Clinton’s Muskie Moment?

If you listened to some of the headlines, Hillary Clinton broke down crying. The moment is being compared to 1972 when Ed Muskie had tears (or was it snow flakes) visible on his face in New Hampshire, ending his campaign. Check out the video to see for yourself, but I don’t see anything wrong here. If anything, this could be seen as favorable to Clinton a it gives the appearance of her really caring about what she is doing. I’ll post the transcript under the fold, but it is best to watch the video.

Just as this video might be revealing about Hillary Clinton, the responses of her opponents might be revealing about their characters. John Edwards confirmed by view of him as someone who will say anything to attempt to win:

I think what we need in a commander-in-chief is strength and resolve, and presidential campaigns are tough business, but being president of the United States is also tough business.

In contrast, Barack Obama showed more class:

During a campaign stop at Jake’s Coffee in New London, New Hampshire, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was also asked to comment about Clinton’s teary moment.

“I didn’t see what happened,” he said, but added, “I know this process is a grind. So that’s not something I care to comment on.”

Update: Here’s the actual video, converted to YouTube thanks to Talking Points Memo:


Clinton had the following comment later in the day. She placed it in perspective, describing the situation as a somewhat intimate moment, despite all the cameras focused on her. The implication that John Edwards, who sometimes just does not know when not to fight, is that Hillary would break down and cry in a crisis. The fact of the matter is that this was not a crisis situation, and it is perfectly reasonable to assume that Clinton would react entirely differently in a crisis as opposed to how she reacted to this question under this circumstance.



Clinton Losing Lead in National Polls

The national polls are a virtually worthless means to predict who will win the nomination, but as they do receive attention I feel that today’s landmark should be noted. After Obama had a sound victory over both Clinton and Edwards in Iowa I felt confident he would win the nomination unless something unexpected should happen to totally shake up the race. As predicted, he quickly moved to a substantial lead in New Hampshire, and I figured the national polls would soon follow. Today Obama has moved into a tie with Clinton in the Gallup poll, erasing an eighteen point deficit. Edwards also moved up from the last poll and is closing in on Clinton.

Huckabee is in first place in the Republican polls, followed by Giuliani, McCain, Thompson, Romney, and Paul. The Republican race is less predictable. While I wouldn’t predict a Huckabee victory for the nomination based upon these polls, I wouldn’t write off his chances either. Assuming McCain wins in New Hampshire as expected, I think he has the best chance of winning but he still will face some obstacles. Giuliani’s chances fall the longer he goes without a victory, and Romney’s chances will fall significantly assuming he fails to win in New Hampshire. Ron Paul remains at 4% where he generally falls, showing that there is neither any meaning to his internet support and fund raising and no significant benefit. No amount of money would make Ron Paul appear to be a credible candidate.

Rasmussen’s tracking poll also shows Clinton’s lead evaporating nationally.haven fallen from 17% to 4%. Even that lead won’t last much longer.

Clinton Shows No Signs Of Making Pre-New Hampshire Come Back

The news continues to look bad for Hillary Clinton today. Reuters reports on a ten point lead for Obama. The New York Times says that even interest in Bill Clinton is decreasing. The New York Daily News has an op-ed on from Bob Shrum on “Hillary’s massive mistake.” Drudge is floating a rumor that Hillary might drop out. There is no sign that the Clinton campaign has any idea what to do.

Hillary was interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition and gave no signs of being able to change votes. She tried to hit Obama on changing his positions, but her arguments were over minor matters, not the issues which will decide the election. Steven Benen shows one example of Clinton using a trivial issue over a robo-call. Josh Marshall looks at how Clinton is relying on the meaningless issue of Obama voting present concluding that “they literally have no idea what to do at the clutch moment. For the now they are grasping for anything and everything.”

It is hard to see any way for Clinton to make a come back and stop Obama from winning the nomination.

George Will on Obama

The amazing thing about Barack Obama is the manner in which he is receiving praise from conservatives as well as liberals. George Will compared Obama to the two populist candidates, John Edwards and Mike Huckabee:

Barack Obama, who might be mercifully closing the Clinton parenthesis in presidential history, is refreshingly cerebral amid this recrudescence of the paranoid style in American politics. He is the un-Edwards and un-Huckabee — an adult aiming to reform the real world rather than an adolescent fantasizing mock-heroic “fights” against fictitious villains in a left-wing cartoon version of this country.