just don't. Please."

Gee-wizz Kevin...I don’t want to miss Hillary’s favorite cookie recipe!

Posted by: BigRed on January 10, 2008 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

In the grand scheme of things, Clinton won an narrow victory in one early primary. All of these analyses are a waste of time. Move on.

Posted by: AJ on January 10, 2008 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

group cry at the next debate!

Posted by: cleek on January 10, 2008 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

She should start wearing brown suits.

Posted by: josef on January 10, 2008 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

It was a wonderful campaign moment, spoken straight from the heart. If anyone saw the entire session, they would know she didnt start crying and I dont even think she "welled-up". Just a moment where you could hear the true, heartfelt passion of someone who has dedicated her life to public service and was watching it all disappear because the media had written the story a couple of days in advance.

Posted by: Les Ismore on January 10, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

"don't go there. Just don't. Please."

I second that emotion.

Posted by: Vivy on January 10, 2008 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

[deleted trolling]

Posted by: Al on January 10, 2008 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

The reality is that Hillary became perceived as more human precisely because she responded spontaneously in a couple of crucial situations.

I wonder if the Clinton campaign understands that you can't plan spontaneity? If you cage that bird, it dies.

And we will feel like dying watching it.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 10, 2008 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

I suggest someone try to "humanize" Al instead.

Posted by: fyreflye on January 10, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Not gonna work anyway because it's impossible to humanize a cold-hearted robot. *snicker*
Posted by: Al

Says the scum who defends recidivist rapist/murderer Wayne Dumond. GFY.

Posted by: DJ on January 10, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

But I sure hope that the Clinton campaign doesn't learn the wrong lesson from this and start thinking up dozens of ways to "humanize" Hillary over the next couple of weeks.

—Kevin Drum

As long as Edwards stays in and sides with Barack against Hillary, her campaign can keep this two-guys-beating-up-on-a-woman thing going indefinitely -- without any more misting!

And she can always count on Tweety to be Tweety.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 10, 2008 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Problem is, women may be voting for her now; but, if the CIA and NSA let another terrorist attack happen before the elections in November, will those soccer moms pull the lever for someone who shows emotion and tears up?...

My bet is no.

Posted by: Brian on January 10, 2008 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

If only she hadn't claimed to have invented the Internet, discovered Love Canal and been the inspiration for the book, Love Story, she might not have to cry. Earth tone pantsuits forever!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 10, 2008 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Just some info I'm going to throw out here. I'm not saying it 'means' anything. It's certainly not be covered by MSM. Just food for thought. And before anyone jumps on me for claiming Clinton stole the election, that wouldn't be my supposition. My guess would be that the Repubs would rather have Clinton as opposition rather than Obama. Sort of early for them to be screwing around with vote fraud though. This is from Ron Paul's site. Supposedly votes for him were nonexistent for him in towns where he got at least a few votes.

2008 New Hampshire Democratic Primary Results --Total Democratic Votes:
286,139 - Machine vs Hand (RonRox.com) 09 Jan 2008

Hillary Clinton, Diebold Accuvote optical scan: 39.618%
Clinton, Hand Counted Paper Ballots: 34.908%

Barack Obama, Diebold Accuvote optical scan: 36.309%
Obama, Hand Counted Paper Ballots: 38.617%

Machine vs Hand:
Clinton: 4.709% (13,475 votes)
Obama: -2.308% (-6,604 votes)


Posted by: nepeta on January 10, 2008 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

For Jimmy Carter, it was that time he talked that 17 year old guy down from his acid trip. It was orange sunshine, right?

Posted by: jerry on January 10, 2008 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps Ms. Clinton has discovered the heretofor unknown Verklempt vote. Good for her.

And, why shouldn't she laugh and spray Diet Pepsi out her nose? Why should we, the public, be denied a spectacle? It's why we're watching, isn't it?

Posted by: CT on January 10, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

What is up with the quotes around "humanize" and "human side"? If you're biased against her -- don't think she's human!! -- then say it loud and proud. Otherwise your criticism just comes off as tainted by unsayables.

Posted by: Illume on January 10, 2008 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
Does INKBLOT cry? I certainly hope so. If he can then, based on all the MSM and blogger bloviation trying to explain why they got it wrong in the first place, INKBLOT CAN BE PRESIDENT IN '08.

I will personally crochet (and I don't even know how) INKBLOT a fannypack purse type cover for the portable packet of tissues that he will have to cart around with him all the time - given that he will have to weep and have a case of the vapors everytime someone asks him a tough question ,or criticizes the expanse of his girth, or suggests that he is inhuman because most of the time he shows no emotion.

I think I should do the fanny pack in a nice striped pattern of candle apple red and royal blue. That way both parties will fall for it.

Posted by: optical weenie on January 10, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

When is the next debate? Whereever it is, the janitorial crew will have some mopping up to do afterwards.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on January 10, 2008 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

errr uummm,
that should be "candy" apple red

Posted by: optical weenie on January 10, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

jerry:

I think Jimmy Carter was on orange sunshine when that killer rabbit attacked him. I know - I sold him the orange sunshine.

jerry garcia

Posted by: Jerry Garcia on January 10, 2008 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think we need worry about Clinton going off on another crying jag- tears are awfully corrosive and will damage the servos in her eyes.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on January 10, 2008 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

If you're a site like the BradBlog, rather, the story has hardened into Diebold hacking as part of a conspiracy theory, Kevin.

