Still playing the "Chick card" (update) Posted by: McQ
on Monday, November 05, 2007
I posted an article a few days back in which I took Hillary Clinton and her supporters to task for playing the gender card after her tough time on the Holloween eve debate. As I and many others have pointed out, that's an unacceptable argument for a presidential candidate, and especially the front runner.
The reason Hillary Clinton was singled out on that night is she holds a very large lead in the Democratic presidential sweepstakes and those who are trailing her are trying to a) differentiate themselves from her and b) point out why their ideas are superior to hers and thus they should be the pick.
That's the way presidential politics are and have been played. Those behind always attack those who are ahead. There are no exclusions based on gender, race, religion or any other characteristic.
“John Edwards, specifically, as well as the press, would never attack Barack Obama for two hours they way they attacked her,” said Geraldine A. Ferraro, the 1984 vice presidential candidate who supports Mrs. Clinton. “It’s O.K. in this country to be sexist,” Ms. Ferraro said.
“It’s certainly not O.K. to be racist. I think if Barack Obama had been attacked for two hours — well, I don’t think Barack Obama would have been attacked for two hours.”
What a load. If Barack Obama was the front runner, I have difficulty believing that Edwards and Clinton wouldn't be spending as much time as they could steal at a debate going after him.
OTOH, what may be happening with the likes of Ferraro and others keeping this alive, is to play a proxie game where Clinton doesn't directly complain but can, in fact, use the issue to her advantage by denying it's a problem:
For all that, Mrs. Clinton has taken pains not to come across as complaining or suggesting that she felt victimized. She told reporters she thought the criticism of her occurred not because she was a woman, but because she was the front-runner, even as she used language that invoked feminist imagery.
“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,” Mrs. Clinton said at an event in Indianola, Iowa. “Well, I’m really comfortable in the kitchen, and I’m going to stay in there and absorb the heat.”
Still, her campaign responded, characteristically, on a less obvious and more forceful track that at least initially used an online “piling on” video to encourage a simple story line for the debate: Seven men versus one woman.
The "piling on" video tells me the campaign sees value in the argument. But the statement by Clinton also says the campaign realizes that most Americans feel the way that I do about the subject and consequently Clinton can't complain directly about it. She has to be "strong". Thus the proxies. A classic cross-trump situation. They keep it alive and Clinton denies it and tells us how strong she is. Perfect scripting.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, R-Calif. [sic], said Monday that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., hasn't been treated differently because she's the only woman in the presidential race, but added that her campaign appears to have been trying to exploit that perception in the wake of last week's Democratic debate.
And yes, the "R-Calif" is in the original. Heh ...
The world is a tough place, and the Presidency is more than a series of photo-ops, so if Hiliary can’t take it as much as she seems to like to dish it out in a debate (no less), one has got to wonder just what she would do with adversaries that just don’t respect women at all.
This Ferraro "chick" stuff is about as useful as some "white vs black" comment, and I find them just as vulgar coming from a "tough" feminist. Frankly, it sounds much like I would expect to hear if Martin Luther were selling Indulgences.
Ferraro says that in America today, you can get away with being a sexist, but not a racist.
Isn’t this proof that the gender card rhetoric is aimed at white women voters and not black women voters? Perhaps I am wrong, but I imagine many black women who are conflicted between Obama and Hillary would disagree with this statement. It may actually be an offensive and/or borderline racist statement. I can’t imagine the Clinton machine will continue repeating it.