The Impact of Tears

OK, so today during a campaign stop Hilary Clinton apparently teared up and allowed emotion into her voice. (See here for more if you need to.) And then John Edwards replied , “I think what we need in a commander-in-chief is strength and resolve, and presidential campaigns are tough business, but being president of the United States is also tough business”. Now the blogosphere is abuzz with how unfair this has been to Senator Clinton and how if anyone else shows emotion, it’s depth but for her, it’s a breakdown and why is Edwards so mean? and…

Personally, I don’t think Clinton’s teary moment is a big deal. It’s been a long campaign, it hasn’t gone her way lately, and, win or lose, this is the capstone of her career. I think it’s entirely forgivable if she has a vulnerable moment and allows some of that to leak through. Here’s what I don’t get: Edwards has been campaigning just as long and just as hard. It’s pretty much the last act of his career, too. He’s seen Hilary crowned as the inevitable candidate and Barack as the “change” candidate, while the national press has ignored his message and focused on his haircut. Why isn’t it conceivable that his comment also reflects exhaustion and snappishness rather than a deep flaw?

I admit, I’m an Edwards supporter. But the reaction coverage seems genuinely out of line here. She was weak for a moment and let slip some tears. He was weak for a moment and snarked her. It’s passed, now, people.

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