Nepeta: I'm going to tell you the same thing I told Al on a previous thread... even if true (remember, first we were being told ballots had not been hand-counted, now people are producing hand-counted results all of a sudden) a statistical correlation is NOT a causal correlation.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on January 10, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Why all the strain to explain the NH primary results? Clinton had been ahead of Obama by 10 to 15 points in NH for the last six months. She ended up winning by 2 points. Why is it so hard to imagine that she won? The only time Obama was ahead was for a couple of days coming out of Iowa, apparently swayed by temporary euphoria. By election day that wore off and people voted just like that had been planning all along. There was no surprise.

Posted by: BobB on January 10, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Actually this is the same advice she's been getting for months. Not necessarily to break down and cry, but just turn off the damn teleprompter once in a while. She polled much more favorably after going on a talk show (I think it was Oprah) last fall.

Posted by: ArkPanda on January 10, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

...if the CIA and NSA let another terrorist attack happen before the elections in November, will those soccer moms pull the lever for someone who shows emotion and tears up?

Not unless she follows George Costanza's father's advice from now on, and makes each debate a celebration of Festivus -- matching the airing of her grievances against Barack and John with feats of strength.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 10, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Seems as if the AccuVote(R) machines suddenly wanted Hillary to win.


Who knew a computer had actual emotions?

Posted by: Ya Know.... on January 10, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

The 'guys' 'ganged-up' on Hillary at every previous debate. Why was this one any different?

Hillary's win was good in the short-term for her, and I guess personally gratifying, but it was very much a Pyrrhic victory.

Posted by: lampwick on January 10, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

"Not unless she follows George Costanza's father's advice from now on, and makes each debate a celebration of Festivus -- matching the airing of her grievances against Barack and John with feats of strength."

And just when I said there was nothing that could make me vote for her...

Posted by: cazart on January 10, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

The way I see it, many who already regarded Clinton as competent and a good candidate but perhaps preferred Edwards finally had enough and chose Clinton on the day. The women I know have been irritated by the sexist attacks on her for decades. Since the difference between the candidates political statements is comparatively small the way they behave has a bigger impact.

Edwards comment about being strong pissed off his female voters enough that they went to Clinton instead. And women who already leaned towards Clinton got angry enough about the sexist media cryinggame to go vote for her. Add in all the people reached by her campaign or her long meetings where she, in contrast to Obama, answered lots of open questions and you have her "victory" (in reality a tie with Obama).

Posted by: B on January 10, 2008 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK


There is much soul searching on the part of pundits and pollsters regarding how they all got it so wrong in predicting a monumental victory for Barack Obama. Part of the explanation may well be in the fact that the polling stopped on Sunday, missing any changes happening before the Tuesday voting.

One of these changes is supposed to emanate from sympathy for Clinton's showing of vulnerability at a rally on Monday. I doubt that this was a major factor although it may have been part of a trend for previously undecided voters, particularly women, opting for Clinton at the last moment.

Another cause may stem from the fact that pollsters often obtain smaller samples from those at the lower end of the economic and educational scale. These voters are more of a Clinton constituency than Obama's. Also, it could be that more of the independent voters than expected decided to help McCain since the Obama victory seemed to be a lock.

Part of media hype had to come from the size and nature of Obama events in N.H. These rallies were overflowing, stirring, and often inspiring. Getting caught up in the enthusiasm is understandable but not necessarily excusable.

Some media pundits have claimed that part of the explanation lies in attitudes about race. As in Los Angeles' Mayor Bradley's race for governor and Douglas Wilder's bid for governor of Virginia, the thought is that voters, to avoid being considered prejudiced, will mislead pollsters and then vote against the black candidate. Unless the questioning is more specific than I imagine, this claim hardly applies to primary elections. In a general election a voter can easily mislead the pollster by saying he 'll vote for his party's black candidate and then do otherwise, thus concealing a prejudice. In a primary, the voter would just pick a candidate and then vote for that candidate. The polling would be accurate.

Many studies later, we may have an answer.


homer www.altara.blogspot.com

Posted by: Homer Hewitt on January 10, 2008 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

B- "in reality a tie with Obama" -
Its not a tie when you get 8,000 more votes. Close but not a tie, even with "new math"

Posted by: mww on January 10, 2008 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

I think it might be a bit more black and white. In Iowa everyone can see right where you stand on the gym floor, no place to hide and certainly not secret....not so much in NH. They are free to be racist, bigoted, etc. while in the booth.

Posted by: landofid on January 10, 2008 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

SocraticGadfly said;

"...a statistical correlation is NOT a causal correlation"

True, but there are analytical and statistical tools one might be able to use to find that out, all you need is the relevant variables involved in the counting and voting procedures. So I'm guessing, if this bird has any wings, someone will try to build a model to explain it further, which would take someone with an appropriate amount of skill, and someone who probably wouldn't waste his/her time on something without substance. That's to say this info isn't bogus in the first place or the hand counted votes weren't simply a miscount. just sayin', however I'm disinclined to believe the machines were hacked.

