97 comments for “Just a wife.

  1. March 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Isn’t Tucker off the air yet? Why is he still polluting the airwaves?

  2. March 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    The Mamie Eisenhower bit was a bit much, since Clinton has served in the Senate on her own, but I think he’s got a point.

    Hillary Clinton HAS been trumpeting experience that she doesn’t really have. I don’t think that she’s unqualified and I don’t think he was saying that she’s unqualified, but I do think that the point that she’s exaggerated her foreign policy experience is not attributable only to sexism.

    This ties in with my other complaint about her, which is that she wants to take credit for the good things about the Clinton years while disavowing the bad things.

    There are women who have held public office for 35 years. Hillary Clinton simply isn’t one of them.

    And whenever I hear her say “35 years of experience,” I hear “we’ve already had one Clinton presidency and you know what that was like so vote for me.”

  3. Brian B
    March 23, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    I dislike Tucker as much as the next guy, but I didn’t find anything horribly offensive about that clip. While she was First Lady, Hillary didn’t even have a security clearance. As such, any claims that she has Presidential “experience” are absolutely crap, and I thought the commentators said that in a reasonably respectful manner.

  4. Betsy
    March 23, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    I think the Mamie Eisenhower comment was ridiculous, sexist, and deplorable. Full stop.

    This ties in with my other complaint about her, which is that she wants to take credit for the good things about the Clinton years while disavowing the bad things.

    Bingo.

    Clinton has been deliberately blurring the line between what she’s taking credit for from the last Clinton presidency and what she is refusing to be associated with from the last Clinton presidency. And not just during the presidency – Bill is stomping around calling Barack Obama a mugger and questioning his patriotism, but I’m guessing that if someone asked Clinton what she thought of this, she would deny any responsibility.

  5. March 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Not to mention that if that comment is misogyny (not the Mamie Eisenhower stuff, we all agree that was terrible), then any comments the Clintons have made about Obama not being ready is racist.

  6. preying mantis
    March 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    What a trio of douchebags. I mean, seriously, we’re supposed to trust the dude to get it right about what our economy says about our commitment to social justice when he can’t seem to grasp the difference between being a tea-and-cookies first lady who’s basically there to round out the president’s entourage and being a first lady who’s so active in politics and policy that the wingnuts of the time are practically choking on their own sense of offended masculinity?

  7. zuzu
    March 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Sarah, you do realize that she’s been doing one or two things since she was First Lady, yes?

    And don’t you think it’s a little inappropriate for the guys to get a big chuckle out of the whole Mamie Eisenhower bit?

    Not to mention that if that comment is misogyny (not the Mamie Eisenhower stuff, we all agree that was terrible), then any comments the Clintons have made about Obama not being ready is racist.

    Sigh. How did I know someone was going to do that?

    I give up. If I can’t point out misogyny on a fucking feminist blog anymore without someone trying to handwave it away because it’s Hillary Clinton who’s being denigrated, then I’m finished.

    It’s sad when I wouldn’t get this much pushback for defending Ann Coulter from misogynist attacks.

  8. March 23, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    I give up. If I can’t point out misogyny on a fucking feminist blog anymore without someone trying to handwave it away because it’s Hillary Clinton who’s being denigrated, then I’m finished.

    I totally hear that, Zuzu, but I hope you don’t give up.

  9. evil fizz
    March 23, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Not to mention that if that comment is misogyny (not the Mamie Eisenhower stuff, we all agree that was terrible), then any comments the Clintons have made about Obama not being ready is racist.

    Can we please keep our eye on the damn ball here? We have a bunch of misogynistic fuckwits talking smack about Hillary Clinton because she’s a woman and your entire response is that “oh, well, Clinton’s racist!”

    If the misogyny is that bad, you can acknowledge that without qualifiers.

  10. MJ
    March 23, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Wow. In front of his own daughter no less (she at least seemed to realize the crappiness of his statement even if the other two were getting a good laugh out of it).

  11. March 23, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    If I can’t point out misogyny on a fucking feminist blog anymore without someone trying to handwave it away because it’s Hillary Clinton who’s being denigrated, then I’m finished.

    A-fucking-men. But please don’t give up. We need you!

  12. Vail
    March 23, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Oooooooo lets bash women for being wives/mothers some more. Yeah like that’s not a real job. I like to smack that jerk.

  13. sigh
    March 23, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    yeah, please don’t quit. it’s sexist. full stop.

    Clinton was bashed (at the time) for doing too much politically as a first lady, but now she did nothing. WTF?

  14. Oh
    March 23, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Y’know, I don’t know anything about Mamie Eisenhower, about her capabilities or activities in the White House. But I think it’d be nice if these three guys could maybe just consider that a big reason why they find it so laughable that Mamie Eisenhower could be qualified for president is that, at the time, TPTB considered ridiculous the idea that any woman could be suited for leadership outside her household. In 1965, for example, an article on the front page of the New York Times fretted about whether executives must let a “dizzy blonde” drive a tugboat.

    You’d also think these guys had never heard of Edith Wilson. Now, people can debate about how much power she actually wielded, and there are plenty of people willing to say if she *did* have a lot of influence and ran things after Woodrow Wilson’s stroke, then she’s at fault for many of the problems of the Wilson presidency (could there be any misogyny there, do you think? Naw!). Still, you’d think someone who put any thought into the matter at all would be able to entertain the idea that people who are interested in gaining relevant political/international/leadership experience will find lots of opportunities to learn and participate if they’re closely connected with the US president.

    That’s happened throughout history, in fact, when female heads of state took over from husbands or fathers. The women who wanted to rule had prepared themselves to do so and did a good job. And, actually, this last reason is why I’m not so enthusiastic about voting for Clinton just for the sake of having a woman as president. When it comes to their political stances, I’m more enthusiastic about Obama on some issues and more enthusiastic about Clinton on others, while having no idea about what either of them would actually be able to do in office. But, as much as I sympathize with women who are eager to see a woman as the US president in their lifetime or at least sooner rather than later, it just wouldn’t mean as much to me personally when there are so many rigidly and oppressively patriarchal places in the world where women have been leaders because they were related or married to male rulers. To me, Clinton as president wouldn’t represent the same kind of fundamental challenge to patriarchy as I think Obama as president would represent to white supremacy, and I’d like to see both those systems challenged as much as possible.*

    On the other hand, since Clinton’s not a conservative kowtower to patriarchy, which already makes lots of overly privileged men extremely uncomfortable, I’m sure her presidency, just by the fact of its being “her presidency,” would still do plenty of challenging. So…maybe I don’t really have a point on this one. I’m not sure. I certainly wouldn’t vote against Clinton because of some feeling that her having been a First Lady didn’t make her enough of a trailblazer in her pursuit of the presidency or other such nonsense.

    *In terms of what Clinton and Obama would actually *do* to challenge these systems, besides just being themselves and being president…well, that kinda makes me lean towards Obama more, though, again, I can’t actually know what they’d do in office. My sense, though, is that both he and Clinton would do fine on things considered “women’s issues”–Obama has male privilege, but I think he’s also paid enough attention to know what kind of legislation will benefit or harm women and cares about doing the right thing on that score. And my sense is also that Obama would do better on issues of particular concern to people of color–that Clinton isn’t as tuned in or would be more willing to put it aside (as with something like “welfare reform,” for example).

  15. March 23, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Exactly, Sigh. These are the same groups of people who are responsible for keeping barriers in place for First Ladies, not only devaluing the work they do but making sure they can’s have titled positions. These are the kind of creeps who complain that “We didn’t vote for THEM we voted for HIM,” even though HE is perfectly entitled to appoint other advisors and staff who aren’t voted in or approved by the Senate.

  16. March 23, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Not to mention that if that comment is misogyny (not the Mamie Eisenhower stuff, we all agree that was terrible), then any comments the Clintons have made about Obama not being ready is racist.

    You know, I honestly have no clue how saying it is misogynist necessarily entails that people are neglecting other parts of the campaign. It literally never fails that someone has to act like saying one thing is neglecting the other. Just ludicrous.

