Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's not over for the Hil.

I am not going to get political over Hillary Clinton but I would like to share my socio/anthropological perspective on the tearing up incident. No pretense at punditry here, just the vantage point of 25 years in the workforce.

The fact is, brilliant people lose it at work. Men pound their fists, throw things, sweep stuff off their desks, yell... in short, express frustration through a sudden, physical burst of anger. Women cry. If you think fist-pounding demonstrates more poise and self control than weeping, you're probably a man.

After the storm, these often uber-competent people (sorry, I can't type an umlaut) roll up their sleeves and get back to work. Sometimes, emotion in the workplace stems from commitment and exacting standards, qualities for which there is a huge need in business, politics and life in general.

The cartoonist Oliphant drew a picture of Hillary crying in front of an assortment of bullies, buffoons and brutes- Kim Jong Il, Ahmedinedjad, Bin Laden etc. -I am not spellchecking any of this. What the old boy doesn't get is that Hillary's tears were a form of release, not a breakdown in competence. And no competent female leader would cry in Oliphant's scenario. If she gets elected, Hillary may from time to time go bury her head in a vintage lace-trimmed pillow in the Lincoln bedroom. No one will know but Bill if he's spending the night. This occasional venting will in no way affect her performance as commander in chief.

The women who turned out for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire know this. They did not, as Bill Kristol would have it, give Hillary an electoral hug because they felt sorry for her. They gave her a vote of confidence in reaction to 48 hours of mostly male pundits pointing fingers at Hillary for tearing up. Nanny nanny boo boo, look who's crying now. Can't you just picture Chris Mathews lobbing a paperweight against the wall?

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