Wednesday, January 9, 2008

NH's Comeback Candidates

McCain's "comeback" was expected in NH, which also doubles on the weekends as the "Irony State." How do you have a comeback in a state where you have won before and were leading in immediately before the election?

Hillary managed to pull off a victory. Compare it to a Heavyweight champ who got knocked to the canvas by an upstart challenger in the first round. Shake it off champ, go knock his block off and win the second round.

Did the Hillary movement wake up last night or was it just New Hampshire voters keeping things interesting? Inevitability has a certain quality that can unmotivate people who should be working hard (volunteers, staff, family etc.) because they think that the contest is in the bag.

It is unclear exactly why the polls got it wrong, although it is almost always one of two answers. The sample was either not representative of who was turning out to vote or the poll respondents didn't tell the truth or had a change of heart about who they were voting for.

Seeing Hillary get emotional was good for her image. It's ok for women to cry (even if they are running for President apparently), but probably not ok if Obama cried. Context matters and we are in uncharted territory with Hillary and Obama. What will the voters expect from a female presidential candidate?

The real question is whether or not this little emotional episode was planned or not. The Clinton's don't seem to do anything spontaneously, I wonder if there was an inner circle meeting evaluating the pros and cons of tears vs. letting her voice crack a little bit.

One thing is clear, this is going to be a bout to remember. Let's cast Obama has Cassius Clay and Hillary as Sonny Liston. Someone has a superior style that is undeniably fresh and needed versus someone who is carrying baggage and scars from battles fought in the 90s. It may not be fair, and it may be Hillary's "shot" or "turn" to run, but the country seems ready to take a chance on someone new.

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