An empathetic account of what she's now going through:
"I knew in my bones I was going to lose. Each morning from that point forward I awoke with a vague sense of dread, realizing that I would have to spend the day smiling and shaking hands and pretending that everything was going according to plan... I am not suggesting that politicians are unique in suffering such disappointments. It's that unlike most people, who have the luxury of licking their wounds in private, the politician's loss is on public display. There's the cheerful concession speech you have to make to a half-empty ballroom, the brave face you put on as you comfort staff and supporters, the thank-you calls to those who helped, and the awkward requests for further help in retiring the debt.
You perform these tasks as best you can, and yet no matter how hard you tell yourself differently -- no matter how convincingly you attribute the loss to bad timing or bad luck or lack of money -- it's impossible not to feel at some level as if you have been personally repudiated by the entire community, and that everywhere you go that word "loser" is flashing through people's minds. They're the sorts of feelings that most people haven't experienced since high school, when some girl you'd been pining over dismissed you with a joke in front of her friends, or you missed a pair of free throws with the big game on the line -- the kinds of feelings that most adults wisely organize their lives to avoid."
(Photo: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty.)
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