Election 2008


‘Sincerity’ Triumphs in New Hampshire

January 09, 2008 03:57 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
John McCain was consistent and a tearful Hillary Clinton appealed to voters with her apparent frankness. Not so long ago, both candidates were foundering.

30-Second Summary

Losers in the Iowa caucus—McCain placed fourth, Clinton third—the two candidates bounced back to win the New Hampshire primaries.

Some attribute these victories to the unquantifiable attribute of sincerity. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), for example, has stood firm as the maverick candidate throughout his campaign.

Most notably, he supported the Iraq troop surge, a policy that is getting better press now than in the summer when McCain’s popularity was plummeting.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (R-N.Y.), on the other hand, made headlines on the day of the primary with a display of emotion many commentators depicted as uncharacteristic and sympathetic.

In her victory speech, Clinton told voters, “I came to you with a very full heart … Over the last week, I listened to you, and in the process, I found my own voice.”

Headline: ‘McCain and Clinton Win in New Hampshire’

Key Players: John McCain and Hillary Clinton

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.)

In a shift from her usual campaign method of “sticking to her stump speech and rarely showing her emotions,” Clinton responded openly and emotionally to voters during a gathering at a New Hampshire coffee shop, reports The Wall Street Journal. Although such outbursts can harm a presidential campaign, the Journal did not think that the case in this instance. “Mrs. Clinton has for years struggled with likability. Some voters see her as smart at espousing policy but lacking in sincerity. That means an emotional moment could work in her favor.” Clinton had tears in her eyes when responding to a voter who asked about the effort it takes to campaign: “I couldn't do it if I didn't just passionately believe it was the right thing to do … I have so many opportunities from this country, and I just don't want to see us fall backwards as a nation. This is very personal for me."

Background: Economist podcast on New Hampshire

Opinion & Analysis: How frank

John McCain
Hillary Clinton

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