FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
"Back from the dead."… "Who's cryin' now?"
Those are today's headlines in the New York tabloids about Hillary Clinton's upset victory in New Hampshire last night. Her surprising come-from-behind win proved all the pundits and the pollsters wrong. Polls released in the last two days before the election showed Barack Obama with a 5 to 13-point percentage lead over Clinton. Even her own campaign was expecting a loss; there were reports about staff shake-ups, you name it.
So how did Hillary stun everyone to become the second Clinton "comeback kid" in New Hampshire?
No one knows for sure, but the smart money is pointing to a diner where the former first lady was fighting back tears on Monday. No one that I talked to could ever remember seeing Hillary Clinton like that. Raw, real emotion that may have gone a long way toward countering her reputation as a cold, calculating political machine.
Whether or not the tears told the ultimate tale, New Hampshire women supported Hillary in a way they didn't in Iowa. One senior Clinton adviser suggested that John Edwards' unsympathetic response to Clinton's tears may have even pushed more women to the polls to support her.
Edwards made some stupid remark about "Presidential campaigns are tough business." Yes, they are, John. You finished third with a measly 17% of the vote and may be on your way to the same ending you experienced in 2004.
Here’s my question to you: Behind by double digits in several last-minute polls, why was Hillary Clinton able to come back and win the New Hampshire primary?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
This was a primary, not a caucus, so the votes were private. To put it bluntly, the women in New Hampshire were more comfortable voting for a woman than a black man. Silly me, I thought a white state (Iowa) choosing Obama was a sign of change. Perhaps New Hampshire, another predominately white state, proves the same tired old ideas still apply.
Ivan from Chicago writes:
The biggest reason was the media. They kept showing that emotional display by Hillary, which the media figured would sink her campaign. But, that is just what the voter wanted to know: that Hillary was not a robot and was a person of feelings. So as a Hillary supporter, I thank those of you in the media.
Before Hillary showed her "softer side", she didn't seem to be a person who could understand the problems most people, outside of politics, face every day. I haven't decided who to vote for in my primary, but I am at least more open to what Hillary has to say.
Somebody on her staff said, "Hey, we're going to lose this one BIG. Loosen up. Show a little feeling. Make 'em think you're human and vulnerable." And she did. Never for one moment did I think it was genuine. I believe this woman experienced her last real, uncalculated emotion when she was six. But older women in New Hampshire went for it. I can't explain the unions. Go figure.
Evan from Washington writes:
Jack, I think people are paying too much attention to her "tears" in the diner. It was her ground game and entrenched team in New Hampshire that allowed Hillary to get the vote out on her behalf. The Clintons have always maintained an incredibly organized team of supporters in the state, and it clearly paid off this time.
Forget the tears; it was probably because people grew tired of the messianic hype surrounding Obama. In any case, thank god we didn't crown a champ with just 2 of 50 judges weighing in.