Charming.

Perhaps, John, when the press comes sniffing around looking for a quote from you about how one of your rivals — you know, the girl — had an “emotional outburst” and What It All Means, you might want to think about the message your response will send to female voters:

ABC News’ David Muir, Raelyn Johnson and Sunlen Miller Report: Former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., on the tail end of his 36-hour campaigning marathon in New Hampshire on day before the primary vote, reacted to rival Sen. Hillary Clinton’s emotional moment Monday.

Edwards offered little sympathy and pounced on the opportunity to question Clinton’s ability to endure the stresses of the presidency.

“I think what we need in a commander-in-chief is strength and resolve, and presidential campaigns are tough business, but being president of the United States is also tough business,” Edwards told reporters Laconia, New Hampshire.

Earlier in the day, Clinton became emotional when speaking to a group of voters in Portsmouth, New Hampshire….

Edwards jumped on the chance to express his readiness to face the strenuous demands of the presidency: “What I know is I’m prepared for that and I’m in this fight for the middle class and the future of this country for the long haul, through the conventions, straight to the White House.”

Well, I suppose it’s something that he didn’t tell her to iron his shirt.

And here comes Elizabeth to cover his ass:

However, in an interview with ABC News’ David Muir, Elizabeth Edwards offered more compassion than her husband. She noted that everyone on the campaign trail can relate to how grueling the task can be. In the end, Elizabeth Edwards did not pass on the political opportunity and added that voters will decide whether or not they want to see watery eyes.

Later, at another campaign stop, Edwards appeared to adopt his wife’s more sympathetic tone.

“These campaigns are very grueling,” he said, “they’re tough and difficult affairs, running for president is a tough process.”

You know what else is a tough process? Overcoming your ingrained sexism and not taking the bait when a reporter wants you to agree that a woman is too emotional to be President, John. Perhaps you should give it a try. Observe:

During a campaign stop at Jake’s Coffee in New London, New Hampshire, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was also asked to comment about Clinton’s teary moment.

“I didn’t see what happened,” he said, but added, “I know this process is a grind. So that’s not something I care to comment on.”

Standing up to gasbags like Bill Donohue is tough, too, John, but you couldn’t manage that, either.

via.


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60 Responses to Charming.

  1. False Flag Operative says:

    Obama will win New Hampshire for the Democrats.

  2. M. says:

    Was it the harshness of the campaign that made her teary? I saw the video, but I wasn’t paying much attention at the time. It seemed to me that she was choked up talking about how crappy the US has become under Bush and how important it is that the next president change things around.

    Something most men with enough brain cells to rub together would get teary about too…

  3. Jeff Fecke says:

    Hillary betrayed a little bit of emotion. Emotion that, given what she was talking about, was perfectly reasonable. To me, it made me feel like Hillary Clinton really did believe what she was saying, in a way that I hadn’t before during the campaign. Of course, later she insinuated that Obama wasn’t up to the task of handling al Qaeda, so the moment passed, but I thought it was a moment that showed humanity and character.

    Then again, the strongest people I know have emotions, and even show them sometimes. Getting choked up while saying that you believe this campaign matters is a sign of strength, whether you’re a man or a woman, a Democrat or a Republican. Unfortunately, too many people out there still don’t seem to grasp this simple fact, and view emotion as weakness — unless the emotion is anger. Then, of course, it’s fine.

  4. Fatadelic says:

    Ah, so tears/emotional = weakness.

    Yet if a man had been emotional or had cried (note: cried not the dismissive ‘teary’) he’d be praised as not afraid to show his feminine side.

    This isn’t theory – it’s fact. It’s happened before in Australian politics; one of our former Prime Ministers, Bob Hawke, is famed for crying. I can’t remember over what, but he was lauded in the media for “showing that men can be sensitive”.

  5. Bruce from Missouri says:

    You think they wouldn’t have hit a male candidate for this? Ask Edmund Muskie how well tears go over with the press/public.

