THE BLOG
12/17/2007 06:46 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

How Desperate Are Bill and Hillary, Really?

Are they really getting as desperate as they seem to be? Or is this a head fake?

Bill's interview with Charlie Rose smacks of desperation, that's for sure -- he couldn't be affecting all that agita, could he? But don't forget: he is the best method actor in politics. He could be playing up his real anxiety. Why? To lower expectations, obviously, and to fire up the troops -- especially the determined women they are counting on, not merely to vote, but to lean on others, twist arms, cajole their friends. The powers that be at The Des Moines Register led the way and if the Clintons are worried it might just be to their advantage to emphasize the worry. These caucus settings are tailor-made for the face-to-face social emotional persuasion tactics Hillaryites excel at. It's going to get very personal.

On the other hand, Hillary looks very drawn and Bill may really be losing it. He has been so much caressed at so many luxurious power gatherings for so many years -- he is used to adoration and he feels entitled to it. Plus, if he is, as I suspect, unconsciously wishing (as in Freud) for Hillary to lose, then he is perfectly set up psychologically to do her damage unintentionally while appearing to be doing everything he can to support her.

I mean, really, is that an unheard of dynamic in long-term family relationships? Don't bother with Freud if you don't want to -- how about Eugene O'Neill?