Clinton Calls Next President ‘He’
Hillary Clinton made a wee gaffe campaigning in West Virginia yesterday, which London Telegraph correspondent Alex Spillius is taking as a sign she’s about to drop out.
Speaking to voters in the Appalachian state, she said: “All the kitchen table issues that everybody talks to me about are ones that the next president can actually do something about, if he actually cares about it.” Realising her faux pas, she added: “More likely if she cares about it!”
Obviously, not much here. It’s rather natural to refer to presidents as “he,” given each of the 42 inhabitants of the office has in fact been a man. For that matter, Hillary’s old enough to have been trained in grammar in the days when “he” was considered gender neutral when referring to hypotheticals.
The rest of Spillius’ argument is more persuasive:
Her financial problems, if nothing else, may force her to bow out after ending on a high note in West Virginia, where she is expected to beat Senator Barack Obama by a landslide in Tuesday’s primary contest.
Though Mrs Clinton continues to make her case as the best next president of the US, she has noticeably softened her tone on Mr Obama in the past few days, after weeks of direct attacks on his readiness for the White House. She also much less regularly peppers her speeches with the phrase “When I am president…” – another sign that her inner conviction is fading.
We shall see. I’m still not convinced that she’ll bow out gracefully.