Posted by: drosz on January 10, 2008 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

" I'm going to tell you the same thing I told Al on a previous thread... even if true (remember, first we were being told ballots had not been hand-counted, now people are producing hand-counted results all of a sudden) a statistical correlation is NOT a causal correlation." - Socratic Gadfly

Well, I don't get what you're saying about 'being told.' This should be an easy thing to determine and all of my research has made it perfectly clear that some votes were counted by hand (particularly in more rural areas) and votes in larger towns (hardly urban) were counted by Diebold optical scanners. I have no reason to disbelieve this. There are articles aplenty about vote machine fraud in the NH 2004 election. I'll leave it to the statisticians to determine what's gone on in NH this year, but in my completely unknowledgeable POV the results look very weird. (To others who may wonder what we're talking about, see my post at 3:45 PM for NH election result analysis between those counted by hand or by machine, giving Clinton quite a bump in the primary).

Posted by: nepeta on January 10, 2008 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

If you cage that bird, it dies. And we will feel like dying watching it.

I'm actually already tearing up, really -- spontaneously.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 10, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

In Iowa everyone can see right where you stand on the gym floor, no place to hide and certainly not secret....not so much in NH. They are free to be racist, bigoted, etc. while in the booth.

Whereas everyone knows that it's perfectly acceptable to spout Cro-Magnon-ish views about women on national teevee.

Riddle me this -- why doesn't that very same logic free people to vote their misogynist instincts in the privacy of the very same voting booth?

Posted by: junebug on January 10, 2008 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

mmw - Well and that might be true if you won the place as party candidate for the presidency by the number of votes you get. My understanding is that this isn't the case in the US.

Posted by: B on January 10, 2008 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Optical Weenie...I think I love you.

Posted by: nepeta on January 10, 2008 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Brian,

You lose your bet. As a soccer mom (which, with a name like Brian, I doubt that you are), I will vote for the best person with the experience to defend our country wisely in the event of a terrorist attack. Although I like Obama greatly and think Edwards is pretty good, I think that only HRC has been around enough to be able to evaluate the options and make a clear decision. I value competence and experience and it seems that she has both.

Posted by: mgcktri on January 10, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Campaigning as the frontrunner is not the best role for Sen. Clinton. It quiets her core support, who would otherwise rally to her cause. It prevents her from displaying her womanly qualities. It over emphasizes national security policy.

Posted by: Brojo on January 10, 2008 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

I think she's too smart for that. If you really observed her demeanor during her victory speech after the primary, she was dignified and serious. In fact, she directed her smile at individuals not cameras. There was none of that cheesey grinning you see so often from her rivals. McCain is the worst. Sometimes, it so artifical and scripted, they look like South Park animations. I liked her style. By her demeanor, she reinforced the message that this is not a game of who's up and who's down. This is serious business. Deadly serious.

Posted by: Sharon on January 10, 2008 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Not gonna work anyway because it's impossible to humanize a cold-hearted robot. *snicker*

Al, you old-hearted robots must know what you're talking about.

Posted by: Sharon on January 10, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

I think she should start wearing Pelosi-style, well-tailored power suits. Chanel and such.

Posted by: Jasper on January 10, 2008 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

...will those soccer moms pull the lever...

Duh...soccer moms?!? There never was a soccer moms voting bloc. The noise machine invented that out of whole cloth. Give it up.

Posted by: Sharon on January 10, 2008 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

She won because she is an East Coast girl and East Coasters were voting. Duh

Posted by: Ritch on January 10, 2008 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

junebug:

I don't like the idea either...and won't even pretend to understand it. People are people to me. But here in Idaho I have found a lot of scared citizens who are....Scary. Again, bigotry and racism is an unreasonable (re)action. And the results will be too....

Posted by: landofid on January 10, 2008 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Oh come on now! I'm not sure what kind of torment you're imagining but I could handle seeing a few more mother-daughter town hall meetings. It's humanizing and for an encore they do a pretty good discussion of children's healthcare and middle east peace.

I could do without the silent mouthings of "thank you" to individuals in the audience pre-speech. But I think they might all do that. And it's probably not really silent -- it just looks stupid on TV.

Posted by: r2@d2 on January 10, 2008 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

"I will vote for the best person with the experience to defend our country wisely in the event of a terrorist attack. Although I like Obama greatly and think Edwards is pretty good, I think that only HRC has been around enough to be able to evaluate the options and make a clear decision."
--mgctrki

So, you are going to vote for the person that you think (underscore "think") is going to deal with something that is rarer than a lightning strike and has killed less people than bee stings??? You really are gullible and brainwashed, aren't you? How do you think Bush did "evaluating the options"? Did you like the way he flew off and hid in a cornfield in Nebraska after 9-11? What a hero, huh?

