Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hillary, Hillary and more Hillary

I don't think there has been a more talked about candidate for the Presidency in my life time than Hillary Clinton. It seems that every word she utters, every appearance she makes, every slight facial tick, sets off a barrage of media comments both positive and negative...mostly negative if I recall...

This week's primary victory...and unexpected one at that ...for Hillary over Obama has set off the largest firestorm I've ever seen..

It started with her "crying incident" in a New Hampshire diner which had the Republicans asking "was it staged?" and even had faux news taking a poll on it. And it has been followed by a Maureen Dowd column asking, "Can Hillary Cry her way into the Whitehouse?"

I thought I'd give you a sampling of some the the blogosphere commentary on Hillary. Here's a few links and snippets:

I cannot for the life of me figure out what Maureen Dowd has against Hillary Clinton. Commenters like our own SteveB, who frequently notes substantive differences with the Senator on matters of policy, certainly have a strong position, and one which I share, to a great extent. But this isn't that. It's something else, some kind of weird, bitchy, destructive impulse to take out the most viable female candidate for our highest public office in many years. But to what end? Seriously. Is it worth making shit up and parroting her idols on Fox to damage a person who may very well be the only thing standing between America and "Ten Thousand Years o' War" McCain?

A woman gazing at the screen was grimacing, saying it was bad. Three guys watched it over and over, drawn to the “humanized” Hillary. One reporter who covers security issues cringed. “We are at war,” he said. “Is this how she’ll talk to Kim Jong-il?”
Another reporter joked: “That crying really seemed genuine. I’ll bet she spent hours thinking about it beforehand.” He added dryly: “Crying doesn’t usually work in campaigns. Only in relationships.”
Bill Clinton was known for biting his lip, but here was Hillary doing the Muskie. Certainly it was impressive that she could choke up and stay on message.


The message from the wingnut-o-sphere (which the NYTimes seems daily more determined to join) has been clear: if she cried, it was calculated. Why? Because if it's Hillary, it has to be. No other reason.

And...Michelle Malkin through the same site:

Ladies and Gentlemen, Michelle Malkin.
Don’t let the “Comeback Gal” spin fool you. Despite the unexpectedly close finish in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton’s campaign remains in a tailspin. And the Clintons’ pre-Granite State primary finger-pointing has left an indelible mark. It’s the media’s fault. It’s sexism’s fault. It’s the vast right-wing conspiracy’s fault.

Some kinder words, and far, far more thoughtful from our friend H2Oman and his blog

It is a good thing for the democrats to promote Barack Obama as being in the image of JFK; of John Edwards as this generation’s RFK; and Hillary Clinton as our Eleanor Roosevelt. Are the comparisons exact? Of course not. But one similarity is that the same negative things the nay-sayers respond with are much like the negative things people said about JFK, RFK, and Eleanor Roosevelt.It is interesting to note that there is greater difficulty in projecting the Eleanor image, because she is not embedded in the collective TV consciousness. People who have learned about her in modern times are those who read, and reading creates a different type of mental activity than watching TV. When we look at how image played in modern times, Reagan convinced those who preferred to watch the movie rather than read that book, while Carter appealed to literate people.

Interesting analogy, no?

From WTF is it NOW? We have commentary and a clip from Rebecca Traister at Salon:

Salon's Rebecca Traister:
"The glee with which Matthews and other angry male pundits prematurely danced on Hillary's grave made me -- for one night only -- a Clinton supporter..."I have not been a Hillary Clinton supporter. But the torrent of ill-disguised hatred and resentment unleashed toward a briefly weakened Clinton this week shook that breezy naiveté right out of me... I can't believe I'm saying this, but had I been a New Hampshire voter on Tuesday, I would have pulled a lever for the former first lady with a song in my heart and a bird flipped at MSNBC's Chris Matthews, a man whose interest in bringing Clinton down hovers on the pathological, and whose drooling excitement at the prospect of her humiliation began to pulse from the television last week before most Iowa precincts had even begun to report results."Before any tallies were in, Matthews was observing, based on early projections, that if Clinton received the expected 30 percent, it would mean that seven of 10 Iowa voters did not like her, a mean little metric that he did not apply to the other candidates. "It's hard to call yourself the people's choice if two-thirds of the Democrats are voting against you!" he burbled. He was not alone in his glee."

And our old buddy Attaturk posting at firedoglake takes on the "tweety factor" too.

Having been singled out as a main culprit behind voter backlash one might think Matthews would contemplate and consider his behavior.

But we all know that was too much to ask. So yesterday the story from the spittle-spewing Matthews pie-hole was that New Hampshire voters are either bigots or liars -- just like New York voters are sops for electing Clinton in the first place -- because in Matthews' world view they only did so because
her husband cheated on her.

On the same blog...actually HER blog, the wonderful Jane Hamser jumped in on the same theme:

Last night, Chris Matthews bristled as Rachel Maddow hoisted him on his own network for his contribution to the "Tweety Factor" -- the pack of hyenas he regularly leads in a disrespectful, chortling chorus against Hillary Clinton (see exhibit "A"). You don't have to be a Clinton supporter, or a woman, to find it disconcerting that night after night, this is considered acceptable behavior on one of the country's largest news networks.


But on cue, this morning, Matthews is back to bashing Clinton as nothing more than somebody's wife. And nobody challenges him, because as Bob Somerby has long argued, when liberal women disagree with Matthews, they're never invited back again. So to the extent that the women on the show aren't a pack of misogynistic vultures themselves (Andrea Mitchell, Maureen Dowd, Kate O'Beirne -- come on down!) and they disagree with Matthews, they're forced to choose between joining in in the festivities or being disappeared.


Love her or hate her....Hillary sure draws out the passion of Democrats and Republicans alike. I'm anxious to see how this turns out....

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