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Reports of Clinton's Death, Greatly Exaggerated

By Joel Achenbach
MANCHESTER, N.H., 8:00 a.m. -- I guess it was premature to write those forward-looking analyses of President Obama's re-election strategy in 2012.

I don't want to suggest that the pundits look stupid this morning. More like complete freakin' imbeciles. Count me among those who thought Obama was a runaway train, that he'd (it's early and I didn't get enough sleep, so we're just going to mix the metaphor) blow Clinton out of the water.

You had to see the crowds! Feel the energy! OK, so in retrospect a lot of those people were probably college kids on break from Massachusetts or Maryland. Still, many of us sensed that we were witnessing history, a transition to a new era. Turning the page.

"You have to BELIEVE," I told a jaded friend.

"In WHAT?" he said.

"In HOPE," I said. I was just trying to get in the spirit of things, and be a true news medium.

In retrospect I regret posting the item about Obama turning water to wine.

A nationally known pundit said to me a little after midnight, down in Nashua at the gym where Obama had spoken to his stunned supporters, "I spent half an hour today on television talking about the Clintons IN THE PAST TENSE."

What happened?

Maybe it really was the "Ed Muskie in reverse" effect. That's the Sid Blumenthal phrase. Clinton cleaned up among women, and women made up 57 percent (I was told) of the Democratic primary voters. Perhaps women rallied to the cause after the Emotional Moment. You heard what the woman from Bow told me yesterday: She suddenly switched from Edwards to Clinton after seeing the news clip of Clinton tearing up in Portsmouth. And several other voters told me they absolutely loved the EM.

Last night at the Obama rally, Sue Tice, a librarian at the high school who seemed quite floored by the results, said of the turnaround, "I really wonder if it was yesterday when Hillary became a person."

And then there was the image of the boys ganging up on Clinton in the debate - and that snarky comment by Obama, calling Hillary "likeable enough," which surely he meant to come out in a more jocular fashion. Never mind his intent: "Jokes don't work," said Dave Barry this weekend, and he knows a thing or two about that.

We've seen over the years that the New Hampshire Primary can turn on a gesture, a phrase, a single searing moment. Politics isn't left-brained, it's more reptilian than that.

We had buried Clinton by Monday night and we wondering what she'd do with the tattered remnants of her career. But guess what: the voters decide these things. Clinton won fair and square. It's too soon to know precisely how this race stands and where it's going and what's going to happen, but from where I'm sitting - in the Manchester airport, ready to get home - she's the front-runner again.

And remember: Front-runners usually win.

Cross-posted on Achenblog.

By Washington Post editors  |  January 9, 2008; 8:49 AM ET
Categories:  Hillary Rodham Clinton , Joel's New Hampshire Diary , Primaries , The Democrats  
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Next: Straight to Michigan for McCain


I am torn between Obama and Clinton i'd love to see each win but i wanna see a girl prove to all them men that they can run a country and not just a stove.

Posted by: seanhstephens | January 11, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Senator Clinton proved the "experts" wrong!!! She really has shown that substance, experience, and her "proven" ability for enabling change, along with a lifelong passion and experience in actually helping the majority of Americans, is what the voters care more about when choosing the best leader for this next critical term as president! Voters are not listening to the slanted views of the media "pundits" who care more about drama and a "story", rather than reporting the truth... Americans are smarter than the "sheep" they believe we are! The NH voters proved this!!!...

