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Battle for the middle

Justin Webb | 06:50 UK time, Tuesday, 8 January 2008

To me, Hillary Clinton looked more exhausted than upset in her emotional moment here in New Hampshire.

But I have to say, of the candidates I have seen performing here the least exhausted has been the 71-year-old Senator John McCain. After his rally in Portsmouth, he looked bright-eyed and ready for the fray: and there is no question that his campaign - like Obama's last week - is feeling bullish.

I asked him how he would match up against Barack Obama but he refused to get into the subject. Fair enough: but this seems to me to be the big issue for McCain. In the absence of another terrorist attack, how does he convince a more relaxed "post war"-feeling nation, that a gritty, elderly man is the right choice? Still ,it would be a huge battle for the independent vote of the United States - the middle ground that both men are capable of attracting - and that might be no bad thing for America.

Meanwhile, my friend Sarah Smith, the able and forthright Washington Correspondent for Britain's Channel Four News, was caught out badly at a Clinton rally the other night. As the photo shows, she put on her fanciest clothes to attend the event, and found that the candidate had made the same choice!

I am sure Sarah is a fighter for women's rights and for Hillary Clinton's right to stand, but she had not previously seen the former First Lady as her fashion guru. Hillary may be re-thinking her life if she loses, but Sarah is already re-thinking her wardrobe...

Comments   Post your comment

When Hillary's personal Achilles is exposed so suddenly, I can't help wondering about the importance to her of overcoming what happened to Bill (and what he did to her) during his presidency. Winning this would have healed a lot, for her.

You can't help feeling for her, and yes, fatigue had a lot to do with that candid little moment. She looked about like I would, if I discovered that I was up against somebody who was just plain out of my league. Obama appears to be of a whole different ballpark--so much so, that questions about 'inexperience' strike a chord of irrelevance.

  • 2.
  • At 10:07 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Ross Royden wrote:

Sadly, I thought the tears might just be because she sees (rightly or wrongly at this stage) a prize she really, really wants slipping from her grasp. That and being exhausted.

What about a Barak Obama for President with McCain as his running mate? That would be a change we could all welcome, but probably a change too far.

  • 3.
  • At 11:32 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • David wrote:

My impression of the political mood in the US, admittedly from my observations on the net, is not one of "a more relaxed "post war"-feeling nation". Is that really the impression you are getting?

As a more than interested observer from the UK I am sensing that many Americans and most of the world see this as a pivotal election, vital for the future of America and beyond.

Having dipped my toe in your "blog" I see I will have to go for informative, or indeed accurate, unprejudiced and interesting commentary, elsewhere. (Although the comments following on from your musings have been excellent).

Meanwhile, I hope your friend gets over her fashion faux-pas. Have you though of writing for HELLO magazine?

  • 4.
  • At 11:46 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • JP Turner wrote:

Maybe Hillary just got a waft of Madeline Albright`s perfume, Because Im sure she isnt crying for all the souls lost in a war she supported. I really hope its Obama who is clearly the most able candidate who wins. I like the American people and would like to see some of the credibility and good will lost over the last 25 years returned to them. The new FRK ! Stay safe Obama.

I agree with Ross Royden that Hillary's Complaint amounts to self-pity at the prospect of losing what is "rightfully hers" to the dashing new kid on the block. As far as qualifications to be President, Thomas Sowell says it all this morning:

"By far the best presentation as a candidate, among all the candidates in both parties, is that of Barack Obama. But if he actually believes even half of the irresponsible nonsense he talks, he would be an utter disaster in the White House.

"Among the Democrats, the choice between John Edwards and Barack Obama depends on whether you prefer glib demagoguery in its plain vanilla form or spiced with a little style and color.

"The choice between both of them and Hillary Clinton depends on whether you prefer male or female demagoguery."

"What about a Barak Obama for President with McCain as his running mate? That would be a change we could all welcome"

Whilst they both want to bomb Iran and Pakistan and expand the war on terror (only disagreeing about Iraq) for the benefit of Israel, I would not welcome either of them as President. They are both warmongers that would increase further the massive deficit spending and bankrupt America. They Both have grovelled before AIPAC for support and both place Israel above America in importance.

