Wednesday, January 9, 2008

January 8: New Hampshire (Democratic)

Clinton 39
Obama 37
Edwards 17
Richardson 5
"Field" 2

Boy, am I infuriated.

First, I'm angry at John Edwards's supporters on the left. Edwards had a reasonable strategy for New Hampshire: bash Hillary, promote Obama, and hope that Obama knocked out Clinton and turned it into a two-man race. Obviously, that failed - and it failed because Edwards, and his supporters, half believed he could sneak into second place. All Edwards did was split the change vote. 60% of New Hampshire's Democratic voters wanted change, but their divisions allowed the united 40% Hillary bloc to prevail.

Second, I'm appalled at Hillary's woman-centric campaigning and her ability to attract worn-out apologists like Gloria Steinem to her banner. If Barack Obama principally appealed to black voters as a last, desperate expedient, can you imagine the headlines? He'd be called a race candidate, a second Jesse Jackson (unfairly to Jackson, who won a substantial percent of white votes in the 1988 cycle), and worse. Yet Hillary appeals to womenpower and gets away with it. Why is this so? And how can the women who bumped Hillary over the top in New Hampshire think that her presidency would be any more woman-friendly than Obama's?

It's not like Margaret Thatcher or Angela Merkel have done extraordinary things for the women of the UK and Germany - but wait, Americans don't know a monkey's paw about comparative politics. Shame on them.

Ironically, Iowa and New Hampshire, far from determining the Democratic nominee far in advance, have decided nothing. With the renegade Michigan primary off of the calendar, Nevada and South Carolina will decide everything. Most precisely, they will decide who has the most money and momentum heading into Super Tuesday. If either Obama or Clinton can win both states, they will be the likely nominee.

I hazard no guesses. But I do know this: now, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton realize that the "other candidate" can beat them. Good luck to both teams - especially to Obama's.

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