The candidates for both parties’ presidential nominations dashed to Michigan for the next primary contest after New Hampshire voters resurrected the campaign of Republican John McCain, which was given up for dead six months ago, and restored Democrat Hillary Clinton’s hopes after Barack Obama destroyed her aura of inevitability. (The Washington Post, free registration)
What the commentators said
“What we have just seen in New Hampshire is the biggest media meltdown since ‘Dewey Defeats Truman,’” said Daniel Henninger in The Wall Street Journal. Pollsters and pundits had people believing that a “tear-stained” Clinton—who earlier had been waltzing to a coronation—was about to be left “in the dust” by Obama. It just goes to show that in “the Internet age,” the media overdoes it every time, and it’s up to voters to decide who's inevitable.
The campaigns of both Democratic favorites—“Clinton's before Iowa, Obama's since—learned how dangerous it is to assume that victory is inevitable,” said E.J. Dionne in The Washington Post (free registration). “Candidates who seem certain they'll win may give off a feeling of arrogance that invites voters to deliver a comeuppance.”
The reliable Clinton machine had a lot to do with Obamamania’s fall back to earth, said Robert Novak in the Chicago Sun-Times. It was Hillary’s tears and Bill’s jeers that trumped Obama’s “rock-star popularity” in New Hampshire. That strengthen’s the case for the GOP to nominate McCain—a man who spent six years in a communist prison can handle “what the Clintons would throw at him.”