As a student of politics, the New Hampshire primary has reminded me of one immutable truth of American political and social life: never, and at your own great peril, do you ever underestimate the power of white women's tears. Hillary turned on the waterworks, portrayed herself as a "victim" under "attack" by the media, and many a Miss Ann rallied to her cause.
Hillary's camp was in turmoil following her poor showing in Iowa. Rumors abounded that Hillary would change her campaign strategy. Hillary's core group of advisers would be retooled (and may still be). Billy Bob, seen as a liability by some, was going to be reigned in. Old confidantes such as James Carville were to be brought back into the fold. Following her expected defeat in New Hampshire, Hillary was going to position herself as Hillary 2.0--a new and improved Hillary, with more vigor, life, personality and energy. But, Hillary's tears have taken a crisis and turned it into an opportunity. Her tears may have changed everything. Perhaps, Miss Hillary will be the comeback kid of 2008.
A few days ago, the stress of the primary campaign had Miss Clinton looking like this:
Hillary has now used her secret powers to breath life back into her campaign. Despite her husband's comments questioning Obama's experience, and electability; his observations that Obama's handlers (and by implication his supporters) are living in a fairy tale; or Hillary's jabs that Obama is no MLK--comments which undoubtedly turned off many voters and pushed them into Obama's camp--Hillary survives to fight another day. Representatives from the Hillary camp even went so far as to speculate aloud that if Obama continues to win and to fashion himself in the mold of MLK or Bobby Kennedy, he may very well be killed. But, even that tasteless comment (if not a reasonable concern), didn't prevent Hillary from capturing victory.
The media loves a horse race, the American public loves a close (but fair) election because it encourages their belief that the electoral system "works." And ultimately, we can only hope that these competitive primaries may improve the health of our body politic. But for now, I say kudos to you Miss Hillary because your victory has pushed me one step farther away from that chitlin' sandwich I promised to eat come November if Obama won the election.
To close, here is some secret footage of the celebration at Hillary Clinton's headquarters on Tuesday, January 8th at 11pm. Many Bothans died to bring you this information: