Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Differing Perspectives

My friend, and Clinton supporter, Sean has posted a passionate inventory of his feelings about the events in North Carolina and Indiana last night on his blog. My comments are below:

Running the risk of seeming ungracious (since my candidate is now ensconced as the presumptive nominee), it’s a shame Clinton supporters can't resist sour grapes even when conceding defeat. Much as Bill's impeachment debacle played out, none of what did Hillary in was her fault. It was a conspiracy involving the media, addled voters wearing rose-tinted glasses, and a Rube Goldberg nominating process.

Let's start with "people buying into hope." Here's a brief quiz: Who said this: "Now, one of Clinton's laws of politics is this. If one candidate is trying to scare you and the other one is try get you to think, if one candidate is appealing to your fears and the other one is appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope." Give up? Bill Clinton, during the 2004 campaign. Obama keeps coming back to the hope theme: Hillary runs ads of sleeping children who will be unsafe of she isn't elected.
Then there's the "media's notion of inevitability." First, she didn’t mind any it six months ago when everyone with a press card presumed she would win. As for lately, it's not the media's notion of inevitability: it's a mathematical notion of inevitability. Even before last night, she couldn't catch up if she matched her best previous performance in every remaining primary. Dropping out isn't defeatist; it's a simple matter of reading the handwriting on the wall.

As for the "tragically flawed nominating process," she had no objections to it until she realized she couldn't win within its rules. There's a good reason for that: Clinton supporters probably played as much of a role as anyone in writing those rules.

What did Hillary Clinton in was a poorly run campaign that assumed this was a coronation, not a campaign. She changed messages and personas as often as Dubya changed reasons for going to war in Iraq in the winter of 2003. It finally caught up to her when enough people decided she was a triangulating chameleon who would say whatever she thought was necessary to sway whoever was standing in front of her when she opened her mouth. In the northeast or a college town? Wonk time. Moving south? Drop those Gs and knock down a few boilermakers in the back of a pickup truck.

Hillary Clinton would have made a fine president, but she would have been more of the same of what got us into the current state of affairs. It's time for something different. Maybe it will be better; maybe not. It sure as hell can't get much worse.

1 comment:

Runs with Scissors said...

Along similar lines, a column by George Will

I particularly like the conclusion of the last line.