  6. Mnemosyne says:

    You think they wouldn’t have hit a male candidate for this? Ask Edmund Muskie how well tears go over with the press/public.

    Except that Muskie has always maintained that he didn’t cry, and now David Broder admits that Muskie probably didn’t.

    But why did the Muskie “tears” work so well to torpedo his campaign? Because they showed him to be overly emotional and unstable. You know, like a woman.

  7. Pingback: John Edwards Goes There | Blog of the Moderate Left

  8. Manju says:

    well bush cries a lot. at funerals for soldiers. after 911. what stuck me about clinton’s tears is that they came at a time when she’s losing the nomination, first Iowa, now NH looks bad, and she’s down in SC.

    it a loss of privilege. of entitlement. she doesn’t come off looking too good. Edwards too. but obama looks great.

  9. Sirkowski says:

    No crying during the primaries please.

  10. louise says:

    Good on Obama; nicely done

    BTW, Mr Muskie has turned in his dinner pail…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Muskie

  11. Brad says:

    That’s true, people shouldn’t their emotions come out. They should keep them locked up inside, get ulcers and other problems from them, get depression, and possibly get suicidal. That’s what we want of our president. Oh wait….. maybe, just maybe, that’s what we don’t want.

  12. FashionablyEvil says:

    It seemed to me that she was choked up talking about how crappy the US has become under Bush and how important it is that the next president change things around.

    Something most men with enough brain cells to rub together would get teary about too…

    No kidding. I try not to think about how awful things are under Bush–it makes me feel nauseous and ruins whatever good mood I might be in.

  13. ninjanurse says:

    Barack Obama can think on his feet better than any candidate.

  14. zuzu says:

    What really amuses me is the spinning that people have been doing about this, saying that Edwards was tired and worn out and had a microphone shoved in his face, and if you look at the whole clip, you see he said he didn’t want to say anything about her specifically, but was speaking in generalities.

    Except for the fact that if we’re going to hold candidates to the standards that Edwards articulated, then reaching for a misogynist comment when you’re tired doesn’t really show that you can work under pressure, now does it?

  15. Melanie says:

    There was a moment in the New Hampshire debate that soured me on Edwards a bit, when he was asked what he would change or didn’t like about his debate performances to date. He commented that he’d regretted poking fun at Clinton’s jacket on a previous occasion and followed it up with a faux-gracious, “But you look fantastic tonight, Hillary.” Ugh.

  16. sly civilian says:

    gah. hate on edwards for this, but sadly…he and hillary deserve each other on this account.

    it may not have been from her directly, but her campaign has been dog whistling obama on being a crypto-muslim and such for weeks. this is a reason to not like edwards, but it’s hardly an endorsement of clinton.

    i don’t support a single one of the canidates whose up…none of them are even acceptable in my mind.

  17. Astraea says:

    There’s no crying in politics!!

    Seriously, though, I’m so disappointed by the reaction from Edwards. At this point, I expect it from the press and from the Republicans.

    I have major problems with Senator Clinton’s voting record, but all this sexism against her is making me want to vote for her.

    And how can anyone doubt Clinton’s toughness?! After 8 years of persecution during her husband’s presidency, and the pure hatred aimed at her during her political career, she’s still fighting. I might not always agree with her positions or methords, but damn if she’s not one of the toughest, most resiliant people in the race.

  18. Lisa says:

    well bush cries a lot. at funerals for soldiers.[…]

    Bush has yet to attend a single funeral for a soldier killed in Iraq.

  19. Linnaeus says:

    I think Edwards should have just stopped with “I don’t have anything to say about that,” which was the first part of his response. His expansion on his comment, right after that, does carry a subtext that’s both sexist and troubling. So yes, criticize him for it.

