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Monday, June 09, 2008

Slate's Dahlia Lithwick, Nation magazine columnist and Columbia law professor Patricia Williams and Katha Pollitt, Nation magazine columnist and author of Learning to Drive: And Other Life Stories (Random House, 2007 talk about Hillary Clinton's Saturday speech and her campaign's impact on women and the feminist movement.

Guests:

Dahlia Lithwick, Katha Pollitt and Professor Patricia Williams

Comments [177]

PJ from NYC

I loved Senator Clinton's speech. I was amazed at her incredible grace. It's hard to lose, probably harder to lose and then cheer on the victor. It was truly inspiring, and she just kept smiling and being so positive...while still pointing out so many important women's issues so powerfully. I'm amazed. She's the greatest!

Jun. 13 2008 11:28 PM
hjs from 11211

Tony
r u serious?

Jun. 10 2008 10:19 AM
Andy Epstein from Gravesend Brooklyn

Just heard the show on the repeat...
Initially, I thought wow, a woman and a black man are running for president..isn't that great! But as the primary season wore on, I stopped thinking of them as "labels" and more like any other presidential candidates...I, in effect forgot about their uniqueness. Isn't that progress? I think it is with me.

Jun. 10 2008 03:43 AM
eva

Dear Pat,
I don't even know where to start. As one of those younger generations, all I can say is that things are changing so quickly... a large number of people felt that we needed someone of the 21st century, and Hillary Rodham Clinton seemed to many of us very much rooted in the last century. Brilliantly so, I will add, but...
Separately, you mention these young professionals dropping out to raise children. Well, it's not because their husbands make them drop out of the work force. It's because the global economy is so demanding, and everyone is afraid their children won't be able to compete against Chinese, Indian and Russian children when they grow up.
Our thoughts aren't so much on the feminist issues of days past. I think everyone is focused on the economy, and anyone associated with the past 15 years has suffered in this campaign. It is an uncertain time. In this regard, I see how Hillary would appeal to people. At the same time, I think it's such a rocky time that people felt they needed to take a chance on someone new.
Hope that helps explain things.

Jun. 10 2008 12:50 AM
Pat Burns from New York

I can't express the sadness I feel about these younger generation feminists who seem to have been sold a bill of goods that there is some justification for identifying as post feminist. You didn't see many blacks claiming to be post race. And, don't kid yourself that Obama is post race. How do you think he got 98-99% of the black vote. Those people knew that if they wanted a minority to win they had to vote for one.

These younger lawyers, to whom your guests referred, are the ones pulling out of their careers to take care of the kids. Is this because they can't succeed heterosexually if they ask their husbands to split this childcare with them . . . now that they are post feminist.

Pollit was the only one who got close to this, by being somewhat reflective. The fact is, nothing has changed with respect to women succeeding in presidential races. We have had 43 male presidents and we will have 44 now. Tell me, will you, what has changed that you all don't think it is time to support a woman? And, ask yourselves, what is the bill of goods you are buying and who is selling it . . . that bill of goods that makes you think that you donm't need to do what blacks did---vote for the minority that has been disadvantaged. And I am not saying vote for ANYONE because they are black or female. But, guys . . . these people were both outstanding!!!

It is so disappointing. It is unbelievable disappointing that once again, women sabotage themselves.
pat

Jun. 10 2008 12:31 AM
Deirdre from Park Slope

I'm part of what should be the Hillary demographic: 57 years old, an attorney (now retired), white, middle class. However, I simply could not vote for her. She was an early and enthusiastic supporter of the war in Iraq; voted for the use of force resolution; and positioned herself as one of the Senate's leading hawks (no doubt to address concerns about her fitness to be Commander in Chief). She, Chuck Schumer, and my Congressional representative at the time (Anthony Weiner) effectively disenfranchised all of us who were against this war from the beginning by giving the Bush Administration carte blanche to go to war. Public officials need to be held accountable for their egregious errors of judgment; this transcends gender, race or any other demographic of identity politics. I like to think that Hillary Clinton lost at least partly out of retribution for this shameful choice.

Jun. 09 2008 09:06 PM
ew from NYC

Alice Toklas, agree 100%. There's one think I disagree with Hillary on--supporting Obama. Sorry, Hillary, you were my best choice. Now it's McCain.

Jun. 09 2008 08:47 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Have to go. Real life intervenes. Obama gave a major speech on the economy today. I haven't seen all of it but I am very interested in how he will hone his message.

Have a good evening, everyone.

Jun. 09 2008 06:31 PM
Tony from Brooklyn

hjs,
She had no security clearance. Was Laura Bush also an "advisor to the president?" How about Betty Ford...was she an advisor as well?

