The Granite State

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Hillary Clinton and her supporters. Source: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Source: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

It wasn't supposed to be close. "Clinton Braces for Second Loss," read The Wall Street Journal. In Newsday: "Clinton fights for her political life." But it was. After hours and hours of tabulating and waiting, the Obama victory pollsters projected didn't materialize. Can we blame it on, or attribute it to, "The Moment." You know, when there was "A Chink in the Steely Facade of Hillary Clinton," as The Washington Post put it?

Now, as the candidates look forward to South Carolina — and maybe to some well-earned shuteye —, it's clear that the race is close. On both sides of the aisle. Clinton v. Obama v. Gravel. (Just making sure you're still reading). McCain v. Romney v. Huckabee v. Giuliani.

In the first hour, an NPR News special. The inimitable Ken Rudin will join us from New Hampshire to talk about last night's primary. And we'll hear from a chorus of voices from Concord and beyond. Chime in.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Do you think Bill Clinton will be used more to attack Obama? Or perhaps Bill will only be used when Hilary is behind in the polls. Your thoughts?

Sent by Mark Breen, a WBEZ Chicago member | 2:13 PM | 1-9-2008

The question would be who are polsters polling? Are they really reaching a wide spectrum of voters? How is this process done?

Sent by Letitia Haynes | 2:14 PM | 1-9-2008

Hey, just 'cause the pundits thought it wouldn't be close does NOT mean "it wasn't supposed to be close." The traditional media outlets jumped on a bandwagon, quoting each other and falling for that common theme.
Many of us enjoying this moment of schadenfreude, the failure of the media to see what's going on, as much as Hilary Clinton's victory.
Oh, and by the way, this was one PRIMARY. A primary in a small very white, mostly conservative state. Please recognize that there's a long way to go to the election, and it isn't over by a long shot.

Sent by Cheryl Boone-Delgado | 2:17 PM | 1-9-2008

I suppose we can be surprised at the pollsters' failing in predicting the NH primary results. However, maybe I don't understand modern political calculus, but is Senator Clinton's 3.6 percentage point victory over Sen. Obama really a triumph? Especially given the "machine" she apparently had in place in NH. To me it looks like she's proved herself able to narrowly pull herself ahead of someone the establishment had presumed wouldn't be a factor in her "corronation."

Sent by Cheesesteak the Impaler | 2:19 PM | 1-9-2008

i've heard that ron paul did not get one vote yesterday in the primary, even though people where interviewed who did vote for him. can you comment on that.

Sent by dan | 2:23 PM | 1-9-2008

I would like to register my disappointment with NPR for joining the chorus of star-struck major news networks. You all insist on discussing the "competition" between the glam King & Queen, Obama & Hillary. Even after Iowa, and John Edwards bumped Hillary to third place, the mantra was the same, Obama versus Clinton. Clinton was not portrayed as the runner up, Edwards was not championed as achieving a coup putting himself on the political map ahead of Clinton.
Your report after the NH votes again presented recorded statements from Clinton, Obama AND Huckabee! - but no live airtime for Edwards! I wish you folks would focus on ISSUES - options being discussed by all - including Kucinich - and not so much on the horse race.
You folks hold an immense amount of power in shaping people's opinions. Your omissions are as telling as the spins you choose to parrot.

Sent by Heather Bellanca | 2:29 PM | 1-9-2008

After hearing the results, I have come to two conclusions: either the people of New Hampshire are liars or the voting was rigged. Neither of which reflect well on their state. They keep telling the rest of the nation to trust them to be the first because they have all this experience. I think we've been had.

I recall reading that people who voted for McCain did so because they were mad at the Bush administration. That makes no sense. McCain has been in lock step with this administration so what would be different with John in the White House? Again and again, we keep hearing that people want a change in Washington, yet voted for the status quo. I am very perplexed.

Someone please explain this notion of experience presidential candidates now need? If the only place you can get this type of experience is from having been in the White House previously, then how will anyone on the outside be qualified for the job? Isn't that what dynastic rulers say? Only our family knows what's best so don't worry about anything?

This is the first time in my life that I fear for my nation's future as a democracy.

Sent by ecotopian | 2:33 PM | 1-9-2008

Please explain to me the appeal of Ron Paul among young voters. I don't understand it! He seems to have marketed himself somehow to be appealing to a young independent crowd, yet has extremely conservative viewpoints such as no pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants and a pro-life stance. I'm confused as to how he gets young people on board....

