Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Carrying water from the sidelines

It would be hard to find a more vilified public figure than Hillary Clinton. Few current political figures elicit such strong responses of either adulation, and yes, respect, to downright hatred crossing into misogyny.

The Wall Street Journal, one of the last places where traditional American journalism is still practiced, has one of the best pieces on Mrs. Clinton that I've read since the commencement of our current presidential horserace.

The Journal's editiorial writer accurately captures the strength of Mrs. Clinton's appeal in traditional blue-collar locales, such as Youngstown, Ohio, Scranton, Pennsylvania (where Hillary's father, Hugh Rodham, was born and raised) and other places where lattes are not the drink of choice, and where an Ivy League diploma doesn't hold much sway.

The writer opines, "Lower-middle-class women especially saw her as a pathbreaker, refuting the notion that her symbolic candidacy was limited to upscale professional women. She earned 18 million votes. Joe Biden won something like 9,000. She was on a roll by June, but the Hillary surge began too late. She lost by the brutal math of her party's own making."

The Clintons are far from being perfect, and a casual listen to AM talk radio will help understand why this former first family is so often mischaracterized.

If you visit PUMA sights like this one, you'll find many former Hillary supporters still pissed off, and not ready to laud Mr. Obama, and knight him as their presidential choice. I can identify with some of their sentiments.

It's interesting to me how almost every representative of the mainstream media misses out on why many working-class people held out hope for Hillary to be their representative to do their bidding as president. Having read her biography, Living History, I realize that Hillary never really got over being a Nixon Republican, just like her dad. For those of us who still have some grasp of history (certainly no one younger than 50 will get this reference, unless they're one of maybe five Americans that still read U.S. history books, or possibly are a fan of the late Hunter S. Thompson), there are worse things than being Nixonian, particularly in these halcyon days of party bastardization--like a Pelosi Democrat.

I'm not sure how Mrs. Clinton will come off tonight, when she gives Tuesday nights Democratic Convention keynote. She'll certainly put on a good show, but I'm sure that a part of her will be thinking about what might have been.

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