Jun. 09 2008 06:10 PM
mc from Brooklyn

eva #152,
I think that is a fabulous idea. What is the state doing in the business of marriage anyway.

Re: #163,
I thought the remarks about Al's hair were just as bad. Why pick on that when you can pick on the fact that he doesn't pay rent for his offices or pay his drivers?

The problem with comparing the weight and hair issue with Richardson and Kennedy is that there is an awful history of making fun of black people's hair, and also women's hair and weight. I really don't think it carries the same significance when said about a white person's hair, or a man's weight (or hair, or dress). Women are evaluated far too often by how they appear and black people have had a long history of their blackness along with other physical traits like hair ridiculed in the worst way. I think Hillary's weight and hair were acceptable but that didn't stop the cracks.

That said, the media and the a**h**s in the talk business will do what they do. I fault the Dems, who fancy themselves as progressives on these issues remaining mute on it.

Jun. 09 2008 06:09 PM
eva

Tony,
I've enjoyed reading your posts, and given my frustration level these past few months, I doubt you got bigger laughs anywhere else than you did from over here. But let's face it, the nominating cammpaign is over. We won. They lost. I'm very grateful. Let's move on. And be gracious winners.
I don't understand why people are holding onto Hillary. But we will need their vote in November. This is going to be a tough race, and overconfidence is a dangerous thing.
Play nice in the sandbox.

Jun. 09 2008 06:05 PM
eva

hjs,
to be fair, the right makes ample fun of
1) Al Sharpton's weight (and hair)
2) Ted Kennedy's weight (and hair)
I could name others, but...
Bill Richardson wasn't exactly slender, and he frequently made jokes about his own weight - most of the candidates (remember when there were about 10?) were uniformly slender? If I recall? Hill was no Twiggy, but she was an acceptable weight for someone her age and gender.

Jun. 09 2008 06:00 PM
eva

mc #152
It's not my idea - it belongs to most of Europe. This way there is no issue of double standards. The state will only issue civil unions to gay and straight couples, with equal rights for both. "Marriage" is the province of everyone's individual church. If civil unions are insufficient, and one desperately needs to be "married" one can choose from among many churches that marry gay and lesbian couples. If one belongs to a church that does not, there is something odd about complaining, since as a member one is presumably tithing money to a discriminatory private organization. That would be one's own problem.

Jun. 09 2008 05:57 PM
hjs from 11211

Tony
to be honest she was an advisor to the president. don't believe ur own propaganda
I heard over the weekend the dj on 92.3 call her a butterlegged soccer mom. I've never heard talk of a male politician's weight or bad dye jobs (which there are a lot in DC)

Jun. 09 2008 05:54 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I never said they were put forth by Obama or his campaign. I can give you a list here, although I'm thinking you will probably still tell me I'm A) imagining it, B) she deserved it, or C) I shouldn't care because of who did it.

Chris Matthews: "Pimping Chelsea," she's only in the Senate because her husband played around,"
David Shuster, Emmy award winner presenting someone on MSNBC with a pen that had the head of Hillary that made a cackling sound if you manipulated it the right way, "Hillary nutcrackers" openly sold at airports (when someone sold "Curious George T-shirts" that looked like Obama the CNN pundits went nuts, Ed Schulta, progressive talk show host opening his show with a recording of Hillary laughing, the endless remarks about her wardrobe, her lack of or too much of emotion, her laugh, her voice etc., etc.

Now, I'm sure I will hear back either A, B or C. I am neither tender nor forlorn. I think you are being sexist at characterizing me so. You do not know anything about me.

Jun. 09 2008 05:49 PM
Tony from Brooklyn

mc,
Please share with me the perceived sexist slights that HRC suffered. I think they're largely imaginary and most importantly NOT put forth by Obama or his surrogates which would seem to absolve Obama.
Hillary Clinton put "first lady" as her primary qualification without reservation. Wife! Her first qualification was she was someone's wife!!! I think that in itself is sexist. But surely you were speaking of something else. Enlighten me. I want to understand this tender, sensitive creature that is the forlorn Hillary supporter.

Jun. 09 2008 05:40 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Tony,
Not being narcissistic which is why I said "if" you were responding as above.

The problem that the Dems have now as I see it is that in spite of the fact that Obama clearly seems to represent their interests better than McCain, that the party stood by mutely while some really awful sexist things were being done and said in the media. They seemed not to be so mute when there was racism. Thus, it is difficult to make the case to a woman who feels disinclined to vote for Obama or any Dem (I am not one of these women) that the party really represents their interests. It is very similar to the problem the party has had in the past with black voters, assuming they would climb onto the bandwagon even if they were neglected as they often were by the party.

