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Inside Hillary Clinton's decision to quit: The 5 hidden emotional stages

Since it's pretty clear this morning that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is not going to withdraw from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination in the face of Sen. Hillary Clinton's admirably annoying tenacity, it falls to the New York senator to adjust to a harsh political reality that a year ago today was absolutely unthinkable: She lost.

Hillary Clinton campaigns for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination with both hands in Indianapolis

Whatever your personal feelings are toward Clinton -- and the Ticket's Comment boards reveal a rude intensity on both sides -- or toward any of the other losers in either party who gave up the electoral marathon weeks or months ago, running for office like this requires a profound commitment by the candidate, his/her family and those around them who invest up to 20-hour days for very little pay over what now spans nearly two years.

This nation's chief executive weeding-out process is brutal, as it should be to force only the most qualified, savvy, lucky, smart to the top.

But we don't have to bring out the violins for any of the....

...White House wannabes to acknowledge that, political theater and personal ambition aside, these campaigns are personally grueling affairs, as energetic and even joyous as the rallies and speeches seem in the bright lights of the TV cameras.

Like pro hockey teams after a tough game, candidates and their entourages spend a good chunk of many nights moving on to the next city, arriving late and rising early to consult the little printed staff

The logo of the Hillary Clinton for president campaign

schedules slipped under their hotel door that remind them what city they're starting in for that next 18-20 hour day.

Only two people know for certain how long Hillary Clinton has been dreaming, planning, organizing her presidential bid -- eight years, 10, 16, more? Last year she sure looked like she knew victory was inevitable.

And when it starts to slip away, it's even harder. Walter Mondale has said he knew the moment Ronald Reagan made that famous age quip that his campaign would lose. Yet he campaigned on. Likewise, President Bush I has confided that he knew two weeks before election day in 1992 that his was a hopeless cause.

An angry Sen. Hillary Clinton eyes her opponent for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, Barack Obama

So when did Hillary Clinton get the first hint? When she kept losing caucuses? When she hadn't wrapped up the super prize by Feb. 5 as envisioned? When the Obama money machine kept churning out millions?

In the last many weeks as Obama's delegate totals moved closer to the magic majority, many have watched in fascination as Clinton seemed to move through the same five stages of grief that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross described in "On Death and Dying." Except it was Clinton's campaign and White House dream that was dying.

The first stage is Denial: This isn't happening. How could this be happening when she was to inherit the political mantle of her once-again popular husband, the only Democratic president elected twice since Franklin Delano Roosevelt? How could this Illinois nobody with no credentials and few accomplishments other than a golden tongue move in so easily?

The second stage is Anger: "Shame on you, Barack Obama!" Remember those angry outbursts a few hours after the kissy we're-all-Democrats-in-this-together-it's-an-honor-to-compete-against-Sen.-Obama stuff at the debates?

The third stage is Bargaining: That's less visible to observers, more internal. If only I work harder, things will work out. No one can doubt her determination and grit despite internal campaign turmoil, overspending and controversies with her overpaid consultant who was working both sides of the Colombian trade deal.

And in recent weeks when so many thought her effort was hopeless, she sure didn't show hopelessness. And her loyalists responded to that fighting spirit with overwhelming victories in crucial places like Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

The fourth stage is Depression: This can manifest itself in many ways, possibly in a stubborn refusal to accept the inevitable delegate math. And so often the Clintons' political careers have been saved by last-minute salvations if only they hung on long enough in the face of what others saw as hopeless adversity.

Gennifer Flowers didn't derail Bill in 1992's New Hampshire primary; he only took second, but declared victory and folks remember him winning. How similar that Hillary was holding what looked like a victory rally in Texas while Obama won some more states elsewhere. Or what was an actual victory rally for herself in Florida, after a vote that wasn't supposed to count.

The same could be said of her Tuesday night speech when so many convinced themselves she would concede despite contrary signals from her aides. So many commentators didn't like her tone. No submission. No contrition. No magnanimity.

She said she was going to take a few days to decide her future path. There's a momentum and life force to major national campaigns. You can't turn off the machine and the candidate's adrenalin and emotional commitment like a light switch. It winds down.

Ex-president Bill Clinton tells critics of his campaigning for his  wife Hillary where to sit

The defeat must sink in.

