Hillary Clinton won in New Hampshire. It was a satisfying experience for those of us who support her, but it was a shattering, paycheck threatening experience for the punditry.
Christopher Matthews had howled with glee and danced like the proverbial dervish for days in derision and loathing of HC and her husband, all the while swooning like a teenager over the possibility that Barack Obama might fulfill the "dream." Whose dream. Well, who else?
In a funny way this kind of attitude is patronizing toward black people. Obama is a plausible, grown up candidate for president of the United States. He is fighting a well organized, persistant campaign for the nomination. Maybe he will win or maybe he won’t. That is the normal way of things. There is no reason to treat him as though he is some sort of high school project in "civics" or an occasion for a debating team to reach new heights of emotional exposition. For a couple of days up there in New Hampshah, people started acting in mighty strange ways. The wildest thing I saw was an interview in which a white woman college student sobbed softly that "at last there was hope." She meant Obama. Hope of what? The end of days? The second coming? Free lunch? What?
In the end HC won. Why? I think it was because she and her husband started looking like real human beings with real feelings. Women voted for her in large numbers. You could see it coming the last day. CNN had a bar graph on their set at the beginning last night that showd HC was polling higher than Obama at the end that day. Oddly, Wolf and company ignored that. I guess they were still "cooking" with all the buzz. My thought is that all those pale faced Yankees up there finally found someone they could identify with in that soft voice filled with regret. There was a picture of her chatting with a couple of women holding signs in support of her opponents. That, probably, is the real story.
Matthews looked stunned last night, "mugged by history" in a phrase one of the pundits applied to HC before the election. He sat silently with his arms crossed in a defensive posture. Howard Fineman, equally wrong, was pretty quiet as well. Brokaw and Dobbs had a good time mocking the pundits. It was fun.
By this morning, Matthews had rallied and appeared with the equally egregious Joe Scarborough on MSNBC to say that it was his opinion that HC and her dastardly husband had not won. No. The election had been "stolen" from Obama by nasty secret white racists who had lied to the pollsters. Matthews then went on in a fit of emotion (he seemed to tear up a bit) to describe Obama in terms remarkably reminiscent of first love. I was particularly "taken" with Matthews’ trembling outrage that BC might have suggested that Obama is a "fairy tale."
"He IS the sixties," Matthews declared at the end (praise God) of his declaration.
I never liked the sixties. I had a good time but I was glad when it was over. By the way, Chris, it IS over. pl