Thank goodness people are finally waking up and realizing that although Obama is a brilliant orator and nice person, he lacks the actual skill, leadership, experience, and ability to truly make change happen and lead our country... talk is cheap at this point - Look at his record as a State Senator in Illinois and in DC!!! Whenever he is presented with a difficult vote, he doesn't even take a stand - he votes "present"!!! He voted "present," effectively sidestepping issues nearly 130 times as a state senator. On a sex crime bill, Mr. Obama cast the only vote in a 58-to-0 vote!! He barely has any record for doing much as a US Senator in Washington DC, but what is interesting is that he said he would vote against the Patriot Act, yet when he joined the US Senate, he voted for it!! He said he would vote against the Iraq war, and then voted for funding, AND, he SKIPPED a tough vote on Iran, distorted what the bill authorized, and criticized those who voted for it!! This does not show the true leadership that is required for creating the change we desperately need! He's not the "outsider" that his campaign is trying to make him out to be - yes, he has fantastic speeches, but his record shows proves that he is more of the typical "sidestepping" polititian and lawyer that we have seen before, who lacks the "real" leadership to get things done. The Republicans will have a field day with Obama if he ever got lucky enough to win the Democratic ticket!!!

Rookies are not needed right now to run the country in the most important job in the world.... Remember the last "rookie" who used "likeability" without substance or experience to get elected? Back then, people liked GW Bush, they didn't care that he lacked experience because he talked in generalities and made us feel good. Well guess what, he won the White House and got us into this mess!! - GW Bush ran a very similar campaign as Obama, and his inexperience has been a disaster for our country!!.... Gore and Kerry warned all of us, but we didn't listen. Obama can talk in generalities - anyone can do this, but he has no clear plan, no clear ideas, shows a lack of "true" leadership by avoiding difficult decision-making as proven by his actual voting record, and lacks the "real world" experience to deliver on his unsubstantiated promises and "generalities" for change...Hopefully people won't make the same mistake we made with Bush by believing in another rookie with Obama.

Americans will take this critical vote very seriously for 2008 by choosing the best person who has already proven she can lead with success, has already brought about "real" change, and can truly pull our country together to restore our reputation and our world position as the leaders we were once considered. With former President Bill Clinton by Hillary's side, we will all prosper from such an amazing team that will help bring our country back from the difficulties that we have encountered with the Bush administration... especially with the economic difficulties and international issues we are already facing today and will face over the next few years. No more rookies and false impressions, folks - let's put the best team in the White House!! Senator Clinton is the "real" change Americans need! Go Hillary!!! The country believes in you and your ability to "truly" lead and enable "real" change as our next great President!!!

Posted by: akchonan | January 10, 2008 5:28 AM | Report abuse

Joel says that crying works. Maureen Dowd and a lot of others say so too. It worked for Kate Hepburn. It works for Hillary too. We've come a long way in fifty years.

Posted by: dowdreport | January 9, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

In the current age, of American politics, we are good at picking 'winners and losers', but not beyond their video-persona. It's sad to say, that presidential politics have been reduced to a pageant between electronically packaged sophists. And at the end of these political 'playoffs and super bowl', we will be no more enlightened about the 'champion', as we were about a former governor from Texas, who pushed a 'bloody domino'.

At the end of the day, it's not about a 'savior'! It's not simply, about a vote that allows us to wait for the 'benefits' of our voting to come rolling in. We have a president now! We have problems now! And yet, we the body politic, will wait for that 'great day' in November, for the next political prophet to come, and save us from ourselves!

Posted by: D-0f-G | January 9, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Can't anyone see that the television'news media has turned something important, like a national election into a pre-packaged obnoxious TV program like American Idol for ratings and big advertising revenue? Hillary has a bit of emotion (about herself as usual, at least when Ed Muskie had tears it was because someone insulted his wife) and the media blows it up like she had just been assasinated. Big Deal. Clinton said about Obama, 'where's the beef'? I ask her the same thing but I especially ask the media, where is the investigative reporting, the research of facts, policy statements, voting records, and other substance, not someone's brief display of frustration. I hate conspiracy theories, but I think the powers of the major parties decided that the people can't be trusted to pick leaders especially after the Carter debacle of 19% inflation and 21% interest rates, and pundit predictions of hyperinflation and economic collapse. At the moment people don't have information to make intelligent decisions because the information they have is propaganda, and polls (a most corrupt, totally misused political invention). Real information is constrained and not available. This sounds like the Soviet Union/Putin's Russia. Problem is, all the media gives us is political theater which is used just for propaganda with no accountability. The media has totally shirked the public responsibility of presenting hardly any truth or substantiated facts or objective. The only thing they consider important are polls. They analyze every bit of this drivel to death and make it seem important. It has a foul odor.