And besides, what's the rush over a few days? Clearly, in a strange way the victorious Obama camp ends up needing the losing Clintonites much more than they need him.

Which brings us to stage 5, Acceptance: That might have come to her over the next week or so. But Wednesday's pre-dawn joint statement by Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and who's-its, the West Virginia governor, sped up that process. They set a Friday deadline for uncommitted superdelegates to make their calls, which forces Hillary's hand.

Still, she said nothing about surrender in Wednesday morning staff meetings. It wasn't until her afternoon phone call with Congressional colleagues that she, well, accepted their message that it was over. And needed to end quickly. And she made the decision to pull the plug.

Friday she'll have a celebration with some supporters and word will no doubt leak from there that at another Saturday "celebration" (how did that word get in here?), she'll formally suspend her campaign and endorse Obama, as previously promised.

From St. Paul yesterday afternoon, Matt Burns, communications director for the Republican National Convention, fired off an e-mail to the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder reporting they'd received numerous calls from Clinton supporters offering to work for McCain.

With up to 40% of Clinton primary voters vowing to exit-pollsters that they'd opt for the GOP over Obama, that's not too surprising.

Nor would it be surprising if somewhere in the recesses of that mind that now publicly accepts her defeat and will officially do so with an Obama endorsement, there resides a residual pocket of hope about the future.

As Jay Leno said in his monologue earlier this week, "The good news is that the whole voting process ended tonight. It's all over as of tonight. The bad news: The 2012 Democratic primaries start on Thursday."

That's today!

Now, the first stage of grieving is Denial....

--Andrew Malcolm

Photo Credits: AP

Comments () | Archives (152)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Well, in 2012 Hillary will still be younger than McCain is now...

(Like most people.)

HI Author,
You seem to belong to Hollwood, not LA times.. Or is it LA Times that is so degenerated to carry article like yours. Are you normally cynical, or this is your way of saying that everything in this world is bad. One last thing, you seem to know a lot about this depression cycle, and seem to be in it. Go see a psychologist. Get over it.

I have to question the author when he makes a statement such as 'How could this Illinois nobody with no credentials, few accomplishments other than a golden tongue move in so easily?'

Few accomplishments?? Maybe you should do a little more research in that particular area, in regards to Clinton, and then compare her so-called 'few accomplishments' to the virtually ZERO accomplishments of Obama.

(I have to tell you that you're reading it backwards. It's Obama who's the senator from Illinois, not Clinton.)

That’s funny; I thought the delegates ended her campaign when they selected Obama!

All I see is drawn-out drama, last minute muscle flexing, and a lack of graciousness in defeat!

Hillary, the Queen of Spin and a Legend in Her Own Mind!

RE: (I have to tell you that you're reading it backwards. It's Obama who's the senator from Illinois, not Clinton.)

Senator Clinton was born and raised in Illinois. The author should be clearer about whom he is talking about.

"reporting they'd received numerous calls from Clinton supporters offering to work for McCain. "

Wow.. what i am surprised is that these people waited until yesterday to do that.

Guess they didnt see it comming... like anything else

Whoever wins the world needs a strong America, look around the world and remember that for all our sakes.
Dennis Seager

Ummm I think that last person is confused, because that is pretty much what Hillary Clinton thought of Obama, not the author.

I'm glad she lost. The article is well written.

Thanks for showing that Hillary doesn't have a monopoly on "hard work".

John Edwards dropped out early despite beating her in Iowa, Romney despite doing quite well, and even the dogged Huckabee ended his campaign and was gracious once it became clear McCain had clinched the nomination.

All of these people "worked hard".

The main difference is that they aren't as narcissistic and destructive to their own party as Hillary has been.

An utterly self-centered woman for whom the memories of living in the White House takes precedence over everything else.

Sorry Clintons - Americans have spoken and, as should have been obvious to you months back, you're not getting back in that white house.

Obama should deny this woman everything she wants.

I do not want my hard-earned money, contributed to Obama, going to bail out a dishonest and more importantly super-rich fool who decided that burning money in a meaningless pursuit of pride was more important than the future of her party and her country.

An 'under the table' republican?

Why not?

Either that, or is it just a simple old case of clinging to power..

It must be very hard indeed, one has to admit, to have to give up,
when the 'game' being played is about being the president of the United States...