  17. Unree
    March 23, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Zuzu, please don’t stop. Your work becomes more necessary every day. Did you see Friday’s hatchet attack on HRC by the Slate femmes?
    http://www.slate.com/id/2187189/
    (sorry I can’t figure out the HTML thingie on this board)

  18. Manju
    March 23, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Not to mention that if that comment is misogyny (not the Mamie Eisenhower stuff, we all agree that was terrible), then any comments the Clintons have made about Obama not being ready is racist.

    I read this to mean that the comments, other than the Mamie comparison, were as misogynistic as calling into question obama’s experience is racist…which is to say not at all.

    As opposed to saying “its is misogynistic but she’s a racist so who cares”…which is how you guys seems to be interpreting it.

  19. March 23, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Meh, what Burzynski’s saying is substantively okay–it’s the delight with which Tucker and the other jackass react to the “travel agent” comment, and how they egg him on until all three of them are grinning ear-to-ear over their shared “joke” that really sucks.

  20. exholt
    March 23, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    These are the same groups of people who are responsible for keeping barriers in place for First Ladies, not only devaluing the work they do but making sure they can’s have titled positions. These are the kind of creeps who complain that “We didn’t vote for THEM we voted for HIM,” even though HE is perfectly entitled to appoint other advisors and staff who aren’t voted in or approved by the Senate.

    Astraea,

    Though you have an excellent point, wouldn’t appointing a family member to an official titled position without a more rigorous public vetting process give an appearance of nepotism and thus, corruptive practices??

    Though other politicians have done the same with relatives and close friends with nowhere near the professional qualifications, intelligence, and competence of HRC, having a president appoint a relative/friends to a titled official position without more than the average scrutiny and vetting could IMO set a very bad precedent.

    I’m not saying that no First Lady or other relations of the President should be barred from any official titled post…..merely that they should go through a higher level of vetting to show the American public that they are qualified and not appointed solely or mostly because of their personal relationship to the President/politician concerned. This very issue was one reason I had absolutely no respect for Mitt Romney when he was Massachusetts Governor.

    Though HRC should discuss the positive accomplishments she has in her role as an active First Lady in the Clinton White House, others have a right to question her on what they perceive as negative aspects of that administration (i.e. Support of NAFTA) without the sexist attacks a la Tucker & media.

    As an aside, I, along with many other friends have had the misfortune to meet people who let their prejudices guide their vote….voting against Clinton for sexist reasons, against Obama for racist reasons and because he is “too young”, against both because of sexist and racist reasons, and against McCain because he is “too old”. All stupid reasons to vote against someone IMO…..especially when there are many more substantiative grounds for criticism (i.e. Policy, degree/lack thereof of ethical conduct, etc).

    Disclosure: I tend to lean more towards Clinton myself….though I also like Obama and am glad the Democrats have two candidates who are competent for the job of the Presidency.

  21. March 23, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    See, I don’t think it is substantively okay, because he’s using the fact that she is PUBLICLY KNOWN AND IN OUR FACE AND ALL THAT as a wife and mother as the only important thing that she’s done with her life, and from there using that as an excuse to denigrate her and everything else she’s ever done. It’s misogynistic from start to finish.

  22. blair
    March 23, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    bitchphd at 19
    Exactly! You expect that kind of sh*t from Tucker Carlson – both on race and gender. But the extent to which both the Obama and Clinton campaigns are willing to play along when it helps their candidate is really disappointing. They can’t just make their point with debate on the issues – cause it’s so much more fun to get to use racist or sexist dog whistles so you can be all chummy with Tucker Carlson. And they’re both doing it – the Clintons with the stuff about Obama’s drug use, the image of him in Somalia and encouraging the debacle over Wright and the Obama campaign with things like this and Obama’s little remark about her “periodically feeling down”

  23. S.H.
    March 23, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Zuzu,

    I think you, Melissa M. and Kate H. (and others I’m forgetting) all get something that many others don’t. The misogynistic attacks on Clinton are not only wrong but they are larger than Clinton and this primary. They are going to set the standard for other female candidates to come. Many, including myself really appreciate that and you guys are doing great. Just try to keep your head up.

  24. March 23, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    In general, I have a lot of trouble with the mental backflips that people do in order to (a) fail to acknowledge that while she was a political player in the Clinton Administration, (b) try to claim that her policies are exactly the same as that of the Clinton Administration, and (c) this perspective is not sexist. It’s surely not that difficult to recognize that she worked on important substantive issues in the 1990’s while also acknowledging that she wasn’t actually the president, it wasn’t all up to her, and even if it was the landscape has changed significantly so her administration would necessarily differ at least in some respects from her husband’s.

    The fact jumping through these hoops with every comment is the new critical factor in being a Very Serious Commentator scares the crap out of me.

  25. March 23, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    The ridiculous Mamie Eisenhower comment wouldn’t have worked if he had gone back just slightly further and used Eleanor Roosevelt as an example; none of them would have been able to laugh about that. I don’t know enough about the Eisenhower presidency to really know if there was any point — but it seems pretty clear to me that it was just another round of Hillary-bashing using misogyny as a convenient weapon. And regardless of what you think of her record, the negatives and positives of her association with her husband’s career, the substance of her work, that’s really not OK. If her claims of experience are without merit, then attack them for being without merit, not on the basis of gender. It’s a cheap shot for cheap laughs, and Brzezinski should know better — or he does, and just knows he can get away with it since Clinton is everyone’s favorite punching bag on the left or the right.

  26. Jasmine
    March 23, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    God I can’t stand Tucker Carlso, especially after the remark he made aobut wishing there was a Clinton surrogate (what the hell does that even mean?) on the show so they could see what shade they turn. I for one would rather have seen the look on Tucker’s face when he was told his show was getting axed!

  27. wiggles
    March 23, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Sarah, you do realize that she’s been doing one or two things since she was First Lady, yes?

    She did quite a few things before and during being First Lady too.

    Clinton was compared to Eleanor Roosevelt all over the place during the Clinton administration. Except Clinton was probably even more politically active than Roosevelt. And she had a pretty impressive record before she moved one stick of furniture into the White House.

    I’m sure you’re aware of all this, zuzu. I’m not coming down on you. I’m just ranting at all this “tea party” bullshit.

  28. Danakitty
    March 23, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    I think the whole segue into that question/comment was total BS. What was the purpose of having him comment about who he supported as president? I thought the whole point of the discussion was about the Iraq war and where it was headed. Yes, whoever gets elected is relevant to the future of the war, but there was absolutely no need to go into a total political debate. Bring up their previous statements, current POV, and then let it drop! Obviously, from history, there’s no telling how their experience will affect the success/failure of their presidencies!

    Sidenote: anyone else ready to slap the next person who uses sex/race as a reason to vote/not vote for someone? This whole debate is getting old, and I really wish each campaign member was mature enough to not play these cards just to gain votes or make the other candidate look bad.

  29. tinfoil hattie
    March 23, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Were you defenders of Carlson, et. al around when Hillary Clinton was being excoriated as First Lady because she — wait for it — wanted her office in the West Wing, instead of in the touristy East Wing where all First Lady offices had been located before?

    She got so much s*** for threatening the balance of power in the White House — she was acting! as if she had brains and could advise the president! and now it’s “Oh she was just the wife of the president…”

    Well, previous commenters are right. This whole misogyny issue is larger than Clinton v. Obama. I fear the next woman who tries to run for president will be taken even less seriously.

  30. zuzu
    March 23, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Bill is stomping around calling Barack Obama a mugger and questioning his patriotism

    the Clintons with the stuff about Obama’s drug use, the image of him in Somalia and encouraging the debacle over Wright

    I’m tired of this kind of thing, too. The Clinton campaign was not behind the Somalia photo; it came from Free Republic via Drudge. Nor have they done anything to “encourage the debacle over Wright”. I don’t know what this “mugger” story is, but even Kathleen Parker, who hates the Clintons, isn’t buying that Bill questioned Obama’s patriotism (and she was there for the whole speech).

