Iron Lady?

Posted: May 14, 2008 8:35 AM

Call it what you will.

... Grit versus grace

... The senator from the state of hope versus the senator from the state of desperation

Either way, I think Americans at least admire Hillary's Churchillian refusal to never, never, never give up -- even when things look impossible for her.  As much as I disagree with a lot of her ideology, I can't help but admire her toughness.  And I can also imagine a lot of Americans admire her toughness because, at the end of the day, we all would want someone fighting for us the way she's fighting right now (as Homer Simpson once said to Lisa:  "If they're ever going to pull the plug on me, I want you in my corner, honey.")

And Hillary's electability argument -- though obviously self-serving -- is also a legitimate argument to make.

Hillary's trouncing of Obama last night buttresses her argument that she is best equipped to win the swing-states like PA, OH, WV, etc. that almost always determine who wins or loses the presidency.
And let's be honest, though Michigan and Florida weren't really fair for Obama -- who do you think has the best chance of winning those states now (after Obama has been arguing against seating the delegates and Hillary as been arguing for seating their delegates)?

Obama is arguing that he is a paradigm shifter, and thus, the old rules no longer matter (because, somehow, winning Colorado is going to make him president this year...).

This sort of quixotic argument comes up from time to time in business dealings, and I get nervous when people try to tell me that things are going to be different this time.  The reason is because they are usually wrong.  History is the best predictor of future events, and it's a bit presumptions to believe that the old rules don't apply to you.  As Hillary notes, no Democrat since 1960 has been president without winning West Virginia.  Obama wants to argue that history and tradition don't matter -- that he's something altogether new. 

Well, maybe, just maybe Obama is so special that all the old rules don't apply to him.  But eschewing history is a dangerous strategy.  As they say, the pioneers get the arrows.