If this were any other time, any other year, the media would be singing the praises of Hillary for her debate performance last night. In terms of substance Hillary clearly won. In terms of calm, presidential appearance, Hillary clearly won. In terms of passion, Hillary at least tied. But let’s get real. There’s a reason Hillary doesn’t get respect. This is the year of the populist. This is a time, even more so than 2008 or 2012, when marketing rules the day, not substance. If you want to market to the young popular culture, you don’t want a wonkish, substance oriented, agressive, knowledgeable, strong, woman who looks like your mom and wears pearls and suits. An elderly, kind of wild looking, grandfather figure, with “youthful” and “revolutionary” ideas, who talks a good populist line boiling down to “screw the rich,” is much better.
Nevertheless, last night, smart people saw the real difference between the two. Hillary may be nerdy but she has both passion and substance. Bernie, as I’ve said before, is full of sound and fury signifying nothing. When you scratch Bernies surface, there’s nothing underneath but the same righteous indignation you see on the outside. Hillary may not be the sexy, oh-so-inspiring choice, but in an increasingly frightening and unstable world, she has the stability, the knowledge and the expertise to lead us through the quagmire. She may not always be right or make every decision I would like, but I trust her a lot more than either Bernie or the Donald.