Posted by: KRittenmyer | January 9, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to the sensible women in NH, a perfectly viable candidate is allowed to
continue with her pursuit, to the benefit
of the party and the nation. Even tho' this is a democratic society, the press,
unfortunately, is willing to silence any
candidiate who they choose to dislike. Even
worse, they will paint some rookie as the
2nd-coming Jesus. It's simply pathetic.

Posted by: Liup | January 9, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

She was never NOT the frontrunner, everyone! She still had a massive majority of the Superdelegates. Polls mean nothing. Time and time again has this been proven. Look, she won NH by around 3%, in a state which is .5% African-American, and with a (not surprisingly) low student turnout, seeing as there really aren't alot of students. Obama (who I support with my life) was never going to win NH by 13%. I knew that. Heck, he knew that.

And something esle. Stop comparing Hillary with Bill. Bill was the "comeback kid" on Super Tuesday after initially polling in the single digits, and then emerging a frontrunner. Hillary was always in front. A "Comeback Kid" would be like Richardson pulling in front. Hillary isn't a comeback; she was never losing.

Posted by: swgolde | January 9, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Somewhere in Texas, a turdblossom cried last night. Was it just me or were the Republicans falling over each other to kiss-up to Obama just before the poll results started coming in? It was a love-fest!!
Darn, gotta put up the Cream Puff Destroyer and get the Big Guns back out. She's back!!!

Posted by: brigittepj | January 9, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

How we forget! Remember what happened to Ed Muskie amd Pat Schroeder? All 'cause they acted like 1. A dissapointed candiate 2. An infuriated husband.

Sounds like a human being.

I work on the idea that the first step to manhood is to learn not to cry and the final step is to learn to cry again.

Posted by: hoosiermandarin | January 9, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

If EXPERIENCE is so important to all of you Hillary supporters, why aren't you lining up behind Bill Richardson, who has more experience than Clinton, Edwards and Obama combined!

Posted by: NMModerate | January 9, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

sal --

I hope Woodward and Bernstein aren't turning over in their graves.

As far as I know, they're both very much alive.

Katherine Graham, on the other hand, is rotating at 3600 RPM...

Posted by: svreader | January 9, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for your thoughtful article.

This whole race has an "Alice in Wonderland" feel to it.

Hillary has the most experience, the best policy proposals (especially for Universal Health Care) and has the best set of skills to do what a President does on a day-to-day basis.

Karl Rove and the Republicans have thrown more slime at her than has been thrown at any candidate in recent history.

Hillary is the strongest candidate because of her ability, her qualifications, and her plans.

She's also the strongest candidate because the Republicans have massively over reached.

The Republican slime has been so over-the-top that they've lost all credibility.

People are seeing through Republican attacks and rightfully feeling that Hillary has gotten a bum rap.

Posted by: svreader | January 9, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Maybe what happened to boost Hillary in NH is that there are lots of us out here who do not want this election decided on the basis of the 1st 2 primaries.

The Hillary haters are so tiresome. She remains the most intelligent candidate we have. She is the most politically seasoned candidate we have, even if it was as First Lady and being Bill's sounding board throughout most of his 2 terms. She has looked the devil in the eye and certainly knows what she is up against in the Republican Party, having been savaged and demonized ad nauseum by them for 2 decades.

Can anyone have a scintilla of humanity and mercy for this woman? She has dauntlessly faced and endured, in spite of the unfathomable mountains of hate directed at her. Not to mention her philandering husband! Is that not character and strength? If she has shut down and tightened up her feelings and warmth of persona to keep going while gutting it out, give her a flppin' break.

None of this means that I am going to vote for her, though I might. I want a lot longer to consider whether my vote will go to her or to Barack. Either are viable candidates worthy of my deep consideration. They both will bring a lot to the office if they are elected. Both have strengths. Both have shortcomings.