    Yet long-debunked accusations like this (and “the Clintons were behind the passport violations!” and “the 3 AM ad was RACIST!” and “they manipulated a video to make him look DARKER!” etc.) are used to fuel the whole “The Clintons are racists!!” meme. And people just keep mindlessly repeating them, even if they’re not true, and using those not-true accusations to handwave away negative campaigning by Obama or outright misogyny by his advisers.

    Those who’ve said this is bigger than Clinton are absolutely right. This kind of thing affects us all. There’s a reason that I find myself defending Ann fucking Coulter on a regular basis because so many “progressives” are eager to dismiss her as a cunt or a transsexual rather than on her odious views. Same with Michelle Malkin. There’s a lot of material to work with, and yet I find myself defending her time and again because going to the racist and sexist well is so tempting for so many on the left.

    And as I keep explaining every time that there’s a shitstorm over “please don’t call women cunts” or fucking sammiches, using identity-based insults on your enemies also hurts those who are not your enemies but share the same identity. It’s one of those principles that holds regardless of who’s doing it, who’s benefiting from it, or how much you hate the person who’s the target. Another one of those principles is counting every vote. That’s a value you hold even if it means your guy loses.

  31. March 23, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    It’s not just sexist, but stupid. I think throughout our history, a lot of the first ladies would have been great presidents. Think of Abigail Adams and Eleanor Roosevelt. Personally, I support Obama, but even if we don’t agree that Hilary Clinton is the best choice for president, we shouldn’t condone sexist attacks.

  32. Fuzzy
    March 23, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    It’s very frustrating to realize that in our, supposedly enlightened western, society, we still can’t come to grips with the idea that an executive or political wife might actually do more, and gain more experience behind the scenes simply because of the everyday reality of her marital position. We prefer to think of women who are married to powerful men as arm candy, no matter what we say about how smart they are.

    No one would debate that I’ve learned a thing or two about catering and the hospitality industry, even though it’s my *father* who has a mile-long resume reflecting 35 years of paid experience. As his daughter, I learned a lot about it simply by being part of a family whose everyday life was driven by that particular paternal career. It wasn’t paid, but I washed glasses, served water and helped cart trucks of food to events. I couldn’t have escaped the experience even if I’d wanted to.

    Why is it so hard to admit that a well-educated woman, with ambition enough to expand the role of First Lady beyond traditional boundaries might, indeed, have learned a thing or two, gained some experience and even done a few things that give her the right to claim it as experience? Are we so afraid of saying that she might have spoken to her husband over the dinner table, on the road and even in bed about policy issues that she wasn’t _officially_ a part of or on her agenda book?

    Some of the third world takes this too far, establishing dynasties and attributing ability simply through family connection. I say our society takes it too far in the other direction, while the truth is something gray and hazy in between. It will remain so, so long as women are expected to be the unrecognized, unpaid support staff of the men they are married to.

  33. blair
    March 23, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    I don’t think the issue is necessarily that the Clinton’s were behind the Somalia photo. Assuming that it was spread around only because of Drudge and no one in Clinton’s campaign was involved, they still didn’t seem above taking advantage of the situation.
    I didn’t mean to suggest that Clinton hasn’t been bombarded with misogynist attacks; she has. It just seems like both the campaigns (or at least some of their high profile supporters) have been disappointingly willing to take advantage of racist and sexist attitudes, from the public and the media, when it helps their chosen candidate. This clip is obviously an example of that from an Obama supporter.

  34. blair
    March 23, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Also I think it is one thing to say “Clinton is racist!” or “Obama is sexist!”, and something else to acknowledge that both sides are not above exploiting issues of race or gender when it helps their own campaign.

  35. evil fizz
    March 23, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    And as I keep explaining every time that there’s a shitstorm over “please don’t call women cunts” or fucking sammiches, using identity-based insults on your enemies also hurts those who are not your enemies but share the same identity. It’s one of those principles that holds regardless of who’s doing it, who’s benefiting from it, or how much you hate the person who’s the target.

    Applause.

  36. March 23, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Zuzu, I’m typing with my nasty, sore hand right now, so please listen to me. The work you’re doing on the Clinton campaign — along with Melissa and others — is some of the most important, exciting shit I’ve seen from any blogger this election season. I know you’re discouraged by the endless excuses people are making because they’re concerned that these concessions* hurt their candidate, but please keep going. It’s the beating of the anti-racist, anti-sexist drum, regardless of which Dem is picked, that is going to help clear the way for future minority candidates.

    * i.e. calling out racism and sexism, which is something that feminists are universally supposed to do to, you know, make the world a safer place for all kinds of oppressed people. Remember that?

  37. tinfoil hattie
    March 23, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Assuming that it was spread around only because of Drudge and no one in Clinton’s campaign was involved, they still didn’t seem above taking advantage of the situation.

    So…you believe they are not above taking advantage of the situation. Does that mean they are culpable in this particuar Drudge-instigated situation? Because you think they might not be above taking advantage of the situation?

    Well, that’s good enough for me. I guess I’ll vote for Obama, then. Yikes!

  38. zuzu
    March 23, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Thank you, Lauren. That’s actually very helpful. I have been despairing lately, if for no other reason than that I’ve been seeing so many feminists dismiss misogynistic bullshit, or worse, jump on board with it, just because it’s directed at her, or at her supporters (or those perceived to be her supporters because they call this shit out). I didn’t think just three months ago that this would be happening, or that so many people would have abandoned their ability to read situations critically.

    And it feels so lonely sometimes, worse than when I was catching holy hell for calling out sexism/racism on FDL or at Sadly, No. Worse, because it feels like this isn’t even a safe space anymore to call out sexism.

    I think I’m changing my party registration when this is over. New York’s got a whole shitload of minor parties to choose from. Maybe I’ll join the Communist Party, just for shits & giggles. Though that might get me on some watch list somewhere.

  39. Manju
    March 23, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    The Clinton campaign was not behind the Somalia photo

    They didn’t deny it did. Maggie Williams in fact saw nothing wrong with it, meaning even if they did it, its not xenophobic. Stephanie Tubbs Jones said “I have no shame, or no problem, with people looking at Barack Obama in his native clothing, in the clothing of his country.” er, Steph; his country is the USA.

    This beautifully sets up the 3am ad, where they claim he’s not ready top be commander in chief (a gift to John McCain) and when asked about him being a muslim on 60minutes, clinton herself responds, “i take him on the basis of what he says.” “there’s nothing to base that on, as far as I know.” Clasiic Clinton.

    Nor have they done anything to “encourage the debacle over Wright”.

    the nytimes is reporting that they are using this as an argument to the superdeligates that he can’t win. a cynical, self-fulfilling racism i’d say. imagine if obama argued that a woman can’t win.

  40. zuzu
    March 23, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    imagine if obama argued that a woman can’t win.

    Which is exactly what his national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, is out there doing by belittling Clinton as a fluffy party-thrower with no business in the national security arena.

    And I note you don’t provide a link to your assertion about Clinton and Wright. Is it because she’s arguing something different from what you’re saying she’s arguing?

  41. TQL
    March 23, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    No, his security advisor is calling into question her foreign policy experience, much of which she claims as taking place while she was First Lady and ‘landing in enemy fire”. Folks have already called bullshit on that story.

    Give me something substantive that she did as First Lady that allows her to flex her foreign policy experience other than visits, that were largely ceremonial and rarely substantive in terms of polilcy. If she’s going to use her experience as First Lady as part of her experience, then yes it is up for scrutiny…

  42. blair
    March 23, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    So…you believe they are not above taking advantage of the situation. Does that mean they are culpable in this particuar Drudge-instigated situation? Because you think they might not be above taking advantage of the situation?
    Well, that’s good enough for me. I guess I’ll vote for Obama, then. Yikes!

    I realize in retrospect that bringing up the issue of racism might seem kind of like a thread derail here, since the initial post was about blatant misogyny directed at Clinton. And if it did I’m sorry about that. I’ve just been frustrated lately with feeling like some people on both sides are willing to take advantage of the public and media’s racism and sexism if it helps there side. And like, zuzu and several others have pointed out, that does no good for the current campaign or for future minority candidates. I didn’t mean to diminish the misogyny that’s been hurled at Clinton – it’s there and I appreciate all the blogs that have been calling it out when they see it.