You seem to think that people don't have any feelings about this. Indeed, most people vote their passions, so by insulting them further, you drive them further away. That is, if any of them are listening to you, Tony.

Jun. 09 2008 05:24 PM
Tony from Brooklyn

mc(153), no I wasn't reacting to your posts in particular although I'm amused by the ironic narcissism that would lead you to think so. However I am addressing you now. I do think I am "helping my candidate" with my previous posts. I believe that voters who care enough to post on public radio message boards want to believe that they're voting "on issues." I don't think that women are vindictive overly emotional voters. In fact I believe treating them like mental patients is insulting and ultimately detrimental to the goals of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the progressive agenda.
The point I was making to Hillary supporters was the democratic primary is over. Now that we're on to the general election we should evaluate the two candidates who have a chance to win. I would hope that Hillary's supporters aren't so stupid(a less offensive word escapes me at the moment--and stupid is pretty dead on) as to consider "he beat our candidate and I'm angry" as one of the criteria by which they evaluate Obama. If in fact this is a relevant criterion, I don't think sending them flowers, dusting off Helen Reddy LP's, or entertaining Hillary's disingenuous popular vote argument is going to change their minds.

Jun. 09 2008 05:15 PM
A. Toklas from anywhere and everywhere

OBAMA IS/WAS A FAD! Which is so typical of how life plays out in this country. Think about how many people blindly supported the war without any foresight. And then duh 4 years later....oh that was a mistake. I wonder how many Obama supporters can list three of his "policy points" and how many of Hillary's the same Obama supporters can list. I still don't know what Obama is about after all of this except for anti-racist pretty speeches. Hillary consistently stated her policies and ideas in EVERY appearance. I am disappointed in your three "feminist" guests...

Jun. 09 2008 03:40 PM
hjs from 11211

eva
are u in SF or OR?

Jun. 09 2008 03:14 PM
hjs from 11211

NPR report OB calling for winfall profits tax for oil co, wasn't this proposed by HRC and mocked?

Jun. 09 2008 03:11 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Tony, if you are reacting to my posts #125 and 131, I posted those in response to someone who asked how Obama supporters might contribute to needed unity. If you are not interested in this that is your right, of course. I ask, however, if you think this helps your candidate.

Jun. 09 2008 03:07 PM
mc from Brooklyn

eva,
No major national candidate that I know of supports gay marriage. That does not mean that it is not a worthy goal, although I think your idea of the state sticking only to civil unions is an intriguing one. I just don't like double standards.

Jun. 09 2008 02:58 PM
hjs from 11211

eva
i would go for the "ONLY civil unions" but that's just a irrelevant name change. i'm sure the right still fight civil unions for all so that doesn't move us forward.

Jun. 09 2008 02:57 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Thank you Tony. I'm feeling much more gracious and unified now.

Jun. 09 2008 02:55 PM
hjs from 11211

tony
i'm sure u know voting is often irrational

Jun. 09 2008 02:49 PM
ruby from bronx, ny

I love your show, but was disappointed in today's segment on Hillary's concession speech. Could it have been that difficult for you or your researchers to find one Hillary supporter to interview about feminism and the presidential campaign?? There were so many comments made by your guests that were unfair to her and extremely accommodating of Obama's campaign. Hillary's campaign was groundbreaking and the very fact that she didn't run on strictly feminist issues demonstrates that if anyone in this race was truly post-anything (Obama was described as "post-race"), it was Hillary who tried to move our country beyond gender. A little more respect for her incredible efforts would have been nice for this segment, but at the very least fairness was in order.

Jun. 09 2008 02:46 PM
Tony from Brooklyn

I've never heard this "...voters deserve respect" argument before. Could someone please explain it to me? This is an NPR message board. Presumably there's no one here who believes Obama is an undercover Al Qaeda agent or any of the other idiocy that Hillary's "hard working white american" contingent believes in large numbers.
So...you supported Hillary. You may have noticed in the evil mainstream media recently that HILLARY LOST. There's now an election to elect the president of the United States. The major candidates are John McCain and Barack Obama. Those are the only two choices that matter at this point. The election in November is the first domino to fall which will determine supreme court justices, prosecutions of the current administration for various misdeeds, justice department appointments, foreign policy, etc.
If you as a former(as she's no longer in the race) Hillary supporter believes that given all that John McCain is the best candidate, so be it. I find it an irrational choice.
If you'd rather just stay home out of protest, that's fine too. You can spend election night sterilizing your coat hangers, commiserating with poor oppressed women everywhere and preparing for 4 more years of republican mismanagement. Enjoy the pity party.

