The Corner

Hillary’s End

That was a very strong performance we just saw from Hillary. Her voice was firm, fresh and commanding. Her tone was perfect — no false joviality and nothing sentimental or self-pitying. She has set a new standard for women candidates for high office. She did a better job than anyone I can recall who has just lost a race. (For all that talk about about 2012, unless Bill is gone, I just don’t see who her donor base is.) Ideology to the side, she was Thatcheresque in her ability to hold the crowd and exude confidence and power. I hate the cliche as much as anyone, but her performance will matter to little girls in years to come. My 10-year-old was pretty impressed by her strength and seeming seriousness of purpose.

Progressives — for instance at the Nation or Huffington Post — are all quite unimpressed by it, but I still take it as a given that the ability to exude strength is a sine qua non for success in a presidential race. (Acting on it in office is good too.) Barack Obama is very smart, politcally facile, and has a persona that obviously appeals to many classes of Americans. But he doesn’t exude that aura of strength. It will be interesting to see how he brings it to the ticket without having it upstage him. As Victor pointed out earlier, Obama will look a tad weaker when he rejects her as VP. If he is foolish enough to put her on the ticket — and I can’t imagine that he is — he will looked weaker still.

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