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Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Klein goes on to observe that politics inherently favors male traits because well, it's always been a man's game! And Clinton doesn't do particularly well at the big rally, strutting around, ginning up the crowd kind of politics. In fact, many people can't understand how she can possibly be winning unless she's cheating somehow.
But she's winning too big for that. Before last night her winning margin in the popular vote was bigger than any Democratic presidential primary candidate in the last 30 years:
And after last night that margin grew even bigger.
So, what gives? How can someone who is supposedly so bad at all the things we think politicians have to be good at be winning like that?
Klein proposes that she's using a different kind of politics. And she's very, very good at it:
[A]nother way to look at the primary is that Clinton employed a less masculine strategy to win. She won the Democratic primary by spending years slowly, assiduously, building relationships with the entire Democratic Party. She relied on a more traditionally female approach to leadership: creating coalitions, finding common ground, and winning over allies. Today, 523 governors of members of Congress have endorsed Clinton; 13 have endorsed Sanders.
This work is a grind — it's not big speeches, it doesn't come with wide applause, and it requires an emotional toughness most human beings can't summon.
But Clinton is arguably better at that than anyone in American politics today. In 2000, she won a Senate seat that meant serving amidst Republicans who had destroyed her health care bill and sought to impeach her husband. And she kept her head down, found common ground, and won them over...
And Clinton isn't just better — she's relentless. After losing to Barack Obama, she rebuilt those relationships, campaigning hard for him in the general, serving as his secretary of state, reaching out to longtime allies who had crushed her campaign by endorsing him over her.
That's not as sexy as Donald Trump landing in his gold plated 767, but it'll get 'er done.
None of this is to say that Clinton is necessarily going to be a great president. We simply don't know that. She is, after all, a mainstream Democrat very similar to President Obama with all that that implies. She'll be under the same constraints and probably even more pressure from her left from people who were much more inclined to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. You never really know how someone is going to perform in that job until they do it.
But as Klein says, it's time to show some respect for Clinton's political skills. Nobody gets where she is without them. It's just that her skills are different than the men who came before and we simply don't recognize them as skills. And maybe that's the only way a woman could have done it.
One thing is for sure, the Democrats need someone with political skill to ensure they beat Donald Trump. And maybe it's just lucky it's Clinton going up against him. He is a wild man who doesn't play by the rules but in her own way, neither does she. I'd bet on her skills over his animal instincts any day.
digby 6/08/2016 09:30:00 AM