Hillary Clinton: I told you so

Hillary Clinton is a strange female politician.  Politicians have to play to their strengths, and some of those are gendered.  I argued in this post that it would surely be very difficult for Hillary Clinton to win by being aggressive.  I think that’s a taboo with women politicians. Even Margaret Thatcher dressed her aggression up in a kind of imperiousness that Clinton simply doesn’t have – or at least can’t have until she’s won power.  (As in all things electoral, I think defending an incumbency is a very different proposition from winning it, and I can’t see how Hillary can win.)

Unlike her husband, Clinton doesn’t really ‘do’ charm. She’s a strangely cold person who seems to have thought that she could run on wonkishness.  Bill her hubby might have been the original wonk, but he won as much on charm as anything else. Kevin 24/7 is a wonk, but he was also very careful to craft his image in a positive light, and indeed was not that aggressive in winning government.

Anyway, these chickens might be coming home to roost.  According to this article, in the zero-sum game that seems to dominate the democratic nomination now, Clinton’s attacks on Obama seem to be turning her popularity southward a good deal more than his:

Meanwhile, the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Clinton popularity dropping precipitously. She is now viewed favorably by 37% of the country, and unfavorably by 48%, down from 45-43 in early March. (Obama’s rating is 49-32, and John Mccaib’s is 45-25.)

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Jim Farrell
16 years ago

So right. Whether or not voters presume that the promotion of the carefully selected remarks by Rev. Wright were the work of the Clinton campaign, she has certainly tried to use them to her advantage. Her humor is not endearing, but caustic; her accusations are not weighty, but mean-spirited and petulant.

Obama’s team, on the other hand, has done an excellent job of bullet-proofing themselves months ago by repeating the notion that “The Clintons will do or say anything to win this election.” Obama continues to impress by staying above the fray, rather than responding acrimoniously or defensively to Clinton’s remarks.
Most importantly, his speech on race marked a turning point in his candidacy, putting him back on the offensive by reminding voters that this is about larger issues.

Of course, Mrs. Clinton’s fantasy about her trip to Kosovo has only reminded voters that she often fails to tell the whole truth, and sometimes prevaricates in surprising ways.

She’ll lose because voters don’t like her. Democratic Party leaders are stepping in to signal the end of the race so that she doesn’t sully their candidate as she leaves the stage.

mister z
mister z
16 years ago

workchoices and other matters of substance aside, I think kev won because he seemed to outsmile howard by a ratio of about 10 to 1. he was simply the nicer face on the telly. I think that counts for a lot, for first and final impressions, and the image that voters conjure up if they’re deciding in the booth.