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Why I Have Trouble Believing Hillary's Well-Up Was Real

01/09/2008 03:36 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Some analysts are presenting their belief that Hillary Clinton's well-publicized "well-up" after last Saturday's Democratic Presidential debate enabled her to show enough of her "softer side" to push her over the top in New Hampshire.

That may be the case, but I remain unconvinced that the well-up wasn't anything more than a stage act.

I mean, here you have a woman who managed to keep a steely public face during all the years of Bill's cheating. A smart but oh-so-calculating Senator who has always voted on the basis of political calculation than true belief.

And you expect me to believe that Hillary lost her cool with the well-up?

I posit a different scenario. Going into the New Hampshire vote, it was conventional wisdom that Obama had the young Democrats, as well that state's more liberal males of all ages.

That being the case, Hillary had to play to her base. Women, including more than a few older women who as part of their life experiences, have either cried or held their own daughters when they, um, welled-up. For reasons that escape me, enough of these women may have bonded with Hillary's emotional presentation to vote for her.

Well, it worked. At least it did in New Hampshire.

Playing the emotions card didn't start with Hillary's well-up, though. Think back almost eight years.

This identification-building strategy was no different than the so-called spontaneous Al and Tipper kiss during the Democratic National Convention of 2000. Build up Al Gore's comparatively weak demographics among male voters by showing his side as a macho man loyal to his wife (unlike, guess who).