If safety and protecting your children is paramount, you should use your head and vote for the person who is going to deal with pollution most vigorously or with medical malpractice, since many more thousands of people die each year in the United States from pollution-related illness and medical mistakes than die from terrorism.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 10, 2008 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

... here in Idaho I have found a lot of scared citizens who are....Scary.

I'm sure. It's no less the case here in Chicago. My question, though, and it's not necessarily directed at you, is -- even if we acknowledge that the Bradley effect *could* manifest itself at some point in the campaign -- isn't it equally plausible that a similar effect, but one that works against a woman candidate rather than a black one (I'll call it the Geraldine effect), might work against Clinton? I don't think it's reasonable to assume that *everyone's* as comfortable as Tweety in displaying their misogynism. (Is that a word?)

Posted by: junebug on January 10, 2008 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Brian: "Problem is, women may be voting for her now; but, if the CIA and NSA let another terrorist attack happen before the elections in November, will those soccer moms pull the lever for someone who shows emotion and tears up? My bet is no."

Says the guy who picked the Cleveland Cavaliers to win in six.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 10, 2008 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

The reference in the story to Obama and Edwards having "ganged up on her" seems a bit overblown to me. I've seen "ganged up" in debates, saw it in fact earlier the same night when McCain and Huckabee beat Romney around like a pinata for 90 minutes. The treatment of her was hardly out of line.

Something tells me a male candidate crying because he lost his lead in the polls wouldn't get quite the sympathetic bounce.

Posted by: Hyde on January 10, 2008 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Conservative Deflator:

The problem with your beesting / lightning / med mal analogy is that when people of die of these things there is not a groundswell of near unanimity that we bomb the bee / cloud / doctor back to the stoneage. 9/11 is going to happen again in some way, shape or form and it's legit to look to how a candidate would try to prevent an attack or respond.

Posted by: Blue Moon on January 10, 2008 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin:

Your advice came a little too late. She's going nationwide....

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Vote2008/story?id=4114520&page=1

Posted by: Keith on January 10, 2008 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Please do not let the media off the hook like this. Forget the "Bradley Effect" this was the "Chris Matthews" effect. Women's revulsion over the media's treatment of Hillary was the reason they gave her a boost, not the crying. Saying women were manipulated by crying is the same sexist BS that Matthes pushes and lets the media off the hook for THEIR behavior.

Posted by: Teresa on January 10, 2008 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

junebug,

In my post-50 years I'm having a lot of trouble spelling words that I've known for a lifetime. I don't know your age, but spelling's gonna get harder for you as time passes. I think the word you're looking for is 'misogyny' but now that I look at it, I'm not sure whether that's right or not. An 'e' before the 'y'? Aaaarg...

Posted by: nepeta on January 10, 2008 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

I'm groaning at myself, nepata. Thanks. That said, I think I'll continue making words up -- it's my natural leximaginativity. Or sheer idiocy. But let's not split hairs.

Posted by: junebug on January 10, 2008 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

junebug:

The Geraldine effect. I like it.

I think it will. As more of the future primaries are by secret ballot, more of the unreasonable bias will be evident. In the national election (THE Primary of all Primaries?) I think that we will be in for quite a shock....

I need an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie now....


Posted by: landofid on January 10, 2008 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin got it wrong. It wasn't the tears. It was the "Tweety" reaction to the tears that caused a backlash.

It was damnably clever. But Kevin's still right on one thing: That she couldn't pull off the same gambit again. Especially not in the general election.

Posted by: bob on January 10, 2008 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

"leximaginativity" - I love it. And you're the master of it with a word like that!

Posted by: nepeta on January 10, 2008 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

My dear Conservative Deflator,

My comments regarding a terrorist attack were in direct response to Brian's implication about how soccer moms will all vote for someone manly in the event of a terrorist attack.

Being an environmental scientist, I have a lot of respect for a candidate who will promote environmental protection. I'm also for stronger automobile safety laws and increased fuel efficiency (automobile accidents are a far larger cause of death than either pollution-related illnesses or medical malpractice). The statistical probability of death from any event wasn't the focus of my comment.

I'm sorry you misunderstood my comment.

Posted by: mgcktri on January 10, 2008 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think she is going to be able to keep her humanize part for the month. This was a short term victory. By the way, the most vicious attacks at her are coming from other women (Maureen Dowd, Arriana Huffington, and now Camila Pagilla) -- I think most women will probably swing during the course of the month away from Hillary -- mostly because Hillary really isn't a representative female candidate. She is an old school feminist, which is completely out of date today.

The guy gangup and misting were good short term plays, but hillary just doesn't have the ability to act human for extended periods of time. And, I'm betting more women will eventually start turning on her. Women can be very fickle :P.

Posted by: Jor on January 10, 2008 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Brian understood perfectly. But he is a deliberately obtuse concern troll who epitomizes banality. He is not worth engaging.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 10, 2008 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Brian understood perfectly. But he is a deliberately obtuse concern troll who epitomizes banality.

I thought that was brian. I can't keep them straight.