The only candidate worth supporting, the only candidate not bought and paid for by the corporate elite, the only candidate that can muster 20 million dollars in support in a quarter ALL from small individual donations averaging $100, (none from corporate interests) the only candidate with this level of real grass roots support, the only candidate that BEAT Rudy Giulliani in Iowa and looks set to beat him and Fred Thompson in New Hampshire and is being actively ignored and censored by the mainstream (so-called) news media, the only candidate that is never mentioned by the Zionist neocon elite's puppet of Justin Webb is Ron Paul. Why is he being ignored? Because he puts America first and the global fake and manufactured war-on-terror would end and so would the fat war-based stock option of the rich media execs!

Ron Paul 08!

  • 7.
  • At 12:36 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Martin Rogers wrote:

And of course their fashion sense has WHAT to do with who will rule the most powerful country in the world?

interesting up until then, but not interesting enough to keep the idiots out.

Is this really as key as the media make out? I know that Mr Clinton lost the first five states before winning first time around, is there a solid need to win this one?

  • 8.
  • At 12:57 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Patricia Fitzwater wrote:

there is something happening in america, barack obama is capturing and has what america needs right now, and i'm sure the whole world is watching this, he made history in iowa, by being the first african american to ever win the caucus in iowa...

  • 9.
  • At 01:29 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • J Emmett wrote:

I think it is a combination of panic, desperation, and exhaustion. Her campaign is in disarray for now. It will be inetersting to see whether Hillary/Bill can get it back on tracks. Do not write her off so soon. In this game things can turn around rather quickly.

  • 10.
  • At 01:33 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Senator Clinton's public display of emotion reminds us that the contest to become President of the United States is the ordeal of a long grueling marathon, not a short sprint and that people inevitably tire from time to time along the way. How they recover and go on with the race is often a crucial factor indicating how they might perform in the far more grueling ordeal of actually being President of the United States.

People often deride America's political system with its two main political parties offering the voters little choice, tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum. As we have seen, between the two parties they have offered the American voters over a dozen serious candidates with a wide range of views on every pertinent subject. They are tested again and again in debates, press conferences, speaking directly to individuals in small groups and to large groups, not to mention TV interviews from one end of the nation to the other. And they must find the intellectual, physical, and financial resources somehow to finish the marathon. In addition, a multitude of other candidates from other parties will also campaign for President, some possibly self financed like Ross Perot in the past or maybe Bloomberg this year, some with other financial and political backers like Ralph Nader, some to try to influence the national debate, and some just for a lark. For the serious candidates, every aspect of their views, public record, private affairs which come to light, and even their personal finances will come under the microscope of public scrutiny. I don't think there is another spectacle anything like it anywhere in the world. BBC among others seems captivated by it, at least this time around. Covering the campaign in any serious way will also be an ordeal for the media.

As the process wends its way through, it's easy for pundits and the public to get caught up in each step along the way placing undue significance on one or another by taking them out of proportion and context of the overall process. Therefore, we hear rash statements like Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney could be knocked out of the race if they do poorly in New Hampshire. Iowa and New Hampshire are only the first two of 50 contests for delegates to the national conventions and they are notable for being first but they are both small. Trying to project trends based on their outcomes and the prior record of them as indicators of what will happen in the future doesn't necessarily serve a useful purpose. Whatever the outcome in New Hampshire, there will still be more than 95% of the delegates of both parties up for grabs. As we saw with Howard Dean, a single event of seeming unimportance can completely derail what would have been otherwise taken as inevitable. In American politics, a week is a long long time and the months between now and the conventions and election can be forever. Events seeming to come out of nowhere can have a surprising effect such as the attempted fraud to discredit President Bush Dan Rather of CBS was complicit in and a party to (even if possibly an unwitting one) at the last moment in the last election. Other events can also have a surprising effect. Florida in 2000 was a case in point. Even though we didn't know it at the time, on June 2, 2000 the image of an American soldier in full battle gear in an American home menacing the Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez and his uncle as he was forcibly taken under orders of Attorney General Janet Reno to be returned to Communist Cuba without so much as a single day in an American Family Court almost undoubtedly cost Al Gore the Presidency by changing the minds of just a few hundred Cuban American voters and changed the course of American history with it. About the only thing we can be certain of in American politics is that there will be surprises we can't anticipate. How the candidates react to these unpredictable events can have a far more telling effect on their fate than their positions on the issues.