Obama or McCain would at the end be the same. They would both bow to Rome (Vatican) since the nation is brankrupt. Rome will utlimately triumph only to see its own end when Messiah comes again as the true and ultimate King of Kings. The mafia at the top controls both Republicans and Democrats. They are the same party. Do you really believe there is democracy in the U.S? Wait a litte to see the lamb of two horns ACT as a real dragon.

That was a nice thrashing. Not overly done. Just right.

Funny, why no mention of Bill Clinton in relation to the 5 aspects. He certainly formed a large part of how this all unfolded.

As for Senator Clinton, I am seeing a much more respectable character in how she is now dealing with the loss (acceptance) than I expected.

For the turncoats who would go over to the GOP, well, it shows you what type of people were "helping" Senator Clinton instead of the overall Democratic party and agenda.

When will Americans begin to support the team instead of their star player? Maybe someday we'll grow up and realize we're a nation instead of an "everyone's in it for themselves" bunch of whiners.

As you'll answer it, take heed
This Slave commit no Violence upon
Himself. I've been deceiv'd. The Publick Safety
Requires he should be more confin'd; and none,
No not the Princes self, permitted to
Confer with him. I'll quit you to the King.
Vile and ingrate! too late thou shalt repent
The base Injustice thou hast done my Love:
Yes, thou shalt know, spite of thy past Distress,
And all those Ills which thou so long hast mourn'd;
Heav'n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn'd,
Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn'd.

If those Hillary supporters vote for a new war via McCain cause she lost, that is sad indeed.

When Hillary realizes all that Bill has cost her, including the vice presidency, the fur is going to fly.

I have no problem with a president who happens to be black or jewish or italian or a woman. But I have a very big problem with a president who is black first, Italian first, Jewish first or woman first with a more narrow view of life and world events. That person would not be qualified in my view to be president. I am a lifelong democrat but I am ready to endure four more years of republican rule if necessary. Be careful Obama!

actually, they have it right when they refer to Hillary as the nobody from Illinois, because that is the state she is from. which brings up an interesting point, the Clinton's have never been elected from a "home" platform.
While I feel Clinton is a political genius, I will oppose her election as long as she is married to the former Mr. President. There is zero excuse for lying under oath. And before you rant and rave, I could care less about whitewater, about paulagate, about any of that.. I supported Kennedy knowing the history of his family.
The ONE thing you do not do is lie under oath. The penalty is he never gets back inside those doors.
But hillary, ooh yes, she was his genius and she is genius on her own.
Has anyone noticed that a suspension is NOT a concession, and that at any moment that which is suspended can be UNSUSPENDED?

Not so fast...(1.)..Votes are cast at the convention in August. Super delegates can change their mind any time before then. If this went to an open convention, even pledged delegates would be released from their pledge after the first vote. This does not mean it's going to the convention. It means that until one candidate drops out, there can be no winner because the number of delegates that candidate has can change any time until the convention. Until and unless Hillary Clinton publicly suspends or ends her campaign and concedes that Obama is the nominee, there is no nominee. There is only a statement that if current delegate positions at this moment were frozen in time until August he would be the nominee. If and when Hillary makes that determination, then Obama will be the nominee.
(2.)The conduct of the super delegates is in defiance and repudiation of the Democratic nomination process. The biased pro-Obama media(including Soros’ who said in 2004 it would buy and own the Democratic party) and the DNC in its quest to "make history" interfered in and undermined the Democratic nomination process. Sen. Clinton's campaign was intentionally sabotaged.... I am amazed at how the DNC, Dean, Pelosi, Reid and the super delegates have blindly fast-tracked the process. Obviously, no one cares about Obama's background, character, associates and beliefs. Nobody cares who he really is. To quote Newsweek "unless he is seen vactioning with Louis Farrakhan in Hawaii he has the nomination." After Obama crashes and burns in the GE, maybe, the above will then do some research about “The Chosen One”, but then it will be a little to late. ...

This is now getting beyond ridiculous and all her supporters should be ashamed of her and of themselves. She's lost the Democratic election. She wasting precious Presidential campaign time with all this dillying and dallying. McCain has been on the road much longer and he's making headway. Clinton has not even had the decency to congratulate Obama on his nomination and her supporters continue to follow her. What a bunch of sour losers. Is she trying to hand the Presidency to McCain? Makes you think that just might be her strategy after all.

