Tuesday, September 14, 2010


It was odd to be watching Rachel Maddow's show an hour or so ago as Christine O'Donnell was declared the winner in the GOP Senate primary in Delaware. Maddow was facing a panel of the guys who share MSNBC prime time with her -- Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O'Donnell -- and there was a sense among them that O'Donnell really has a chance in November.

Matthews in particular seemed to believe that O'Donnell could ride a wave of conservative grrrl power to the Senate -- citing elections in his youth when he would always vote for the Irish guy when he wasn't sure how to vote, Matthews concluded that women frustrated by Hillary Clinton's primary-season loss in 2008 might really come through for O'Donnell, particularly female righties.

Never mind the fact that, as Ezra Klein noted later (I'm quoting these stats from memory so I may not have them 100% correct), O'Donnell has only a 29% favorable rating, and 44% of voters for her opponent, Mike Castle told exit pollers that they plan to vote Democrat in November. To Matthews, it's feminist time.

Well, no, that's not really it. Matthews is reading right-wing women are the new white ethnics -- people who are sneered at by snooty chardonnay-swilling coastal elitists, but who will get their revenge, like Reagan Democrats, at the polls.

Except that female solidarity didn't help Lisa Murkowski, did it? And it doesn't seem to be helping New Hampshire's Kelly Ayotte, who (unlike Murkowski) was endorsed by Sarah Palin -- she should be benefiting from a double shot of righty grrrl power, but her male opponent, Ovide Lamontagne, is tea-partier-than-thou, so he's beating her.

Look, Chris -- this is a flip-the-bird vote, not a righty-feminist vote. That will probably carry through to November (except in Delaware), unless unemployment magically plummets. It's not about Mama Grizzlies, who don't exist except as a Palin marketing gimmick.


UPDATE, WEDNESDAY MORNING: Ayotte now has a small lead in New Hampshire. Still, if this were a rightie-grrrl wave year, she'd have blown Lamontagne away.

AND: Here's the clip of what Matthews wagging his finger at Maddow last night as he explained What Women Want:

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The full clip of the segment is here.

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