Posted by: junebug on January 10, 2008 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

If they aren't the same person, apologies to the sane one.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 10, 2008 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

She might lose women over time but if the unfounded attacks continue I doubt it. Just look at Jesse Jackson Jr from Obamas campaign asking why Hillary didn't cry over Katrina. As if she cried now and as if he had any way of knowing how much she may have cried back then.

If media and the other candidates continue with this women will certainly not want to vote for them.

Posted by: B on January 10, 2008 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's got the wrong end of the reins. In fact it sort of sounds like you're following the media model: concerning Hillary assume the worst motive and the most crude technique.

She certainly doesn't have to do anything other than demonstrate her strength and expertise. The media has changed their tone (slightly?), and she has a short period of time in which people are giving her fresh look.

The real question is whether anyone is going to be able to successfully characterize her as a calculating bitch anymore.

Posted by: r2@d2 on January 10, 2008 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

junebug: "Riddle me this -- why doesn't that very same logic free people to vote their misogynist instincts in the privacy of the very same voting booth?"

That's a very good question.

If I was running either the Clinton or Obama campaigns, I would be urging my people to not worry unduly about abstract political intangibles, such as the potential influence of racism or misogyny on a given person's vote, because it's not normally something over which a campaign can exercise any sense or form of control.

If you can't change the core fact that your candidate is not a heterosexual white Christian male, then the absolute worst thing your campaign can do is attempt to pander to people's worst fears and instincts regarding racism, misogyny, homophobia and religious bigotry, which only offers the public the impression that the campaign is running away from its own candidate, platform, and / or base constituency.

We saw truly lamentable examples of that nationwide during the 2004 campaign, when any number of Democratic candidates across the country -- in what proved to be a futile competition for the votes of religious fundamentalists -- decided that gay men and women were an expendable constituency, and either endorsed or openly supported constitutional amendments banning same-gender marriage.

It was an otherwise-eminently avoidable show of political weakness on our party's part that not only alienated and threw under the bus an admittedly small but still intensely loyal (and wealthy) demographic, but also did nothing to temper the irrational hatreds of right-wing Christians. Rather, it only further emboldened them to become even more aggressive in challenging the prevailing status quo in other areas of social concern, such as affirmative action, women's reproductive rights, and public education.

What a campaign such as Obama's or Clinton's must do is define its own distinct political identity, stake its own political turf, clearly identify its core constituencies, target their appeals to those particular demographics, and develop a comprehensive "Get Out the Vote" strategy that maximizes turnout amongst its targeted constituencies to the extent necessary to negate and overcome electorally any vote that might be motivated by race or sexism.

As one advocates for liberal and progressive politics and public policies, he or she must always keep in mind that for as long as we maintain the individual's First Amendment rights of free speech, thought and association, social extremism will almost certainly always remain with us for the duration. But as a matter of political thought, it must never be tolerated, accommodated or assimilated.

Instead, racism, mysogyny, homophobia and religious bigotry must be reduced to a petty social nuisance, rather than remain as a malignancy on the greater community, through strenuous efforts to first isolate from the mainstream of public opinion those individuals and / or groups that advocate for hate, division and discrimination as a matter of public policy, and then maintain them as social outcasts and pariahs -- indefinitely, if need be.

I'll leave to you all to determine for yourselves which political party and / or candidates in our country are firmly positioned to take on that noble challenge and succeed.

Aloha.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 10, 2008 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

One question: has there been a single female NH voter who has gone on the record as saying that 1) the "welling-up" or 2) the media reaction to the "welling-up" or 3) the "Iron My Shirt" sign made her decide to vote for Hillary? I've looked around, and I haven't found a single data point for this theory. Seriously, if any of this were the case, it should have been easy to find 5 or 6 of them who were willing to be quoted.

Not that it would prove anything, but I'd at least like to see some anecdotal evidence that the sexism-backlash angle has any credence.

Posted by: anonymous on January 10, 2008 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous --
there are some examples in the nyt todays
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/10/us/politics/10women.html?ex=1357621200&en=3d6812c3d85f67da&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all

the women they quote though, don't seem to be the group that broke the strongest for hillary (older, poorer, less educated).

Posted by: jor on January 10, 2008 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

jor, I guess I didn't look hard enough. Okay, I feel a little bit better about the Monday-morning quarterbacking now.

Posted by: anonymous on January 10, 2008 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

I have read that Sen. Clinton, when interacting on a personal level, is a much more appealing candidate. The episode in the diner qualifies as such interacting and quite possibly it was simply Hillary Clinton coming across as Hillary Clinton that appealed to those voters who saw that tape and not any "tears welling up" as the MSM would have us believe.
If true, and understood as such by the Clinton capaign staff, that would provide a needed counter to Sen. Obama's well-known speech-making ability. And it doesn't require any phoniness, which would be deadly to her campaign prospects.

Posted by: Doug on January 10, 2008 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

I have read that Sen. Clinton, when interacting on a personal level, is a much more appealing candidate.