I'm a woman and i'm embarrased by these tactics from Clinton. I would love to see a American woman president in the future, but Clinton's actions are not helping us. This is exactly why we need a change to a younger forward-thinking generation whose first priority are the american people.

To KL, sorry, but I think everyone else probably got that he was talking about Senator Obama D-IL.

No matter what stage Hillary is in, she needs to quickly, strongly and publicly encourage her supporters to vote for the Democratic nominee and not campain nor vote for McCain. I know she finds that ridiculous sentiment good for her ego, but she needs to get past her ego. And she needs to stop trying to force Obama to name her as his running mate. There's a process for choosing a VP as well. Since she's shown such a propensity to allow her supporters to jump republican, I don't think I would choose her. She'd be running for 2012 the moment she's chosen.

Notice she is suspending her campaign, she is not conceding. Could she know something? *wink* I think she does. She's a lot smarter than some of you want to give her credit for.


You seem deranged. Please seek medication and help. Loser.

KL, You must not be able to read if you couldn't tell he was taking about Obama!

Re: Senator Clinton was born and raised in Illinois. The author should be clearer about whom he is talking about.

Or perhaps you should get off your deluded high horse and invest in basic reading comprehension 101.

problem is not with Obama the problem is Clinton could have rallied the white population sailing away from Bush now that she s out those people will vote for Mc Cain some people are delusional enough to think Obama can be elected well check polls they show exactly the contrary ....

When will we citizens get respite from Queen Hillary Macbeth and her spiteful tantrums? Why oh why must we always defer to her hurt feelings, her demands, her blackmail? Don't we have a right to our lives as well? Doesn't the party deserve respect? The ONLY thing that can allay her rage is the presidency--it is always all about HER. And her supporters don't get it. She has spent 20 million of her own money to try to buy the office while pretending she is just a working class blue collar stiff. She has voted to send our sons and daughters to death in Iraq then turn around and promised Christmas packages to bring them home. Anything to win. Bosnia sniper fire, that she was anti-NAFTA, putting up with her sex-addicted adulterous husband and public humiliation--just to become President. She HATES Obama and has been stirring her supporters to their passionate rage so they will destroy the party's race in November. And we are supposed to make her VP so she can undermine Obama and subtly assassinate him?

"How could this Illinois nobody with no credentials, few accomplishments other than a golden tongue move in so easily?"

For those of you who think the author was talking about Hillary with this question.. he was trying to point out that Hillary was asking this question about Obama.

Clearly yes the obama camp needs her more than she needs him, but they have not stopped their obtuse denigrating supercilious derision of her as you clearly have not . The stages of grief and loss as you have used them in a satire lose their substance and meaning , because they have a much deeper significance when used in the proper context of loss of a loved one.
But I hope you do more research and fully flesh them out as they will apply to obama in november, so you can expand on this piece as it will appy to him.
I sincerely and deeply hope Hillary will not be his VP, because if she is, he stands a chance of winning. Without her , he will most definitely lose and that will be the best for our country. The republicans won’t be awarding him votes and delegates he didnt legally win via a committee so he can win. There will be no caucuses where his followers can bully people . His true untrustworthy and deeply flawed character will be exposed on a much more national level, and the media will not be trashing John McCain at the level they trashed Hillary in a desperate attempt to preserve their machismo . I cant wait to see him head back to chicago , and then you can help thru these stages , altho given his reaction when he lost W.VA and Kentucky , he seems to linger in denial quite a bit longer than any other stage.

