Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tracks of Her Tears

Everybody’s got something to say about Hillary Clinton getting a catch in her voice yesterday as she spoke about what running for president means to her, so I might as well get in a word or two.

This is the kind of stuff that makes good people not vote. This is the meaningless drivel that gets all the press, not the plans for providing health care, not the understanding — or lack thereof — of the nuances of dealing with foreign governments or knowing the difference between Shia and Sunni, not the solutions for a crumbling education system. And this is the kind of crap that forces good people out of the race or down in the polls (based on a two-minute film clip) for reasons that no one can fathom other than the feeding frenzy for something that isn’t about breathtakingly boring like how to lead the last remaining superpower on earth.

So is it any wonder why we end up with campaigns that are managed down to the last second and that any cracks are seen as geological faults, or even the off-the-cuff remarks at the “debates” are rehearsed and focus-group tested? And is it any wonder that nobody, least of all the candidates themselves, know what they actually stand for without having it vetted and prepped to the point that it’s meaningless?

By the way, Mitt Romney has choked up more than once in public appearances; once on Meet the Press in front of Tim Russert. It was a one-day story. But let Hillary Clinton get a catch in her voice and the right wing is already setting up a website about it. Double standard or just plain sexism? Both.