Thursday, November 01, 2007

Hillary As Victim

Hillary Clinton’s reaction to her embarrassing performance at the Philadelphia debate was to go on the offensive and rally her base. Her campaign put out a commercial with each of the other candidates saying her name during the debate, using the slug line “The Politics of Piling On”. No substance is contained in it, no response to the arguments, no arguments at all, just a bunch of men picking on a poor woman. Today she spoke at Wellesley College, her alma mater, where she proudly proclaimed that an all-women’s college taught her to campaign in “the all-boys club of Presidential politics”. Later she said to them “we need to shatter the highest glass ceiling.”
It is clear that Clinton has decided on a clear strategy in recent weeks. If she gets the women, she gets the nomination. Now she is circling the wagons, making sure the women know it’s all about her and her gender. Once again, men are ganging up on a poor, helpless woman and together we can beat those evil men, so let’s stick together. She isn’t dumb – just as Bush and Rove know the religious right could be the core of a victorious campaign, with a passionate “Christians are under attack” argument, so does Hillary focus on women who feel men are picking on her because she’s a smart woman. The problem is obvious – it is divisive as hell. Hillary’s assumption is that men in the Democratic Party (at least those who aren’t soft-headed enough to vote for her in the first place), will fall into line after the primaries are done. Maybe she’s right, since the choice will probably be between her and some right-wing extremist. But I’m old-fashioned enough to think that a Presidential candidate should at least pretend to unite the country, old-fashioned enough to think a campaign shouldn’t focus on a candidate’s race, or religion, or gender. I understand that there are those who would never vote for a woman, as well as those whose primary reason for voting for Hillary is the fact that she is a woman. But when you make your gender the core of your campaign, you are telling men they don’t belong in Hillary’s campaign. Fine – I won’t be in your campaign...and don’t count on my vote next November either.

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2 Comments:

Blogger sam.gurka5 said...

I agree with most of your comments. Although I reserve the right to change my mind, I decided on Biden a few months ago. I blame the media, which I usually defend, but how is Hillary the candidate whose strength is experience with Biden, Dodd and Richardson standiung next to her. Let's be intellectually honest; Hillary's strength is name recognition. Unlike you, I'm comfortable voting for any these people (although Kucinich makes me squirm) but my order of preference Biden, Edwards, Dodd, Hillary, Obama, Richardson and Dennis the Menace.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Barry Rubinowitz said...

It's simple, really. First you decide what the race is -- Hillary vs. Obama -- then, bingo, Hillary has the experience.
It's the same problem Edwards has. Define the race and you promptly eliminate others. Now that HRC has defined it as "us" (women) against "them" (nasty men), she has her own race. Also, by focusing on how she's being picked on, her inept Iran vote gets lost in the shuffle.
I prefer Dodd to Biden, but Biden did a great job of tearing HRC to shreds on her Iran position, but it's gotten lost in the driver's license and gender mess.

3:43 PM  

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