Jun. 09 2008 02:28 PM
eva

hjs,
that's a good bumper sticker. I think we should do as France does - the state handles ONLY civil unions - full right for both gay and straight couples. The church handles ONLY marriages. Separation of church and state. Neat little trick. Everyone goes home happy.
Lots of churches will marry gay and lesbian couples. The more civil unions by the state, and the more gay marriages by the church, the more recognition that gays and lesbians are just like us. I think this is where Barney Frank was coming from (roughly) when he begged Gavin to wait.
In SF, the marriage issue was seen by many as a power play - a way for a sloppy mayor to cement the support of an incredibly powerful bloc of voters. Well, he did that, and now the city must pay the price of his inept leadership. Basta!

Jun. 09 2008 02:15 PM
hjs from 11211

can we put up links?
anyway Lieberman's comments were weak if that's the best the GOP can do BO will win in a landslide. gore might have won without Lieberman.

Jun. 09 2008 02:05 PM
eva

mc,
I don't think you did. I think sometimes we conflate the arguments from a "side" with arguments from an individual. I've frequently done that.
It was a rough campaign - the more Obama held back, the more aggrieved his supporters felt. I think that was a big dynamic of the heated arguments. People might have felt they had to support the "fragile" person whom Maureen Dowd characterized as "Obambi."
Some of the most dismissive criticism I heard of Obama came from mixed race professionals. On both sides, an operative fear was, I think, the fear of electing one of your own - if they screw up, you're never going to hear the end of it. That may be why so many women parsed everything HRC said so carefully.
I'm not surprised your friend, who is a lesbian, supported HRC. She has done a great job in reaching out to this group. Obama needs to do the same. But neither support gay marriage, and I sincerely hope that this is something to be resolved AFTER November. There are actually quite a few less vocal gay and lesbian voters who agree.

Jun. 09 2008 01:53 PM
mc from Brooklyn

hjs,
I feel the same way. If there is injustice you have to call it out and fight it. This is one reason I hate party lines so much. There is always a call to put off your concerns for the greater good. The problem is that you wait forever for your concerns to be part of the greater good. Neither side can claim the high ground on this as far as I'm concerned.

Jun. 09 2008 01:51 PM
hjs from 11211

mc
2nd try
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/04/lieberman-joins-gop-in-criticizing-obamas-aipac-speech/

Jun. 09 2008 01:50 PM
hjs from 11211

eva
i have to agree the gay marriage issue was ONE reason GOP voters were motivated but if something is right u don't wait. u have to fight for it.
when LBJ signed civil rights laws he knew the south would be lost to the dems for generations but of course no one says he should not have. I'd like to know if bush 04 voter feel remorse. I wanted to do a bumper sticker "I voted against gay marriage but still I got F'cked by BUSH!"

Jun. 09 2008 01:44 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Voter #138,
I feel compelled to point out that BHO eliminated his Dem opponents from the ballet in the State Senate race. Absolutely fair, within the rules, but please don't kid yourself.

Jun. 09 2008 01:37 PM
hjs from 11211

i put up a link but for some reason posts with links go to purgatory for a while

Jun. 09 2008 01:35 PM
mc from Brooklyn

eva #134,
I hope that I did not charge anyone with sexism solely because of who someone voted for. I was exposed to a lot of anti-Hillary rhetoric probably because of the neighborhood I live in and due to the fact that I am a member of a small, skilled trade union that is overwhelmingly dominated by white men who consider themselves progressive. A friend of mine who is quite a bit older than I, and a lesbian, told me on the subway that she was an HRC supporter and she actually pulled back as she said it because (she said), she expected an attack from me. Needless to say I surprised her that day.

Jun. 09 2008 01:31 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Two things.
First: I’m a late coming Obama supporter; my concern was political experience and I intended on voting for someone with several decades of Washington experience. That said, comments like #43’s that Obama is a novice is disingenuous in that Senator Obama has been serving as an elected official longer than Senator Clinton and (without name recognition) has had to be elected by two different levels of constituents, local and state-wide. Albeit in a higher office, Senator Clinton’s first time as an elected official is in her current capacity as the senator from New York, and it is because of spousal privilege. By spousal privilege, I mean the belief that being the “spouse of” also qualifies you for office. Re. Elizabeth Dole. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, but it does get you pretty far.
Second: #75, FLJ, summed up one of the problem with Senator Clinton’s campaign in a nutshell; it was seen as the “last chance” in a lifetime. Elections should not be about electing someone because it’ll be the last time in someone’s lifetime that they will see a female, African-American, Catholic, Jewish, or whatever president. If you’re only voting as a means of accessorizing or attempting to validate your life, please don’t vote.