  43. Manju
    March 23, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    though i would like to backtrack and say the Clinton’s using wright against obama is fair game, as associating your opponent with radicals is a common political trick, even thoug this one interescts with racism. but too bad, i’m sure an assocition with noam chomsky would get equal play.

    Its the other stuff that makes me conclude that clinton is running a campaign so full of racism and xenophobia that it makes willie horton look like child’s play. and no, i don’t think the sexism coming from the obama campaign is even close to equaling Clinton’s dirty tricks.

    but this is not news to anyone who’s followed the clintons. it gives me great pleasure to finally see democrats waking up to this fact.

  44. blair
    March 23, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    And, for the record, I wasn’t suggesting that it was a reason to vote for Obama.

  45. zuzu
    March 23, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Give me something substantive that she did as First Lady that allows her to flex her foreign policy experience other than visits

    Ask Bertie Ahern about that. Or the people who attended the Beijing conference on women’s rights.

    Manju, your link to an Adam Nagourney story (and Adam Nagourney has a well-deserved repuation for hit pieces) contains no attribution for that assertion that Clinton’s advisors had hoped that blahblahblah. No one was quoted directly, or even alluded to in a “senior policy advisor” capacity.

    You’re still assuming that Clinton brought up the association with Wright. She didn’t. If she points out that it hurts him, and that that affects his electability in the general election (which according to recent polls, it does, since he does not beat McCain in head-to-head polling right now), then how is that racist?

    Also, you’re assuming that Obama can actually win the nomination outright. He can’t. You need 2025 pledged delegates to do that, and he just can’t make that unless she drops out. But why should she, since she’s projected to win in almost every state that hasn’t yet voted except Montana?

    It takes 2025 delegates to secure the nomination. If you don’t get that, all bets are off. Being in the lead of pledged delegates doesn’t entitle you to the nomination, and superdelegates will be needed if either one of them is to get nominated. To expect that she won’t press every advantage she has at this point is absurd.

    I realize in retrospect that bringing up the issue of racism might seem kind of like a thread derail here

    Ya think? Not just derail, but rationalization for the misogyny. Is that how you want Obama to win?

  46. VGC
    March 24, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Did Bush ever get the same shit (i.e. he’s just the son of a president) that Hillary does with the just being a wife thing? I’m not all that old, so I don’t really remember.

  47. S.H.
    March 24, 2008 at 12:28 am

    a cynical, self-fulfilling racism i’d say. imagine if obama argued that a woman can’t win.

    I think we have to be careful to make distinct what the candidate says and what a rep from the campaign – formal or informal – says. As I’ve mentioned on another blog the surrogates on both sides have done alot of harm to their candidates regardless of good intentions. I even recently saw what I would consider racist crap coming from two prominent Obama supporters, Claire McCaskill and John Kerry, for instance. After the Power, Ferraro and Wright messes one after the other, I for one am only holding a candidate responsible for what they personally say. The shit is flying too fast and furious for them to have control over their surrogates’ words.

    Second, whomever may be pushing the Wright story, I don’t think it’s necessarily racist. Any candidate affiliated with anyone who says 9/11 was chickens coming home to roost (paraphrasing) will not win. This country can’t deal with its issues and they will vote for the geriatric warmonger rather than someone who can make a difference just because they can’t deal with reality. I don’t like the hillary camp pushing it because if Obama wins the nom he might be screwed and they helped that happen. But I’m not sure it’s racist in its intent.

    Last, I don’t think the lack of experience argument by itself has racist undertones either. If you can remember back before the campaign started and possible candidates were being mentioned, the question was whether Obama could make a serious run with only a limited time in the Senate. I personally think she’s gone a bit overboard with this (particularly when she started complimenting McCain for god sakes) but again not so sure it has racist overtones. There is a distinction between Hillary saying she’s been around longer than Obama (legit even if arguable) and saying what he has done didn’t matter because he was working for minorities as a community organizer or something to that effect (not legit and racist). And I would also point out that Hillary did get criticized for only working on women’s and children’s issue in the L.A. Times.

  48. zuzu
    March 24, 2008 at 1:02 am

    Lack of experience is a time-tested campaign tactic. As for McCain, I don’t think either candidate can deny his military experience, which is the biggest positive he has. So you work within that positive.

    I think that the Obama campaign seems focused on getting the nomination. Because pushing the line that the Clintons are racist might help you get the nomination, but doesn’t help you use their contacts in the general election. In fact, if you push the racist line, you’ve sort of eliminated them as sources of support or fundraising, because if you’ve spent six months tearing them down as racist, then how do you use them in the general without admitting you were wrong, or that you didn’t really mean it, or that you didn’t exactly tell the whole truth?

  49. March 24, 2008 at 1:40 am

    “Experience” is Clinton’s core brand idea. It’s the reason her campaign is giving us to support her over Obama. You don’t have to be a misogynist to find this marketing ploy a little pretentious.

    Hillary Clinton is an accomplished individual who has had many experiences that count towards her qualification to be president. I just don’t think she’s got nearly enough of an edge over Obama to justify the weight her campaign is putting on her background. The foreign policy experience claims are just silly. Whatever Clinton did before she voted for the war, it didn’t help her make the right decision.

    The thing is, none of the candidates in this race is among the best-qualified Americans for the job. For example, none of them has has had a major executive role such as mayor or governor.

    The fact is that Obama is a very impressive figure in his own right. Neither he nor Clinton has the stereotypical Presidential resume. That’s a good thing. The assumption that you need at least on term as popular State governor in order president may well be invalid or outdated.

    Obama came up through community, local, and State politics before he graduated to the national level. That’s experience that counts for a lot in my book.

  50. Banisteriopsis
    March 24, 2008 at 2:53 am

    Any candidate affiliated with anyone who says 9/11 was chickens coming home to roost (paraphrasing) will not win.

    Heaven forbid we should tell the truth in public. Other than offending people who don’t read much, the Rev’s clip on youtube didn’t seem particularly surprising. Extremist groups being funded by the CIA? Naaaaw.

    Also, Jerry fucking Falwell.

  51. Banisteriopsis
    March 24, 2008 at 3:06 am

    Here’s a neat website. Biographies of first ladies.

    Hillary Clinton was the only First Lady to keep an office in the West Wing among those of the president’s senior staff. While her familiarity with the intricate political issues and decisions faced by the President, she openly discussed his work with him, yet stated that ultimately she was but one of several individuals he consulted before making a decision. They were known to disagree.

  52. exholt
    March 24, 2008 at 4:22 am

    Some of the third world takes this too far, establishing dynasties and attributing ability simply through family connection. I say our society takes it too far in the other direction, while the truth is something gray and hazy in between. It will remain so, so long as women are expected to be the unrecognized, unpaid support staff of the men they are married to.

    First of all, this is not just an issue with the “Third World”. Nepotism and corruption has existed in the Western world….heck…the once widespread dominance of the European aristocracy in political, military, and economic centers of power is the epitome of this…and one which still has some impacts in the present.

    Moreover, we’ve have had plenty of examples of nepotism and corruption within American politics. Before the introduction of Civil Service exams in Europe and the United States in the 19th century*, government positions were overwhelmingly doled out through political patronage and calling in contacts. Even after their introduction, nepotism and corruption may have been greatly reduced…but not totally eliminated as recent events in the political and business world would indicate.

    Heck….the very concept of legacy admissions to American universities is considered very nepotistic and suspect in the eyes of many international students I’ve come in contact with. Many came from nations where admission to university was nearly totally determined by one’s academic performance on a national university entrance exam and/or high school grades….if one did not perform at the standard required…one simply did not get in.

    Several international students were more than happy to point out how someone like W would not have gotten into a topflight university with his lackluster performance if he was in their society…no matter how well-connected his parents were. This was underscored by the outraged reaction of some Korean classmates and newsmedia to an educational proposal several years back to raise needed funds for their universities by reserving 10% of their undergrad admissions to students whose parents were willing to pony up $2 million. Fortunately, it seems that proposal was shot down.

