I’m guessing the political affiliation of Pipeline People runs about 90% Democrat. But, that’s just a guess. Could be 75% or 95%. But heavily Dem, in any case.
I’m curious how many people are having the same reaction I’m having to the Dem primary season, which was to be happy when Obama won Iowa, but also strangely happy when Hillary won New Hampshire. I have no idea what that means, other than that I am not currently decided on a particular candidate.
I’m at risk of writing 1000 words in this post when I really intend to write about 100, so I’ll just make a point each about Obama and HRC.
Regarding Obama, it seems to me he has two primary advantages as a candidate, one being that he’s a clear break from the politics of the last…well, really, the last 28 years, considering the Bush/Clinton stranglehold on power began with Reagan’s election in 1980. That is obviously a huge advantage. Edwards could plausibly lay claim to that break with history as well, but that’s hard given he was on the last ticket. Second, Obama’s message of “unity”, though amorphous, is a strong one. I think most people can get behind some amorphous unity right now. But if Obama truly is a uniter, won’t the Dem primary process be somewhat diagnostic? If he can’t unite enough of a coalition of Democrats when he has a polarizing opponent like HRC, then I’m not sure how he will bring people in from the other side of the aisle in any real way. But clearly, the short week of Obamamania after Iowa showed how quickly the country (and the media) would be able to get used to the idea of Obama as Uniter. We’ll see how that all goes.
As for HRC, I think you have to give her her due. She was dead in the water in NH. Yes, I know the polls were wrong, and I know that she had been the leader in NH for months going in. But nobody foresaw Iowa happening like that, and even people in her own campaign were going public with “what happens if we lose NH” spin control stories in the day before the election. So I think it’s fair to say she was in real trouble there. But then she pretty much single-handedly pulled out New Hampshire. Whether those “tears” (really a voice catch) were genuine or fake, the result of a determination to not hold herself back any longer or a premeditated decision to be more like a “real” person, it worked. And until that moment in the NH debate when she got angry, I couldn’t identify any moment involving HRC that didn’t also involve Bill Clinton. As a political personality, she was just a non-entity to me, someone with clout and mastery of the details, but without the flair of her husband. But even Bill Clinton never pulled anything like HRC’s New Hampshire comeback off.
So I’m curious whether we’ll see the evolution of Obama the Uniter (along with a better idea of what he’ll be uniting us around), as well as the evolution of the “humanized” HRC. My vote probably hinges on whether I think HRC has connected with enough people to overcome enough of the entrenched opposition to her, and whether Obama’s ability to unite extends beyond his stage presence and a frozen weekday in Iowa.