Thursday, January 10, 2008

Crying Game

I've done it. Lot's of women do it. But should a woman running for president do it? It's the crying game! The emotions are very real and perhaps to call it the crying game is inappropriate. The thing is, when Hillary Clinton cried the other day, it made me less inclined to vote for her.

She is on the campaign trail. She lost unexpectedly in Iowa. Then she breaks down. If her emotions are so uncontrolled while campaigning, how will they be if she is elected president? If she is in tense negotiations where millions of lives are at stake, will she let her emotions rule?

I cannot help but compare her to Britain's former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: the Iron Lady. I could never imagine the Iron Lady breaking down in public when the going was tough. In private yes, but not in public.

I'm also reminded of what happened to former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. When it mattered most, Blanco appeared "dazed and confused," says Bernie Pinsonat, a bipartisan political consultant in Baton Rouge, La. When NBC's Matt Lauer asked her whether it was hard to find words to reassure the public, she tried to muster optimism, then circled back to despair. "You know, our people out here are so fearful. They're so worried ... It's a nightmare."

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, by contrast, never veered from his message of hope and optimism.

Hillary Clinton lost control the other day. Many people do. Howard Dean made his infamous yearrrgghh of victory after winning after running a strong grass-roots campaign and winning third in the Iowa caucus in 2004. He was excited. Too excited. And it cost him.

Why should Hillary Clinton be any different? She is running to become president of the United States. If she can't hack the campaign trail, how will she ever be able to cope with the stress of leading the United States?