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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What really happened in New Hampshire?

Tonight, I listened to Tom Brokaw apologize for the media's coverage of the NH primary. He admitted that the media journalists and pundits blew it.

I mean, really blew it. And, he admitted that not only did they blow it, but that they will blow it again. And, no doubt, again.

So, what happened?

Oh, I have lots of theories. Some of them have to do with racism. Some with sexism. Most have to do with what I know about human behavior.

I know that people say one thing publicly and then they go into the voting booth, draw the curtain, and vote the way they will.

It's the American way.

I know that it's true that women over 50 are more progressive. In fact, women over the age of 50 are flat-out radical. They were the ones who gave Hillary the victory in NH. They are (I am) the ones who will elect the next president of the United States. Interestingly enough, they are (I am) more pragmatic than your average American bear, and, in this youth-obsessed culture, they were not the ones the media were interviewing.

That's why the pundits and pollsters were wrong.

Women over the age of 50 finally have the power we once only dreamed of creating. In many ways, Hillary is an icon of all of our hopes and dreams, born on the wings of Simone de Beauvoir's Second Sex and Betty Freidan's Feminine Mystique, and beyond anything that Gloria Steinem could have ever asked for or imagined when she was once dressed up as one of Hugh Heffner's Bunnies.

I know that this race is potentially divisive on issues of race and gender and I what I fear most is that the competition between Clinton and Obama will hand the race to Edwards, who wouldn't be a bad President, but not the best. Certainly not the caliber or intellect or potential of Clinton or Obama as a leader.

The best case scenario?

That, at some point in this election process Clinton and Obama realize this and team up together and figure out how to be a team that will lead this nation for the next 16 years.

What really happened in New Hampshire?

Yes, Hillary won. But, so did we all. The election is now open again, not controlled by media pundits or pollsters or those enchanted by prognostication.

We have choice again. I could really live with any of the three leading candidates. Any of them. Really. But, I want the best person to win.

Who is the best person?

I don't yet know. Somedays, I want Hillary to win so bad, my back teeth hurt. Other days, my heart soars thinking about Barak and Michelle Obama and their two girls in the White House. Still other days, I think John and Elizabeth Edwards wouldn't be bad at all.

But, could I live with Rudy Guilanni as President? Is it 'Guilanni time' for this nation? Will Bloomberg run as an Independent? What will THAT do to the Republican and Democratic ticket?

It's too soon to tell. Too much has yet to be tested of these candidates. And, us.

I am just very grateful that what really happened in New Hampshire is that the election process is still very much on and still very much open.

No thanks to Tom Brokaw or Tim Russert or Maureen O'Dowd or even Gloria Steinem.

May the best person win, because, God knows, this country needs the very best person in the White House.

In fact, we've never needed the very best person in the White House more than right now.


Bateau Master said...

Nothing happened .... the results mirror the pre-Iowa polls. There was not a sea-change between the 3rd and the 8th.

The story was the media reporting on the polls they commissioned ... self-created stories for ratings.


Louise and I think you TOTALLY ROCK!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Careful, BM. I'm part of the voting block that will elect the next President of the United States. You don't want to get on my bad side.

W said...

there are many candidates that are far worse than Giuliani. that said, I'd love it if Hillary and Barack teamed up in whatever order. Hillary is competent and strong, no matter what the (#@&$# media might show about her crying. Barack is young and has greater potential for change.

however, no matter who wins the Presidency, their interests are not aligned with the interests of the poor and the working class. there will be much work to be done to hold our leaders accountable to care for all Americans ... not to mention to enact a foreign policy that is fair to the rest of the world.

JimB said...

This early in the real election cycle, what is going on is the funding sources are making up their minds. Voters in general are either burned out by the incessant early campaign, or much more interested in the NFL playoffs.

So most of what happened is that it got a LOT harder for John Edwards to get his calls to rich contributors through. For all practical purposes Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton have finished the first two tests in a dead heat.

On the other side of the question, I think the results were equally non-definitive. Certainly Gov. Hucakabee is still a factor, as is Gov. Romney. It seems to me that what Sen. McCain showed is that he can attract independent voters. The Republicans will need to do that if they are to win.

Predictions at this point are sort of silly. What we do know is that 70% of post war nominees have won New Hampshire. But the system has been radically changed by "super Tuesday" and the push by many States to have early primaries. And the statistic is moderated because some of those nominees were incumbents.

Ah well, it will be what it will be.


wmj said...

Great insights. However, I want to know who will address the issue of the Gulf Coast and NOLA. So far, only Edwards has made his stand clear. Not one of the debate moderators even mentioned the issue.

And please, just shoot me if I hear Rudy invoke 9/11 one. more. time.

Remember in 2000 when the race was too close to call, the rest of the pack heard FOX noise call the race for Bush in FL, and the all followed suit.
The only news man I have the slightest respect for is Keith Olbermann. All the others are insiders sipping wine and eating cocktail weenies with the pundits.

Just my two cents.

doug said...

I agree with your first TWO choices, 100%. However, re: Edwards, no, No, NO!!! 100 times NO!
I must respectfully disagree with ng: as a New Yawker, should Giuliani get the Republican nomination, I will actively campaign for an opposing candidate!
As for "Mayor Mike" (Bloomberg), latest reports have it that he will NOT enter the compition, should Obama get the nod. However, if it is 'politics as usual" (e.g. Edwards vs Giuliani etc) that he just may enter the race.and IF it is those three, he will have my support :>)