That was my impression. I was privileged to be the only blogger invited to a press conference she held in Kansas City last fall, and standing ten feet away from her, I was impressed. In person, she was warm and engaging and humorous and a bit self-deprecating but not too much, just the right amount. I was close enough to her that I would have been able to see if she has been cleverly concealing horns and a tail (nope) and not only that, the temperature in the room did not drop when she entered.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 10, 2008 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK
... Sen. Clinton, when interacting on a personal level, is ...more appealing.... Doug at 8:10 PM
So was Al Gore. However, when any person finds that their every statement is parsed by highly partisan opponents, out of necessity they have to be extremely cautious. Gore would crack a joke, and people called him a liar. Clinton cracked a joke, and moron pundits started yammering that it was a reference to sexual escapades or something. If your every offhand comment will be distorted caution becomes instinct. Posted by: Mike on January 10, 2008 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

More debates, and I bet Obama and John don't gang up on Hillary this time. The gambit didn't work, and now John needs to separate himself distinctly from both Obama and Hillary.

Posted by: Jimm on January 10, 2008 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

They're going to be all kinds of events to humanize her. Indeed, there already were, prior to this. "Mothers and Daughters History" events. The "Hillary I Know" events. Hillary and her mom. Hillary and Chelsea. She will fall back on scripted stuff because she's not gifted enough to play it naturally. (It's hard, hard, hard to play it naturally without making serious mistakes.) And it will probably backfire. The famous "moment" was, apparently, a good bit of luck for her, but she won't generate too many of those.

Posted by: Matt on January 10, 2008 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

The tearing up is probably something that has and will help her short term and hurt her long term. As time passes, the "humanity bump" will fade and she will lose votes from people who don't want a president who cries.

Posted by: brian on January 10, 2008 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

"Warm, engaging, humorous, a bit-self deprecating..."

This is what I always hear about Hillary from people who've actually met her. I came pretty close at a rally to keep the Canandaigua, NY, VA Hospital from being shut down in 2003, arriving just after her speech.

Aging male military veterans are not Hillary's core constituency, but they were impressed. "Friendly, down to earth, knows her stuff..."
And from one, "She's pretty goodlooking for a broad her age..."

Oh, and the hospital is still open. Only one on the Pentagon hit list to survive.

Posted by: wobbly on January 10, 2008 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

[Sobbing inwardly] How does she do it? And why doesn't she just go away?!

Hillary is 100-percent natural, which means she is really, really, really contrived and fake. That is who she is. I don't think she has had a normal life. Since she was a teen, it has been all puffed up politics, all the time. She honestly believes that feigned empathy is the sincerest form of flattery. I am so tired of her. She has spoiled a lot of Bill's legacy already. I am revising my opinion of the 90s downward every day. They enabled the mess of Fox-phony, moronic, Murdoch-munching, Messianic, Moonie-musked megalomaniacs.

Posted by: Sparko on January 11, 2008 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Here's a great explanation of Vote Fraud NH '08 on Huffington Post. And this statistician doesn't blame the Clintons btw. Finally this info is starting to move up in the media food chain. Wonder if it will ever make it to MSM? Anyway, not a full-proof argument of fraud in my mind, but very interesting.

Votergate Redux 2008

Posted by: nepeta on January 11, 2008 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

The important thing is for the Dem grassroots keep both HRC and BHO as even as possible in the coming weeks so that they are forced to team up for November. And punish negative campaigning at the next opportunity No one can know yet who will end up on top, but it's important that neither leaves the building. We need a united ticket of the two strongest campaigners. C-O or O-C. Make it be so.

Posted by: W Action on January 11, 2008 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

That's strange. One of my posts just 'disappeared.' What's happening here folks?
Here it is again, in re to the vote fraud allegations on Huffington Post:

"The post election reports show that Ron Paul did not get any votes in a precinct where exit polls show that he did. Zogby did a show for us at Nova M Radio and he is now on XM. He and I have had many discussions about the statistical anomalies in the 2000 and 2004 exit polls. Zogby and I are experts in the field of statistical sampling. Zogby however is not an expert in forensic accounting."

"I can say with a high confidence level that the discrepancy between the exit polls and the actual results were not an anomaly. The Democrats especially should want to follow-up on this ASAP. The idea that the so-called Bradley affect created a racial bias against Obama is nonsense. That is a lie that is meant to divide the Dems on gender and race."

[You aren't being moderated. The screen I see, which shows comments in order they are posted regardless of thread, is being inundated with link-spam, and it's possible that a comment got caught in the net - I got hit with 28 spam comments coming from a bot a few minutes ago. There is a bit more to this gig than deleting the things that are "sufficiently annoying." --Mod]

Posted by: nepeta on January 11, 2008 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

"" I'm going to tell you the same thing I told Al on a previous thread... even if true (remember, first we were being told ballots had not been hand-counted, now people are producing hand-counted results all of a sudden) a statistical correlation is NOT a causal correlation." - Socratic Gadfly

You know, Socratic Gadfly, I just can't figure out why you're so opposed to investigating possible vote fraud in NH '08. I have no idea who you champion as a candidate (although I have a rather good guess) but certainly after FL in '00 and OH/FL/NH in '04,' computer vote fraud should not be pooh-poohed by Dems. Give it another think.

