As regular readers of this space know--all 12.82 of you--I've been a confident, enthusiastic supporter of Hillary Clinton for years. I admit it, I want Bill back, but also I want my daughter to know that a woman can be president. And I think that in many ways Clinton would be a more effective leader than Barack Obama.
In a contest against John McCain, I felt that she would run a stronger race. I bought her "strength and experience" argument and still think that against McCain, Obama will look like a freshman Senator without much of a legislative record.
But...every time I see Barack on TV I like what he says and the way he says it. He makes me feel good about myself in a way that Hillary doesn't (but Bill did). And as a graduate of a "women's" college (Sarah Lawrence) I found myself alone among my classmates in supporting the woman running for president. Plus some leading feminists I know who have supported Hillary all along are ready to make the switch. They say, and I agree, that Clinton ran on the wrong message, took the "inevitability" factor too seriously, relied too much on her husband's poll ratings, and failed to retool her campaign in Iowa in time to make a difference (which would have changed everything).
I still think she's thought through policy solutions more completely than he has and that she would be ,as she somewhat inelegantly puts it, "ready from Day One" to confront the nation's problems. But I've decided I'd be just as excited as my friends are to see Obama in the White House. So while I voted for Hillary yesterday, I can do the math that Chuck Todd was doing on MSNBC last night too, and I don't see how she can win this thing.
However...the always lively and intelligent Maureen Dowd makes a good case today about how women have rallied behind Hillary before when she's been on the ropes, despite whatever ambivalence they have about her husband. And if she wins big in Ohio and Texas, she'll be another comeback kid.