It should be noted that at this moment, the fate of the Iraqi government is being decided. They have barely a few more weeks to come to terms acceptable to the American voters in forming a stable cohesive government that will further drastically reduce the cost in American lives and money of being in Iraq or the winner of the next election could turn out to be the candidate who promises to pull America out of Iraq the fastest. And should the winner be Barrack Obama, that order could come as early as January 21, 2009 for an accelerated exit. They just don't seem to get it. Neither do the Pakistanis whom Obama seems ready and willing to bomb should credible information about the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden come to light. Nobody should assume that Obama is a pacifist or would hesitate to use American military force unilaterally when he feels it is in the nation's self interest. Outsiders can't dictate to a democratically elected leader who will have as much power of life and death at their command as is conferred upon the President of the United States.

  • 11.
  • At 01:41 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • David Russell wrote:

Why is the UK media in general so obsessed with US Presidential Elections? Are the Americans drenched in coverage of our elections? What makes it worse is that we have to suffer these tedious insignificant preliminary rounds just to decide who is going to run for President. It seems that we have to put up with another year of this only to find that the candidate that mentions 'Jesus' or 'God' enough will become President. Accepting that the US President is important to world stability and economy, please just wake me up when it's all over and tell me who it is. Until then, I am sure that many likeminded people will be switching off or looking for some intersting news. Sorry Justin, if you find this exciting, you should get out more!!

  • 12.
  • At 01:44 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Pandora wrote:

Dear Justin: I cannot understand why your are completely ignoring John Edwards in your online and TV/radio coverage? What do you have against the guy?

For me his campaign is by far the most compelling and interesting and he has challenging things to say which are getting through to voters despite zero media coverage.

Much more John Edwards please.

  • 13.
  • At 01:59 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • B Shelby wrote:

Stress more than exhaustion, surely. The Clintons have blown it, at least temporarily. They know it and see the nomination possibly sliding away. And fast.

I think her actual words during the teary moment say a lot:

"I have so many opportunities from this country, . . ."

She's not giving, she's taking.

As for McCain, didn't he essentially sit out Iowa. He should be fresh.

  • 14.
  • At 02:10 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • T Barnes wrote:

I don't buy the "emotional moment" - Hillary Clinton hasn't had a candid moment in public in her life. Like the faux Southern accent she affected in her Selma speech last March, she adapts her manner and delivery to the needs of the moment. Facing another defeat, she wants New Hampshire primary voters to feel guilt if they pull the lever for Obama and not Hillary today.

  • 15.
  • At 03:12 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • RJ Berry wrote:

And what a shame Sarah Smith's excellent reporting has been overshadowed by C4's terrible decision to send Jon Snow to Iowa/New Hampshire to deliver the news from there.

Some of us are gripped by the primary contest but with nearly a year until the election, this kind of sensationalist coverage doesn't do politics any favours.

I think we are already very well served by Justin Webb, Sarah and others giving us relevant updates and analysis without making too much of a meal of it.

  • 16.
  • At 03:20 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Lee wrote:

Come on guys the woman is campaigning for the presidency of course she is going to be tired and emotional.

For all those suggesting she had her "candid moment" for purely political purposes are wrong. As the first woman with any potential to win the White Housee why would it do her any favours to cry and show a weakness?

  • 17.
  • At 04:22 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Justin, can it really be that this early in the contest Sen. Clinton feels she is out of contention? I'd hope not. Sen. Obama has had a very smooth ride so far, carrying a mix of first time voters, the politically disillusioned and radical Democrats with him in large numbers. With the exception of those left-wing Democrats, that base is more likely to weaken in the face of Sen. Obama's mishandling of events, lurid or challenging stories of his past or his policies, infelicities of language or a bad news conference.

I can't believe that a feisty and experienced politician like Hillary Clinton won't be relying on - and not just hoping for - that.

