FATAL CONCEITS. Is this a great country or what?

Hillary Rodham Clinton's eyes welled up and her voice broke repeatedly Monday as she talked with voters in a restaurant about her campaign for the presidency.

The former first lady was making a last-minute pitch for support as she spoke on the eve of the state's primary, with polls showing her trailing Democratic rival Barack Obama.

Asked by a sympathetic voter how she keeps going in the grueling campaign, she replied, "It's not easy. It's not easy."

"And I couldn't do it if I just didn't, you know, passionately believe it was the right thing to do," she said, her voice catching.

Yeah, promise us utopia.

"You know, I've had so many opportunities from this country, I just don't want to see us fall backwards," she said, her voice trailing off. The voters crowded into the restaurant applauded encouragingly.

"So," she continued, then paused, seemingly to control her voice as her listeners applauded again. "You know, this is very personal for me. It's not just political. It's not just public. I see what's happening, and we have to reverse it. And some people think elections are a game. They think it's like who's up or who's down.

"It's about our country. It's about our kids' futures. It's really about all of us together. You know some of us put ourselves out there and do this against some pretty difficult odds. And we do it, each one of us, because we care about our country. But some of us are right and some of us are wrong. Some of us are ready and some of us are not."

She concluded, "And so when we look at the array of problems we have and the potential for it getting - really spinning out of control, this is one of the most important elections America's ever faced. So as tired as I am - and I am - and as difficult as it is to kind of keep up with what I try to do on the road like occasionally exercise and try to eat right - it's tough when the easiest food is pizza - I just believe so strongly in who we are as a nation so I'm going to do everything I can to make my case and, you know, then the voters get to decide."

The one choice voters aren't being offered by any of the leading candidates is the choice to take more control over their lives. Perhaps there is no vast Leave Us Alone coalition. That's a shame, because Senator Clinton is not the only candidate laboring under the misapprehension that "problems" can somehow be "controlled" -- let alone "change" be legislated -- with the right platforms, programs, and pliable Members of Congress.

Professor Bainbridge offers a reflection.
Hillary’s trouble is that some of us don’t want to be moulded. We don’t want our kids raised by a village, especially one headed by a moulder like Hillary. And since her passion to mould the country is what scares me the most, I’ll be very glad if she loses. But while we Wodehouse fans share a sigh of relief with Bertie Wooster when he escapes Honoria’s clutches, the more sentimenal of us also feel a pang for poor Honoria. Just so with Hillary. Oddly enough, I find myself feeling a bit sorry for her. To have strived for the brass ring all those years, just to have it snatched away when it seemed to finally be in her grasp must be wrenching.
It's easier to be gracious from a position of relative safety from overweeningly ambitious moulders.


On foreign policy matters -- and that's the primary issue area I care about in this election -- there are ways in which I trust Clinton's experience more than Obama's. That second point, however, scares the ever-living crap out of me. That kind of belief bears a strong resemblance to the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvaia Avenue.

Screw the politics of fear and, frankly, screw the politics of hope. I want the politics of doubt. I want a president who, in these complex times, has the capacity to admit error before all is lost.

I get absolutely no whiff of that from Hillary Rodham Clinton.

It makes for some creative multimedia. And here's a Wisconsin take.

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