Jun. 09 2008 01:30 PM
eva

#124, Molly Powell:
Gavin Newsom is my mayor, and I don't blame Obama if he said he preferred not to photo'd with the guy. Forget inept leadership within the city. And don't even get me started on the lunacy (ask Barney Frank) of marrying people en masse at City Hall nine months before the 2004 pres. election. I understand the importance of gay marriage to a large number of people; the time to push it through is when you have a dem president. We lost the 2004 election in part due to the sledgehammer we offered the right on gay marriage and abortion (ck results in Ohio, not that anyone cares at this point). And hello to 2 new conservative supreme court justices.
Mike,we've been waiting for WWIII for a while. It hasn't yet arrived. Hopefully, that is a good sign. Or luck. Don't forget luck.
mc, it was in huffpo, I'm searching for the link.

Jun. 09 2008 01:28 PM
hjs from 11211

mc 129
light on details but here's a start

Lieberman Joins G.O.P. in Criticizing Obama’s AIPAC Speech :
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/04/lieberman-joins-gop-in-criticizing-obamas-aipac-speech/

Jun. 09 2008 01:21 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Mike #132,
I'm afraid you might be right about war. The situation on the ground is so much more complicated than we can imagine without being there. These peoples have been so intertwined and in conflict for so long it is hard to see a way out.

Jun. 09 2008 01:14 PM
hjs from 11211

BORED
why is that sad? if they can't talk us into voting for them why should we? the sad part is the someone like bush who offered us little (and gave us less) was able to get about 50% of voters, twice, to think he was the best we could do. that's sad, but we get what we deserve.

if anyone cares I blame Reaganism for degrading our educational system.

Jun. 09 2008 01:13 PM
eva

mc,
I agree, and it's easily done. Terms like "Lady Macbeth" are unnecessary and counterproductive. (I think I've avoided that one, but I could be wrong.)
The important thing is to reach out to Hillary's supporters. The bulk of that will come from Obama, but Obama supporters should, within the next few days, retract their claws and cover their teeth back up. I'm not saying we were any worse, but the lack of communication between the two groups of supporters became out of control as the anxiety increased. The more we heard "you're sexist" the more it enraged us. Now it's over. We have to move forward, and if that means going mum on criticism of Hillary, I'm happy to do it.

Jun. 09 2008 01:12 PM
mc from Brooklyn

hjs #130,
I do get your point, but I am compelled to call it out when I feel that I am seeing it. If none of us do that then we give into it.

#126, Another example. She is required to make a personal decision about her marriage based on your evaluation of what a feminist is?

Jun. 09 2008 01:10 PM
Mike from NYC

mc [#128]: To my knowledge, no one has suggested this configuration, although I think it could work for both Israel & the Palestinians. But who knows what Obama's vague remarks meant? Unfortunately, there are too many hotheads on both sides in the Middle East who seem to insist on 'everything or nothing' and they will probably torpedo any workable solution. If I had to bet money, I'd predict war, possibly WWIII. But I've always been a pessimist.

Jun. 09 2008 01:08 PM
mc from Brooklyn

In the interest of unity: I think both BHO supporters and HRC supporters need to understand that there were legitimate reasons for supporting either of them and to stop belittling each other. My husband voted for BHO because he thinks that his leadership style is better and because HRC's war vote stuck to him. Perfectly legitimate. I voted for her because he was neutralized on the war in my eyes and, brace yourself, I think her domestic policies are more progressive than his. I resent being cast as not a progressive for that vote.

I remain a Democrat in name only so I can vote in local primaries.

Jun. 09 2008 01:06 PM
hjs from 11211

mc
not going to happen. now it's an american myth. larger than life. we have to take it. the HRC hate is irrational, a way to vent our national mental illness. i could go on but i hope u get my point.

Jun. 09 2008 01:04 PM
mc from Brooklyn

eva #122,
I am not familiar with that dustup. Where might I find it? I am very curious.

Jun. 09 2008 01:02 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Mike #120,
Interesting idea, your vision of what a Palestinian state would look like. It seems to me that they would need control of some international border and some water supply to be viable. Do you think it has a chance?

Jun. 09 2008 01:01 PM
BORED

hjs sadly you are right. I thought the same thing after I pressed Submit.

