Leading from the Left

Monday, January 07, 2008

Don't Count Her Out

It seems that most of the national media and political observers have counted out Hillary Clinton, and reasonably so given Obama's extraordinary performance on the campaign trail, his decisive win in Iowa, and his predicted strong victory in New Hampshire tomorrow. He's got the O-mentum, no doubt about it.

But Hillary is a fighter, and the Clinton's--as a couple--have a long history of fighting best when their backs are against the wall. She's going to lose South Carolina, that is now clear, but an upset in Nevada (where she has a strong organization) could pivot her into a respectable showing on February 5th. Hillary is down, but not yet out.

While it might already be too late, she could regain her footing in this race by doing something that seems nearly impossible for her to do--connect emotionally with voters. Hillary needs to take a chance, open up, show passion and soul. She may have, accidentally no doubt, begun to reveal her core in New Hampshire earlier today, and I'm damn glad she did.

Today's emotional turn in New Hampshire may end up panned by the media (women candidates are 'allowed' to cry after all), but we see a side of Hillary she's kept hidden from us. For the first time this campaign, we get a glimpse of what drives this woman to seek the White House. We get a taste of her core personal values and mission.

And you can't help concluding that she's in this for the right reasons.

I for one hope we see more of Hillary; then this will be a race between two talented, passionate, committed progressives who sincerely want to make this country a better place. And what a race that would be!

Either Obama or Clinton would make an exceptional president. The Democrats are truly fortunate to have a wealth of talent running this year. But I for one hope this primary campaign continues for a few months so both candidates can be tested repeatedly and so the voters can get to both.