Sent by Erin | 2:33 PM | 1-9-2008

after Bush Cheney time to take of a Hillery Baraka ticket

Sent by Diamond Dave Whitaker | 2:41 PM | 1-9-2008

Why is the media scared of Kucinich? I've eliminated Clinton because she tows the Bush line, the rest of the candidates are about the same old thing.

Kucinich has been denied access to debates despite meeting the criteria. Why is the only candidate that truly offers the American people true change - kept out of the spotlight??

Sent by Linda | 2:45 PM | 1-9-2008

In the last 5 minutes one of the commentators has said "between he and..."
and "a ugly...". What has happened to English usage on NPR?

Sent by cd | 2:50 PM | 1-9-2008

I think, and there have probably been many comments of the same stripe, that the media--especially concerning this election--is merely ebbing and flowing with the candidates' victories and defeats. When Obama won in Iowa you heard nothing else but wondering praise of him, turning his perceptions of change into a mere bumper-sticker catch phrase. Now that Mrs. Clinton has taken New Hampshire the media is swinging the other way, all but declaring a Clinton victory in the primary. Same thing with McCain. All of a sudden he's a Maverick again. When will the media stop trying to create some kind of political boxing match? In this way you could argue that the media is responsible for helping elect our presidents. Many may not agree, but that's the way it seems at present.

Sent by Casey Smith | 2:51 PM | 1-9-2008

Today's Talk of the Nation sounded like an advertisement for the Obama McCain campaign's. One of Mr. Conan's guests even managed to subtly imply that the Clinton campaign might be engaging in "push polling"! What remarkable propaganda! Never did any of the guests or host mention that the most famous case of push polling was perpetrated by the Republican Party when the Bush camp use that technique against McCain! But now we suspect Clinton despite the fact there is absolutely no precedent in her past of that sort of behavior. Keep up the good work, TOTN. Your bias shows more clearly daily.

Sent by Edmund Bentivengo | 3:03 PM | 1-9-2008

The woman who called re: the respect issue of "Hillary being called by her first name and Obama by his last" is correct! As an Executive Coach, I hear this all the time in Corporate America (it hardly happens in Europe). Most men have female administrative assistants, and become used to calling them by their first names. Often, they inadvertently extend this to female colleagues and do not understand that it's a problem. The issue is not Hillary's desire to be on a first name basis with voters - the issue is whether the Media in their capacity as a journalist - not a voter - affords her the same respect as the male candidates in the field. I have never heard you make this mistake, Neal!

Sent by Teri from Michigan | 3:14 PM | 1-9-2008

The Hillary Watchers had it wrong. She is the most scrutinized politician out there and she can't yawn without the Talking Heads analyzing it and declaring that it is just a political ploy. All of the babble about how "unpopular" she is is just a way of saying that the Wacko Right does not like her, for whatever bizarre reason. She is certainly not the most liberal candidate. But she touches something deep within their twisted psyche; maybe just latent misogyny. She is certainly popular enough to win two elections in New York State and lead all the boys nationally amoung Democratic voters. So somebody likes her. We are lucky to have two excellant choices for President in Senator Clinton and Senator Obama...either one is a vast improvement over what we have had for the last 7 years.

Sent by George from Oregon | 3:16 PM | 1-9-2008

The coverage of Hilary Clinton in the analysis of the NH primary is very revealing of exactly how little male pundits "get it." They can't imagine how Clinton managed to win in NH. Maybe it's because they are too busy seeing woman as belonging to a mythical "sisterhood" while they are oblivious to the male "brotherhood" that runs the world.

I am a Democrat, female, over 50, and happily married with a Masters in Socio-linguistics. I do not see myself as part of a sisterhood. I was NOT a Hilary Clinton supporter prior to the ABC debate last week. In fact, I didn't like her much. However, the two male contenders simply lost my support during that debate. I like Edwards' message, criticizing corporate greed, but I did not like the way he tag teamed with Obama against Clinton. It made Edwards appear WEAK. I have read both of Obama's books and was thrilled when he entered the race, but I have heard little content in his message since he entered the race and he did nothing to help himself during the ABC debate. He also sounded patronizing and disrespectful when Clinton called him likable and he responded directly to her with "You're likable enough, Hilary." (She didn't address him by his first name and she replied to her interviewer's question instead of directly addressing Obama about his personality.) Obama came across as petulant and WEAK in that exchange because it takes a strong person to have a sense of humor and be gracious in the face of a constant barrage of criticism such as Clinton has endured for decades. Clinton came across as STRONG, self-aware, and content with who she is. This is not the way the media has portrayed her.

