Maybe it was that teary moment in the Cafe Espresso coffee shop that did it, aired over and over again across news channels and websites in the last 24 hours, but whatever it was, Hillary Clinton is now the first woman in history to win a presidential primary in America.

According to CNN, in “Iowa, Clinton lost out to Obama among women 35 percent to 30 percent. It’s a different story in New Hampshire, where 45 percent of female Democratic primary voters picked Clinton, compared to 36 percent who went for Obama.”

And older voters also outnumbered younger voters, a proportion that benefited Clinton.

Obama led Clinton by an “even larger margin among independents, but he suffered from a falloff in turnout among young voters compared with Iowa,” says The Huffington Post.

It’s pretty simple, says John Dickerson in Slate. “Democrats like a fighter.”

So what about that almost-cry? It had more to do with a greater openness that Clinton started to demonstrate toward the end of her campaign in Iowa, says Dickerson. “In town-hall meetings, she answered question after question for hours and finally made herself accessible to the press. She and her advisers realized that the strategy of keeping her closeted had been a disaster. So they did what agile politicians do and changed it.”

Clinton won by “putting together the voting coalition that has held Democratic frontrunners in good stead for 75 years,” says the Horse Race blog. “Hillary Clinton won most elements of the traditional FDR coalition.”

Hillary’s aides suggested her emotional outburst on Monday and “a sense that her opponents and the media were ganging up on her resonated with New Hampshire voters, especially women, who appeared to rally to Clinton’s campaign,” says Politico. “Obama aides were stunned and now face a potentially grueling, long-term fight with Clinton rather than the clear road to the nomination they had expected.”

Obama himself delivered another stirring speech, although this time it was a concessional one. 

Obama pronounced himself “still all fired up” and said he would fight on, reports MSNBC. “For most of this campaign we were far behind,” he said. “We always knew that our climb would be steep. … With your voices and your votes you made it clear that at this moment, in this election, there is something happening in America.”

But according to Politico, “immediately after Obama’s speech, ‘every press secretary and close Obama aide vanished. They are letting the speech stand as the last word for tonight. There’s nobody here to even answer our questions.'”

Bronze medallist John Edwards has vowed to hang on until the convention. Whoever takes the Dem nomination in the end, “the next president is going to have the cr-p beat out of him or her by the world — by friends and by foes — and I want someone who is tuned in to the real world, not platitudes,” says The Washington Note. “For me, this race just got a lot more interesting.”

Meanwhile, that other campaign Lazarus, John McCain, said that while he may be too old to claim the label “kid” he’s most definitely made a comeback.

His campaign all but written off last summer, (Fox News ran footage of him – wait for it — carrying his own bags on to coach class to prove the point), the Big Mac is back, “scrambling a race that now has no clear front-runner,” says John M Broder in The New York Times.  

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey