News from the Votemaster
Hillary Clinton gave the best speech of her life yesterday in the National Building Museum in D.C. She talked about how this campaign was a milestone for women and how next time around it will be unremarkable when a woman wins a primary. The crowd, which was largely women and children, cheered and applauded wildly throughout. She also noted that having an African American win the nomination was also a milestone. She talked about her goals and how Barack Obama will now carry the torch to achieve them. She gave him an unqualified endorsement with no "ifs," "ands," or "buts." She said: "Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been." She asked her supporters to put all their energy into getting him elected.
She wrote the speech herself, with help from one of her speechwriters. She is at her best when she is herself. During the whole campaign, her handlers have tried to turn her into some kind of steel robot who always marches forward, ignores all criticism, and is convinced she is never wrong--kind of like a smarter version of George Bush. Many people have said that in person she is warm and friendly. Her handlers apparently decided early on that the only way for a woman to win was to be tougher than Maggie Thatcher and Golda Meir combined. It didn't work. If you are naturally a combatative, feisty person (see: Sen. Barbara Boxer), then be that. If you are naturally more feminine on the outside while still being tough on the inside (see: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison), then be that. The lesson is be yourself. Barack Obama is comfortable in his skin. It comes through. Clinton didn't win, but as she put it: "there are now 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling." If she fulfills her promise to --"work my heart out to make sure Sen. Obama is our next president"--she will probably be able to heal the divisions in the Democratic party quickly as well as restore her reputation.
If she really campaigns hard, she could be a tremendous asset to Obama, even if she is not on the ticket (which she probably won't be). Her appeal to women is clear and she can be an extremely nasty attack dog, as John McCain will soon find out. For example, McCain wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned and wants to see the states prohibit abortion, a position quite unpopular with women. Clinton is likely to bring this fact up more than a few times, allowing Obama to avoid this touchy subject. Assuming she is not the Veep candidate, Obama will have four campaigners capable of drawing big crowds: himself, his Veep, and both Clintons. McCain will have only himself and his Veep; sending a President with a 25% approval rating out onto the hustings is not a good idea, and sending Dick Cheney (with or without his gun) out there is even worse.
John McCain has challenged Barack Obama to a series 10 town-hall debates all across the country. Why did he do this? Nothing happens in politics without a good reason. The reason is that he is a wooden speaker faced with a much younger opponent who is a brilliant orator. Solution? Don't give speeches in formal settings. Hence the challenge to Obama to meet in town-hall settings. A second advantage for McCain is that such "debates" will get tons of free publicity and he has far less money than Obama, so getting free TV time is a good deal for him. Finally, he expects that his long experience will show through at these meetings, although it is rare for an ordinary citizen to ask any question that a competent seventh grader couldn't answer perfectly well.
No polls today. Since it is over now, the delegate counts aren't needed any more.
-- The Votemaster