Friday, January 04, 2008

Hillary Lost

Hillary lost. Saying that gives me so much pleasure I think I'll do it again.

Hillary Lost.

I know the race is just beginning and that Mrs. Bill Clinton is bound to win some primaries in the future but this was the first test in the nomination race and she lost.

Peggy Noonan has some thoughts on Hillary's loss:

And so it begins.

We wanted exciting, we got exciting.

As this is written, late on the night of the caucuses, the outlines of the decisions seem clear: Barack Obama won.

Hillary Clinton, the inevitable, the avatar of the machine, lost.

It's huge. Even though people have been talking about this possibility for six weeks now, it's still huge. She had the money, she had the organization, the party's stars, she had Elvis behind her, and the Clinton name in a base that loved Bill. And she lost. There are always a lot of reasons for a loss, but the ur-reason in this case, the thing it all comes down to? There's something about her that makes you look, watch, think, look again, weigh and say: No.

She started out way ahead, met everyone, and lost.

As for Sen. Obama, his victory is similarly huge. He won the five biggest counties in Iowa, from the center of the state to the South Dakota border. He carried the young in a tidal wave. He outpolled Mrs. Clinton among women.

He did it with a classy campaign, an unruffled manner, and an appeal on the stump that said every day, through the lines: Look at who I am and see me, the change that you desire is right here, move on with me and we will bring it forward together.

He had a harder row to hoe than Mrs. Clinton did. He was lesser known, too young, lacked an establishment. He had to knock her down while building himself up. (She only had to build herself up until the end, when she went after his grade-school essays.) His takedown of Mrs. Clinton was the softest demolition in the history of falling buildings. I think we were there when it happened, in the debate in which he was questioned on why so many of Bill Clinton's aides were advising him. She laughed, and he said he was looking forward to her advising him, too. He took mama to school.

And so something new begins on the Democratic side.

Hillary is not heading to a coronation. She may not even get the nomination. While I believe that Obama is a better human being than Mrs. Clinton (he would almost have to be) he is, in fact, more left-wing than she is. An Obama presidency would be an even bigger disaster than a second Clinton presidency.

However for now it is enough that Hillary Lost.