    * As a reminder that some “modern” ideas did not all originate in the west, the earliest widespread societal use of Civil Service exams as the main/sole means to determine minimal qualifications and merit for government positions was in Tang Dynasty China (Around 600-900 CE). The British later adopted this concept first to qualify/assign candidates for the British East India Company Civil Service/Indian Civil Service and then to do the same for the British Civil Service. It is probable the US adopted this practice from the British.

  53. March 24, 2008 at 7:19 am

    Some days I wish Cross Fire were still on, just to watch Jon Stewart serve up Tucker again and again and they watch his arse get fired.

    Neverless, what a bunch of sexist a-holes. Plain and simple.

    F’ing Patriarchy.

  54. March 24, 2008 at 7:28 am

    I think any discussion and/or post about Obama or Clinton will turn into comments about Obama vs. Clinton (who’s run a cleaner campaign, who’s sexist, who’s racist, who has more experience, who will be a better leader, etc.) That’s not the point though. (Obviously in the long run it’s the point, but it’s not the point when we’re trying to unmask discrimination). I think we, as feminists, should be able to point out and discuss the discrimination people face without justifying it by the negatives in their campaign. Whether or not you want Clinton elected does not give everyone else the right to discredit her because she’s female. Same with Obama, even if you don’t want to see him as president, you (and we) should all point out the racism he faces.

    As a side note, out of that whole “interview” the thing that stung most for me was the travel agent comparison. Give me a fucking break. Oy.

  55. Ellid
    March 24, 2008 at 7:37 am

    Okay, Tucker Carlson is an idiot. Granted.

    Comparing Hillary Clinton to Mamie Eisenhower is ridiculous. Granted.

    Deploring the sexism being directed at Sen. Clinton is a good thing. Granted.

    However…I am really, really sick of Hillary Clinton claiming 35 years of political expense. She does NOT have 35 years of political experience. She has eight years in the Senate, plus eight years as a First Lady who spearheaded one major political initiative that failed badly.

    Before that she was a corporate lawyer. A powerful and skilled one, yes, but a corporate lawyer who happened to be married to a politician. Sorry, but it’s not the same, and I wish she’d cut it out.

    Also, her efforts to cherry pick her *husband’s* record as President, not to mention her exaggeration of her role as unofficial envoy as First Lady, are really alienating me. Isn’t feminism supposedly about women standing on their own, not drawing on their husband’s record?

    And last but not least…if Hillary Clinton is so damn concerned about Barack Obama’s church membership, she needs to talk about her own connection with the ultra right wing religious group The Family, and her regard for “spiritual teacher” Douglas Coe. Coe and his group have strong connections to modern fascism and the Dominionist movement, as detailed in a 2007 Mother Jones article, and it’s well past time for Clinton to come clean about her membership in a prayer cell that includes some of the most virulently right wing people in Washington.

  56. zuzu
    March 24, 2008 at 8:59 am

    “Experience” is Clinton’s core brand idea. It’s the reason her campaign is giving us to support her over Obama. You don’t have to be a misogynist to find this marketing ploy a little pretentious.

    Finding it pretentious is not misogynist. However, dismissing her experience as “having tea” or reducing it to being just some guy’s wife on pleasure trips *is* misogynist.

    But it is worthwhile to ask ourselves why many people don’t consider Clinton’s experience as first lady to be “real” foreign policy experience. A lot of diplomacy is, in fact, done via personal relationships and cocktail parties and receptions. Is it less worthy of consideration if you’re the spouse of the president than if you’re in the foreign service?

    Also, Jerry fucking Falwell.

    You’re forgetting: IOKIYAR.

    As for dynasties: have we forgotten the Kennedys? The Gores?

  57. Vail
    March 24, 2008 at 9:57 am

    You know, I don’t care who’s more qualified to be president (I did vote). I just want people to stop being asses about the whole thing. Lets work together and stop tearing the party apart.

    Back on the track of the thread, if someone told me I was “just the wife” I’d smack the heck outta them. I’m a nanny, companion, driver, therapist (my child has special needs), advocate for my child, volunteer for charity, best friend and maid. I wear many hats, and I work hard for my non existent paycheck. Heck I’ve read enough books about RAD and Sensory Issues I could get a degree. Just a wife my ass.

  58. March 24, 2008 at 10:22 am

    I think this video kind of proves my theory that things in this country will be worse for women if Hillary loses the election. That men and the media will continue to belittle the roles of women in society. They want status quo, not progress; change is death to these guys. I hope the daughter smacked some sense into her father after that interview.

    Alot of feminists use the excuse that Hillary is unlikable to throw sexist commentary her way. They might as well put on a suit and throw out their purses.

    For me a female president is a more progressive statement to be made to the world, particularly the middle east.

  59. March 24, 2008 at 10:37 am

    I totally agree with S.H. about making a distinction between what the surrogates are saying and what the candidates are saying. I think a lot of the hard feelings between the two camps, at this point, are being fueled by what’s being said by supporters of the two candidates, and sometimes even supporters not affiliated (or at most tenuously affiliated) with the actual campaigns, over whom the candidates have little control. Or people who, if they were with one or the other campaign, were let go or reigned in once the candidate had a chance to react.

    On experience, both Obama and Clinton have some significant experience that I’d consider real – Obama’s state level and community organizing experience, Clinton’s exceptionally politically involved First Lady experience – but that isn’t the sort of experience that we’re used to having “count” for a Presidential candidate.

  60. March 24, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Zuzu, I love your blogging lately. I too ask, please hang in there!

    Know what I’d love to see? Is an *invoice* for eight years of salary for Clinton as First Lady. Sort of like when we tally up the cost of the work stay-at-home-moms do, and translate that into a commensurate salary.

    I’d get a big kick out of Clinton requesting 8 years of back pay from the country; now that’d be an excellent gender equity/pay/women’s worth exercise that would surely cause some people’s heads to explode.

    Fun fun. :)

  61. sotonohito
    March 24, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    I’ll agree unreservedly that misogynist attacks on Clinton should not be tolerated, and that there was a revolting degree of misogyny in the last few minutes there. And I’m speaking as a hardcore Obama supporter and a person who thinks that Clinton’s “superdeligates trump the majority” strategy is not only represhensible but also potentially crippling for the Democratic party.

    I do think that Clinton exagerates her experience, and I also think that the Clinton campaign has unquestionably used racism to attempt to gain advantage. But that’s a separate issue from what happened in that video clip, and it doesn’t make the misogyny there any less repellant.

  62. prairielily
    March 24, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Hee, Redstar, that would amuse me endlessly.

    Don’t give up, zuzu. Things have gotten so messed up that people I previously thought were perfectly reasonable seem to have become blinded by Hillary Hatred. The “tea party” thing doesn’t even make sense. Huge amounts of diplomacy involve things like going to the opera, so if we’re going to pick on her about it, we should really pick on everyone else about it too. Why is Hillary having tea in Beijing worth less than Bush going on and on about the roast pig in Germany? Because she’s a GIRL and everyone knows that girls don’t talk about anything but the table settings at state dinners? Is it supposed to be like that Women Know Your Limits video on Youtube? Ok, I guess the mental image of Hillary Clinton going, “I do love kittens. They’re so soft and furry,” is pretty hilarious.

    And please, no one talk to me about racism. I just watched weeks of people slamming Obama over whether or not he’s a “secret Muslim,” and as a Muslim, it’s great to know that I’m not considered a valid citizen of the continent where I was born and raised. This election has shown me EXACTLY where I stand as a non-white Muslim woman, and it’s apparently not quite in “human being” territory.

    But I digress. The point is, this has become my refuge from the insanity. You’re doing a great job, and I’m really grateful for it.

  63. sminbrooklyn
    March 24, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    As much as this stuff grates me, I find it sort of gratifying that someone will just come out and say that they believe the so-called women’s sphere is less important. I am really friggin tired of people (e.g. Charlotte Allen) saying that women should just accept their place in the home and start appreciating it, because it’s what they are best at … we all know that is a thinly veiled attempt to maintain the misogynist status quo. At least when you get a talking head on CNN saying outright that because HRC was first lady she had absolutely nothing to do with anything important because she was just a wife, you have iron-clad proof that domestic work is not respected, and you can brush aside the convoluted idea that somehow women are causing this devaluation by their desire to work outside the home.

    n.b. i do not know of anything brzezinski has said specifically on the topic of the women’s sphere; i am taking his statement and the reaction of the newscasters as part of a corpus of disrespect for women/the women’s sphere/women who choose to stay in the home AND women who choose not to.

