I have no idea at this stage whether she or Obama is the right candidate to win the Presidency in November. Policy-wise there seems little to differentiate them, it would be socially healthy for either a woman or a black man to win the highest office in the US, and neither of them has governed before. But in a matter of mere hours, after the decision of only a few thousand out of three hundred million people, and in the absence still of a clear narrative for any candidate on either side, the media had decided it was already cut and dried – President Obama in November. To say this free ride was pissing Bill Clinton off was an understatement:
Of course much of that rant was Bill’s ego and legendary temper talking. But where under other circumstances even that might have finished her candidacy right off, as might her teary-eyed incident, it seems to have had the exact opposite effect. There appears to be evidence that the electorate doesn’t just retain a huge amount of affection for Bill Clinton (whom we’d get back at the top table if Hillary wins), but there’s further evidence that women are so far determining this Democratic contest. They leapt for Obama’s idealism in Iowa, they rebelled against the media’s cynicism against her in New Hampshire. This is healthy – so far the media are not deciding this race. She turned around a double-digit poll deficit in about a day. If Obama wins anyway, he’s at least going to have to give a convincing reason why, which is as it should be.