Hillary Clinton’s Firewall Vanishes In Maryland

Posted on February 11, 2008

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Hillary Clinton’s fabled firewall is crumbling. I just have a feeling. If there’s a trend in Maryland on the eve of the primary election, it’s the disappearance of the wall.

It was the firewall, the strength and loyalty of women voters, that allowed Hillary Clinton to defy the polls in New Hampshire and seize victory from defeat. It was the firewall that held on Super Tuesday even as Barack Obama’s popularity spread like wildfire across the country.

But where was the firewall this past weekend, as Obama won by large margins in Louisiana, Nebraska, Washington State, and finally Maine? Obama, 4, Clinton, 0.

Maryland votes Tuesday, and Democrats are going to set a record for voter turnout in a primary election that will stand for a long time. Voters will be waiting at the doors when the polls open at 7 a.m.

In Montgomery County, I met no one today who is not going to vote. Women said they were excited about voting for Barack Obama. Women said they were looking forward to voting for Barack Obama. One said this is a historic election, and she is voting for Barack Obama. One woman said she doesn’t want a continuation of “Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton.”

I sensed this move to Barack Obama for several days, but I remembered New Hampshire and the firewall. It didn’t hit me until Monday. Women in Maryland are abandoning the Hillary Clinton cause and going over to Barack Obama. The firewall is gone.

I’ve been watching Maryland elections for a long time, and I’ve never seen this excitement for a primary election. Barack Obama is driving a fast train for change, and people are jumping on without knowing the destination. There’s this strong revulsion against the American political establishment, and voters believe that only Barack Obama can break the hold of greed, incompetence and special interest.

Who knows how long Obama can sustain this fever for change? I would not be surprised to see a Clinton comeback in Ohio or Texas. Both Hillary and Bill have staged amazing comebacks before.

But for today and tomorrow, the Hillary Clinton firewall has vanished into thin air. That’s the way it feels in Maryland tonight. — Bernie Hayden

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