The more she’s attacked on personal grounds, the more sympathy that real person will generate, the more votes she’ll win from people sending a message to the media and her critics that they’ve gone way over the line of common decency. You underestimate that sympathy at your own peril. If I found myself half-rooting for her given the crap that was being flung at her, is it any wonder that women turned out in droves to send a message that sexist double-standards were unacceptable?
People like Kos and Atrios have a hard time comprehending the possibility that women vote on issues. So it must be “sympathy” that drives us, given how overly emotional we are and all.
Updated to add: Sweet jeebus how I hate Maureen Dowd. But my primary vote will still be issues based, despite Dowd’s obvious effort to drum up sympathy votes for Clinton by viciously excoriating her. Or something.