Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cry Baby

That New Hampshire gave no momentum to either of the winners of the Iowa primaries is good news. It means that the ball is still up in the air, and the candidates can continue to debate the issues. An NPR pundit predicts a different result: increased vitriol among the candidates of both parties, which would truly be unfortunate. However, drama queens that pundits are, "vitriol" may simply be their word for candidates' drawing clear lines to define themselves from the other candidates. Disagreement is not the same as mud-slinging.

As with Obama's Iowa wins, the New Hampshire primary provides me an impetus to reconsider my previous choices and leanings. For me, Kucinich throwing his Iowa supporters in the direction of Obama influenced my feeling a little bit better about the Illinois senator.

Hillary's tears (which, frankly, I have not watched video of) did not move me, but Edwards' response, stating that public crying was proof that Hillary would not be able to stand the pressures of the presidency, significantly lowered my esteem for Edwards. It was not merely an unchivalrous remark; it was, more importantly, evidence of reductionist thinking.

We do need leaders who can stand the pressures of holding high office. However, showing emotion does not make one less rational, less capable of sound decision-making.

If anything, it's good to see the more human side of Clinton, whom I've criticized for being too much the smoothly operating machine. Perhaps even the tears were a calculated move and not at all heartfelt, but I'm not yet so entirely cynical as to be certain of that.

Edwards' criticism was caddish and off-base. His remark, more than Clinton's tears, is evidence of someone not yet ready to make sound decisions based on understanding and clear reasoning.

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