Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Alpha Dog Hillary Making Up for Her Femaleness

this has always been my beef with hillary.

she has never asserted her power like a woman -- she has asserted her power like a male gorilla mating in the jungle. she didn't think her femaleness would be enough, so she got ruthless and mean spirited. she lied and she cheated. she did anything she could do to win. who would've ever thought that she'd say she'd obliterate iran. no one pounced on that comment as they should have.

i'm hoping the lights in her campaign go out today-- they will if she loses both. but chances are that's not going to happen. she's been able to trick way too many people into believing she's tough enough to be a man and that if she wasn't, then bill surely would be. we know how manly he is.

david brooks, columnist at the nyt, typically writes negatively about obama, but this time he saw some obama light (he does get a few digs in) and recognized hillary's weakness, which some perceive as strength. he compared their two performances this past sunday -- hillary on boy george's show and obama on meet the press:


A few questions in, Clinton rose from her chair and loomed over Stephanopoulos. The country hasn’t seen such a brazen display of attempted middle-aged physical intimidation since Al Gore took a walkabout on the debate stage with George Bush. It was like watching someone get elbowed in a dark alley by their homeroom teacher.

But her attempt to take over the show was nothing compared with her attempt to dominate the truth. For the first 30 minutes, she did not utter a single candid word, including, as Mary McCarthy would say, “and” and “the.”

She peddled her sham gas-tax holiday and repeated her attempt to blame Indiana’s job losses on outsourcing and Nafta. Stephanopoulos asked her to name a single economist who thinks a tax-holiday plan would work, and the daughter of Wellesley and Yale took the chance to shove the geeks into their lockers: “I’m not going to put my lot in with economists.”

When Stephanopoulos pointed out that Paul Krugman, a Times columnist, has raised doubts about the plan, Clinton lumped Krugman in with the Bush administration and said she wasn’t going to listen to the people responsible for the last seven years.

This wasn’t just shameless spin, it was shamelessness with a purpose. Clinton signaled that she wasn’t going to concede even an inch to the vast elitist conspiracy. She wasn’t going to feel guilty about ignoring the evidence. She was going to stomp on it, flay it and leave it a twisted mass of jelly quivering on the ground. She was going to perform the primordial duty of an alpha dog leader — helping one’s own.

.......

But, as Sunday’s contrast made clear, Obama still seems like a human being. He still seems to return each night to some zone of normalcy where personal reflection lives. He wasn’t fully candid when answering questions about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but there are some inner guardrails that prevent the spin from drifting too far from the truth. Thoughtful and conversational, he doesn’t seem to possess the trait that Clinton has: automatically assuming that critics are always wrong.

Obama still possesses his talent for homeostasis, the ability to return to emotional balance and calm, even amid hysteria. His astounding composure has come across as weakness in the midst of combat with Clinton, but it’s also at the core of his promise to change politics. He vows to calm hatred and heal division.

............
Obama’s campaign grows out of the longstanding reform tradition. His implicit argument is that politics doesn’t have to be this way. Dishonesty and brutality aren’t inevitable; they’re what gets in the way. Obama’s friend and supporter Cass Sunstein described the Obama ideal in The New Republic: “Obama believes that real change usually requires consensus, learning and accommodation.”

That’s regarded as na├»ve drivel in parts of Camp Clinton.

Campaign issues come and go, but this is a thread running through the race. One believes in the raw assertion of power, the other the power of communication. i recommend a full read.


in indianapolis, 91,000 people tuned in to watch obama on meet the press, while 14,000 tuned in to watch hillary power up.
According to data from Nielsen, “Meet the Press,” on NBC, was viewed in 91,000 households there, a third of all of those watching television at the time. “This Week,” on ABC, was watched in 14,000 households, just 4 percent of those watching television. The margin of victory for Mr. Russert over Mr. Stephanopoulos was larger than usual in Indianapolis.
This could be a good sign for Mr. Obama, who is believed to hold an edge in Indianapolis and needs to do well there to win the Indiana primary on Tuesday. Yet it could also speak to his edge with well-educated voters, who presumably are among the most likely to tune in to the Sunday public affairs programs. (Have some Russert with your latte).