Clinton takes New Hampshire; MoDo gets out the knife

Clinton won the New Hampshire primary yesterday, proving that rumors of her demise were greatly exaggerated. Which is encouraging, if only from the perspective of someone who lives in a state with a late primary: the whole damn thing doesn’t have to be over after one small state votes, or even two. Some of the rest of us might like a shot at actually having a say in who runs. ‘Cause FSM knows it’s not like my New York vote in the general election is going to sway anything.

Jeff Fecke looked at the support Clinton got from women in New Hampshire, which was substantially more than she got in Iowa, and concluded that the overt misogyny that appeared this week (yes, I’m looking at you, John Edwards), what with the “crying” clusterfuck and some of the nastiness in the debate, may have motivated female voters to say, “Oh, HELL no,” and turn out for her. I’m inclined to agree.

In any event, turnout was huge, aided no doubt by unseasonably warm weather and the importance of the 2008 election in determining the direction of the country. And in New Hampshire, you can register at the polls, so there’s no obstacle to casting your vote if you suddenly got interested (or finally felt you had a stake) in the outcome.

And then we have MoDo, who’s still flogging the “manipulative tears” angle:

As Spencer Tracy said to Katharine Hepburn in “Adam’s Rib,” “Here we go again, the old juice. Guaranteed heart melter. A few female tears, stronger than any acid.”

Shut up, MoDo.

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26 comments for “Clinton takes New Hampshire; MoDo gets out the knife

  1. nvs
    January 9, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Perhaps the entire editorial might be worth reading, if only to illuminate the foundations of the seemingly irrational contempt that some of these people have for Hillary. It’s almost personal to them. In fact, can you imagine Dowd penning this screed in the wee hours of the night, dumbfounded by the fact that Hillary pulled such a huge upset after her colleagues ostensibly frothed at the mouth to declare her candidacy–and more broadly her political career–dead?

  2. Astraea
    January 9, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    I know the “prove the assholes wrong” mentality is really persuasive. I’m not happy with Clinton’s record, but she’d be so much better than ANY of the republicans, especially if we can hold on to a Democratic majority in congress. I totally understand the urge to send a big fuck you to all the sexist jerks.

    There was an article recently that I was surprised didn’t make it into the feminist blogs about how HRC didn’t really do anything substantial during her time as First Lady. I realize now it was among the early seeds of the right wing she’s-not-really-experienced meme, but at the time it just infuriated me. When she was there there was so much vitriol aimed at her for doing more than looking pretty and supportive for her husband, now they’re after her for looking pretty and being supportive for her husband.

  3. Tricia
    January 9, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Astraea: Word. I was experiencing serious cognitive dissonance from that alone. I’m old enough to remember how “everyone” hated Hillary for having too much say in Bill’s decisions.

  4. Rose
    January 9, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    MoDo is extra unhinged these days. So is Chris Matthews. This is why I have such a soft spot for Hillary!

  5. BadKitty
    January 9, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Wow, that Dowd editorial is one nasty piece of work. Doesn’t she label herself a liberal?

  6. FashionablyEvil
    January 9, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    They were interviewing women on NPR this morning who said the misogyny did get to them. My favorite story was a mother talking about a conversation she’d had with her daughter:
    Daughter: “I’m not going to be a feminist when I grow up”
    Mother: “Well, that’s really ungrateful of you”

    Anyway, daughter apparently remembered this conversation and decided to vote for Clinton.
    (Not that feminism is a reason to vote for Clinton, but I thought it was a cute story)

  7. tinfoil hattie
    January 9, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    The misogyny has made me change my vote to Clinton. I’m so sick and tired of it.

    FWIW, my son once said to me, “If I were a girl, I’d be the most cynical, bitter feminist on the planet.”

    I allowed as how you don’t actually have to be a girl to be a feminist.

  8. preying mantis
    January 9, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    I really don’t want to be stuck voting for Clinton in the general election. I really, really don’t want to be stuck listening to jackasses like Matthews point to her failed bid for the nomination as proof-positive that female candidates just aren’t viable in a national election–you know, because of the breasts or the tiny lady-brains or the zeta-rays emanating from the vagina–for the rest of my fucking life.

    Given that they’ve been absolutely tripping over themselves in their haste to get that message out since halfway through the count in Iowa, I can’t imagine I’m alone in wanting her to finish a ridiculously close second in spite of disliking her rightward bent.

  9. zuzu
    January 9, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    In fact, can you imagine Dowd penning this screed in the wee hours of the night, dumbfounded by the fact that Hillary pulled such a huge upset after her colleagues ostensibly frothed at the mouth to declare her candidacy–and more broadly her political career–dead?

    Oh, I’m sure she wrote it well ahead of deadline. Probably did two different versions just in case Clinton won, and they ran the appropriate one. The other one probably declared her campaign dead because of the “crying.” This one pins her continuing campaign on the “crying.” Gotta cover all your bases when you’re the World’s Most Obnoxious Feminist Concern Troll™.

    Not to say HRC’s perfect, or that her campaign isn’t above slinging mud. And there have been some troubling emissions from there that sure as hell look a bit racially tinged.

    The racism, though, hasn’t been nearly as overt as the misogyny just yet, but then HRC was the frontrunner for a long time, so she was the one to take down.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when the race moves on to some states with substantial populations of poc’s, like South Carolina. Hanging the outcome of the primary race on two small, overwhelmingly white states (one with a bizarre, distorting and idiosyncratic method of selection) really pisses me off. Maybe we’ll at least get to Super Tuesday without a clear winner.

  10. meggygurl
    January 9, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    I’m also torn. I don’t really *like* Hillary that much, but there is a HUGE slice of me that is like “God I hope she wins as a big STFU to all those idiots who think she can’t do it.”

    My primary is so late in the season (may, what?) that my vote will not mean a thing. Which might be good, cause I think I might have a nervous breakdown when I get into the booth and go “I love Obama and want him ad president, but I don’t want Clinton to lose. AHHHHH I DON’T KNOW!!!!”

  11. Bitter Scribe
    January 9, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    She became emotional because she feared that she had reached her political midnight, when she would suddenly revert to the school girl with geeky glasses and frizzy hair, smart but not the favorite.

    How can someone who writes about national politics in those terms be seen as anything other than a fluffy-headed lightweight?

  12. rabbit
    January 9, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Thought this (which I found via Matthew Yglesias) was a good comment on why women broke for Clinton in NH and not Iowa:

    The TV coverage I’ve been watching has implied that New Hampshire is a crazy comeback surprise and Iowa is somehow the “real” result. I think they’re wrong. Iowa is the anomaly, because of the bizarre public forum that is the Iowa caucus. You know why Hillary does worse in a caucus? Because women who are leaning Hillary go to the caucus with their husbands, and he says “Let’s go for Obama” or “Let’s go for Edwards” and she says “Well, all right then” because she doesn’t want to spend the next hour sitting alone in the Hillary group. I’ve sat through a caucus. This is how it works.

    I don’t really agree with her Obama comment below the quoted bit, but I think that particular effect probably accounts for more than the crying, especially in a race where lots of Democrats like all of the candidates and are merely leaning to one candidate or the other as opposed to adamantly supporting any specific one.

  13. Ginger McKnight-Chavers
    January 9, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    I believe that many people are giving Senator Clinton too much credit for showing her emotions in NH and are discounting Maureen Dowd’s arguments re. how the Clintons sabotage their talents & good points due to their tactics b/c M. Dowd can be so shrill and out there at times. On a serious note, there has been some exploitation of a gender vs. race tension in NH by both Senator and President Clinton that has African-American men AND women fuming right now. I’m an African-American woman who has contributed to both the Clinton & Obama campaigns, but as the race in NH evolved & the Clintons licked their wounds, that old Sister Soulja-bashing, Lani Guinier-ditching (while supporting trouser snake Dick Morris) side of the Clintons started to peek through again, and it’s all that many of us (Black folks) have been talking about. Bill calling Barack a “kid” instead of going after him on substance, Hilary suggesting that MLK’s talk meant nothing until LBJ saved the day, and Gloria Steinem’s “black men have it better than white women” piece in the Times yesterday, just in time for the polls to open in NH, didn’t help matters one bit b/c it was historically inaccurate, misleading and went unnecessarily overboard in pitting the plight of white women vs. the plight of black men to get middled-aged white women in NH out to the polls. The NY Times 1/9 editorial this morning highlighted this, and Donna Brazile blasted them for it on CNN. As someone who has voted for her in NY and given her money and supported her in the past, I’m outraged, and many African American women and men feel the same way and will be doing everything we can to get out the vote against her until she assures us that both in the campaign and as President, short-term political self-preservation will not always prevail over character and courage – if you look at their record in the past, the Clinton MO has been one of slash and burn if it gets me an office or keeps me there, and I’m sick of it being at the expense of African Americans.

  14. FashionablyEvil
    January 9, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    How can someone who writes about national politics in those terms be seen as anything other than a fluffy-headed lightweight?

    I haven’t been able to figure this out either. She hasn’t written anything good since I Have a Nickname!!!, which I now see was written in 2001. Her habit of calling George HW Bush “Poppy Bush” and Rumsfeld “Rummy” (among other diminuitives) drives me crazy.

    Maybe zuzu could take over her spot?

  15. Tomas Gordon
    January 9, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Excuse me, Ms. McKnight-Chavers, but my parents and I demonstrated with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) when Gov. George Wallace came to Denver in the 60s spewing hatred, and Hillary was not diminishing MLK when she pointed out that LBJ actually started the process of realizing his dream! Her objection to the Great Black Hope Barama has nothing to do with his race, but with his absolute incompetence. Did anyone notice that he needed a Teleprompter in Iowa to deliver his victory speech? He may have hypnotized younger voters with vague promises of change, but he is a terrible debater who will be ripped limb from limb in the general election. Words DO matter and Barama needs to win reelection to the Senate before he can expect the entire country to buy into his pitch about hope trumping experience.

  16. Medicine Man
    January 9, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    My feeling is that it was likely the NH independents turning out for McCain that deflated Obama’s bounce. If you look at the polling data you’ll see that Clinton tends to win handily amongst democrat troopers but lose amongst independents. We’ll have to see how Nevada and South Carolina turn out. It should be interesting.

    HRC’s poor performance with independents has me worried about the prospect of a contest between her and McCain though. Whatever else happens, I’m not sure another Republican administration is what the US needs right now, if only for the sake of Constitutional integrity.

  17. Ginger McKnight-Chavers
    January 9, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    To Tomas Gordon, as a Texan whose parents suffered through and also rallied against Jim Crow, all I’m saying is that when it appears – whether that’s what they intend or not — that they are flippant about issues of race or pitting race vs. gender in a zero-sum game to get out votes, it can backfire against them in the African-American community, if conversations i’ve had with people over the last couple of days are any indication. They can bury their heads in the sand and ignore it or deal with it. Again, I harken back to Ms. Steinem’s column, if you haven’t seen it – my own mother was not only an activist on the civil rights front but also in the women’s movement, so i’m not speaking from the position of someone who doesn’t support the goals of the movement or the potential for a female president. Calling Senator Obama incompetent doesn’t help support the Clinton position that they want to run a positive campaign either. I went to school with his wife – don’t sell them short in terms of intelligence just b/c you don’t like them. I’ve never done that with Senator Clinton, and as I’ve said, I’ve voted for her and given her a good deal of money in the past and in this current race, but she hasn’t earned my vote yet.

  18. zuzu
    January 9, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Hilary suggesting that MLK’s talk meant nothing until LBJ saved the day

    Here’s the full quote, with the Obama statement she was responding to and some commentary from Josh Marshall (from TPM):

    Here’s the Obama quote he reads …

    “False Hopes. Dr King standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial looking out over the magnificent crowd, the reflecting pool, the Washington Monument, sorry guys, false hopes, the dream will die, it can’t be done, false hope, we don’t need leaders who tell us what we can’t do, we need leaders to tell us what we can do and inspire us.”

    He then asks if she would respond and she says …

    “I would, and I would point to the fact that that Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when he was able to get through Congress something that President Kennedy was hopeful to do, the President before had not even tried, but it took a president to get it done. That dream became a reality, the power of that dream became a real in peoples lives because we had a president who said we are going to do it, and actually got it accomplished.”

