Ezra makes a point here about the sense that Sen. Clinton was the next in line and has been pushed aside by a younger male colleague. Clearly that psychological dynamic has some deep resonances for a lot voters, but it reminds me of an email exchange I had with an editor when I was a 23-year-old reporter, pitching my first-ever campaign piece. I wanted to do a profile of Nancy Kaszak, a local community activist in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, who’d served in the state legislature, and previously run for congress in the 5th district. Back in 2002, with Rod Blagojevich running for governor, there was an opening and she had thrown her hat into the ring. I pitched a profile about her to my editor, noting that she was facing a millionaire challenger who’d just moved into the district (a man named Rahm Emmanuel), but that “by all rights it’s her turn.” My editor wrote back and said something like, “Chris, if you’re going to cover campaigns the first thing you have to learn is that there’s no such thing as “turns” in democracy.”
I’ve never forgotten that advice, and as grumpy as it made me at the time, it’s true. Experience counts, but it counts as much as the voters think it should count. There are no turns in democracy.