The Big Woman prevails

Dateline: Wed 05 Mar 2008

Hillary Clinton found her voice.

And really, it was some Big Woman voice. She dropped her "g's" when speaking in Texas and Ohio, knowing that her base there was working class Americans who had not attended college. She used the politics of fear in her 3 a.m./red alert TV ad to rally the anxiety-prone security moms. She hesitated when asked a question about Barack Obama's religion, deliberately manipulating voters into thinking, for a moment, he might just be a scary Muslim black guy instead of a Christian.

Nobody called her out, and she won 3 states. For the Clintons, winning is what counts.

Her campaign, from the get-go, has suffered from multiple personality disorder. She's been by turns wonkish, sarcastic, cackling, flattering, pissed off and finally, yes, finally, engaging. No question, she connected with voters.

Obama, on the other hand, took a higher road in the last few days leading up to Tuesday and in general. He did not use his silver tongue to jab at Sen. Clinton, but rather to inspire his base. When punched, he did not hit back hard. No doubt, that will change. But one hopes his central message and his style do not, because it is what so many of us have been drawn to.

Bill Clinton called Obama's campaign a fairy tale. He's right, in one sense. Obama and his younger backers stand for a belief in goodness.

But in politics, as in life, just being good is often not good enough.

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