Hillary, Buckeye Girl
By GAIL COLLINS
Published: February 28, 2008
If Hillary Clinton can win Ohio — and if she doesn’t, she is as cooked as reheated risotto — it will be because people here worry that Barack Obama is getting show-offy.
If Hillary Clinton were a state, she’d be Ohio.
This is a no-frills kind of place, suspicious of glamour. Barack Obama’s promise to make politics cool again doesn’t necessarily resonate here. Eight presidents came from Ohio, and the coolest was William McKinley.
When I grew up in Cincinnati, we always rooted for the players who worked really, really hard, not the ones who were so talented they made everything look easy. If Hillary were a baseball player, she’d be Pete Rose. Minus, of course, the unfortunate gambling issues and the tendency to scratch inappropriate places while standing in the infield.
So there she was Wednesday here in Zanesville, holding an economic summit in a gymnasium with a huge table stuffed full of participants, including the founder of Weight Watchers; former Senator John Glenn, the heroic astronaut who once put the entire Democratic presidential convention to sleep with his keynote speech; and the governor of Ohio, a vice presidential hopeful who looks like an unidentified passer-by.
“We have to start acting like Americans again, and roll up our sleeves and start solving our problems,” Clinton said, launching one of the least-exciting discussions of economic development in memory.
There she sat, one of the best-known human beings on the planet. The first woman ever to be a serious United States presidential contender; the face that launched a thousand books; a former first lady, current U.S. senator and survivor of the most famous sex scandal of the century. And yet she has managed to become the boring candidate in this primary.
This is one of the great anti-glamour stories in history. How could Ohio not relate?
If Hillary can win this one — and if she doesn’t, she is as cooked as reheated risotto — it will be because people here worry that Barack Obama is getting show-offy... Keep Reading