From here in the UK - and from a Brit who hopes that Hillary gets through to the Convention as the inevitable choice for Democratic candidate - I'm willing her to stick to her script, maybe express a bit more personal warmth and empathy, but mainly to wait for the Obama campaign to run off the rails. It'll happen.

  • 18.
  • At 04:33 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Juanita Burris wrote:

I was listening to BBC news a few minutes ago. Claire I believe, was asked what do Americans in NH mean by change. Her answers were: Barack is a new face, change is changing Bush, etc. NONE of which hit the mark re its meaning from the candidates' actual words.

If you listen to several speeches of Barack, standing up for Change is about being empowered to change America, and the world. Change is working together with people who have different views from you, building relationships that make all of us work together, and repair a broken politics and a broken world. Change is changing politics itself by involving new voters like the youth.

Media correspondents need to do their homework about what candidates mean and do in the campaign, not what they think the candidates mean. Check out his website, and read BLUEPRINT FOR CHANGE, a handout of his policy positions given out all over Iowa.

  • 19.
  • At 04:41 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Nick wrote:

Speaking of Channel4 news, last night Jon Snow could be heard comparing Obama's message to Reagan's campaign in 84 and the, 'It's Morning in America' slogan. While I would never say the two are remotely comparable in any other way, both share a sense that things can be better, not that Americans should be afraid of things getting worse. It's about optimism and, for want of a more original term 'hope'.

Hillary's line, 'I just don't want to see this country go backwards', is the absolute opposite. She's telling voters not that they should vote for her, but that they should be afraid of what might happen if they don't. It's a desperate plea, an attempt to manipulate voters with the only ammunition she's got, and I can't believe they'll buy it.

  • 20.
  • At 05:08 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • jerath wrote:

Considering the history of US politics, the flawed electoral system, the real turn out of numbers of voters, the public confidence in the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches of the Government, all this media hype and everybody getting on the band wagon preaching the democracy is much too much over exaggerated. Nov is 11 months away and the needs of people today and tomorrow override the pandering of these uncouth politicians, their self interests and self righteousness. The priorities of the people the day to day economics of living. 350,000 people out of a total voting population of over 12,000,000 in Iowa participating in the election process is far from a democratic process. For 7 years it has been government of executive privilege and secrecy.
Considering the size and population of NH, how can it be a Key state, when not a vote has been cast in 47 of other States including CA, FL, NY, IL, MI, OH, TX, PA, AZ, the most populace states and others.

Great minds think alike?

  • 22.
  • At 06:17 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Bob Hammond wrote:

David's comments appear a little mean-spirited to me. I don't see anything prejudiced, innacurate or uninteresting about Justin's musings. It's good to get this informal, immediate reaction to unfolding events from somebody who is there on the ground (rather than picking it up off the net). Keep up the good work, Justin.

  • 23.
  • At 06:54 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Justin wrote:

I am afraid Clinton is losing her pot and I don't think she's good enough to win the nomination. I hope she wins, but at the moment, she's losing.

However, can Obama win the election in Nov? Who knows, but can all the students' vote get him to the white house, I dont think so. It's not about students’ vote for whom at the moment. it's all about the Nov results. It's about economy and public services which get you to White House. The majority is the over 35 age group. At the moment, students and younger voters dominate the primary, but it's not reliable. Can Obama get all the votes nationally? I don't think so, I think Clinton can get votes from big states, and she needs her husband in her campaign all the time and he needs to get behind her. She definitely needs something in her campaign and she needs the Oh factor in her campaign to get it going. I agree Justin Webb's previous article, Clintion's missing something in her campaign, but she needs to find out what is missing quick before the next vote, otherwise, I am afraid she's all finished by Feb.

  • 24.
  • At 07:06 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • pj douglas wrote:

March 2008: Obama assasination attempt?

The worrying thing with the Obama surge is that once the campaign moves to southern states, some redneck is going to try to assasinate Obama
-shades of M L King and Robert Kennedy 1968 ?

  • 25.
  • At 07:17 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Jayne Palliser wrote:

On John McCain - don't the Americans think that a 71 year old is too old to be their President??!! We British would certainly do, just look at poor old Ming Campbell!

For me, i'm routing for Obama - he seems quite decent to me.

