I’ve ranted here from time to time about my dislike/trust of Hillary Rodham Clinton. While at the time of this writing (Tuesday afternoon) the results of the New Hampshire primary were not known, it sure looked like the Barack Obama tide was going to swamp her again. She’s looking like the Big 10 to his SEC.
While I’m glad that it looks more and more each day like she will not be the Democratic nominee for president, I must confess a little sympathy for her. It must be hell having your life’s dream shattered and the entire country watching it transpire, with probably at least half of them reveling in it.
It’s obvious she’s been really stressed the past couple days — raising her voice in anger during Saturday night’s debate, launching every negative attack she and her husband can think of, and even tearing up Monday as she talked about the election.
The tears were all over the Internet and TV news Monday afternoon and evening — everybody was reporting it. The best headline I saw goes to Radar Magazine online — “Hillary Clinton imitates carbon based life form.”
Clinton missed the boat. Her ship sailed in 2004 — that was her time and she made the mistake so many politicians do and decided to wait until the next election. In 2004, the Democrats had nobody, the likes of John Kerry, Howard Dean, John Edwards, Dick Gephardt, Dennis Kucinich etc. The party was crying out for her and she refused, obviously fearing taking on a wartime president. In fact, if memory serves, she took herself out of the running something like a full year before the primary campaign started. In that time, the war in Iraq went south, along with the president’s popularity. He turned out to be vulnerable to a quality candidate. Unfortunately for Democrats, Kerry was not a quality candidate.
It was like a Saturday Night Live sketch with her explaining her vote for the Iraq War Resolution: “I would have voted against it if I thought I could oppose the war and still be elected president.”
Early last year when people started mentioning Obama’s name as a possible presidential candidate, most pundits said he was too young, didn’t have the experience, and he should wait four or eight years before making a presidential run.
Fortunately for him, he did not listen to the pundits (a good lesson for any politician). This is his moment, just as 2004 was Clinton’s.
This is not an endorsement of Obama. Frankly, I don’t really know what he stands for, other than “change,” whatever that means. He’s not been specific on any policy proposals as far as I can tell. But that’s not what this is about.
The public is a fickle bunch. They may fall in love with a candidate, but they will throw him or her over for the next good lookin’ thing that comes down the pike. When opportunity knocks, you need to not only open the door, but you need to have your bags packed and waiting. And that doesn’t just apply to politics.
With that said, I think it would be premature to write Clinton off for this election. While it sure looks like she’s toast — and it wouldn’t bother me if she is — I think she’s still a viable candidate, if for no other reason than the pundits say she’s finished. The Clintons have proved to be slippery and nobody ever got rich betting against them.
What’s more, it would be bad for the country if this thing ended now. With everything going on in the world, we need a more thorough discussion of the issues than has happened thus far and as many Americans as possible deserve an opportunity to help choose their party’s nominee.
So don’t shed any tears for Mrs. Clinton, at least not yet. She’s liable to surprise … she’s liable to be around a while longer. And for those reveling in her misery, keep your chins up, she’ll still be here to kick around awhile longer.