Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Hillary's Stunner in New Hampshire

How did Hillary Clinton pull the stunner in New Hampshire last night? Even though pundits and pollsters were busy eating crow, they took turns to "explain" Clinton's victory. Two words summed up their analysis: "race" and "gender."

Nonsense. Race, gender (and ethnicity) played no role in this primary.

There are four reasons why Hillary won.

First, it is in the American character to root for the underdog. With polls predicting a thumping victory for Obama, voters felt inclined to vote for Hillary. If Hillary swept the senator from Illinois in Ohio and polls were predicting a repeat for her in New Hampshire, it is most likely that Obama would have won in the Granite State.

Second, for the first time since she began her campaign, Hillary came across as a vulnerable human being instead of a micro-managed robot. Count on seeing the video in which she tears up many more times before this race is over. People like that. Yes, they admire guts and determination and straight talk, but they admire genuine emotions even more.

Third, Hillary spoke more substance on issues that mattered to voters in New Hampshire than Obama. There was no block voting; more women flocked to her because she addressed their concerns.

Finally, voters were fed up with the certainty of pompous pundits and pollsters. Let's teach these buffoons a lesson or two, many of them said to themselves as they stepped into the booth to register their feelings.

A hard-fought campaign is the fire through which presidential mettle is forged. No one can predict at this point who will win the democratic nomination but one thing is certain: the democratic nominee will be the next president of the United States.

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