It was inevitable, the media and her vast army of consultants, aides and hired attack dogs assured us, Hillary Clinton would walk all the way to the presidency with easy victories over a slate of lackluster rivals in the primaries.
To hear them tell it you would have thought her campaign was a powerful locomotive speeding down the rails to the White House, unstoppable.
Thursday night it came off the tracks, derailed by the equivalent of the little train that wouldn’t say no.
Barack Obama, a relative newcomer to national politics, a year ago largely unknown, not only defeated Hillary Clinton in their first face-to-face encounter, he walloped her, winning about 36 percent of the vote while Hillary was fighting to climb out of a third place finish, locked in a neck-and-neck battle with John Edwards, with each getting about 30 percent.
The results of tonight’s contest in Iowa confirm the speculation that Mrs. Clinton’s closet full of skeletons would emerge to haunt her as the contest developed. As early as last April, Dick Morris and Eileen McGann wrote that Hillary was rapidly losing her lead over Obama, while the number of people who viewed her unfavorably was steadily increasing.
“Hillary isn’t wearing well,” Morris and McGann wrote. “It seems as if the more people see her, the less they like her. Now, for the first time, her low likeability levels are costing her votes.”
Her attempts to soften her image and shed the popular image of herself as a vindictive, cold, calculating opportunist and remake her image into that of a soft caring human only served to convince much of the public that they are watching a contrived performance meant to conceal her true nature which on the record shows she is anything but the kind, warmhearted human being she wants the voters to think she is.
Too many remember her shocking displays of ruthlessness, such as her cold hearted dismal of the White House Travel Office staff, or her use of thuggish private detectives to harass and slander the women who had been sexually mistreated by her husband.
Barack Obama cleverly tapped into the public’s weariness with the White House being occupied by only two families since 1988, the Bush family and the Clintons. He recognized the public’s desire for new faces and new policies and he made change his rallying cry and rode it to victory.
Hillary Clinton underestimated the public’s resentment against her, and discounted their revulsion with the sleazy conduct she and her husband displayed in the White House, typified by their attempted swiping of White House furnishings and artifacts when they left the mansion, and her husband’s last minute pardoning of the likes of fugitive felon Mark Rich.
Lincoln put it best “You can fool some the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
Iowa may not mark the end of Hillary’s White House dreams, but it is inevitable that it is the beginning of the end.
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