Hooray for Hillary!
I stayed up until 10:30 pm last night watching CNN falling all over itself to figure out just what the heck was going on in New Hampshire. I kept watching those percentages and thinking, "So close, too close." Any minute, I was expecting Obama to suddenly come from behind and win the primary. But no, luck held, all the pundits were wrong (bad pundits!), and amazingly, Hillary won the first primary* of the season.
Of course everyone points to her 'crying' moment, though I've watched the video several times and I don't actually see her crying as much as her voice cracks for just a second. I didn't see it as contrived, I didn't see it as weakness. I saw it as a moment when you realize you're very close to losing everything you've spent 35 years working for, that you've given everything you can, and somehow it's still not enough because people find you 'unlikeable'. I've admired Hillary ever since she emerged on the national stage back in 1992, but that moment -- along with her performance in the debate, that spark of anger and passion, the sense of humor -- really solidified my admiration for her.
I really do believe Hillary is a better candidate than Obama. Obama is a dignified man with a great presence and beautiful poetry. But he's got so little experience on the global stage that despite his pretty words, I'm afraid he's not going to know what to do when. I think he's a great candidate who'll do great things for the US. I just think his turn is 8 years from now.
I'm also starting (scarily) to really like Huckabee. I think some of his ideas are weird, if not downright idiotic (quarantining AIDS patients? REALLY?), but he's a likable guy, dignified, has done some interesting anti-Conservative things, and with a gift for oratory. This last trait he has in common with Obama. It's no wonder people are attracted to these two candidates. They can inspire and speak with passion that we've been missing -- and didn't know we were missing -- for the past eight years.
* Not to split hairs, but Iowa was a caucus.