Jun. 09 2008 12:57 PM
angela from New York

I agree with #20. I do not think that she would have won in the NY senate race if she was not Bill Clinton's wife. Remember she did not run for a senate seat in Arkansas or Illinois. Has the feminist group that supports her never asked themselves the question of why she didn't leave her husband after "many" affairs. There are many wonderful congresswoman and female senators (whom we do not know their husbands) and they also work very hard at their jobs and would make great presidential candidates. Let's hope they can run in the future with their own experience and work and not on a last name.

Jun. 09 2008 12:55 PM
mc from Brooklyn

IMHO, the best way for Obama supporters to show respect for HCR supporters is to stop the bashing, "Lady MacBeth" "she's only there because of her husband," "she's emotional," "she's unemotional," I'm wearing out the quote marks. Maybe you get the idea. Many HRC supporters feel that she was not treated fairly by the media (some of the media are starting to cop to that), many feel that she was not treated by some of the elite Dems (Dean is now starting to cop to that), and many of us, when we say that to Obama supporters, are told either that we are imagining things; she deserved everything that was said and done; we shouldn't care about it. Any Obama supporter who is really serious about unity may do well to imagine what it looks like from someone else's point of view for even 5 minutes. Many here on these boards are doing that. Many are not.

Jun. 09 2008 12:53 PM
Molly Powell from NYC

Brain should do a segment on Hillary Clinton's ongoing commitment to gay and lesbian issues. This year, in stark contrast to Sen. Obama, she met publicly with G/L leaders and gave at least one high-profile interview with a gay publication (in Philadelphia).

Sen. Obama is well known among many in the G/L crowd for refusing to be photographed standing next to San. Francisco Gavin Newsome:

"I gave a fundraiser, at his (Obama's) request at a Waterfront restaurant," said former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. "And he said to me, he would really appreciate it if he didn't get his photo taken with my mayor. He said he would really not like to have his picture taken with Gavin."

Of course, Obama also went on tour with anti-gay gospel singer Donnie McClurkin.

One caller referred to Hillary's suspicious (in his eyes) attempt, in her concession speech, to create a new fan base of "angry lesbians"--itself an extremely sexist stereotype of her supporters. He is Exhibit A in the pigheadedness of far too many Obama supporters. He is doing his candidate no favors. I'm an angry feminist. I mean what I say, and I'll remember in November. Believe it.

Jun. 09 2008 12:53 PM
hjs from 11211

BORED
politics is ALL about "sucking up for votes."

Mitzi
i don't think u should judge obama based on his supporters. in the big picture HRC & BHO are not important it's time to save this country from the right wingers trying to sell us out to the highest bidder.

Jun. 09 2008 12:50 PM
eva

mc,
Good morning. I am disgusted by the attacks on Cindy McCain from the left. Okay, she had a drug problem. She used some money from an institution she helped run to buy drugs. This is what happens to people when they succumb to addiction. I've worked with my fair share of drug addicts, and I honestly don't think they're much different from anyone else, just unlucky genetics and histories. Sometimes drug addicts are much more humble, empathetic and reflective than, say, "leaders of the community." And sometimes not.
The Times piece is pretty interesting, but the question itself: "What Went Wrong?" may be the wrong way to look at it. A guy who can draw 80 thousand folks up to Portland Oregon is a bit of a force of nature - a little like Bill. Did you hear about the Lieberman-Obama dustup after AIPAC? What is up with that?

Jun. 09 2008 12:48 PM
Keith from Manhattan

If all of these "journalists-bloggers" were pro-Obama, then why didn't all of them say so before the primary results were known? Perhaps a sense that their criticisms of Clinton and support of Obama would carry more weight if these comments were coming from "non-partisans?" Only one out of three of your guests was straight up enough to acknowlesge her partisanship early on.

What is evidenced here is the partiality of the media from day one. Whether this partiality was due to anti-feminism or Clinton fatigue or something else is not nearly as important as the fact that the "media" titled against Hillary Clinton from early in the race.

Perhaps it is time to dispense with the myth of objective American journalism. Once a jouranlist has publilcy stated her agenda -- then her coluumns will be more meaningful -- and the debate a lot more honest.

Jun. 09 2008 12:45 PM
Mike from NYC

mc in Brooklyn replies: "Mike #93 Are you hip to his most recent comments about Jeruselum? What do you think?"

mc: What I found more interesting (and which seems to have gone unnoticed) was his remark in the same speech that the Palestinian state must be 'contiguous'; no West Bank separated from the Gaza Strip. What does this mean? A land swap in return for East Jerusalem? Sadly, he didn't say in front of his AIPAC audience.

My own solution: If the Palestinian state was a narrow strip bordering Lebabon and stretching from the Mediterranian Sea to the West Bank, (sans Gaza Strip & East Jerusalem) Israel would only border Palestine and Egypt, reducing the number of borders and removing the Lebanese strife from Israel. Better for Palestinians (access to sea, contiguous state) and better for the Israelis (no border with Lebanon).

