Hillary Clinton doesn’t speak for me




John and Joe invited me to podcast again with them today, and we addressed the issue of sexism and misogyny in the current Democratic primary. I personally haven’t seen or heard of any, and if there’s been some, it certainly hasn’t made a difference in the places you would most likely first suspect – the “more traditional” (read: less forward-thinking) communities in states like West Virginia and Kentucky which voted overwhelmingly in favor of the white candidate Hillary Clinton.

Today, Hillary Rosen’s got a piece up on Huffington explaining why she continues to stand behind Clinton, and loyalty’s one of her reasons. You can’t argue with that. Good for her. Fine by me. She’s also forthcoming in admitting the Clinton campaign sunk itself:

[T]his campaign is losing because of choices and strategies of it’s own making. Articles and books will be written after the fact about the lost opportunities, the mixed messages, the insular in-fighting, the financial recklessness and the lack of focus on delegates. She has never caught up in the delegate hunt from those early mistakes.

It’s the sentence preceding this admission where we start to disagree. It reads (emphasis mine)

I don’t really buy into this notion of the campaign is faltering because Hillary is a victim of sexism. I may part company with some of the Hillary sisterhood on this point. There has been lots of sexism in this race, but this campaign is losing because…

Give me an example. Like I said, I can’t think of any time that Clinton’s being female has come up in conversation as a reason to vote against her. Where’s this sexism taking place? Not on TV. Not online where I read and communicate. Point it out. I’ll be happy to speak up against it.

Then there’s this, which I buy even less (again, emphasis mine):

Women who have felt powerless to change or even complain about their own lives because they are just too damn busy keeping it together for everyone around them. And they certainly haven’t had time for politics.

From the waitress in the diner to the school teacher to the executive on wall street, women feel the daily slights that are often invisible to others. Yes, many of her supporters need real and immediate help from the government, but so many more are just grateful to be noticed.

Sure there are lots of women in this country who don’t feel this way. And for all of you who are going to write comments saying as much you don’t have to. I am happy for you. Genuinely.

But Hillary’s campaign is still going for every woman who has spoken up in a meeting and was greeted with silence only to have a man say the same thing and be praised. It endures for the mothers who are taking care of their children and their parents and their home and has no time to take care of herself. It endures for women who are so scared to see her fail because of what it may say about their chances in life. And yes folks, it resonates for all the women who have seen the younger guy come along and get the promotion even though she has worked in the company loyally for years.

It’s not that I don’t think there’s sexism in everyday life. It’s not that I haven’t experienced it firsthand. I was the lone woman in a 12-man sports department at a Miami TV station. Guess who didn’t get invited to bonding golf outings? When extra Stanley Cup tickets freed up, guess who didn’t get ’em even though she’d asked early and often? Who wasn’t on the plane for the day trip to the Bahamas for gambling and debauchery with the boys? And that’s just one gig. There have been plenty of similar incidents along the way in various stages of my professional career.

But …

Just because Clinton’s a woman does not engender blind allegiance. I don’t think her campaign is about girl power. It hasn’t been from the beginning. It sure isn’t about that now. Some women are passionate about her campaign, and I won’t deny she has done well amongst some female voters. But I think her campaign has done more to downplay her gender in an effort to prove she’s strong enough to be Commander-in-Chief than emphasize it as an asset.

The women I admire are honest and trustworthy and powerful because they honor their promises and play by the rules and still come out on top. I was all for a female President until Clinton started playing dirty. Female President? Yes. This female? Not so much.

This campaign is not – nor has it ever been – primarily about women. If it were, I would have been on board with bells on. To say that’s why Clinton hangs on – for all those suppressed victims of sexism who need her now more than ever – is a crock. This campaign is about a woman. One woman. Hillary Clinton.

And she certainly does not speak for me.


started on-air as a sports reporter in Hagerstown, Md and was a one-woman-band - shooting, writing, editing, and working the teleprompter with my foot. I moved to NYC in 1999 and joined Pseudo.com - the world's first interactive TV network. Pseudo died Sept 2000, and the following years were filled with a series for Discovery International, a pilot for the History Channel, a pilot for the Travel Channel, and countless auditions. Client feedback research for a big investment bank paid the bills. In 2004, I took a gig with Kuma and made news reports for their reality-based video games. CNN called February 2005, and on Valentine's Day, I started covering the Internet as a beat on national TV. I left cable news in 2007, started this site, wrote a little for Americablog, and threw down the gauntlet. I said I'd leave TV to help fix health care if someone was taking a real stab at it. Someone was. I became the National Communications Director for Health Care for America Now. That was June 2008, and almost 2 years later - on March 25, 2010 - we won health care reform. I am currently at liberty.

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