Time magazine’s package of campaign news this week comes with a commentary from liberal writer Dahlia Lithwick (usually read at the Slate website). The headline was “The Tracks of Her Tears: When Hillary (nearly) wept, women voters saw not just be femininity but also her humanity.” Dahlia saw Hillary mist over in New Hampshire, and what soon followed was resentment at anyone who saw calculation or manipulation when “she finally lowered her cast-iron shield” and grew emotional:
But the gender card resonated, mostly because it turned the men around Clinton into brutes. Whether it was Obama's sounding a rare sour note by assuring the candidate she was "likable enough" or John Edwards' implying that her Portsmouth tears rendered Clinton somehow unfit for the "tough business" of governance, every woman who's ever been asked whether it's that time of the month must have felt some kinship. (Italics hers.)
It's not clear to me that the women who took a second look at Clinton last week did so because she cried or because the media chose to turn a single checked tear into a sprawling metaphor. I suspect that what actually happened was that Clinton finally revealed she wasn't an android programmed to spit out polling data and talking points as well as the boys. Until New Hampshire, Clinton seemed to carry herself like a President trapped inside a woman's body. Punishing the real Hillary for struggling out is not the way to appeal to women voters.
Not that Dahlia would be one of those women voters. She’s a Canadian citizen.