    I will say, in the interest of full disclosure, I still lean towards Edwards. None of the three – Clinton, Edwards, or Obama – are all that great, and I’m certainly open to changing my mind, but Edwards still speaks about about economic issues in particular that neither of rivals address nearly as well.

    Edwards definitely looks bad here, and Obama’s response was the right thing to say. But all three have had their “one moment” of looking bad. Clinton herself is not the most sympathetic of people, and has been particularly harsh in criticizing Edwards having former clients and such speak out on his behalf – people who have suffered great personal losses, mind you. Obama was just dandy-fine with having an ex-gay, anti-gay singer MC for one of his events.

    So pick your poison.

  20. viceabbess says:

    Hooray for Obama!!!!

    Oh, and if I hear one more thing about this ’emotional moment,’ I am going to throw up. Who cares.

  21. Pingback: » More Sexism from the campaign trail pretty + dangerous: sex. politics. rock’n'roll. film. lipgloss.

  22. one jewish dyke says:

    Every time I start to even think about getting worked up over any issue, I remember that my state votes after Super Duper Tuesday, and probably two of the three will have conceded by then anyway. We don’t even make a pretense of equality in our elections, let alone anywhere else in this country. Last time my choices on the ballot were Kerry, Kucinich, and maybe Al Sharpton? I of course chose Kucinich, knowing full well that my vote in the primary mattered about as much as it would in the general, where I could vote for Mickey Mouse because I’m not in a swing state.

    That said, someone recently pointed out that it doesn’t really matter that much which one of the three gets the nomination. Each of the three is likely to veto or sign the same legislation. The most important thing is who we get into Congress to make that legislation, and that we get one of those three into the White House to pass it (or veto it if it’s lousy) and to nominate Supreme Court justices who will stop the backwards turn this country has taken. My biggest concern is, smart as he is, that Obama still thinks he can reach across the aisle and make bipartisan nice-nice when the Republican leadership wants nothing but to build their own empire and crush anyone who disagrees. Edwards won’t be pulling any of that, and I think Clinton remembers well enough what the Republicans did to her husband to even think about it. Then again, Obama is probably smart enough to see pretty quickly too that bipartisanship isn’t going to fly these days.

  23. evil fizz says:

    There’s no crying in politics!!

    Dude, George Voinovich is one of my Senators (and an incredibly prominent local figure here in Cleveland), and he cries all the damn time.

  24. one jewish dyke says:

    Oh, and Edwards is the closest we’ll get to a pro-GLBT president, but considering Huckabee wanted to put us in isolation camps, I’ll take Obama or Clinton who at least are wishy-washy instead of openly hostile. I think it will still be a number of years before we get DOMA rolled back and I don’t think we’re getting a federal marriage equality law any time soon, but I do think even Clinton would sign a bill repealing DOMA with the excuse of “it’s what Bill had to do back then to stop the FMA; now we can help you out.”

  25. Dianne says:

    Edwards is now definitely off my list. Too bad, I was starting to warm to him because of his positions on health care and the Iraq war. But he’s pretty much demonstrated that he can’t be trusted so that’s that.

  26. louise says:

    I remember that too, Melanie- ugh. It was about the same time there was a squaling going on because she had spoken to the Senate wearing a V neck and a slight crease of Teh Boobs were showing over the top. Sadly, I remember the panicked squealing and not what she was talking about- which was probably the reaction the Repugs wanted, eh?

  27. r@d@r says:

    at least she didn’t admit to having seen a UFO.

  28. Medicine Man says:

    There’s a pretty good rebuttal of the “Hillary weeping”-meme on Andrew Sullivan: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/01/dissent-of-th-3.html#more

    Not from Sully himself, sadly.

  29. D.N. Nation says:

    “I think what we need in a commander-in-chief is strength and resolve, and presidential campaigns are tough business, but being president of the United States is also tough business,”

    A cheap shot. Not necessarily a misogynistic one. But cheap nonetheless. There’s no point in this, and I betcha it doesn’t earn you a single vote.

