Friday, January 11, 2008

It won't be the last word on Hillary's tearful moment, but Judith Warner offers an important observation

So now Judith Warner, whose blog is "Domestic Disturbances," has weighed in in Hillary's victory in New Hampshire and the possible reasons for it. She notes in her contribution, "Emotion without Thought in New Hampshire," that it is logical for emotional connections to candidates to play a role in voter decision making when there are so few bases for distinguishing among the candidates in relation to substantive positions on issues. It is the conclusion of her post, though, that represents perhaps her most significant contribution to the week-long conversation regarding Hillary's show of emotion on Monday.
[I]f victory came for the reasons we’ve been led to believe – because women voters ultimately saw in her, exhausted and near defeat, a countenance that mirrored their own – then I hate what that victory says about the state of their lives and the nature of the emotions they carry forward into this race. I hate the thought that women feel beaten down, backed into a corner, overwhelmed and near to breaking point, as Hillary appeared to be in the debate Saturday night. And I hate even more that they’ve got to see a strong, smart and savvy woman cut down to size before they can embrace her as one of their own.
Per my post of January 9, I fear that Warner has hit on something that is crushingly true. She sees that female voters identified with Hillary in her "moment" because the vast, vast majority of us are, in some sense, beaten down and backed into a corner, particularly when it comes to our public, working lives.

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