    It’s an ambiguous statement. But her reference is to different presidents — Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, one of whom inspired but did relatively little legislatively and Johnson who did a lot legislatively, though he was rather less than inspiring. Quite apart from the merits of Obama and Clinton, it’s not a bad point about Kennedy and LBJ.

    Now I know in writing this I’m going to get tons of emails saying I’m defending an indefensible statement, making excuses for her, etc. I’m not. It’s poorly worded, and easy to misunderstand. And it will be misunderstood. Her ‘false hopes’ line from the debate was one of the worst of the campaign. And you can read her realization of the dream point as putting a lot of focus on legislation and sort of discounting activism. But when I look at the actual words in this statement it just doesn’t match up with the line that’s circulating — that she was saying Obama’s King and she’s LBJ.

    I think he’s got a point there, when the full exchange is considered. King and the Civil Rights Movement pushed and pushed, but ultimately needed to get Congress to pass the legislation. Kennedy talked big, but didn’t even try to get civil rights legislation passed. LBJ was the one who did the arm-twisting and got the votes together. Neither JFK nor LBJ would likely have done anything without King’s pushing, but LBJ was the one who went beyond talk and got it done.

    It’s a damn bad quote, though. I see that she’s trying to say that Obama may be inspiring as an orator, but she’s the one who gets things done, but her message is muddled and it comes across (particularly in the truncated quote that was going around, and that was posted on the Politico) as if she’s denigrating King’s work and elevating LBJ’s.

  19. January 9, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Congrats, Jesse Jackson Jr.! You just made the dumbest non-Jonah-Goldberg-related argument in the world!

    …there were tears that melted the Granite State. And those are tears that Mrs. Clinton cried on that day, clearly moved voters. She somehow connected with those voters.

    But those tears also have to be analyzed. They have to be looked at very, very carefully in light of Katrina, in light of other things that Mrs. Clinton did not cry for, particularly as we head to South Carolina where 45% of African-Americans who participate in the Democratic contest, and they see real hope in Barack Obama.

    I’m sorry, this is racist pandering on an astonishing level. For shame.

  20. EG
    January 9, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Ginger, I completely see your anger with and disappointment in Clinton. I just wish that Maureen Dowd would actually make such substantive comments and critiques instead of pandering to sexists by rabbiting on about Hillary fearing frizzy hair.

  21. Ginger McKnight-Chavers
    January 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    agreed. zuzu raised some good points as well.

  22. Ailurophile
    January 9, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Moron Dowd strikes again! I always think of her as the female equivalent of the Nice Guy(tm) – a whiner with a chip on her shoulder and an outsized sense of entitlement.

    At any rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the Hillary votes are from people sick to death of Tweety, Moron, and other media misogynists.

    The only thing is that if Hillary wins the nomination, I hope – HOPE – that it doesn’t turn too many people over to the Repigs. I believe most people are sick to death of Bush and his merry minions of Satan by now and don’t want another Rethugministration.

  23. Jorge
    January 9, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Every MoDo column gives new meaning to the phrase “toxic waste dump.”

  24. EAHK
    January 9, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    I, for one, am absolutely sick of the media in general. I’m tired of people using my money to air their sordid opinions which are more frequently becoming a matter of witty repartee than actual news coverage. It’s gotten so blatantly obvious that the people who REALLY run this nation sit in front of a television screen (or behind a computer screen at the New York Times) and spread massive lies that would rival the lies told by any politician. You know it’s bad when people want Hillary to win just to stick it to the media. As for the misogyny… I’m beginning to think it true, that “women are their own worst enemy”… thank you MoDo for reinforcing the cliche.

  25. January 10, 2008 at 5:22 pm


  26. January 11, 2008 at 2:24 am

    Here’s a fascinating tidbit that TPM found out: MoDo was not in New Hampshire and did not attend the party she wrote about. Her assistant apparently went, got the quotes, and then MoDo wrote the column from there.

    As Spencer Ackerman rightly notes, isn’t this the kind of shit that Rick Bragg got fired for doing?

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