Jun. 09 2008 12:44 PM
mc from Brooklyn

eva, #112,
I am looking forward to it as well and listening carefully. I do not envy what he has to do. I really think that he has to find a way to acknowledge the insult that many of them felt they were dealt when the media insulted HRC in a misogynist way. This does NOT mean he has to place her anywhere in his administration, it is really about them and not her.

I think the Dem party is really to blame for this not BHO. He had a really heavy lift, and I don't think it's fair to blame him for this. What it shows me is that the left is just as racist/sexist as the right and though I had first hand experience with this, I somehow held them to a higher standard. I won't do that again.

Jun. 09 2008 12:44 PM
hjs from 11211

eva
Pelosi & Feinstein might be great for CA and i'm glad they are serving our nation but could they win a swing state??

Jun. 09 2008 12:43 PM
BORED

Mitzi give it a rest. No one needs to go sucking up for votes. In this broken democracy of ours you normally pick the leeser of two evils. This is not about bloggers or mean Obama people. This is about You and what you want to do with your vote. So do what you will but for your respect nonsense I've had enough of it.

Jun. 09 2008 12:42 PM
eva

Mitzi,
with all due respect, I think the people swayed by Obama are quite separate from the people swayed by Bush. And therein lies the challenge in November.
And to be fair, given your regret about the war, I think it's reasonable to consider a point that Brian made late last week. That it wasn't so much Hillary's vote for the war, but her inability to convey that she had any remorse for it, or was able to see it as/admit it as a mistake.
Having said that, I ask this in all earnestness: What is the best way that Obama supporters can show their respect for you and other Hillary supporters, as you said? Should we not criticize Hillary at all from now on? Because I'm happy to do that, if it's going to work.

Jun. 09 2008 12:40 PM
mc from Brooklyn

eva,
You're up early, good morning. I have not had a chance to peruse the NY Times Sunday opinions yet, but I did notice they were there.

I do not think that we have arrived until we can evaluate the candidates on their stances on the issues and their leadership styles without the other baggage. The "Jewish princess" stabs at Feinstein are just as disgusting as the horrible things leveled at HRC. This is not about who anyone's choice is, it is about how we treat everyone. I do live in the real world so I do not expect miracles, but I will speak up if I think I see bigotry. I will be watching very carefully how the media and the opposing parties treat Michelle O and Cindy McC. Everyone is on such a racism watch for BHO, I don't think anyone is watching how those two are treated. So far, I am not impressed.

Jun. 09 2008 12:36 PM
Mitzi

Were your guests not asked who they supported when invited? 3 Obama supporters discussing Hillary's feminism? Perhaps the best way to get Hillary's large popular vote to transfer to Obama is to show her and her supporters some respect. I will certainly not vote for McCain, but that means avoiding many of Obama's bloggers and most of the media who smugly view the defeat of the "Clintons" as their own contribution to the freedom of the press. Had they not been so impressed by Bush's "ole boy" act, we might have been spared the last 8 yrs and 4000+deaths of young Americans and numerous wounded and Iraqi dead. I only hope that this latest crush develops into a deep and successful relationship and pays off for the country and the world.

Jun. 09 2008 12:35 PM
Mike from NYC

Regarding the McKinney 'kurfuffle', [#39] Dallas in NYC replies, "Mike, I don't know the answer to this but it becomes profiling IF the security routinely let others go by without a hassle."

Dallas: Why don't you try to enter Congress without identifying yourself in anyway to the security guard posted by the door and use your one phone call from jail to tell us whether you were profiled?

Jun. 09 2008 12:35 PM
eva

mc,
I agree with you on:
"Telling people to suck it up and move on is not gonna get it done."
This was a really heated campaign, and a lot of people on both sides felt hurt. But it's harder for Hill supporters for reasons both obvious (she lost) and not so obvious (more complicated.)
I'm looking forward to Obama reaching out to Hillary's supporters. I think he's giving them time to process, which is wise. HRC was a BIG deal to them, they deserve some time before being approached.

Jun. 09 2008 12:33 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Tony #105,
I think the problem is that this is so loaded with perception and symbolism. Ted Kennedy took his case all the way to the convention in 1980 with only a third of the delegates to Carter's two thirds. That does not compare well with the calls for dropping out when, though the math pointed one way, the votes were a statistical tie.

