This story was written by Jaclyn Thies, Daily Toreador
Last week, Barack Obama, D-Ill., clinched enough delegates to make him the Democratic Party's nominee going into the presidential election. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., put up a good fight, but came up short in the end. Now that the race for democratic nominee is over, it's time to decipher what went wrong and why she just couldn't cut it.
Clinton once had a very strong fan base consisting mostly of women. Especially made up of the more aged variety, these women clung to her and vowed allegiance. But as the race for delegates heated up, more and more pressure was placed on Clinton both as a woman and a politician. The feminine qualities Clinton offered to the nation began to become questionable. One moment she sobbed about her triumphs as a woman candidate against all odds, only to become fiercely masculine in her debates with Obama, showing her claws in all their glory. The strategy ultimately led to her downfall and instead produced a weakened sense of character in front of the public. She couldn't be both feminine and masculine in the media spotlight, and something had to give. Her shifting personalities confused an American audience that couldn't afford to be confused by politicians, an audience that was already skeptical about a secretive government.
Whether or not it is fair that Clinton slipped in numbers for that reason is up for debate, but Barack Obama fed off her washy demeanor. His team of political advisors jumped on Clinton's seemingly split personality. Obama kept a cool, level head in comparison with Clinton, leaving the audiences to decide for themselves which candidate would be more fit for office.d
Slowly but surely, Obama's campaign chewed into her fan base of women with this tactic. However, Obama also used another tactic in bringing more support to his side of the democratic campaign. You may recall that Barack Obama's wife, Michelle Obama, started to make more media appearances at the end of the race, which lasted over a year. That wasn't her just being friendly; that was a strategic wife trying to convince Clinton's female supporters to change sides from Clinton to Barack Obama. By showing Barack Obama as a family man out for the interests of the typical American household, it was a shoo-in. More and more women trusted Michelle Obama's voice, switched allegiances, and bid Clinton farewell.
The media wasn't exactly kind to Clinton in retrospect, but can't be blamed for simply doing their job. Undoubtedly, Barack Obama has an appeal that Hillary Clinton is missing, and the media certainly capitalized by focusing attention on Barack Obama. An attractive and personable "young" man, Barack Obama was given more coverage than Clinton simply because he was able to make the media more money and attract more viewers. Through the internet, newspapers, and television talk shows, Barack Obama was the targeted interest. He even had a slew of celebrity suppporters like Oprah Winfrey and Scarlett Johansson, both individuals who are highly looked up to in the public spotlight. His campaign was more interesting and zestful than Clinton's, as her campaign was targeted to an older audience. The slogan "Change You Can Believe In" adorned Barack's campaign trial. John McCain himself copied Barack Obama's style by altering the slogan into the phrase "A Leader You Can Believe In."
The slogan was so catchy that the Republican candidate copied his style.
Sure, Hillary Clinton might have been the more qualified candidate, but the nation didn't seem to care. The United States as a whole prefers a candidate that has yet to be tainted by White House affairs and major controversy.
In the end, Clinton's lack of strong personality is what lead to her ultimate failure in the race to the big chir. It turned her female fans away, cut her off from the media and flopped her campaign into a blob of boring politics. Who wants that?
And yes, I have to mention it: Women's suffrage took considerably longer to pass as an amendment when compared to the black man's right to vote. The country might be savvy enough to elect a black president, but not hip enough to put a woman in charge. A sad realization, yes, but stark reality nonetheless.
If John McCain stands a chance in November's election, he should consider copying Barack Obama's style to a greater extent. He should seriously think about sending wife Cindy McCain out for some quality time with reporters and talk-show hosts to take some women voters out of Barack Obama's camp. The upcoming months are going to be exciting, invigorating, and most importantly, full of controversy. It's nice to finally know what the nation has to work with.