  • 26.
  • At 07:17 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

David Russell #11
"Why is the UK media in general so obsessed with US Presidential Elections? Are the Americans drenched in coverage of our elections?"

Not eveyone in the US completely ignores the UK's domestic politics. I taped BBC's coverage of the speeches at the UK's last political conventions. I've found that they are the perfect cure for insomnia.

  • 27.
  • At 07:51 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Brett wrote:

Darling Hillary's "emotional moment" is actually reminiscent of another such emotional moment in a NH primary thirty-six years ago, when then Democratic frontrunner Ed Muskie had a brief burst of tears in front of the offices of the odious Manchester Union Leader newspaper. Many attributed that public display with causing his eventual political downfall. Such are the pratfalls of a very fickle American political process where appearance is often so much more important than substance. Maybe that's what fashionista Hillary was really sobbing over, that she had been upstaged sartorially by a dowdy foreign correspondent. As far as McCain goes, despite your unabashed plumping for him, there are many issues to address. The phoney, so-called "war on terrorism" was always intended to be an open-ended campaign like the Cold War that could be indefinitely exploited for ulterior political purposes, both foreign and domestic. And that definitely needs "addressing", since McCain especially, has always been a leading advocate of escalation. With a recession looming and an attack on Iran imminent there's no lack of issues besides Obama-Copacabana!

  • 28.
  • At 08:47 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Martin Rogers wrote:

And of course their fashion sense has WHAT to do with who will rule the most powerful country in the world?

interesting up until then, but not interesting enough to keep the idiots out.

Is this really as key as the media make out? I know that Mr Clinton lost the first five states before winning first time around, is there a solid need to win this one?

  • 29.
  • At 09:06 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • NH Curler wrote:

Has nobody else noticed that Hillary appeared to be the most upset that someone was spoiling what was supposed to be her own personal coronation party? She said as much when she stated "it's not political, it's personal." Wrong Hillary, it's not personal (about you) it's about a fair political process. I am not that worried about what will happen if you're not elected.

  • 30.
  • At 11:09 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Andrea wrote:

Hillary has never met someone as slick as Obama -- and he is slick. He makes the Clintons look like amateurs.

How that can be good for America is hard to understand.

  • 31.
  • At 07:02 AM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • juanita wrote:

Hillary is on her way. Obama is going to see how the big dogs run.HA!

  • 32.
  • At 07:25 AM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • lp wrote:

I had a chuckle, in a good way, about comment number 11 regarding the media's obsession with US elections. I am an American and I am certainly watching these very important elections, but I must say the media has over-hyped the whole thing into a 24/7 soap opera. Yes, yes, I know Obama is charismatic, and he would certainly be my first choice for an entertaining dinner companion, but what exactly is he going to do? I am having a very hard time figuring out what the candidates want to accomplish and how they will execute their plans for said accomplishments, but I know that college kids LOVE Obama and Hillary cried yesterday.

  • 33.
  • At 11:01 AM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • milton wrote:

I like John McCain, I think that he is a gritty, tenacious old man who has led a hell of a life. I like to think of him resting by the fireside or tending his garden. What I do not envisage is his finger hovering over the nuclear button. This is a man who spent five years plus in a box in the middle of a jungle being starved and severely beaten with large bamboo sticks. I don't care how much counselling you have had or how forgiving you think that you are. The beast has gotta be locked away in there waiting to be let out!!!

  • 34.
  • At 11:42 AM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • Sharron wrote:

I have been following the United States pre-election events with interest. But as last week progressed, I became increasingly struck by the misogynistic nature of American politics (and I hasten to add the media). I understand that in the current political and economic climate people feel the need for change. But the tangible hatred some people have expressed for Hillary Clinton is deeply troubling. Focusing on her clothes, her hair and her alleged aloofness speak volumes about the continued double standard and sexism that continues to exist in American society. Because Senator Clinton does not conform to an 'appropriate' type, Americans do not seem to be able to deal with her. This was evidenced clearly in meeting in New Hampshire where a man from the back of the hall called to Senator Clinton to 'go home and make supper.' The media have fed this frenzy by likening Senator Obama to President Kennedy. But in all of this Senator Obama message of hope I fear is all projection and no substance.

