The Electoral Vote site has an interesting analysis on the recent wrap-up of the primary and the state of the general, but ironically, this bit of data on Sen. Clinton really jumped out at me:
She wrote the speech herself, with help from one of her speechwriters. She is at her best when she is herself. During the whole campaign, her handlers have tried to turn her into some kind of steel robot who always marches forward, ignores all criticism, and is convinced she is never wrong--kind of like a smarter version of George Bush. Many people have said that in person she is warm and friendly. Her handlers apparently decided early on that the only way for a woman to win was to be tougher than Maggie Thatcher and Golda Meir combined. It didn't work. If you are naturally a combatative, feisty person (see: Sen. Barbara Boxer), then be that. If you are naturally more feminine on the outside while still being tough on the inside (see: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison), then be that. The lesson is be yourself. Barack Obama is comfortable in his skin. It comes through.
That and the Iraq Vote are what the whole primary, IMO, ultimately boiled down to. Yes, Sen. Clinton faced a great deal of sexism (see: Chris "Tweety" Matthews), but Sen. Obama faced at least an equal amount of racism (see: the entire Rev. Wright flap). I had no idea that she'd written that speech herself. Why do so many Democrats straitjacket themselves while running for office and only escape when they concede (see: Al Gore and John Kerry)? It was a fantastic speech, and I say that as an Obama supporter who was very critical of her during the primary, and I really hope we see this Senator Clinton on the campaign trail, but if she runs in 2016 (or gods help us if it's necessary, 2012), I hope she tells guys like Penn and McAuliffe how the campaign will be run rather than the reverse.
Fortunately, we don't have that problem with Sen. Obama. He's the real thing from start to finish. Yet the massive gains we may be looking at down ticket could just as easily fizzle if Democrats go back to the politics of timidity, which Hunter so ably described. Sincerity doesn't just make us feel good. It wins elections.
Hope is a phoenix