Posted by: nepeta on January 11, 2008 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

      The media was so concerned with what went wrong with the polling in NH, as if the credibility of the media was on the line.  Nothing went wrong.  The statistics didn't lie either; it is the nature of factual questions that fail to engage one's inner passion.  The American phenomenon is how people poll with their brains, but vote with their hearts.  This race is anything goes because the American people believe anyone can be President.  That is especially true for the first open election in 80 years.  (Personally, I am still holding out for someone to come on the scene who has the answers.)  After we get to know Obama better than he knows himself, and Rahm Emanuel's words come back to haunt Hillary, then Edwards will be picked out of spite.  As for the GOP, Huckabee is tripping over Woodrow Wilson while preaching on the way how we must endorse the League of Nations, McCain is tripping over Iraq and Immigration, and when Giuliani tripped no one noticed.  When us Dems come up short for a lack of a unified plan, my guess is Edwards will join forces with a yet unnamed business-strategist at nomination time to defeat turnaround specialist Romney.  However, without the full backing of all the major contenders as co-presidents, Edwards will look silly scolding Americans for the poverty-stricken among us when the Kondratieff Economic Winter comes to demoralize its homeowners and SUV owners.  Romney may flop like a fish, but he is the farthest upstream come November.  Tell Rahm to start making some phone calls and invite some bears to go fishing.

Posted by: Stephen L. Rush on January 11, 2008 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

Sparko: "Hillary is 100-percent natural, which means she is really, really, really contrived and fake. That is who she is. I don't think she has had a normal life. Since she was a teen, it has been all puffed up politics, all the time. She honestly believes that feigned empathy is the sincerest form of flattery."

Who are you - Dr. Phil?

"I am so tired of her. She has spoiled a lot of Bill's legacy already. I am revising my opinion of the 90s downward every day. They enabled the mess of Fox-phony, moronic, Murdoch-munching, Messianic, Moonie-musked megalomaniacs."

Oops, my bad! You're obviously Rumplestilzkin, since you seemed to have slept straight through the twelve years of the Reagan and Bush, Sr. administrations.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 11, 2008 at 3:43 AM | PERMALINK

nepeta: "You know, Socratic Gadfly, I just can't figure out why you're so opposed to investigating possible vote fraud in NH '08."

I'm not opposed to an investigation either, provided that there is bona fide documentary evidence of potential fraud, and that your demand for such an investigation is not merely rooted in the poisonous whims of disgruntled partisans who were unpleasantly surprised in the primary election's unexpected outcome, and who therefore seek only to undermine public confidence in the state's electoral process with such rumor-mongering, and thus discredit Mrs. Clinton's victory through specious allegation.

Further, I would ask that you please note the following two provisions of the Revised Statutes of New Hampshire:

"660:7 Application. – Any person for whom a vote was cast for any nomination of any party at a state or presidential primary may apply for a recount. The application shall be made in writing to the secretary of state and shall be submitted no later than the Friday after the primary for a recount of all ballots cast for such nomination. Each candidate requesting a recount shall pay the secretary of state fees as provided in RSA 660:2.

"660:2 Fees.
I. If the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected shall be less than one percent of the total votes cast in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted, the following fees shall apply:
(a) Candidate for president, United States senator or governor, $500."

While some counties in New Hampshire use Diebold-manufactured optical scanners, such machines also produce a clear paper trail in the form of hand-marked ballots. Each county's ballots must be preserved intact by the county clerk's office for 60 days after an election, or more if so ordered by the courts.

Therefore, if any of the campaigns truly suspected that there was tampering with the vote count, wouldn't it logically follow that a formal challenge would have been already filed to contest the primary's official results (in acordance to the statutorily proscribed procedure set forth above), which would trigger a recount of all ballots cast?

After all, it's not like the Obama or Edwards campaigns don't have the $500 to spare -- right?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 11, 2008 at 4:33 AM | PERMALINK

How far we have come in 36 years. Ed Muskie cried and lost. Hillary Clinton cried and won.

Posted by: John Wilheim on January 11, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

I really pushed some buttons with my statement. Sorry about that. But I have met more than a few suburban women with 2-3 kids that voted for GW in 2004 because of 'the War' and his 'experience' and best able to 'keep my family safe' - even though the bozo continues to appoint Supreme Court Justices that are bad for women, the environment, anti-discrimination, cuts aid for students, etc.

I personally don't like Hillary because I believe she is truly Bush/Cheney light. She is accepting too much money from corporate and Israeli interests that have a desire to keep the 'War on Terror' going on forever. They put a few million into her campaign, and then she spends tens of billions of my kids (borrowed) money making them happy.

Nope. I'm personally not voting for Hillary.

P.S. I'm anti-Israel (current government) not anti-Jewish. I don't want our country aligning ourselves with ANY religious state. This includes the Vatican, and Iran as well.

Posted by: Brian on January 11, 2008 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

No, I think they're going there: Cocaine using Muslim (who "shucks and jives" his way through press conferences (Andrew Cuomo)).

