February 13, 2008


Don’t Cry for Me, America (Michael Knox Beran, 2/13/08, National Review)

There are two traditions of modern female leadership, the do-it-yourself tradition and the widow-orphan tradition. Hillary’s problem is that right now she’s squarely in the widow-orphan camp. If she wants to win, she needs to get with the do-it-yourself gals.

At this stage in the race, it won’t be easy.

The widow-orphan tradition includes the two Gandhi-Nehru dowagers, Indira, the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, and Sonia, the widow of Indira’s son Rajiv Gandhi; Eleanor Roosevelt, relict of Franklin D.; Soong May-ling, better known, after her marriage to the future Generalissimo, as Madame Chiang; and Eva Perón, the second consort of Juan Domingo Perón. Jiāng Qīng, Madame Mao, of “Gang of Four” fame, also has a place in this club.

At the top of the do-it-yourself list are Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir.

In fairness to Ms Clinton, America is unique in that the leader of the party is chosen in the open, rather than behind closed doors. She, therefore, has to play up her womanhood to get the nomination of the female party, making herself unelectable in the general.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 13, 2008 7:51 AM

Excellent analysis. Her only chance (should she beat Obama) is that she is actually more masculine than most of the men in the country, allowing her the best of both worlds.

Given the trends, we are lucky it's McCain.

Posted by: Bruno at February 13, 2008 9:57 AM

The wild card in all of these analyzes is turnout. The Democrats are fired up and turning out to vote in much greater numbers than the Republicans.

Posted by: Brandon at February 13, 2008 10:41 AM

Yes but how many of those turning out for Dems are fired by their candidate? It's not hard to envision portions of Hillary's base -- cough, hispanics, cough -- turning out for McCain in the general if their gal loses, ditto, perhaps, older white women, another Hillary sect. And blacks if Obama goes down?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 13, 2008 11:13 AM

The Democratic tribes have more at stake.

Posted by: oj at February 13, 2008 12:38 PM

Once again, turnout in the primaries is not indicative of turnout in the general. In 1980 and again in 1988, Democratic turnout was higher than Republican (upwards of 50% in some states). Didn't mean a thing in November. Only in 1996 (which doesn't really count) and 2000 did Republican turnout exceed Democratic, and in 2000, once Gore won NH, Bradley was dead.

Nothing new here.

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 13, 2008 4:13 PM

and Gore won the general.

Posted by: oj at February 13, 2008 7:38 PM