Hillary: Buzz or Buzzkill?

Posted by Katherine | March 5, 2008 – 6:00 pm
“Meet me in Ohio” sign
[Litandmore / Flickr]
“Making Herstory” button
[Litandmore / Flickr]

John McCain clinched the Republican nomination last night, but the buzz belonged to Hillary Clinton for winning Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island.

Ohio blogger The Critic explains the vote he cast for Clinton yesterday:

Today I was up by six thirty, dressed by six forty, and out the door to vote in the Ohio Democratic Primaries. The sidewalks were so slick from the freezing rain, that I walked in the street. Our polling place was only one block from where we live, but despite that, I almost busted my ass twice. […]

I voted for Hillary Clinton because I think she’d be the bigger door opener of the two Democratic candidates. With 51% of the population of the country being women and 18.3% being non-white, I think of the two minority statuses, Hillary has the largest constituency of those who could wake up one day and think, “I could be President.” My daughter, smart enough at age four to not want to ever be President, could live in a world where such a thing could be viewed as within reach of any woman. A Hillary presidency would open up the field of other female politicians or political types who would wish to pursue higher office.

He goes on to say that he also agrees more vigorously with several of her domestic policies — notably on healthcare and education — than with Barack Obama’s. Plus he’s smitten with her general wonkishness.

His sentiments about president-as-role-model were echoed by Naomi Graychase, a Massachusetts writer urging anyone in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, or Vermont to vote for Clinton:

I voted for Hillary because when I told my grandfather that I’d gotten into my first choice law school a few years ago, he said, “Women should be teachers.” And when my mother wanted to be an engineer, my grandfather told her, “Women should be teachers. ” I want my grandfather to see a woman President in his lifetime. I want my four-year-old niece to see one, too. I want them both to know that women can be teachers, if they want, but that they can also get law degrees and become world leaders.

Vermont novelist Philip Baruth had a less poetic, more number-crunchy thought yesterday about Clinton. Pretty much a buzzkill:

All talk of Ohio and Texas, of course, has been in direct contravention of The Math. Fun and games, but pointless.

Sure, 30-point margins in both big states today would upend these calculations. But by bringing both states within single digits, Obama could lose both today and affect The Math not a whit.

Jonathan Alter tests the amazing outer limits of this logic in a piece that should be required reading this afternoon: “Hillary’s Math Problem,” in which he demonstrates pretty convincingly that Hillary could win the next 16 straight contests and still trail by nearly 60 delegates.

That’s how badly the Clinton campaign blew the post-Super Tuesday contests. Really badly. Historically badly. […]

So whatever happens today, we’ll get some version of Hillary Lives. And that will last until Saturday, or so, when Wyoming falls to Obama. At that point, all manufactured talk of momentum and such will rightfully vanish.

Leaving only The Math, and its relentless logic.

For today, at least, Clinton is all over the MSM and the blogosphere keeping the policy and role-model dreams of The Critic and Naomi Graychase alive.


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