Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Put-Upon Put-On

Is there anything appealing about Hillary Clinton's woe-is-me act? Her "Why do I always have to go first" whining at the debate in Ohio, followed immediately and infuriatingly by "I don't mind"? You can't have it both ways - you can't complain about something and then try to score stoicism points. If you're stoic, you shut up and deal with it. If you're going to complain, complain directly and candidly and then shut up. Maureen O'Dowd cited another example of this, when Hillary said, "Every so often I just wish that it were a little more of an even playing field, but, you know, I play on whatever field is out there," on "Nightline." Surely this infantile, disingenuous and pathetic attitude can't be helping her gain ground against Obama - can it? Do people really feel sorry for her? Do they somehow see the sorriest, most self-pitying aspect of themselves in her, and find the invitation to wallow in its pathos irresistible? Is it - yikes - a semi-coded cue to women, who've long, and justifiably, felt that the cards were stacked against them? I wonder what button she's pushing, and why it's working. Could be that her vaunted comeback is just a coincidence, but I can't see how her sore-loser, the-sun-was-in-my-eyes routine could possibly endear her to anyone at all, let alone to any voter.