  64. March 24, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    But it is worthwhile to ask ourselves why many people don’t consider Clinton’s experience as first lady to be “real” foreign policy experience. A lot of diplomacy is, in fact, done via personal relationships and cocktail parties and receptions. Is it less worthy of consideration if you’re the spouse of the president than if you’re in the foreign service?

    If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say it’s because of the perception that first ladies and other spouses deal mostly with the “front end” of diplomacy that has to do with appearing at social functions and observing social niceties, while the presidents do the more crucial “back end” work of sitting down at a negotiating table and playing hardball, telling it like it is, laying it on the line, (insert more cliches about the moments of actual decision-making and bargaining here).

    Of course, this dichotomy is almost entirely fueled by old-fashioned gendered stereotypes about what men do and what women do, which are totally incorrect in a lot of cases. I don’t know enough about diplomacy or the details of what went on in the Clinton administration to know if there’s any basis for assuming that she only did the “less important” surface work, or indeed if it’s even accurate to say it’s “less important” at all. Brzezinski (and others) haven’t really bothered to go into detail — maybe they don’t have these details. Which is why the net result is a baseless TV-sound-bite attack of the kind that’s become thoroughly common against Clinton.

    In any case, I kind of think the “experience” angle is hurting Clinton more than it’s helping her — not just because of attacks like this, but because the lack of experienced insiderness is fueling so much of the Obama attraction and fervor. It just seems to be a more effective selling point for people who are sick of 8 years of corrupt administration. The stupid thing is — if that’s the case, why are talking heads running around spitting out more and more attacks that make them all look incredibly bad and tarnish the whole process? Oh right — they get paid to do that, in cash and favors.

  65. March 24, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Redstar, I love what you wrote! When can we end that a woman should be a source of free labor for the benefit of the country? The first lady role is absolutley antiquated, which is why I would love to see a first gentlemen. How incredible would it be to have a symbol of a man taking a seat while a woman is in charge.

    But the bigger point to what you wrote is how women are disadvantaged in staying home, lack of social security benefits, lack of pension and not to forget with today’s technology falling behind. If Hillary, or any other first lady, said to the President – hire someone for first lady, I have a career, Hillary probably would be president already. We all saw how it played out for Howard Dean when his wife refused to give up her job to campaign for him.

    Sorry, it was a little off topic.

  66. March 24, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    it is worthwhile to ask ourselves why many people don’t consider Clinton’s experience as first lady to be “real” foreign policy experience. A lot of diplomacy is, in fact, done via personal relationships and cocktail parties and receptions.

    YES, EXACTLY. Dismissing her work as a “tea party” is completely sexist — if it’s a bunch of men sitting around chatting over brandy and cigars, that’s assumed to be political work. If it’s a bunch of women sitting around chatting over tea and cookies, that’s automatically dismissed. The only difference, aside from beverages, is the sex of the participants. Tea parties are dismissed because they’re the province of women, even if the women there are engaged in the same finessing and favor-trading as the men in the smoke-filled back rooms.

  67. trishka
    March 24, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    what would be helpful to me is if someone could quantify the work that clinton did as first lady that could reasonably be called “foreign policy experience”. especially in a way that differentiates her work from, for example, what laura bush has been doing for the last 8 years.

    i get that women’s work is devalued, wives aren’t paid or acknowledged, and that a lot of what the first lady does is behind the scenes. but it’s exactly because it is behind the scenes that it is difficult to evaluate.

    what appears to some (myself included) as clinton exaggerating her experience appears to other as her not being given credit for the work that she did.

    and because tucker carlson is an asshat and the reference to mamie eisenhower was completely out of line, we get lost in trying to sort out what really is applicable.

    on a couple of other notes. zuzu, you stated that clinton is projected to win all remaining states other than montana? really? that’s big news to us here in oregon. obama was very well received here on his visit last friday (understatement).

    also, you state that winning the majority of the pledged delegates does not entitle one to the nomination. we all understand that the superdelegates are going to decide this thing, ultimately. but under what circumstances would it be warranted for the superdelegates to overturn the will of the popular vote and the pledged delegates. and in this instance, what would be the effective consequences of that happening? i can imagine the african-american constituents (who supported obama) feeling pretty darn disenfranchised were that to happen. would that be a good thing?

    is it worth potentially destroying the democratic party to nominate a woman, hillary clinton, to the white house?

  68. zuzu
    March 24, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Trishka, I can imagine that a lot of people in Florida and Michigan feel disenfranchised as well. I don’t see, however, that her continuing to campaign or making a case for the superdelegates to choose her as the nominee is “destroying the Democratic party.” There are several states yet to vote, and months before the convention. Let the process play out instead of trying to give her the bum rush. Like I said, neither candidate can clinch the nomination unless the other drops out, so whichever of them gets nominated, it will be because the superdelegates stepped in.

    No one group has a monopoly on feeling disenfranchised by the process.

    Tea parties are dismissed because they’re the province of women, even if the women there are engaged in the same finessing and favor-trading as the men in the smoke-filled back rooms.

    Remember how the Republicans tried to dismiss Joe Wilson’s mission to Niger because he mentioned that he had been having mint tea with the relevant government official?

  69. trishka
    March 24, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    well, yes, i have no problem playing it out, it’s what is going to happen. but the numerical projection says that clinton will have to win the remaining states by something like 3-1 in order to overcome obama’s pledged delegate lead. do you think that is at all likely to happen?

    and comparing MI & FL to having the superdelegates essentially appoint clinton over the will of the popular vote is comparing apples to oranges. one is a decision made by the state level party leaders to go against the direction of the national party, fulling knowing the consequences. the other is – the overturning of the popular vote on a NATIONWIDE level by party elites.

    i mean, what are you proposing? that clinton is going to win 3-1 in the remaining states? or that the superdelegates are going to overturn the will of the popular vote and appoint her the nominee? why would they do that? and what would be the consequences?

    these are the questions that i have never seen a clinton supporter address. i would love to hear your thoughts on them.

  70. S.H.
    March 24, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    but under what circumstances would it be warranted for the superdelegates to overturn the will of the popular vote and the pledged delegates. and in this instance, what would be the effective consequences of that happening?

    Sorry in advance for going off topic but if you want to make this argument legitimately than you have to denounce Richardson as well as John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and any other superdelegate supporting Obama whose state was won by Clinton and if you google “superdelagte list” you will find that there are quite a few. Obama’s pledged superdelegate list includes those from at least 10 states won by Clinton and some even from states who haven’t even voted yet. Both candidates appear to have no problem “overturning the will of the people”.

  71. Danakitty
    March 24, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Remember how the Republicans tried to dismiss Joe Wilson’s mission to Niger because he mentioned that he had been having mint tea with the relevant government official?

    That sort of reminds me of Bitch magazine’s article: “Brewed Awakening—Has coffee culture become too gendered? Talk amongst yourselves.”

    It’s all about how tea drinking is feminine and coffee drinking is masculine, and how we’ve almost unconsciously allowed coffee/tea to influence the way we look at people.

  72. zuzu
    March 24, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    and comparing MI & FL to having the superdelegates essentially appoint clinton over the will of the popular vote is comparing apples to oranges.

    The voting’s not over yet. Obama hasn’t captured the popular vote from all states, nor has he even gotten the delegate lead from all states. He’s simply projected to get those. However, as I said, it’s a long time between now and June 10, the deadline for primaries, and even longer until the convention. A lot can happen.

    I don’t know how many ways I can say this: You get the nomination if you have 2025 pledged delegates. If you don’t, and no one else does, all bets are off. The superdelegates are going to make this decision, and they don’t have to follow any rules when making the decision.

    Obama can’t win outright; he has to get the superdelegates to put him over the top. And they’re not obligated to vote for the leader of pledged delegates, nor are they obligated to vote for the leader of the popular vote. In fact, those could be two different people.

