Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Fortune favors the prepared mind

The quote in the title of this blog is from Louis Pasteur. I saw it this morning and through how appropriate it was to last night's Democratic primaries.

What I'm about to write is simply a personal record of what I think I saw on television last night; it's not an invitation to a political flame war.

I watched both Clinton's speech in Ohio last night and Obama's speech in Texas. Here's what I saw:

Clinton reminded me of dozens of successful black women I've met, people who have succeed by working three times as hard anyone else while being ignore, discounted and patronized. People who raised kids, scrubbed floors, got dumped by their men, and still managed to stay in school and get their MBAs and start their own businesses. Clinton shone with determination and pride. Like the women I've known, she was plain spoken, short on vision, and a bit scary. (Yes, I said black women.)

Obama reminded me of some of the brilliant young men I worked with in Silicon Valley. He was eloquent, he was sharp, he was poised. But in his eyes I thought I saw glints of puzzlement and annoyance -- just a slight narrowing of the eyes and tightening of the mouth that said, "Hey. I was great. I was more than great. I kept to the high road. I was original. I was passionate. WFT—I should have won!"

In other words, an attitude of entitlement.

Obama's speech, while a little subdued, was inspiring and visionary. He may yet win. But, as Hillary has known all along, it won't be easy...


  1. I have just the opposite reaction to hearing Hillary speak. For instance - her appearances on morning shows this morning suggesting (with a great deal of condescension) a consolation prize to Obama that he become her VP. Obama is winning the delegate rules and playing by the rules. The only way that Hillary can get the nomination is to break the rules.

  2. Sorry, but I have to agree with the other commenter. Hillary seem less proud than gloating to me and Obama less puzzled than resigned.

    Hillary has seemed to me to be the candidate with the sense of entitlement. She seem to think that the inevitability of her victory was being somehow unfairly thwarted by this young upstart with his fine words and passionate commitment.

    Obama has seemed to be leading a Children's Crusade that has somehow, unexpectedly, succeeded. He's suffered a setback and now we'll see if he has what it takes to win.

    I am hopeful that neither candidate will take us to a fractious convention where they protest the delegate rules under which they've run to give one or the other an undeserved victory.

    Either of these candidates will be fine with me as an alternative to another Republican term.