Bill, Hillary, media, Gallup, even Rosie agree: It was the tears, stupid; Update: Or was it?

The joke in our post on Monday about her crying was “SECOND LOOK AT SYMPATHY FOR HILLARY!” — which may have been exactly what happened. Naturally it’s being sold by Bill and Hill not as emotional manipulation but as a glimpse of “the real Hillary,” who’s so “other-oriented” that sometimes the empathy just comes a-bubblin’ out. The idea that it might have earned her something like an extra 8% is too dismal to contemplate, especially since it’s manure for the sort of hackish pop-psych speculation that your own humble hackish correspondent is too often inclined towards, but it’s being assimilated into The Narrative as we speak and even Gallup’s at a loss to explain her surge otherwise. (I prefer Kaus’s #3, the last-minute idgit theory, as previously noted.)

The true beauty of this, if true, is twofold. One, it’s going to tempt both the Glacier and Obama (who’s been admirably restrained in playing any sort of race card) to edge on down the identity-politics limb and really start demagoging their respective triumphs over historic oppression. And two, assuming that those tears were for real (and I admit, I think they were), she’s going to have to make doubly sure she doesn’t cry again anytime soon, and probably for the rest of the election. To go years and years without offering a look behind the emotional curtain and then conveniently start to go gushy after a surprise tear-fueled win would be fatally cynical, even by Clinton standards. The contrast with Captain Authenticity would simply be too stark.

The rest of the way looks like Hillary and the working-class Democratic base versus Obama, upscale independents, and a fundraising machine that basically prints its own money. I leave you with a bit of verse. May it touch you the way it touched me.

Update: A disgusted Tammy Bruce drops the F-bomb.

Update: A good organization, particularly targeted at her core demographic, didn’t hurt either.

Update: Karl at Protein Wisdom says it wasn’t the late deciders who decided it. Follow the link to the Jay Cost piece he cites and you’ll see they broke for Hillary only slightly, 39-36. Cost says she simply did a much better job of getting her base out to vote than the polls anticipated. It’s hard to believe that given the fact that the lines to see Obama at events the day before the election ran for city block after city block — even late at night — but there you go. It’s in line with the Time piece linked in the previous update.