    Obama doesn’t have an entitlement to the nomination. What he has is an argument that he should be the nominee. But other arguments are possible, and every bit as valid.

  73. trishka
    March 24, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    zuzu, you didn’t answer my question. do you realistically see clinton winning enough remaining states at a high enough margin to end up winning a greater number of pledged delegates?

    i understand perfectly well the number of delegates needed to win the primary, and that obama is not going to get them from the pledged delegates alone. you don’t need to talk to me like i’m a six year old. neigher candidate is going to get 2025 pledged delegates. i’m asking you if you understand the math behind what is necessary for clinton to finish up with a greater number of pledged delegates and/or popular votes than obama.

    and as to richardson, kerry, and kennedy, et al who have endorsed obama: i’m not nearly so interested in what any one superdelegate does so much as the aggregate outcome. and the undeclared delegates will be communicating with each other between now and the convention, you can count on that.

    again, what would be the consequences to the democratic party of having the superdelegates, as an aggregate, give hilary clinton the nomination assuming barack obama wins the majority of the popular vote and pledged delegates?

  74. Hawise
    March 24, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    The math is simple- at the convention a candidate needs 2025 votes to win on the first ballot. Pledged delegates are only committed to a first ballot vote after which they can vote as they please. Even that first ballot is iffy as they can change their minds between when they are chosen as delegates and when they arrive based on circumstance (death of a candidate, major scandal, really bad hangover).
    At this point in time neither candidate is close enough to 2025 to win on the first ballot, the system of proportionate distribution makes it nigh impossible for either of the candidates to get to the magic number without superdelegates. Since both candidates are running on “historic” candidacies it is improbable for them to drop out without a really good reason. All teh whining about how this is hurting the party is hooie, we are talking (probably too much) and we are finally starting to see who the shadow cabinets are likely to hold. We are also seeing that the party is likely to amend its rules before the next cycle, which is probably all to the good. The likelihood of the superdelegates coming together as one and backing one or the other is just funny. They have never agreed about anything else, why would they start now.

    Why don’t we stop worrying about what happens if the superdelegates give it to one or the other but instead argue about what happens in the second ballot when the pledged delegates are free of their committments?

    Bryzinsky et al. have just shown that where MSM’s discourse on race is stalled in the ’70s, on gender it is stalled in the ’50s.

  75. March 24, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    “Experience” is Clinton’s core brand idea. It’s the reason her campaign is giving us to support her over Obama. You don’t have to be a misogynist to find this marketing ploy a little pretentious

    .

    Finding it pretentious is not misogynist. However, dismissing her experience as “having tea” or reducing it to being just some guy’s wife on pleasure trips *is* misogynist.

    These two most excellent points are not mutually exclusive. Shitbirds like Joe & Tucker (why is he still on the air?) need to be called on the carpet for their miso-shit every time they engage in it, & loads of power to those people who do so.

  76. March 24, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Obama doesn’t have an entitlement to the nomination. What he has is an argument that he should be the nominee. But other arguments are possible, and every bit as valid.

    Other arguments are possible, but I don’t know if they’re equally as valid.

    Let me first say that if Clinton convinces enough superdelegates to support her so that she gets the nomination, that’s a perfectly acceptable win so far as I’m concerned, even if she’s behind in popular votes, pledged delegates, all of it. The system is set up so that the superdelegates are allowed to choose who they wish–people who have a problem with that system now should have gotten it changed before the process began.

    But, if I were a superdelegate, I’d have a hard time going against the will of the majority of the party voters. There would have to be some really compelling reason to do so, and so far, I haven’t seen that. But that’s me, and I’m not a superdelegate. They’re not bound by my sensibilities, which is probably a good thing in some circumstances.

  77. zuzu
    March 24, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    zuzu, you didn’t answer my question. do you realistically see clinton winning enough remaining states at a high enough margin to end up winning a greater number of pledged delegates?

    It doesn’t matter, because having the greater number of pledged delegates is not the same thing as winning. In fact, Obama can’t win. The delegate math just doesn’t work for him, any more than it works for Clinton.

    Let the process play out. In any other year, everyone would be wetting themselves with excitement that there was going to be an actual floor fight, but since it’s Hillary Clinton, everyone wants her to get out of the way.

    But, if I were a superdelegate, I’d have a hard time going against the will of the majority of the party voters.

    But the “will of the majority of the party voters” is not necessarily reflected in how many delegates there are. It’s quite possible, the way things are structured, to lose the delegate count but win the popular vote, because the delegate count favors less populous states. A delegate in California represents something like 40,000 votes, but one in Wyoming only represents about 600.

  78. trishka
    March 24, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    i’m not whining, i’m asking a question. and neither am i suggesting that all the superdelegates vote as a single united block. but there is a lot of room for discussion between individual uncoordinated votes and a unified block.

    what would the consequences of a final vote by the superdelegates that overturned the popular vote result and pledged delegate results? in either direction to clinton, or to obama should clinton pull off a last minute landslide or 10). why is that not a valid question?

    if noone is interested that’s fine, i’ll drop it. but this is something i’m not seeing any clinton supporters anywhere discussing. i don’t get it. but, okay.

  79. trishka
    March 24, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    zuzu, your last post slipped while i was typing.

    having the greatest number of pledged delegates is not the same as winning. but is everything when it comes to the perception of the rank & file members of the party as to who won, and the superdelegates must know that.

    as a woman, how would you feel if the shoe were on the other foot? what if clinton pulls off 10 overwhelming landslides in a row, and then the superdelegates vote to nominate obama? would you be PO’d? i know i would be – and i’m an obama supporter.

    this is what i don’t get.

  80. March 24, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Obama doesn’t have an entitlement to the nomination.

    & neither does Senator Clinton, despite the airs to the contrary that she gives off.

    Assholes like Joe & Tucker & all the rest of them need to be called on their miso-bullshit every time they engage in it & try to pass it off as analysis. Loads of power to zuzu & others like her for doing so & making it look easy. I’m quite in agreement that such activity is crucial in setting the tone for the next female presidential candidate.

    But misogyny in the part of turds like Joe n’ Tuck doesn’t absolve the resume-padding, racebaiting & head-your-ass incompetence on the part of the Clinton camp, all which served to hobble a campaign that already had it’s work cut out for it by having to labour under an avalanche of misogynist assumption. & when you’re flailing in the wake left behind by the lead candidate & you sick both feet & a couple of extra limbs in your mouth by offering them the VP slot on your campaign, you come off looking like an attention-hogging, self-absorbed fixated creep with an over-inflated
    sense of entitlement that’s in desperate need of being taken down a peg. Attention Senator from New York: we’ve already got one obtuse, thick-skulled, arrogant & deeply-flawed bonehead on the ticket this November. We don’t need two.

    Do you realistically see clinton winning enough remaining states at a high enough margin to end up winning a greater number of pledged delegates?

    Nope. Too far behind, too much dead weight. If Clinton had any pride, she’d concede. But she doesn’t. So she won’t.

    & the rest of us have to watch.

  81. Vail
    March 24, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Bah you guys keep getting off topic and I’m getting a tad pissed. This is about sexist behavior in the news and most of the posts seem to be about how their candidate is beeeeeeeeeetter. Well all I’m seeing is cat fighting while the topic is being lost in the shuffle. Can we focus here? Or should we just give up on solutions/tactics and sling mud at each other?

  82. zuzu
    March 24, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    “Cat fighting,” Vail? When you’re complaining that we’re not talking about sexism?

    Trishka, I keep seeing that “He won 10 in a row!” thing being pulled out as if it means anything.

  83. chad
    March 24, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Suppose, as is overwhelmingly likely, that Obama gets both the majority of pledged delegates and the popular vote. Then it is really hard to see how the nomination goes to Clinton without tearing the party asunder, since Obama would have a maximally powerful argument working for him. I think that is what trishka is getting at. And what we’re wondering, zuzu, is whether you agree with this, and, if not, why?

