THE SPINE DECEMBER 22, 2007
Bill Clinton was quoted Friday as saying that Hillary was a "genius," at least a genius at solving other people's problems. It's too bad she couldn't solve his problem. It would have saved them a lot of troubles -- and the country a great and ugly rupture.
Genius she is not. But even a genius could not run as her authentic steely self, which maybe she can't help but doing, and also as a warm and caring soul. Long ago, when she was still pal with Marian Wright Edelman of the Children's Defense League and not Denise Rich of the fortune which no one cares (or dares) to tell its origins, even her pitch for poor kids sounded mechanical and false, like the salesmen who pander bargain mortgages.Now that she has been out on the hustings for more than a year almost everyone has experienced each of her faces. And just in case they may like one they don't like the other. A sound reason for this is that with each she comes across as righteous. A female Savanarola, maybe.It has all caught up with her. A savvy story by Christopher Cooper in Saturday's Wall Street Journal, "Obama, Edwards Go Long," tells you it's time for bettors to go short on Hillary.
If she looses Iowa (oh, what that augurs for New Hampshire!) she will say it's not a representative state, as New Hampshire is. (Will the parties ever come to their senses and not tether the presidency to the outcomes of the primaries in these two tiny and boringly idiosyncratic states?)The fact is that the one early state that still augurs well for Mrs.Clinton is Nevada where a tiny caucus arrangement in a tiny state is owned by service unions whose members in other states, as Cooper pointed out, "tend to favor Mr. Edwards and Mr. Obama."And forgive me for harping on the exclusion of the Florida and Michigan delegations from the Democratic National Convention because these two populous and representative states wanted to be in the history-making narrative and not post-scripts which would be what Iowa and New Hampshire ought to be.