Faludi's colunmn, "The Fight Stuff," looks at the fighting senator and points out that
...while the commentators have been tut-tutting, Senator Clinton has been converting white males, assuring them that she’s come into their tavern not to smash the bottles, but to join the brawl.
Deep in the American grain, particularly in the grain of white male working-class voters, that is the more trusted archetype. Whether Senator Clinton’s pugilism has elevated the current race for the nomination is debatable. But the strategy has certainly remade the political world for future female politicians, who may now cast off the assumption that when the going gets tough, the tough girl will resort to unilateral rectitude. When a woman does ascend through the glass ceiling into the White House, it will be, in part, because of the race of 2008, when Hillary Clinton broke through the glass floor and got down with the boys.
Personally, I think Clinton has landed some low blows in recent rounds. At the same time, she has also broken new ground as a woman candidate.
For now, we'll need a lot more serious thinking about class (which Americans don't do very well) and race (which Americans do a lot of but not so well) before we figure out Obama's best strategy for winning the votes of white working men.
But at least this much seems clear: white working men, and I grew up in a world of them, admire a fighter. For Obama to win them over he needs to be, in the historical language of 1968, less a Gene McCarthy and more a Bobby Kennedy.