No doubt, political analysts and talking heads and pundits and spin doctors will be debating and re-debating for some time why Hillary lost the Democratic nomination. Political scientists will pontificate. Historians will contextualize. Party hacks will scratch their chins and try to learn from the experience. But, I doubt if there will be one simple “magic bullet” that explains all of the reasons as to why Hillary lost.
But, I can tell you why I didn’t support her.
Granted, as shamelessly as George W. Bush has wrecked our country, if she had gotten the Democratic nomination, I would have shrugged and voted for her. At this point, I would vote for a yellow cur dog from Highland Park, if it would keep John McCain from living out George W. Bush’s third term.
But, I didn’t support Hillary because, well, we go a ways back.
I remember her coming to the White House. I thought she was kind of cute, in a dorky way. I wasn’t going to be building a shrine to her, but I thought I could live with the situation. Then, the Monica thing came along. And, Heaven forbid I try to draw the line between where Bill could have wanted too much and Hillary could have been too stingy in addressing his intimacy needs. We’ll never know what went on inside their relationship and it’s none of our business.
My gut, though, told me the New York senator slot was a pay-off, a consolation prize for keeping her mouth shut, with the tacit understanding that she’d have the party’s support in 2008. And, my gut said there was something wrong with that. I never have had a penchant for back-room establishment types playing me.
And, whether those gut feelings were real or imagined, it appears as though some others got the same message. Whenever she spoke, whenever she appeared on TV, there was always that subliminal twinge that told me she was a creation of the party, not a candidate of the people.
That was only reinforced with words like “inevitability” attached to her.
Call me a stubborn hillbilly, but when it comes to politics, I don’t believe anyone has a birthright to an office.
Then, there’s the gender thing.
On the coattails of the entitlement issue, there’s the “you owe me” factor. I don’t know a single man on this planet who looks forward to a woman copping a “you owe me” attitude toward him. And, it could be justified. A guy may actually owe a woman for child support or alimony or whatever. But, no man wants to see it, much less vote for it.
That leads to the next gender factor. When Hillary shrieked, “Shame on you, Obama!”, she lost the race. Why? At that moment, on an emotional/subconscious level, she became everybody’s disapproving mother. We were all transported emotionally back to being nine years old, when we screwed up something and our mothers were going to make darned sure we knew about it. That got me to paying closer attention to her speeches, observing not only what she said, but how she said it. And, I kept hearing that same condescending, Mommy-Dearest tone, over and over.
The problem, though, is that as much as we love our mothers, we don’t get to choose them. They’re assigned to us, whether we want them or not.
Nobody elects their mother.
Meanwhile, there arose in the race the very antithesis of George W. Bush. He’s not a self-indulgent Baby Boomer. He’s not an idiot. He’s not even the same color. He was born a skinny black kid on the South side of Chicago in 1961. I was born a skinny white kid on the South side of Chicago in 1961.