Clintonistas will be arguing about what felled Hillary's campaign for months to come. Some will say Clinton lost the nomination because of pervasive sexism; others will argue that she appeared appeared paranoid and divisive, especially when compared to Obama; still others will reason that Clinton went too negative when campaigning against Obama. She likely lost because of a combination of these reasons, the alchemy of which will never be entirely clear, but in reading the postmortems, something else became illuminated: the nature of Bill and Hillary's partnership. In yesterday's front page New York Times article, "The Long Road to a Clinton Exit", writers Peter Baker and Jim Rutenberg described the sometimes playful, sometimes destructive, sense of competition that transpired between the Clintons. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell told them, "The president wanted to know exactly what the returns were in the places he had been and Hillary hadn't been… He kept showing Hillary, and she would laugh."
But the power jockeying between the Clintons wasn't always so amusing. "Aides to Mrs. Clinton took umbrage at Mr. Clinton's freelancing and deemed his office uncooperative - at one point, they complained, his people would not allow one of her people to ride on his plane to campaign stops," Baked and Rutenberg note. "His aides, on the other hand, stewed over what they saw as her people's disregard for the advice of one of this generation's great political minds and bristled at surrendering control of his schedule."
Many Hillary haters attempted to discredit her because they say her power was just piggybacking on Bill Clinton's Presidency. But ultimately it appears that as much as the name recognition helped her, the infighting amongst their aides and the many public gaffes committed by Bill hurt her. As Moe pointed out to me this morning, "One of the ways in which this whole thing has been a 'victory' for her is that the public perception of her career is no longer that he 'made' her but that he has been a giant hindrance."
All of that said, I was tremendously impressed by her concession speech, which can be seen in its entirety here.