Hillary and Barack ObamaMatthew Dowd
A year ago, Hillary Clinton was 30-points ahead over any rival in the Democratic primary. She had outraised everyone at that point by more than a two to one margin. She had the backing of the majority of the Democratic establishment. She had the backing of a popular former president who happened to be her husband. And she lost.
So what happened?
Like any story, the reasons and causes aren't easily reduced to a one paragraph explanation and there were multiple causes for why Clinton lost. I will reflect on just on a few from my perspective.
This is a race that Clinton could have won and should have won, and came very close. And her gender ultimately didn't have much to do with the loss.
The following is my attempt at explaining what happened:
1. She ran for months and months as the candidate of experience and the electorate overwhelmingly wanted change. She wasted many resources and much time arguing and building a case based on experience, and two-thirds of Democratic voters wanted change. She tried turning this around late in the game and Obama owned it at that point.
2. The political environment of this race was much different than 2004 or 2000. In those elections, strength was the key attribute the country was looking for. The country desired more of a father figure. Today, the country is looking for more a a healing presence, someone more nurturing and demonstrating an ability to bring the American family together -- more of a mothering persona. The country wanted a Mom, and Hillary gave them a Dad. She tried to hard to demonstrate her toughness and strength and voters wanted more caretaking and sensitivity.
3. Presidential campaigns are always about understanding voters fears, but then asking them to vote their hopes. Clinton did an unbelievable job speaking to voters fears but she never crossed the bridge to speak to voters hopes. She got stuck in the fear equation and voters needed her to move to hope at some point. All article at: Huffington Post Blog