‘They must go for Hillary Clinton’

Anatole Kaletsky in The Times this morning on why despite all “the razzmatazz over Obama” the Democrats have only one option for president.

“After Tuesday’s Ohio and Texas primaries, Barack Obama remains the firm favourite to win the Democratic nomination. But Hillary Clinton now seems more likely than Mr Obama to become the next president of the United States. In stating this paradox, I am not imagining some outlandish scenario, such as Mrs Clinton flouncing off and winning the presidency as an independent. All I am saying is that Mr Obama is much more likely than Mrs Clinton to be defeated by John McCain.”

Hillary Clinton’s two qualities that have so far gone unrecognised – at least in the media – to set against Obama’s glamour, charisma and reputed oratorical brilliance.

The first of those is the most obvious he says, which is that she is a woman, which doesn’t appear to be hugely popular with the media.

“While official opinion, especially in the US media, self-righteously insists that America is an egalitarian, multicultural society where gender and race should play no role in political allegiance or personal advancement, the fact is that this is nonsense. Everyone knows that women and blacks continue to lag far behind white male Americans by virtually every social and economic criterion.”

“Everyone also knows that what makes Mr Obama’s candidacy so exciting is not his oratory or his good looks. It is his race. The possibility of a black president has electrified the world – and rightly so. President Obama would become an inspiring role model, not only for black Americans, but for oppressed races around the world, not least in Africa.

“But surely this is even truer of a woman becoming the world’s most powerful human being. In any rational comparison of frustrated talent, women, who are half the world’s population, have suffered far more from disempowerment than Africans, Hispanics, Jews or any other racial group.”