  • 35.
  • At 01:54 PM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • Martin wrote:

#32 have to agree with you about Obama.

What are his policies?

What does he actually stand for or believe in (apart from himself)?

He reminds me of Cameron and Osborne in this country who have no policies and push themselves on the basis that they are "young" and not Gordon Brown.

Obama is no different - a superficial politician of the worst kind - just glad he lost in NH.

  • 36.
  • At 02:52 PM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • Paul Sabino wrote:

Go bright in your new raggs, you are a clever friendly lady.
That is why hilly was trying to look like you...;-)

  • 37.
  • At 07:51 PM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • wrote:

I’ve watched this election process with great anticipation and hope and have not been disappointed. Ideas and candidates that would have seemed impossible less than a year ago. Great speeches from charismatic figures. Independent views that have caught the electorates imagination and seem to offer a better future. These have all become a common place appearance. Yet the cynic in me ask's "Have we seen the next US president yet" I can’t help but fear, that when all the arguments and ideas have solidified, when all the candidates who have fought so hard from the beginning. Have exhausted themselves and damaged each other, that a well funded, untarnished, grey suit will simply return things to the way they were. I hope not, but then I hoped that we stop killing each other too.

  • 38.
  • At 11:55 PM on 12 Jan 2008,
  • J. Thommes wrote:

Letter from America,

Luckily we have the internet here and around the world. Many Americans are using the internet to get information about our candidates. You can go on to the United States Congress website and research each candidates voting record and use that to help make a decision.
Like many Americans I was interested in Obama. I live in Illinois and heard his debates against Alan Keyes for the Illinois senate was an easy win for Obama. If you didn't know my lovely state is one of the most politically corrupt states in the union and had the republicans had an honest candidate to put forth they may have won. If you look up Obama's record in the Illinois General Assembly you will find he voted "Present" on many important issues...he has always known where he wants to go and was careful not to stand for anything. It is true there are many voters who do not pay close enough attention to our candidates, but as our economy begins to slide more and more people will take a closer look.
I have faith in my country and in the founders of our liberty...America is going to change and revolt against an ever growing federal government.
The best democrats are already out of it, but I hope Edwards gets their party's nomination and for the sake of America I hope Ron Paul will emerge as a strong leader soon.
Obama can't read or study living through the decades that have formed contempory American history...that's where the older candidates get their strength...they've lived it, they know it because it's a part of them.

  • 39.
  • At 12:42 AM on 13 Jan 2008,
  • J. Thommes wrote:

Response to,

"Focusing on her clothes, her hair and her alleged aloofness speak volumes about the continued double standard and sexism that continues to exist in American society. Because Senator Clinton does not conform to an 'appropriate' type, Americans do not seem to be able to deal with her."

Please do not take the shallow opinions of a few Americans and paint us with such a broad brush...sexism may exist here, but I am sure it is alive and well in the U.K. as well.

As for Hillary Clinton, most people here cannot stand her here because she is for the North American Union and for social programs that Americans do not want, we like our freedom and detest government telling us how to live our lives and forcing the masses by law to have health insurance...

It may seem like Americans are not paying attention to the rest of the world, but many of us are...

In all cultures, there are uninterested people...and so what...let them be; we all have only one life to live and each has to find their own way.

And many Americans are fed up with our own media...please don't judge us by our media or our government.

  • 40.
  • At 12:50 PM on 14 Jan 2008,
  • Sharron wrote:

Responding to Contribution No. 39

The is nothing new in the fact that sexism exists globally. Yet is does not make the sexist framework, in which certain quarters make allegations against Hillary Clinton acceptable. I understand that 'racism' is an extremely difficult topic to discuss in the US. However, I suspect that if descriptions of Barack Obama were made in a racist manner then we might be having a very different discussion. However, it is acceptable to describe Hillary Clinton as 'shrill'.
Regarding the media, I ought to have made myself clearer. I referred specifically to the BBC as I do not have access to US media. If the BBC were to be believed last week no-one in New Hampshire intended to vote for Clinton.
Finally, you raise and important point about the state. One of the important jobs a state must undertake it to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Health is not the privilege of the few, but the right of all. I cannot accept the view that human beings must suffer because they cannot afford health care.

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