Hillary Clinton’s team just breathed a big sigh of relief on Saturday night after a decisive – if not by a wide margin – win in the Nevada Democratic caucus. Sure, she may technically have won in Iowa, but she won by a hair when she was expected to do so by a mile, and her victory speech then sounded a bit more like a grim defeat than a celebration.
So Nevada marked Clinton’s first unabashed victory speech, as she and her supporters celebrated her trademark ability to come from behind (or, at least, keep fighting).
“Some may have doubted us, but we never doubted each other,” she told the crowd in Nevada after being introduced by her teary-eyed state director. “This one’s for you.”
Being the underdog is a position from which Clinton shines, which may be the silver lining to the near-tie in Iowa and the loss in New Hampshire. The challenge that Sanders posed early on transformed her from the inevitable dynasty candidate to the one fighting for electoral relevance. And if Saturday is a lesson to anyone, it’s to Sanders’ camp: one should never underestimate either Clinton’s resilience or her attractiveness to voters when she’s able to play defense (despite remaining the party’s most likely nominee).