Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Hillary Weathers NH Storm

Hillary's perfect-storm loss in the New Hampshire presidential primaries didn't happen. She weathered the storm, defeating rival Barack Obama in a cliff-hanger by a couple of percentage points.

The forecasters missed this one.... big time. Why is that? Every poll, except one by a college, showed Obama carrying the day.

Obviously the polls were wrong. There may have been several reasons besides the fact that Obama may have tried to make history instead of a cogent rationale for the vote.....

It could be that people lied to the pollsters in New Hampshire. While saying they could and would vote for a black candidate, in reality when left to the secret process of casting their vote, they showed a less-unbiased face than the PC one shown the pollsters.

On the other hand, the voters in Iowa had to publicly declare.... no room there for private ugliness. As the process moves forward Obama would do well not to depend on the sunny beachfront of acceptance reflected in the polls, they could be quicksand.

And, while there was no storm, there was a shower of sympathy for a more vulnerable, even teary, and ganged-up-on appearing Hillary. Her softer side was, and will be, a more formidable campaign front for Obama to face. She said she found herself in New Hampshire.... believe it.

And Bill.... he was well off-stage when Hillary made her acceptance speech. Perhaps at last recognizing he's more of a distraction. Hillary managed to overcome his "help," although his ham-fisted attempts to make the Obama story into a fairy tale may have given her some of the "there he goes again" womens' vote.

The next big battleground state for the Democrats will be Nevada on January 19, the home state of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The most sought-after endorsement there is from the 60,000-member-strong Culinary Workers union and this morning ABC News confirmed that the union will endorse Obama.

This endorsement will definitely give Obama a boost in a state that is expecting only 40,000 to participate in their caucuses. But, Hillary is also courting union workers, John Edwards (who finished a distant third in NH) has invested a lot of time in Nevada with his populist message, and New Mexico governor Bill Richardson (who barely registered in NH) is counting on the large Hispanic population of Nevada to pull him out of the campaign storm cellar.

Let's see what the polls forecast for Nevada .... regardless, Obama had better batten down the hatches as he navigates the rough primary seas in Nevada and onward to Super Tuesday.

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