Monday, March 03, 2008


Rise Of The Warrior Queen

As Michael Godwin suggests in the Daily News today, if Obama doesn't put Hillary Clinton away tomorrow, it will be nearly impossible to stop her -- regardless of how many Democrats want to "turn the page" on the Clinton era.

My hunch, based on the last few days, is that Hillary Clinton will narrowly win the popular vote in both Ohio and Texas (even assuming Obama ultimately wins the most Lone Star state delegates), this battle goes through to the convention and the likelihood of her being the Democratic nominee is now about 65 percent.

Her 3 A.M. commercial which is getting criticism from all sides, I think was a masterstroke of targeted marketing. Hillary was casting herself as the ultimate "security mom." The commericial opens in the home, with a child sleeping in her bed. That ad was for women with children (it closes with a mom looking in on her child, just before the viewer sees Hillary on the phone). The subtext of it is that Hillary will work like a hawk -- not in a bomb's away, kill all the terrorist hyper-'masculine' way, but as a strong protective mother -- to defend America's kids. That was also the basis of her otherwise-odd Huffington Post blog on making child poverty a front-and-center public policy theme. Since every campaign is, in some way, "about the children," it seemed that it was unusual that Ms. "It Takes A Village" would use that topic -- in a forum that has hardly been friendly to her -- in the last week of a critical primary race. But it makes sense if one sees this through the prism of "economic security" and she presenting herself as the one who will "fight" on that issue.

But, the polls show she has moved back to a statistical tie with Obama in Texas and most polls have her ahead in Ohio (though dramatically reduced from two weeks ago). Rasmussen, incidentally, has her moving ahead of Obama in
his national tracking poll for the first time in three weeks.

Meanwhile, Hillary had one of the best cameos any politician has had on "Saturday Night Live" in recent memory. She's done comedic appearances before (she did Letterman for the nth time last week), but this was perhaps the warmest and at ease she's ever been (maybe because SNL has essentially admitted that it's going "in the tank" for her, by making media fawning over Obama the target of the opening skit for the second week in a row). [She comes on at about the 8:01 point.]

Note, by the way, that she mentioned Pennsylvania (in addition to Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont) in her "Live From New York" shout out -- a suggestion that she'll be competing for that state in about a month. With Charlie Crist's
endorsement of a Florida do-over, how ironic it would be if the Democratic nomination were decided by the state that determined the 2000 presidential race and ushered in our current era of red-blue politics.

Regardless, don't count the Clintons out.

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