sen obama has nothing to apologize for to any segment of hillary's supporters and i'm sure he will make them as welcome in his quest to provide change as he will any of those who were with him in the beginning. except for those hard core racists and those women who vote with their chromosomes, sen obama will not only win the vast majority of democrats but also the independents and some republicans. isn't it clear that the old dog and pony show can't go on forever? the world, read environment, has changed and will keep changing and america must adapt or we will find out that darwins process of natural selection applies to more than dinosaures. hillary is a machine politician and mccain is a card carrying member of the military industrial complex. these are the folks who have parlayed this once rich and free country into foreclosure where one of the few remaining growth industries is police work or military employment of one kind or another. having taught in a small private new england college i was amazed to see over 35% of the students were majoring in criminal justice, what ever that is. we spend more on the military that all other countries combined, our heath care costs 50% more than other first world counties and we have an insatiable governmental bureaucracy where the federal government is the major employer in philadelphia. in the mid 70's i attended a college seminar where a british diplomat, who had been posted in moscow, told us that the russian empire was not a military threat and was collapsing of it's own weight; their military costs, their inefficient corrupt and endlessly expensive bureaucracy and the millions they had in prison doomed them. there are conditions that no country can withstand. we meet all those conditions and sen obama is the first person who has offered U.S. a possibility for change. certainly no one single president can reverse the disastrous course this country is on and perhaps we are past the point of change being possible, but such positive change will most certainly not come from machine politicians or inter-generational members of the military industrial complex that president Eisenhower warned U.S. of long ago. this is not to say that there is no hope for as geo w bu$h said, "hope springs a turtle."

The Wizard of Oz song, "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, the Wicked Witch is Dead", is stuck in my head. I bet old Hillary's toes will curl up when she concedes defeat!

Clicking her heels and repeating; "there's no place like Washington" didn't seem to work, and the yellow brick road didn't lead to the Democratic nomination either!

After Saturday, she'll be saying; "you know Bill, some how I don't think we'll be in the White House anymore"!

George Bush and his flying monkey conservatives were behind all of this!!

Hillary has no heart.
Obama has no courage.
Bush has no brain.

McCain, he's the old guy behind the curtain making lots of noise.

I know I'm voting for Toto!

Its to bad Hilary could not stay in at least to the primary elections were over. I don't think our country is ready for a female president, therefore she did not get the super delegate votes that were needed.
I guess we will have another republican in office.

Spelling mistake:

"The same could be said of her Tuesday night speech when so many convinced themselves she would concede despite contrary signals from her aides. So many commentators didn't like her tone. No submission. No contrition. No magnamity."


The word is "magnanimity"


Hillary is a legend in her own mind...reminds me of Bush and in love with themselves...."What she wants".....sounds comparable to W...."I am the decider"
O Bama must distance himself from she is a snake in the pit waiting to strike.
Remember not to long ago we heard over and over again....."all OBama has to offer is a speech back in 2002?"
And Bill calling Dee Myers "a scumbag" Bill I respect all you did for our country....but please lighten up here, my defintion of "scumbag" is one who continually cheats on his wife....Monica,Jennifer Flowers, and who else I forgot.
O Bama is not self centered and is the only hope the USA has.....give him a chance, we are so screwed up as a country....what is there to lose?

i fell that me cliton was the best one for the president she would have won if it was not for fl she won fl but they would not let her have the vote be couse we voted to earley so now that fl did that to her i will not vote for any one

'How could this Illinois nobody with no credentials, few accomplishments other than a golden tongue move in so easily?'

I thought the author was referring to Hillary's opinion of Obama..?

Try 'Hooked on Phonics'
Maybe you will have better reading comprehension after you finish a basic class of this.

Please folks, for the sake of common sense; anyone who cast a vote for Senator Clinton and because she lost, will vote for McCain,is not a true DEM.

It is not just about the candidate; it's the party and your and my future. A Vote for McCain is a vote for the past.

If Senator Obama can build a movement from the ground up and made it this far; I am certain the millions of first time and old time voters will work harder to win in November. You have not seen how fired up these people are. I have been there, in the snow in Rhode Island and I have seen how had it was and how dedicated the people worked. YES! they did not collect one cent but spent the little they had.

I saw people who drove fron Virginia to Rhode island to cacus, made calls and eat junk food while working. I have not heard one person complain.

The worst journalism in the World is the LA TIMES and GOOGLE should be ashamed to be displaying this link so prominently on its news page. Blog or no Blog, this article is slanderous, warped, and untrue.

If folkes would check their emotional, habitual thinking at the door before they vote we all may come out of this alive.
anyone who votes for a "person" and out of an emotional response instead of for a Presidental Leader is too young to viote. If you vote on the premise of "if my candidate does not win I will go to the other side" are a part of the sickness that plagues this nation. ........ for heavens sake ..grow up!