Clinton was neither defensive nor aggressive during the debate but she was ASSERTIVE and made a strong case for herself as someone who makes change happen rather than just talking about it. For the first time, I'm seeing her as steel that has been tempered in the crucible of public scrutiny and criticism and has come out the stronger for it. This isn't the Clinton of the past. It's the Clinton of the future. That's change!

It's time for woman President, but it has to be the right woman--a woman who speaks to everyone in the country who is suffering economically and is afraid for the future, just as it is time for a black President but it has to be the right black President. Obama may be the right person someday soon (I fervently hope so), but apparently not yet because he gave me the feeling with his lack of respect for Clinton that when he talks about uniting the country he's not including women. When he says "you" to his audience I'm not convinced that he is talking to women or thinking about women at all. If he thinks he needs Oprah in order to attract the female vote, he's clueless about the female voter.

When Clinton talks about uniting the country, she is talking to EVERYONE, regardless of ethnicity or gender. She's not talking just to some mythical sisterhood.

However, the pundits are still not giving Clinton credit where credit is due. No, now they wondering if Obama lost due to hidden racism on the part of the NH electorate rather than recognizing that Clinton won by virtue of speaking to everyone and having solid content and actions behind her words. Obama lost because he came up short in both those areas.

Sent by Kiernan Phipps | 4:06 PM | 1-9-2008

Remember the words of the late Shirley Chisholm who said, "I've always met more discrimination being a woman than being black...When I ran for the Congress, when I ran for president, I met more discrimination as a woman than for being black. Men are men."

Women are 50% of the voters in our country. Pundits and candidates would be wise not to tarnish the airwaves with sexist commentary. That may just unite us for a candidate who is not necessarily our first choice.

Sent by Mary Lou Crifasi | 4:15 PM | 1-9-2008

Listening to Talk of the Nation and a caller, I knew when she called and asked Talk of the Nation to refer to a democratic candidate as Clinton not by her first name. To give her the same status in which they were giving the men. Women notice, and men chuckling over it is humiliating and that lit my fire to vote for Senator Clinton. Yes, women notice that the subtle put downs by our male counterparts. Address this please. How do you want your fourteen year old daughter to feel when she's referred by her first name and yet her male counterpart is referred to as Mr.___? What are you telling her when you chuckle over another person calling it as it is. It happens every day and if you have daughters do them a favor and talk with them about how they feel society views them as a woman in their own land. It may suprise you.

Sent by Mrs. Rosenberg | 6:33 PM | 1-9-2008

I find it truly difficult to understand how people are pointing to the Obama/Clinton exchange in the ABC debate as a point for Clinton. Obviously, the "likable enough" comment came across as less than authentic, but what were people's expectations? After the Bill Shaheen fiasco (and rumors of similar tactics being subtly encouraged by the Clinton camp), can we really expect Obama to be convincing in any statement affirming Clinton's likability?! Even if his comment was half-hearted, I still think that it would have played worse if he had left her hanging by saying nothing in response to her (transparently prompting) comment that, "I don't think I'm that bad."

Moreover, the 'use of the first name is disrespectful' criticism is a canard: Clinton is called "Hillary" in large part because she is still the less famous Clinton. If Michelle Obama were a former president, then I have no doubt he would frequently be called "Barack."

Also, in this era of focused grouped strategies, I have no doubt that Clinton has branded herself as Hillary because she expects that being addressed by her first name has all upside and no downside for her campaign. It will help her (in a pandering way) with men who are less comfortable with powerful women. Clearly, it also helps her with professional women (by eliciting sympathy).

Sent by David Stout | 7:15 PM | 1-9-2008

Ah emotions, they do seem to get people out to vote don't they?
Whether or not we call it a chink in the old armor, the press have given Clinton's emotional statement enough attention that it will have an affect on voters. Wrong or right, it doesn't matter.

Just a note. Edwards sided with Obama because he thinks Obama is going to win. And let's face it, anything is better than what we have now, besides maybe Guiliani. But, the first writer is right and wrong at the same time. Clinton may be speaking to everyone, but you have to believe that now women are coming out in numbers because of the message Edwards is sending and that will have a major affect on the polls.

It did here.

Sent by Joseph | 7:44 PM | 1-9-2008

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