So notes Casey, in the note accompanying this post at Reason:
“It was the debate,” said a female voice. This male group of pundits looked over and saw Rachel Sklar of the Huffington Post. “The likeability question.” She was talking about the moment in the debate when Charlie Gibson suggested Clinton had a likeability problem, Clinton parried (“That hurts my feelings!”) and Obama leaned into the mic and said “You’re likeable enough.” The camera caught him the second he closed his mouth, looking down, unsmiling, writing notes.
The guys in the room sort of just stood there. I can’t read their minds, but mine was swirling. You know, I’d noticed women at one of the debate-watching parties biting their lips when Obama said that. If Obama had said something like “Well, I like you” or if he’d just kept his mouth shut, Hillary’s Monday tears wouldn’t have had the same impact. “That set up the emotional moment,” Sklar said.
So I’m pretty convinced now: That one-liner swung the primary.
For the record, I don’t buy it. I think it had far more to do with all those reports of ballots running short. While women are far too easily manipulated to be permitted to vote in any rational society* that values human liberty, I think it’s far more likely that the emergency ballots arrived with Team Clinton-approved votes cast on them than buy into the notion that a meaningless exchange not seen by most of those voting somehow managed to cause a seismic shift in political allegiances.
* Do relax, my dear suffrage enthusiasts, as American society is not the least bit rational nor does it value human liberty. Rest assured that your sacred vote will remain unmolested until everything collapses around your ears and voting is the very least of your concerns.