I have questions about which will have the best chance of affecting the scale of change that is needed. Which one will have the right combination of commitment and vision, character and skill, and just plain guts, that will be required to wisely negotiate a path through the minefield that is our near future, globally and domestically?

The REAL question is whether anyone can bring about the scale of change that is needed when our democracy has been so openly stolen, sold to the highest bidder without the slightest outcry from public or press, and been so thoroughly degraded in its operating principles at home and abroad by the Cheney-Bush Administration.

Who has the better chance, the right constellation and balance of skills and character, intelligence and vision? I honestly don't know.

But I would love for people to stop villifying Hillary and give her due. She deserves our respect even if we don't vote for her. Let's elevate the discussion and bring some character, substance and thought of our own to the political dialogue we engage in (and that includes the press!)

Whatever Hillary's personal limitations and faults, I have never seen any indication that she wasn't sincere in her intention to make a difference for other human beings through her political agenda and career.

Whether she can rise to the call of history to meet the challenges ahead, we don't really know. But we don't know that about any candidate until they have been elected and completed their term(s) in office. Whether our small and vicious minded, easily manipulated electorate would ever stop demonizing her and allow her govern effectively is a real question to be reckoned with. But that is a reflection on us, no fault of hers.

I am praying for a longer campaign with a more equal playing field in which real substance and thoughtful dialogue play prominent roles that will bring me some clarity.

Posted by: ann_shannon | January 9, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Here's a novel idea -- something you and the rest of your ilk have not tried yet. Try being a REPORTER instead of a CHEERLEADER. Stop trying to be the NEWS like your fellow talking heads on TV and REPORT on it. Stop trying to be a PREDICTOR, and WAIT for the RESULTS to come in before holding a coronation.

What a novel idea. Woodward and Bernstein are turning over in their graves.

Posted by: sal | January 9, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Clinton has paid college organizers as well. The question in my mind is why couldnt the press see the paid marshalling of college students most of whom are from out of state for what it was. The obama campaign invested heavily in out of state college student voter turnout in Iowa and many will have been paid to do so. An interesting question today is how many? NOtthat its illegal but it did probably skew the results there. In NH however, it was pure theatre from the Obama campaign probably with the same few hundred college students following them around orchestrating booing for Clinton or rushing the stage for him or manufacturing standing ovations. Responsible journalists would see through this aas theatre, not a wave of support that can vote.

Posted by: slbk | January 9, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure that the media were all that biased against Clinton privately. Here may be an explanation for the slip-ups by the media pundits:

Between January 1 and January 4 (post-Iowa), Vivékin Group conducted a unique experiment. It ran a first-of-its-kind survey, and asked respondents to rate the Presidential candidates using its LSmarts framework for assessing leadership intelligences. 35% of respondents were from the media.

Leadership intelligences (see provide a comprehensive perspective on a leader's ability to handle/create change. Respondents rated Clinton higher than or on par with Obama in four of five leadership intelligences. Obama was rated better than Clinton in only one category. The survey results are justified by the New Hampshire Democratic primary results. (Compared to the general public, the media respondents were generally more favorable to Obama and less favorable to Clinton but not enough to change the picture).

The detailed results can be accessed at:

If you want to participate in this ongoing survey, click on:

Posted by: prasadbiz | January 9, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

What in the world happened in NH? everyone wants know.
"Her tears did it," I declared to my wife as the primary result solidified for Hillary but before listening to any pundits on TV about this possibility. And I also let her (that's my wife) know of my hunch, based on the far-reaching flexibility exhibited by the Clinton strategy team, that the emotional scene at the lunch counter had been staged. Could WPost dispatch a fact-checker to trace down the questioner and ask her if she had been approached by someone with suggestions ... ?

