As Hillary’s quest for the Democratic nomination which once seemed inevitable now seems impossible, a number of people are speculating why she lost.
I have long believed her personality would make it difficult for Mrs. Clinton to win. In this campaign, as Karl Rove put it she “came across as calculating, contrived, stiff and self-concerned.” Contrast that with Obama’s charismatic presence, making it even more difficult for her to convince people of her ability to lead and unie the nation.
To be sure, in the debates (and some of her TV interviews–a format she had shunned in the early days of the campaign), she impressed many (including yours truly) with her intelligence and command of the issues. But, it didn’t seem to make much difference.
That may have a lot to with the kind of campaign she ran. In Time, Karen Tumulty identifies the Five Mistakes Hillary Made. This is a good essay, where Tumulty identifies only the flaws in Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. There was far more to her loss than mistakes on the trail.
To be sure, had Mrs. Clinton run a better campaign, she might have been able to pull it off. In addition to her personality, I think two other factors accounted for her loss, the first related to her character, that being the issue of trust. And the second being the media.