  30. Standing up to gasbags like Bill Donohue is tough, too, John, but you couldn’t manage that, either

    No only would Obama have had the courage not to fire Amanda, but he would have likely republished her allegedly offending posts on his campaign blog with scholarly commentary to defend them. It might be a good idea to encourage her to sign onto his campaign — in fact, the whole crew at Feministe should offer their services. Who knows, maybe your example would encourage Kate Michelman and Katha Pollitt to quit defending Edwards and join you there. I think the right-wing spin machine and MSM would think twice about playing dirty with Obama once it saw who was on board.

    Keep up the good work!

  31. D.N. Nation says:

    Actually, forget I just said that. Saw the clip and changed my mind.

    Sexist balderdash for what was a pretty powerful moment. C’mon, John.

  32. Betty Boondoggle says:

    A cheap shot. Not necessarily a misogynistic one.

    I disagree. When:

    – crying is framed as weakness and weakness is framed as feminine

    – Clinton didn’t actually cry, but is being raked over the coals for coming remotely to close to crying and therefore showing emotions like an icky girl

    – she’s previously been raked over the coals for being too “macho”

    – Edwards seems accepts all of this impling with his comment that tearing up shows she isn’t tough enough for the manly man job of Prez

    then yes it is misogynistic.

  33. meggygurl says:

    Oh, and Edwards is the closest we’ll get to a pro-GLBT president, but considering Huckabee wanted to put us in isolation camps, I’ll take Obama or Clinton who at least are wishy-washy instead of openly hostile.

    Er… how do you see this. Edwards is the only one who out right said he was against gay marriage. Obama implied he was for it, but left it up to the churches, and everyone knows Hillary is a big ol’ fag hag. I watched the GL (let’s face it, there wasn’t any B or T) debate and got turned off to Edwards from that. I mean, I give him points for being honest, but I didn’t get happy feelings from him.

    Shame on you Edwards. I knew I didn’t really like you for a reason.

  34. D.N. Nation says:

    This is not something I would judge anybody on, one way or the other. And the reality is, if you look at me, September 11 — the funerals, the memorial services — there were times in which it was impossible not to feel the emotion.

    – Rudy Giuliani, on HRC

    So Rudy 1) resists the urge to pile on but 2) 9/11!. Oh, Rudy, you truly are the postmodern candidate.

  35. Sirkowski says:

    Wow, I just watched the clip and though I didn’t care either way before, now I’m actually, genuinely, disgusted by HRC. I missed the attitude when I read it in text form.

    She reminded me of that grade A girl in school who would throw a fit and cry when she’d get a B. Bleh, pathetic. No Hillary, you can’t have a pony either! You surround yourself with the same kind of “yes-men” idiots that Bush did, and there’s been enough of that.

  36. annalouise says:

    It’s interesting to me to see where people’s priorities are and how they differ.

    Some I think are just bad priorities: getting mad at a politician because of one off-the-cuff snark and defending another politician from an off-the cuff gendered snark seems awfully dumb as a feminist priority.

    Prioritizing symbolic cultural war stuff over stopping free trade, well, I guess that’s logical to some, but I’m a midwesterner. I pick the candidate whose positions actually affect the survival of my community.

  37. Betty Boondoggle says:

    Scroll up.

    Obviously, we cross posted.

  38. zuzu says:

    Prioritizing symbolic cultural war stuff over stopping free trade, well, I guess that’s logical to some, but I’m a midwesterner. I pick the candidate whose positions actually affect the survival of my community.

    Oh, God, you’re playing the Heartland card?

    Because of course nobody else cares about their own communities. Only midwesterners do.

    *eyeroll*

  39. zuzu says:

    Not to mention, if we mention this at all, it means that we don’t care about Any! Other! Issue! At! All!

  40. D.N. Nation says:

    Aaaaaand not to mention, microcosms, microcosms.