A negative finding in this detective work does not render my hunch (I'd rather call my theory) to collapse as miserably as the polling and punditocratic predictions. There ought to have been someone, a mind-probing coach, who propounded at the live-or-die strategy session or in private with Hillary: Nothing shifts women voters' hearts (Gloria, are you listening?) like the tears welling in a woman's eyes.

So there it was, the history-making EM that turned the double-digit deficit into a three-point gain overnight!

Now to the redeeming point of my post: This "someone" with mind-bending expertise should qualify for the president of APA-- that's the watering hole for psychologists -- and be given priority contracts for the interrogation room at Gitmo and Extraordinary Rendition prisons. Then we won't need the barbaric waterboarding method, which has disgraced us all over the world. And, who knows, we will be allowed back to the Geneva Conventions among civilized nations! This prospect puts me back to the emotional state I was in on the eve of the NH showdown.

Posted by: jbo32ster | January 9, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Snarky comments and clueless pundits lose again - no wonder this is such a great contest!

Posted by: LABC | January 9, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Glad the so-called conventional wisdom was wrong, and congratulations Joel for acknowledging your role in it. I'm looking forward to an interesting an informative campaign that will be decided by the voters and not the pundits.
Can't say I'm not chagrined that the Democratic voters in Michigan and Florida have been disenfranchised though ... JV

Posted by: wiggyone87 | January 9, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

If the college kids made "what happen happen," then the college kids need to go back to school and concentrate on their English classes.

Party politics is killing this country.

Posted by: emptywig | January 9, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

This post is hilarious. Thank you Mr. Achenbach.

I, like many other Dems, am still torn between Clinton and Obama. Despite what most have said of Hillary's "Emotional Moment", I think it was genuine. It might have aroused sympathy from female voters, but it also could have gone the other way, as most of her opponents and the press suggested it was a sign of "weakness".

As a young voter, I find the unpredictability (so far) of this race extremely exciting. It's too early to rule out any of our top candidates and, thanks to NH, voters have the opportunity to examine each candidate more closely and choose the best representative for their party.

Posted by: jaclyn.leith | January 9, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Eugene McCarthy
John Anderson
Ralph Nader
Remember them?
There is nothing new under the sun. Sorry, Barak.

Posted by: portersah | January 9, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: DJTHE1DJ | January 9, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

just when i was about to award the dummy of the day medal, along comes coatsmoe to sneak ahead at the wire.

Posted by: Spectator2 | January 9, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

coatesmoe - you rally need to be more specific.

Posted by: darrren12000 | January 9, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

slbk -- with people like achenbach in the press, they werent simply fooled. they were wilfully blind. his enthusiasm for obama and total lack of objectivity is apparent in his blog. no wonder they are all scratching their unused heads this morning. the time between iowa and yesterday was shameful in its lack of probing reporting, its unfair treatment of Clinton, and the stupid attacks by Edwards the eternal lapdog and Obama the chosen.

Posted by: darrren12000 | January 9, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Hillary won 39 %
Bill won 39%
USA lost 100 %
Those looking for democracy lost 100 %

Posted by: coatesmoe | January 9, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

It wasnt the cry that made women support Hillary -- but the reason for the cry: the absolute vitriol and sexism directed towards her. Keep it up "boys." You are taking her to the White House and revealinig Dems' hypocrisy on issues of race and gender. And please, dont feed me the Obama negates racism crap. It doesn't work for me. I'm a realist black young man. Not a pie in the sky one.

Posted by: darrren12000 | January 9, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

So know you can see the orchestration of the out of state college kids, many of whom were probably paid.

Really that wasnt clear when they marshalled the rushing of the stage the other night at the DEm dinner or then the manufactured standing ovation where they all crouch in the isles and then stand up and cheer at the end?

I wondered why all the press seemed to be born yesterday on that one, but the democrats in the room weren't.

Marshalling college kids around doesn't win elections. You can fool some of the people some of the time, and the press most of the time, but not the voters of New Hampshire.

Posted by: slbk | January 9, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Bootsey -- if you read the exit polls rather than believe your own fantasies, you will realize why people voted for Hillary. Good day.

Posted by: darrren12000 | January 9, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

alfa -- Hillary got forty percent of the vote and it wasnt because of a moment of emotion -- there werent even any tears or crying. and it's stunning that you say experience is not necessary. jfk is valorized ...but really -- he isnt among the best presidents...nor was reagan, the criminal. oh, you forgot to include bush on your list of inexperienced, yet good, presidents.

Posted by: darrren12000 | January 9, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

A flash of emotion! Unbelievable, that's how we pick our nominees today. I watched MSNBC last night. Did anyone else have the feeling they were watching a movie or a bowl game. I mean, how perfect was the script. Powerful frontrunner falls early on her face, to the handsome and articulate upstart and is given no shot in the next battle. Everyone counts her out but somehow, she shows a flash of emotion, and rides a wave of vulnerability to victory. WHAT A JOKE! The corporate media and its legions of perfectly placed hair idiots. Do people even understand where these candidates stand on the issues? I'm Democrat and honestly don't see much of a "Change" with either frontrunner. I'd vote Kucinich or Gravel before either one em.

Posted by: Bootsey33 | January 9, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

every nay-sayers repeat after me:i need lasik very badly.the myopic and astigmatic scoundrels conveniently have forgotten that SHE have eight(8) years of on the job training to the presidency in which no other can touch.

Posted by: august_seven_teen | January 9, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton will be a bad president unlike Bill. I hope women understand this and vote someone else. Her fake crying won the day in NH. She might win other states with or without crying. You do not need experience to run US. History shows inexperience people like JFK and Regan were good presidents.

Posted by: alfa2 | January 9, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I am so tired of you media hacks setting the tone of the campaign. NH gave us a reality check. Yes - you were among those who counted Hillary out...and it is sad, because if you had been doing your job, instead of dismissing Hillary you would have been engaging the other candidates on the merits, rather than smoking some peace pipe hoping for "change" and "unity." Get real. Change is a "taken." Ask Dr. King. There was no national unity on true racial equality and there still isn't today. This "unity" stuff sounds oh so "nonthreatening" black man to me.

Posted by: darrren12000 | January 9, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Instead of excoriating Bill Clinton for telling the truth about Obama's record and asking the media why they haven't asked Obama those questions he mentions, why isn't the media (since they are supposed to inform the public of the realities) asking itself "Why DIDN'T any of us ask those questions of Obama?

Posted by: metsfan1 | January 9, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Bush's numbers are low enough. It will take decades to undo the damage he and Cheney have done to this country with the full support of the senate and house which the Republicans controlled. I am long in the tooth and am very worried for my grandchildren and just hope we are not following Rome.

Posted by: dellpill | January 9, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to The Ten Commandments of God.
James Madison

Support Ron Paul

Posted by: pdimon | January 9, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Please stop using the phrase the comeback kid you sound like school children. This should not be any big surprise if you have ever followed the process before. Clinton always had a double digit lead in NH and they never like to do the same thing that Iowa does and the only surprise they could pull off was giving Hillary the win after all the hype about Obama. The good news for Obama is that she had a narrow victory in Clinton land and that they never
pick the winner. I think NH voters lied about how they were going to vote and I don't buy for a second that you don't know how you are going to vote. I think this was a good thing for Obama and it will make him a better candidate. My other comment is that voters better start taking these polls with a grain of salt. 1. I don't think Bush's numbers are as bad as they say (that's why impeachment is off the table) 2. Making voters believe that the dems are going to take complete charge in 08. 3. I think the GOP is going to be a surprise and do better than we are lead to believe.

Posted by: sque1 | January 9, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I for one resent having the press pick the candidates for me. I haven't voted yet and haven't made my decision. I don't like having Obama shoved down my throat. His "change" has not been explained at all. He hasn't been inspected the way Hillary has been and this will come. I for one was happy at the results. It is early days yet, thank God for the voters of New Hampshire. The press again have made fools of themselves especially Chris Matthews.

