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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Let's All Calm Down and Reflect

I appreciated the bulk of Clinton's speech yesterday but let's not all go overboard here:

It needs to be said that Hillary struck an extraordinarily difficult balancing act with real grace and eloquence. On the one hand, she needed to signal that she has built a movement of her own and to reinforce the idea that she is the undisputed leader of American women -- both as a genuine point of pride and as proof of her undiminishing influence. Hence the repeated references to the 18 million votes she earned.

This is buying into a dangerous meme, as The Jed Report highlights. Sure, she did well among women in many of the primary contests but Obama ran a strong second in the vast majority of states in which Hillary carried the women vote. He also won the female vote in 14 states. "The undisputed leader of American women" is a mantle both deceptive and dangerous. Let's not calcify the us-vs-them wound that needs to heal in the Party.

The vast bulk of Hillary's supporters, 90% or so according to most estimations based on current polling and historical precedent, will come to support Obama after a short time of unity-building. We need to get over the "you got your votes and I got mine" mentality.