Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Thank You, New Hampshire

I was pleasantly surprised by the Democratic election results last night in the New Hampshire primaries. Most pundits and polls had predicted a huge win for Obama, so it was good to see that NH voters did not ape Iowa. Hillary's slender victory has obviously huge implications though her path to nomination is still uncertain.

I also welcome the McCain win in NH on the Republican side. He's my favored candidate on the Republican side though well behind Hillary because I do not share his stances on taxes, healthcare or choice vs life issues.

A nice graphic created by daughter Rubina for the New York Times today shows the detailed profile of New Hampshire voters supporting both the Democratic as well as Republican candidates.

While I'm happy about Hillary in NH, here are my other comments:
  • I regard Obama to be superficial (especially compared to Hillary) even though he's a great talker. Still, I'll give him his due. His concession speech last night was gracious, as were his comments on today's news shows. This is something Hillary can emulate. And yes, someone who can speak so well without notes as Obama has to have good clarity of thought.
  • Why is Hillary so keen to project confidence in the outcome of the primaries? I was turned off to see her campaign manager babble about how they expected to win NH on the eve of the elections because of the enthusiasm of the crowds who greeted her. Hillary in news show appearances also said something about how she was the only one predicting victory when all others didn't. I think it'll be more honest and also better in winning voter goodwill and sympathy if they admitted to their worries and anxiety, and then said how gratified they are by the outcome. Doesn't political psychology 101 say that it is good to play the underdog, lower expectations and then beat them? That's accepted wisdom in debates, so why not in poll outcomes? Over-confidence and a I-knew-it-all-along refrain comes across as arrogant, while a little humility wins voter sympathy and support.
  • Hillary's emotional moment and her fighting back tears was a genuine and unplanned act, in my view, despite allegations to the contrary in some of the media. It seems to have won over voters for her, which supports my contention above. Few people doubt her strength, so she doesn't have to hide her emotions to prove it. So many in the media say that she comes across as so much warmer and likable in smaller private gatherings. I hope she opens up more in public appearances as well from now on.
The outcomes are wide open. Thanks to you, NH, exciting (and hopefully happy) days are ahead.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hillary is dead!!!! Sir Edmund Hillary, that is. R.I.P. He was the first man on Mt.Everest, alongside Tenzing Norgay, his sherpa.(The western press tends to ignore Tenzing's achievement.) But Hillary Clinton is way alive. Looks like the race is really fluid though the crowd is thinning out with Richardson and Dodd dropping out.
Jadra

Sandip Madan said...

True, Jadra, the race is certainly alive and should stretch at least to Super Tuesday in both parties.

Obama seems better positioned in South Carolina (which has a 50% African American population that may switch to Obama en mass on racial considerations though I hope not) as well as Nevada (where that Culinary Workers Union endorsed him.) John Kerry whom I've thought lesser of by the day has also endorsed Obama.

I'm hoping most Democrats excercise better judgement so that Hillary can do better elsewhere...

Anonymous said...

I always considered John Kerry a "limousine liberal" anyway. That is they pretend to be egalitarian from their snob perch. I don't miss him and the Dems should distince themselves from such shallow characters.
Jadra

Sandip Madan said...

True Jadra, we share our distaste for Kerry even though he was much the lesser of the two evils in 2004. :-)