Saturday, June 07, 2008

Why did Hillary Clinton lose?

Gail Collins opinion:
Op-Ed Columnist - Gail Collins - What Hillary Clinton Won - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

... I get asked all the time whether I think Hillary lost because sexism is worse than racism in this country. The answer is no. She lost because Obama ran a smarter, better-organized campaign. It’s possible that she would have won if the Democratic Party had more rational primary rules. But Obama didn’t make up the rules, and Clinton had no problem with them until she began to lose...
Yes, Democratic primaries are pretty weird, not least in Minnesota. There's another factor though, which nobody has mentioned.

Nobody. You're reading it here first. So only five people understand this!

Collins has forgotten John Edwards. Nobody has noticed that when Edwards dropped out Clinton became more competitive.

I suspect Obama's victory was a side-effect of the who else was in the race and the sequence in which they left. Had Edwards stayed in I think Obama would have won sooner. Edwards split Clinton's base.

Why was that base splittable? Well, I like John Edwards, but I suspect a major factor was "Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton". At some level I think running the presidency forever between two families struck many people as Banana republic.

Gail Collins should have picked this one up, I think she got caught up in the feminist storyline. The current fad is to focus on millions of allegedly enraged feminist voters. My bet is that a week from now that meme will evaporate from lack of substance. These voters will realize that they don't want to emulate the Naderites who brought us GWB.

Boring explanation of course, so you'll never read it in the media.

2 comments:

Richard Veryard said...

This doesn't explain why Clinton lost (as the title of your post promises) but why she took so long to lose.

John Gordon said...

Good comment!

I suppose the implied answer is that it was the 3rd party candidate that titled the balance. So if John Edwards had taken more from Obama than Clinton then she would have won.