Dear Hillary Clinton,
I’ve had a lot of sympathy for you. You had name recognition and a commanding lead in the polls before actual voting and caucusing began, and were making history as the first woman to run for President on a major party ticket, and yet you were never able to deliver the knock-out punch you and your gifted chief strategist were hoping for. The presidential nomination that you thought was yours moved ever further away from you.
You were the first student to give the commencement speech during your graduation from Wellesley and were a graduate of Yale Law, working-class roots that are so solid I was surprised to see you drinking beer and taking a shot of whiskey to play up those roots. I winced as your husband blundered about like a Bill in a china shop, afraid that his antics would damage your reputation.
But it wasn’t until you started playing up your gas tax holiday plan — or, rather, your echo of John McCain’s plan — that I started losing that sympathy. “I’m not going to put my lot in with economists”? Really? The economists’ analysis of your gas tax holiday plan is an example of “elitist opinion”? Color me stupid, but I’d like the President to take advice from people who know what the hell they’re talking about instead of going with their gut.
But now? Now you’ve squandered any sympathy I might have had for you.
“I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,” she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article “that found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”
“There’s a pattern emerging here,” she went on to say. No kidding. That pattern is you and your campaign moving slowly from insinuating that Obama is just a black candidate to decrying his playing the “race card” to out-and-out saying that whites won’t vote for him because he’s black.
It turns out that when you were running on your establishment credentials against Obama’s message of change, you were hearkening back to the 48th governor of my state.