  84. Hawise
    March 24, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    The problem with any of these questions is the same as it has been for the whole race- it is all speculative and presumes that there is evil intent in the process. No one is trying to game the system, both are working within the system to get the most delegates possible and even when the rules are bent, they are still the rules. We can speculate all we want but in that case, it is not the candidates who are out to try to destroy us but ourselves.

    No one is required to step out of the race until they are certain that they cannot get 50%+1 on the final ballot. They have to achieve the magic number not by end of the primaries, not by the date of the convention but by the end of the tally that puts one of them over. This is a pretty exciting race and McCain still has no message that resonates and the Dems have a convention coming that could suck all the oxygen out of the room stifling any Republican attempt at momentum.

    So what do we do while this plays out? We stop attacking each other like rapid weasels over whose candidate teh sucks more, we contact the respective teams when surrogates get out of line and we flood the MSM’s site with outrage each time they let dweebish troglodytes like Carlson try to get away with hogwash like what started this thread in the first place. If WE stop wrapping ourselves into knots over drivel then maybe we can get back to the issues.

  85. trishka
    March 24, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    chad, thank you. yes, this is what i’m getting at.

    when i say what would happen if she wins 10 landslides in a row, what i’m getting at is that is what she would need to do in order to come out at the end of the race w/ more pledged delegates and more popular votes than obama.

    i’m not attacking her, i’m not saying that obama is better, i’m just talking about how the numbers are overwhelmingly likely to play out. and yes it’s speculation, but not baseless speculation. to pretend otherwise is sort of the equivalent of putting your hands of your ears and singing “lalala i can’t hear you”.

    saying “it’s not over until it’s over”, while technically true, is ducking the issue that hillary clinton does not really have a viable numerical roadmap to the nomination. she’d either have to win the remaining races by huge margins, much larger margins than are indicated by any polls anywhere as being realistic, or convince enough undeclared superdelegates that they ought to go against the popular will of the nation.

    i mean, it’s a sucky position to be in, to look at your candidate and see that while she hasn’t lost, the likelihood of her winning is small. one of her own advisors has now publically pegged the number at no more than 10% likelihood.

    but this is off topic of how sexist & misogynistic the media is in treating her, which i gather was the original point. and it is a good one & it bears repeating. so i’m happy to drop it.

  86. sotonohito
    March 24, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Personally I think the fact that the Democratic primary is playing out so long is fantastic from both a “gee, this is nifty!” POV and from the POV of a Democratic partisin. It draws media attention away from McCain, denies McCain a definate target for his own campaigning, etc. I can think of few things better for us than this extended primary, and the prospect of a brokered convention also promises to draw scads of press.

    OTOH, I do think that the superdeligate system sucks massively, its one of those ugly aristocratic holdovers best left in the past. If one candidate enters the convention with a majority in real deligates and in the national popular vote, if the superdeligates give the nomination to the other candidate I really do see that tearing the party apart.

    I’m an Obama supporter. However, I’ll not only vote for Clinton, but work my ass off to get her elected if she takes the nomination, regardless of how she takes the nomination. But if she wins because the aristocracy gives her the nomination over the wishes of the people it’ll make stirring up the base vastly more difficult and possibly hand the election to McCain; it’ll also leave a foul taste in my mouth when I’m working for her. I hope it doesn’t come to that, I hope the “party elders” see sense and avoid such an outcome, but Clinton comes from the aristocratic branch of the party and I can see them protecting their own against the upstart, and in so doing wreck the whole thing.

    If she gets enough real deligates or popular votes to come out over Obama, more power to her. I can’t say it’d be my prefered outcome, but I won’t feel cheated and I won’t feel like I’m betraying my principles when I work to get her elected. But if she can’t manage to get either the popular vote or the majority of the deligates I don’t think it would be good for the party if she got the nomination.

  87. kalien
    March 24, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Zuzu is absolutely right that Clinton and Obama should just duke it out at the convention. I have learned so much more about the DNC process this year, and I think it is exciting that we have two great candidates to choose from. Even though I voted for Obama, I would be really sad to see Clinton drop out before the convention, and I will fully support her if she wins the nomination. She has a ton of support and deserves the opportunity to fight it out at the convention. Also, I would hate to ever see anyone accuse her (and imply all women) of being a quitter when things get rough. That is not the image she has been crafting for herself so why on earth should she do anything like drop out?! The greater the distance between Clinton and Obama is the more I would hope that is reflected by the votes of the superdelegates, but given that the superdelegates were put in office by us it just shows how important it is to be aware of state politics.

    The argument about following the popular vote also strikes a chord for me though, and I think that’s because the sting of the 2000 of Gore losing the election despite winning the popular vote is still very present. I know I have idealized the popular vote even though it let us down in 2004. There is always that wonder of how different things could have been if Gore won.

    For me the fact that it’s so close between Obama and Clinton means they both need to be heard. I’m looking forward to the DNC, but I’m still terrified about the general election. If McCain wins, I hope we don’t end up in some sort of downward spiral of “If MY candidate had won the nomination instead of YOUR candidate, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”

  88. exholt
    March 24, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Maybe I’ll join the Communist Party, just for shits & giggles. Though that might get me on some watch list somewhere.

    Zuzu,

    Please consider the Greens sans Nader* or many other third parties……at least most of them do not have blood on their hands through their tacit support of Stalinist/Maoist excesses through the dismissal of first-hand critical accounts of immigrants who actually lived and suffered under the “benevolence” of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist rule.

    *Telemarketing shill whose attempted “explanation” for tacking on PIRG fees on student tuition bills without prior consent really turned me off to him. If one feels one’s cause is just, there should be no need to impose fees one has to opt-out of to exercise one’s right to support/not support a given organization/cause.

  89. Vail
    March 24, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    ‘eh sorry about the cat fight part but my only excuse is in my house, our male and female cats do randomly fight for no good reason then are best buds five minutes later. I can only hope we all unite behind whoever wins the primary and at least get this train wreck headed in the right direction.

  90. March 24, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    For more sexist bull check out Bill Maher’s new rules basically saying middle-aged women are okay to cheat on.

    It is about 1:50
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0Zak5J2mvo

  91. sophonisba
    March 24, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Alot of feminists use the excuse that Hillary is unlikable to throw sexist commentary her way. They might as well put on a suit and throw out their purses.

    Um, what? I’m a Clinton voter, don’t own a purse, and am wearing a suit right now. WTF is that supposed to be code for?

  92. March 25, 2008 at 10:28 am

    It is code for being a man. And yes I am well aware that it is stereotypical.

    On another note, Obama won alot of states that go Republican in the general election. It is likely they will continue that wat in November. Obama will get the liberal voting states like New York and California, but that is not enough to win the election. And Ted Kennedy should vote for what the people of his state want, not his personal politics. I am praying for a Gore endorsement for Hillary, but I know I am dreaming.

    Triska, is it worth ripping apart the dem. party over not nominating a woman? Maybe not, but it is over the DNC’s decision to disenfranchise Florida and Michigan. I am glad Howard Dean never became president after witnessing this massively wrong decision.

  93. March 25, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I don’t see it as entirely sexist only because Clinton is exagerrating so much you would think she single handedly saved the world during her husbands administration. So I don’t see someone exagerrating to the other extreme as anything but giving her a dose of her own medicine. They wouldn’t be able to get away with it if she had just said that she met alot of world leaders and had some experience on the periphery with Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo etc. Instead she has to lie and say she was right there in the thick of it making all the decisions, dodging bullets, and everything.

  94. Q Grrl
    March 25, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    But it is worthwhile to ask ourselves why many people don’t consider Clinton’s experience as first lady to be “real” foreign policy experience. A lot of diplomacy is, in fact, done via personal relationships and cocktail parties and receptions. Is it less worthy of consideration if you’re the spouse of the president than if you’re in the foreign service?

    And this is nothing compared to the amount of business and politics that have historically happened in men-only spaces, which I guess is considered normal because it was guys doing it, eh? A woman being a hostess in her own home must just be a stupid broad, but a young man getting invited to Augusta National is an up-and-comer, learning the savvy world of insider knowledge.

    Fuck anyone who can’t see the rabid misogyny in these lines of thinking.

Comments are closed.