Democrats have been squirming for a shot at the Presidency. The more Bush’s poll numbers dropped the more the potential candidates squirmed, like young children desperate to go to the potty. And democratic voters have been eager to push the buttons for change as well. Predictably, each candidate claims to be the long-awaited "Agent of Change." After months of rhetoric, strategic posturing and careful polling, we’re starting to see the voters sort through these claims.
Iowa was a blow to Hillary, or so the pundits say. Of course, for
months the pundits have been telling us that she was the lock-cinch
front-runner. Today, Hillary cried (and showed her "human side") in response to a simple question. I don’t know if her response was sincere. Some people are skeptical,
thinking it was a sign of desperation. Still, it seems strange from a
campaign that’s been long on strategy and short on ‘human emotions.’
Going into Iowa the Clinton camp apparently knew that they’d have a
poor showing, so Bill started reminding folks that his initial bid for
the nomination didn’t go well. Not a great analogy. Bill was ‘off the
radar’ in his first bid. Hillary, meanwhile, has been the biggest blip
on the radar ever since she announced. Apparently, the biggest blip on
the radar was not, in the eyes of Iowa voters, a true Agent of Change.
Perhaps if someone charismatic like Obama hadn’t entered the race it
might have been different for Hillary. But people in Iowa preferred
Obama. Young people preferred Obama, and even women preferred him.
Up til now, Hillary has relied on a carefully orchestrated strategy,
repeatedly touting her superior experience. But now we get this crying thing.
She seems to be improvising, and it doesn’t suit her. If she comes in
third in New Hampshire the storyline will be: CLINTON CAMPAIGN IMPLODES.
If she had a sound strategy then she should stick to it (her
strategy should have contemplated the possibility that she would do
poorly in Iowa and New Hampshire). Now’s the time to stick to the
message she’s been pounding out for months. Crying is not going to
help; it’s not a strong message. If she had done this before Iowa it
might have been tolerable, but now it seems too calculated (and not in
a good way). Maybe she did cry at gatherings before now; I wouldn’t be
surprised if she had. But this recent event, captured on film and
played over and over, is a discordant note.
Sure, many people will see the crying video and cheer for Hillary. "You go girl, you show
those emotions!" But, many people (including women) will find her
response insincere, or inappropriate. Hillary has not been a political
outsider; that’s how she been able to lay claim to so much
People will see her how they want to see her, and vote accordingly.
But I think she is giving up ground, and it’s not because people don’t
believe she’s qualified to be President. Something about Hillary makes
a lot of people uneasy: she seems a little too eager, and now after
Iowa, a little too desperate.