Posted by: RollaMO on January 11, 2008 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Don: you have been disappointing me lately. I did not take you for a Hillary apologist. Further, I am well aware that better Democratic leadership on issues such as media consolidation and NAFTA might have stopped our precipitous decline. From 1993-2001, much more could have been done--with better leadership. I am late to realize what GOP enablers the DLC were/are.

Posted by: Sparko on January 11, 2008 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

I think the media and its pundits keep missing a key point about the "tears" (actually "near-tears") episode - for reasons which I will also explain. Sure, you can argue that Hillary's moment of emotion led to a "sympathy vote" for her - but only if you deny its real context: we suddenly saw her personal commitment to progressive ideals. This is what has often been obscured by her own pragmatic, political maneuvers and votes, and what makes her such a complex political presence. But in that teary moment, people saw that she IS committed to progressivism - and frankly, it was a more honest moment of political commitment than Obama has ever managed despite all his eloquence. So take that, Maureen Dowd and all the rest of you pundit bitches (Andrew Sullivan, that means you). We know your hatred of Hillary has as its central excuse that she's utterly compromised, even "Nixonian" to some. But those tears belied that story.

Posted by: Thomas Garvey on January 11, 2008 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Don: it was not the machines but the tabulators. I think the forensic computer approach is the only way left to determine the nature of the tampering. I also suspect that if the election was tampered with, it was the GOP. They prefer Hillary as an opponent (even if she wins she is GOP friendly. And a great stick-um for bloviating). This also will cause a great spend down for Obama if he wins. GOP strongholds dot he early primary races. I think a recount needs to come from the outside.

Posted by: Sparko on January 11, 2008 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Clinton didn't cry. Watch the tape again please.

And Brian, you are just an ass.

Posted by: wasabi on January 11, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Sparky,

Then hand-count the ballots - all of them.

Sheesh either you are letting the best be the enemy of the good or you are just one weird duck and love carping.

Either way I am thankful you represent a very tiny portion of the electorate.

Posted by: Tripp on January 11, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

One other thing Sparky. At least here in MN the optical scanning machines are the tabulators. You put your ballot in and it counts the vote, dropping it in a slot. If there is an error such as two selections for one office it or no votes seen it will return the ballot o you can fix it.

They keep all the original ballots. Recounting can be done either by hand or with a different scanner that both people accept as accurate.

Posted by: Tripp on January 11, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Nixonian? It was kind of a Checker's Daddy moment, wasn't it?

That speech probably saved Nixon's political career, or at least his candidacy in 1952. Ah, the memories!

Posted by: Nat on January 11, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

But I sure hope that the Clinton campaign doesn't learn the wrong lesson from this and start thinking up dozens of ways to "humanize" Hillary over the next couple of weeks.

Actually, I think this would be a smart move if used *selectively*. If anybody tries to smear her with some past financial impropriety she can do a "Checkers" speech like Nixon did:

"One other thing I probably should tell you because if we don't they'll probably be saying this about me too, we did get something-a gift-after the election. A man down in Texas heard Pat on the radio mention the fact that our two youngsters would like to have a dog. And, believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was.

It was a little cocker spaniel dog in a crate that he'd sent all the way from Texas. Black and white spotted. And our little girl-Tricia, the 6-year old-named it Checkers. And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep it."

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 11, 2008 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, that was freaky! I was busy hunting that speech up and composing...

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 11, 2008 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

heh... in the video clip he seems to choke up a bit and appears to wipe a tear from his eye when talking about Pat's "Republican cloth coat."

Posted by: Nat on January 11, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Image linking may not be kosher, but this toon sums it up well
Offhand there seems to be nothing in the New Hampshire exit polling that substantiates claims of vote fraud.

... Many voters decided on their candidates late in the process, the polls showed, with 18 percent of Republicans and 15 percent of Democrats saying they settled on a candidate on the day of the primary.
A majority of Democrats said the issues were the most important factor in how they voted, while most Republicans said the candidates' personal qualities were most important to their decision....

Posted by: Mike on January 11, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Trippy: What is with the denigrating ad hominems? Sparky? WTF? There were real questions raised about the integrity of the New Hampshire vote, and not all precincts had paper ballots--but you knew that. I support every Dem candidate but Hillary, and am loathe to have her rammed down our throats. She is not even popular with DEMOCRATS.

Posted by: Sparko on January 11, 2008 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

You can laugh and snicker all you want, but Hillary showing some emotion did have an effect on my opinion of her and make me more likely to vote for her.

One reason I have not supported her in the past is that she seemed a cold-hearted, rhymes with "witch." By showing her emotions a bit (and JUST a bit, I might add) I finally saw what all her "friends" see, a human being.

Bravo to Rachel Maddow for pointing out how many times Romney has cried on the campaign trail. And Bush routinely tears up, we're told. So bashing Hillary for showing some feelings is definitely a double standard, and one that brings this feminist of a certain age to her side.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 11, 2008 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

And actually, Obama had always been ahead of Hillary in Iowa and was the expected winner. His followers are just such a bunch of cry babies, they can't stand that he lost one.

You lost, get over it.

Posted by: tek on January 12, 2008 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

012877.. Peachy :)

Posted by: www.washingtonmonthly.com on March 28, 2011 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK
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