Thinking Out Loud

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Twin Tulips, Spring 2005 

I find myself quite excited about the voting taking place today in Ohio and Texas.  In a New York Times article posted on their website today, I read a quote from Hillary Clinton.  In defense, ahead of time, of going on beyond today’s elections (in case she doesn’t win) she said, “We’re just beginning to draw those contrasts and those differences and that’s when voters start to zero in.” 

I’m not sure what she means.  The voters certainly have paid good attention to this process.  The Times reports that she is ahead in early polling in Pennsylvania, which holds it’s primary on April 22nd.  She was also supposedly ahead by some 20 points a few weeks ago in Texas.  She seemed assured of a victory in Ohio as well.  Somehow she keeps slipping backward as the primary day gets closer.  The differences between her and Obama are not so great on substance or policy.  The difference to me seems more in style and his is clearly more appealing as time goes on.  You can see her struggling to find something that will stick but the problem is, the more she reaches, the harsher she seems to get and that inclination to fight dirty is what I think is turning people off.  We are all so sick of the dirty tricks, the deliberate misstatements of fact, the implied slurs.

So far, Obama has tried to be above it all while Hillary has been taking a harsher tone of late.  The high point of her campaign was the “moment” as the Clinton campaign called it, when she turned to Obama and said what an honor it had been to debate him.  Then she undid all the good that moment gave her when she started complaining in her best mean-school-teacher style about some statements made in his campaign flyers that she felt were unfair.  She said he mischaracterized her health care plan.  Is there anyone left who doesn’t know what her health care plan is?  And to be so angry, so indignant.  Then there’s that “shame on you” line.  Boy, did that make me cringe.  

If anything has been a source of contrast between these two candidates it is this matter of style.  He is calm and cool and appears sincere (although some may think it’s just a show) while she has been gradually losing it.  The quick changes of nice to nasty, soft to harsh, policy wonk to sarcastic cynic have left me feeling a bit dizzy.  Call me crazy but that call to super delegates to follow their hearts may just backfire.  Or it may be unnecessary as the vote becomes obvious.  Still, it could end up after all these votes today that nothing changes, and they get to do it all again in Pennsylvania.  Like the reporters say, it doesn’t get any better than this.   

One thought on “Thinking Out Loud

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