Ummm, being as the article is written in the present, I assumed the author was referring to Obama, in the comment about the nobody from Illinois. Being as Clinton, A) resides in New York, and B) the fact that Obama was virtually unknown before this primary, should have made it clear. If you we're confused by that part of the article, you probably need to go back and get your GED/HS Diploma. Focus on english classes.

I think we better be careful with the reports of Clinton supporters working for McCain. The Republican party and people like Rush Limbaugh have consistently sought to manipulate the results of the Democratic primaries. Remember the Limbaugh "Operation Chaos" voters for Clinton in Texas, Ohio and elsewhere -- encouraged to prolong the contest and sow divisiveness. Then consider the active recruitment of blogging trolls by the RNC -- perhaps some posing as those Clinton supporters who could never vote for Obama but are moving to McCain. If those people aren't Republican agents, they are missing a pay check.


No you need to learn how to read. It is quite clear that he is talking about Obama. Also, it is quite clear that he tried to get so much into Clinton's head he insulted Obama (which your note of "Zero" you should like and maybe he likes). This article had potential but wants to justify Clinton's behavior and perhaps blame others for the cause of grief (and if I recall grief literature, there are some that include a blaming phase, which HC has clearly engaged in) I propose that when talking about grief in other circumstances outside of permanent loss there is another stage... REFLECTION. Death is permanent, the person will never come back. The loss of an election is not. If HC had taken time to REFLECT many times during this election she may have won. If she now takes the opportunity to reflect, she may not have a ruined political career as many predict. She does lack graciousness and this is the fear. She is a fighter, we get that. Does she know how to put the gloves down and think. When tensions are high can she bring the nation to ease. She does not seem to know how to bring calm. I think a once idealistic woman has become jaded and politics and loss her way. I, a once Clinton supporter, am so ashamed of her candidacy. I know her current supporters will get angry at this, but I fought with conservatives for years who beat up on her. I too, didn't listen and reflect and see that who I supported was a sham.

The author was quite clear:
the key: 'Golden Tounge' and 'move in'
Remember - it was the Clinton campaign that tried to hang that on Obama... remember... "just a speech in 2002"

Clinton lost because she didn't have the conviction to make that speech in 2002 - and because her main claim to the position was being married to a former popular President.
America is a republican democracy - not a monarchy... Good for us.

Barack Obama for President of the UNITED States of America.

why are all we Clinton supporters angry?

Now we have no voice.

We have to sit back and watch our party crash and burn

today's headline...another former friend Rezko, in the limelight for bad reasons...and what does slick Obama of his same old tired lines..." It's not the Rezko I knew."

Same thing he said about right.

Why in heavens name have so many people decided he's what we need when his personal judgement is so flawed.

And oh boring this campaign will be now that Clinton has bowed out.

This is a breakdown of WHY Obama won.. This was much bigger than you could ever understand!

"RE: (I have to tell you that you're reading it backwards. It's Obama who's the senator from Illinois, not Clinton.)

Senator Clinton was born and raised in Illinois. The author should be clearer about whom he is talking about."

I think the author is perfectly clear:
Hilary Clinton is a 'person' born and raised in Illinois who happens to be a senator from New York.
Barack is a senator from Illinois.
Where is the confusion in that? Try to read more carefully, please.

How can a nobody from Illinois with no accomplshments do it? Ask President Carter.

RE: Senator Clinton was born and raised in Illinois. The author should be clearer about whom he is talking about.

It is really very clear he meant Obama from "Illinois" (he is the junior Senator), "golden-tongued" (he is much praised for his oratory), and the overall context (Hillary's sense of entitltement and the resulting denial that she could be losing).

Please just accept your mistake.

"I have to question the author when he makes a statement such as 'How could this Illinois nobody with no credentials, few accomplishments other than a golden tongue move in so easily?'

Few accomplishments?? Maybe you should do a little more research in that particular area, in regards to Clinton, and then compare her so-called 'few accomplishments' to the virtually ZERO accomplishments of Obama.

(I have to tell you that you're reading it backwards. It's Obama who's the senator from Illinois, not Clinton.) "


I have to doubt the commenter when he/she doesn't understand the story. He is talking about Obama in this line...It is implied that clinton is thinking, "'How could this Illinois nobody with no credentials, few accomplishments other than a golden tongue move in so easily?" about Obama.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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