Wednesday :: Jan 9, 2008

The Tweety Effect and Hillary being Hillary

by Turkana

Everyone is at least mentioning the gender gap. There's also been much discussion about a backlash against the media, in general, and the Chris Matthews style of bloviating, in particular (which Pam Spaulding has brilliantly identified it as the Tweety Effect- h/t digby). And then there's the blogosphere. When both Markos and Meteor Blades, neither of whom supports Hillary, angrily decry the misogyny and hatred leveled at her, you know things have been way out of hand. Not everyone watches pundit television, and not everyone reads the blogs, but they both reflect and add to an atmosphere that grows palpable even to those not so politically obsessed. But none of that would have mattered if not for one clear fact: Hillary won by being Hillary.

People like Hillary. They don't like the cautious, calculating politician, they like the genuine human being. Separate her wonkishness from her humanity, and it's hard for people to connect with her. Let Hillary be Hillary, and people react not only with their heads but with their hearts. The backlash came because people got sick of watching a good person continually being beaten upon. You watch this clip from her victory speech, and the emotion is powerful, and it works both ways.

She means it. And it's long overdue.

As Arianna Huffington put it:

But none of endemic New Hampshire Clinton advantages would have delivered victory were it not for Hillary -- either through desperation or exhaustion -- finally letting down her guard and showing her human side. Or as she put it, "I found my own voice." She got angry in the debate; she got emotional on the stump. Indeed, her victory in New Hampshire was a resounding repudiation of the Mark Penn plan to keep her in a bubble, allow no questions in the last few days of Iowa, and act as if her nomination were inevitable.

I don't support Hillary, but I've long believed she'd make a much better president than people realize. That's because I believe there's a much better leader inside her than we've seen. She's played too much politics. She's made too many calculations, and some have been inexcusable. But I believed the real Hillary is a genuinely good person who has spent her entire life working for a better America and a better world, and people needed to see that person, to feel what motivates her, and to understand the force of her own passion. I hope this is the beginning of that. I hope she will increasingly liberate herself from her handlers. I hope she will begin to get bolder in her policy pronouncements. Her much criticized caution has left her plenty of room to drop some substantive bombshells.

The Associated Press reports that she's still going to begin retooling her campaign team. That can only be a good thing. They didn't win New Hampshire for her. She won it.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton began retooling her campaign, looking ahead to later contests in the primary process.

Several new faces were expected to come aboard, including Maggie Williams, a longtime confidante to the former first lady, and Doug Sosnik, who served as White House political director under Bill Clinton, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

While none of the current team of advisers were expected to be replaced — including strategist Mark Penn and campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle — aides acknowledged Clinton's message needed to be sharpened and improved to run more effectively against Barack Obama and his theme of change.

Clinton was expected to step off the campaign trail and huddle with her team Wednesday to make further decisions about how to proceed going forward. She was expected to fly out Thursday morning, probably to California.

Let Hillary be Hillary. People like her when she's Hillary. This is her chance to step ahead and redefine herself, not only as a candidate, but as a leader. Whether or not she wins the nomination, both she and the country will benefit if she does so.

Turkana :: 8:43 AM :: Comments (42) :: Digg It!