Posted by: dellpill | January 9, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"Real or fake the crying got her another sympathy vote- which is how she got to the senate in the first place. So much for her qualifications."

And just yesterday I was reading lots of snarky comments on WaPo blogs about how the emotional moment meant that Hillary couldn't handle the heat. [No, it wasn't crying and she stayed on message.] Those who dislike her will find evidence in ANYTHING she does of phoniness.

She tears up? Before: can't handle the heat. After: crocodile tears. She doesn't? She's a power-hungry automaton.

Fortunately, the voters have a clearer view of the campaign and the candidates. I'm looking forward to the most interesting race of my life. I'm enthusiastic about both candidates, but will be voting for Hillary.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 9, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Hillary does not have credentials as a "Republican Beating Candidate." Shes the most polarizing figure in this country, second only to President Bush. Barack Obama is campaigning as a uniter, and polls show that even Republicans llove him, whereas much of the popularity that Senator Clinton has (no disrespect) is a relic from President Clinton's popular tenure in office.

Posted by: dadeyemi | January 9, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I think Joel needs to control his mood swings. Although, I like his admitting the emotional side to politics in his analysis. Let's see the empirical facts before jumping to conclusions this time. I'll admit I was seduced by the polls that seemingly showed a Barack tidal wave in New Hampshire, but at least it was a rational conclusion, not imbecilic as Achenbach suggests. Remember, head and heart are necessary for good judgment, not either/or. Bad data can distort judgment, as well as over-emotionalism. As was said elsewhere by another blogger, "the race goes on!"

Posted by: Jeff-for-progress | January 9, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

krengren, I hope that if I ever suffered from the delusion necessary to not only believe as you do , but to admit it in public, I would also have the self awareness and decency to feel ashamed.

Posted by: zukermand | January 9, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Real or fake the crying got her another sympathy vote- which is how she got to the senate in the first place. So much for her qualifications. This post I found says it all-

Posted by: bmccannn | January 9, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I really don't think we would be seeing this if Hillary hadn't turned on the waterworks the day before yesterday. Call me a cynic but I can't help but suspect that it was a crocodile tear in her eye, calculated to shed her ice-queen image and garner support among women who found her inaccessible. ...The only consolation I find in that is that she can NEVER pull that one again. Crying once makes her look human; crying again will be decidedly un-presidential.

Posted by: krengren | January 9, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"You had to see the crowds! Feel the energy!"

Sadly, Mr Achenbach occupies a position of responsibility in the system on which I rely for information on the election. Can't something be done about this?

Posted by: zukermand | January 9, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

'In retrospect I regret posting the item about Obama turning water to wine.'

Your glib try at humor over the coverage of this election is a sad state of the press, which gave Bush a pass since the towers went down. You sir are a fraud.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | January 9, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Achenbach,

"Politics isn't left-brained, it's more reptilian than that."

That's a brilliant line - I gleefully read your stuff every day. I'm a former reporter/ink-stained wretch who covered politics in New Mexico (I got to see Bill Richardson up very close when he ran for Gov. in 2002 - I'm still trying to recover from the horror, although he is a fascinating guy - somewhere amid his gargantuan ego is a tiny brainstem remnant of compulsion for public service - he actually does want to make things better - he also ran me into the ground like a tentpeg - after a few weeks of trudging after him I developed a facial tic and partial numbness from sheer exhaustion, so I hope you are getting enough rest.)

Anyway, love your stuff, keep up the fine work.

Steve Jahrling
Waterflow, NM

Posted by: copynp | January 9, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

When you consider all of the out of state folks up in New Hampshire for Clinton last night, you have to wonder...

How does the possibility of voter fraud sound to you?

Posted by: US-Citizen | January 9, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

If Clinton continues to win, Obama's strong campaign will contribute to her credibility as a Republican-beating candidate for the general election. For once, winning a contested nomination may be better than receiving it by acclamation.

Isn't it nice that the Democratic candidates aren't yet destroying each other?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 9, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

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