Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Women Break Clinton's Way

It now looks, shockingly enough, like a close Clinton victory, which no New Hampshire poll predicted. The apparent reason: Clinton won women 47 to 34 percent.

The polls showed Obama and Clinton running roughly even among women, so this would represent a very late and significant break. We don't know why yet, but the conventional wisdom (which seems reasonable to me) is her tearing up yesterday may have had much to do with it.

If so, you'll pardon me if I say, "you've got to be kidding me." A sympathy vote in the midst of a shameful last several days of negativity on the part of her campaign?

Well, you may say, Obama's wave had everything to do with emotion, so why can't she benefit from it too? Here's why: The emotion behind Obama's is to unite the country and overhaul the entire tone and tenor of Washington politics. You may argue whether that's doable or even desirable, but it's a weighty desire. A sympathy vote is not. It's is emotion detached from substance.

Though Clinton is a serious candidate with serious ideas, I must personally add that if somehow the type of campaigning she and her husband have been doing allows them to pull out a victory, it will be a depressing result. It will also make for a much more interesting race.

UPDATE: Clinton's people aren't much denying that raw emotion did it for them. I'm just deciding whether to be depressed or angry about that.

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