Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hillary's other problem: her bio

"In a place called Hope"

An essential part of a candidate's campaign is his or her biography. The romanticization of how he or she got to the present, what had to be overcome, the "This is Your Life" quality of that story, has been used to woo voters, to frame the discussion about the personal qualities of a candidate.

Imagine Hillary Clinton at the Democratic Convention, the nominee of the party. Then the video montage of her life comes on. What is in it? Can you imagine a video montage which includes anything from the Bill Clinton White House?

Does she include that, although extraordinarily talented, she put much of her career on hold for her husband? Oops, back to the Bill Clinton White House.

The montage takes candidates to their roots. And Hillary's roots are ... in the state that Obama represents. Hillary is a Chicagoan. She pumped up the AFL-CIO members last August in the Chicago debate by saying, "My late father was a fanatic Bears fan, so the idea that any of his children would be on the 10 yard line at Soldier Field is a tremendous accomplishment." Being from a rust belt city is an asset to her.

If she had been elected to the Senate from a state other than New York, it might have been different. But she's had to take off her Cubs hat to don a Yankees hat because you have to be a Yankees fan to win New York. Undying loyalty to any other team means you're not a real New Yorker.

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