  41. meggygurl says:

    Not to mention, if we mention this at all, it means that we don’t care about Any! Other! Issue! At! All!

    Well, I have been holding my choice on who to vote for this entire time, just WAITING for the white guy to make a sexism remark so I could decided not to vote for him for that ONE REASON. While, on the other hand, I will not be voting for the whiny bitch that *gasp* teared up on the campaign trail, because she needs to suck it up/stop playing. And I’m not voting for the black dude cause I hear his last name sounds like ya mama or something.

    /sarcasm

  42. Linnaeus says:

    Edwards is the only one who out right said he was against gay marriage. Obama implied he was for it, but left it up to the churches, and everyone knows Hillary is a big ol’ fag hag.

    Consider, though, that Edwards has explicit pro-LGBT stances that you can read here. On Obama’s website? Nothing. Clinton’s? Nothing.

    Which doesn’t mean that I think Obama or Clinton are anti-gay at all, but at least Edwards puts something out there.

  43. Rachel says:

    Jill – no comment on Hillary’s ingrained racisim? I’m anxious to know what your thoughts are on her assault on MLK last night.

  44. meggygurl says:

    This is off topic, so I will just link this then be done.

    pro-LGBT stance on Obama’s website

    I can’t find anything on Hillary’s site. But that doesn’t shock me. I worry she would indeed give up the GLBT community to get ahead.

    But… who hasn’t cast us off in order to get further?

  45. Linnaeus says:

    Thanks for the link, meggygurl.

  46. Shayne says:

    Linnaeus and meggygurl, thanks for both links. It’s an important issue to me and I was looking for the candidates’ view. Anybody know any links about them talking about The Patriotic Act? That’s my 2nd important issue.

  47. Juan Stoppable says:

    In the end, Elizabeth Edwards did not pass on the political opportunity and added that voters will decide whether or not they want to see watery eyes.

    At least John Edwards had the quasi-decency of being coded. Watery eyes?! C’mon!

  48. Raging Moderate says:

    Jill – no comment on Hillary’s ingrained racisim?

    That’s one of the reasons I wouldn’t vote for her either (if I could).

  49. zuzu says:

    Jill – no comment on Hillary’s ingrained racisim? I’m anxious to know what your thoughts are on her assault on MLK last night.

    Jill didn’t write the post, I did. Why would I comment about that in a post about Edwards’ comments? It doesn’t excuse what Edwards said; it’s a separate issue.

    I didn’t see the MLK comments. Do you have a link?

  50. prefer not to say says:

    Am I the only one who’s watched the darn thing three times and not been able to figure out exactly where any “tearing up” much less “crying” happened? Am I missing something?

  51. fran says:

    I’m with you prefer…
    All I picked up on was softness and vulnerability. Her tactic worked, though…she came from 10 points down in NH to what appears to be a close one.

  52. Vanessa says:

    Hillary Clinton is a Machiavellian genius. So she’s lambasted for being cold and distant, is behind in every single poll, and coincidentally had a little emotional choke-up in front of the cameras the day before the election?

    Come on. And it totally worked!

  53. belledame222 says:

    did I mention how very not enthusiastic I am about this whole frigging election cycle?

  54. belledame222 says:

    Oh, and Edwards is the closest we’ll get to a pro-GLBT president, but considering Huckabee wanted to put us in isolation camps, I’ll take Obama or Clinton who at least are wishy-washy instead of openly hostile

    there is that, yes.

    look, I’ll vote for whoever wins the general, that’s pretty damn clear. I might even put some backbone into it if it looks like it’s going to be close, just because the R’s are so completely fucking unacceptable. but I’m damned if I’m giving them any of my money, and I don’t even know if I’m going to bother voting in the primaries this time.

  55. belledame222 says:

    and for the record, I’m not suddenly going from enthusiastic about Edwards to o noez Betrayed over this; I already felt singularly “blah” about all of them.

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