This is bigger than either Hillary or Obama. If the nomination had swung the other way because of superdelegates it would have been a disaster. This is not a disaster but the Dems need to take a hard look at themselves. There are many who feel the party does not represent their interests anymore and this is a problem for them. Telling people to suck it up and move on is not gonna get it done. As Howard Dean belatedly put it: "We all get over it when our candidates don't win. What you don't get over is feeling like you've been insulted by some of the leading institutions in America and no one said anything about it."

Jun. 09 2008 12:30 PM
eva

Did anyone read/follow the Obama Lieberman "discussion" on Thursday? What was up with that? All I know is that he was angry about how Lieberman characterized his speech to AIPAC. It sounds like it was a very passionate discussion.

Jun. 09 2008 12:25 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Mike #93
Are you hip to his most recent comments about Jeruselum? What do you think?

Jun. 09 2008 12:21 PM
hjs from 11211

BORED
because they fail to do their job?

Jun. 09 2008 12:21 PM
BORED

Tony thats way too much truth for today.

Jun. 09 2008 12:19 PM
eva

Did anyone read the Times' op-ed piece "What Went Wrong?" It ran in Saturday's paper, I think. It has everyone from Mark Penn to Bob Kerrey weighing in. I thought it was interesting what Christie Todd Whitman and another Republican woman politician had to say. More interesting was to read the reader responses - some 480 or so before they closed the board.
I thought Hillary's speech was fascinatingly old-school (stiff delivery, pauses for rallying cheers, very automated) but I was glad to hear her support for Obama. And I took note of how passionate her supporters remained to the end. This is such a thorny and important issue.
As for wrong woman/right woman, I think a lot of us think that a Pelosi or a Feinstein would have been "right" women. I grew up under Feinstein's direction as mayor, and really admire her, but her war vote is a problem. Still, of the old guard, she is perceived as honorable, and I admire her career trajectory. She really had the mayoralty thrown into her lap, everyone called her a Jewish princess, she just kept plugging along. I always admired Ferraro before this campaign got so divisive. Again, I really recommend the Times' op-ed piece, even tho I disagreed with a lot of the points.

Jun. 09 2008 12:15 PM
Tony from Brooklyn

The "women have been discriminated against so I'll vote for the woman candidate without regard to her qualifications/campaign" argument is a bit...unfeminist, don't you think.
Al Sharpton for President because of the long disgusting history of racism in America?
How about legal scholar Harriet Meirs for the Supreme Court? I don't remember the feminist uprising over her nomination not being confirmed.
A couple of people(who were not with the Obama campaign and presumably don't work for the MSM) wear shirts that say "Iron My Shirt." Those guys are troglodytes. They probably didn't vote for Hillary. But they're by no means a part of some grand media conspiracy.
What often happens in campaigns is people who can't win drop out. Hillary wasn't asked to drop out because she was a woman. She would have been asked to drop out if she were a man. The insinuation that Hillary should have stayed in despite having no chance to win because of her emotionally fragile woman supporters is insulting to women. Once people get over their disappointment they'll realize this.
This election is important. It's far bigger than Hillary. Women can cut off their womb to spite their face, but Supreme Court justices are for life. Let's move on.

Jun. 09 2008 12:14 PM
Mike from NYC

Dallas in NYC replies: "Mike, I don't know the answer to this but it becomes profiling IF the security routinely let others go by without a hassle."

So try to walk into Congress without an identifying badge and without addressing the security officer posted outside. Then tell us from your jail cell.

Jun. 09 2008 12:07 PM
BORED

Why has the media become everybodys whipping boy.

Jun. 09 2008 12:04 PM
Geo8rge from Brooklyn NY

I hate to be the slow kid but she had to stop campaigning, there were no more states left. If she gets 61% of the super delegates she wins. What is the chance of that? The sports books say 20:1 shot. Also I think some of the pledged delegates can in theory switch.

Jun. 09 2008 12:01 PM
JJJ from Jersey City

Great segment, especially the points made about opportunities lost in discussing intersectional feminist issues across race, class, gender, ability, sexual orientation.

I am a feminist, became an Obama supporter in part because he ran such a smart campaign, and have always thought that first woman president will be a Republican.

Although I found much of the Clinton campaign troubling and wrongheaded, including the way that she deployed race and class in a very divisive way, I was also very troubled by the incredibly sexist way that she was treated by the media.

My comment is about the generational divide. When I was in my twenties, I also thought, like many young women now express, that the problems of feminism had been solved. I'm a professional in my 40s now, and I know better. Part of what older feminists are expressing about Clinton vs. Obama is something that they have experienced: most older professional women have had the experience of seeing a less qualified man receive higher pay, more promotions, and more recognition. The reason women in their twenties and thirties may not see this in the same visceral way as older women is that they have not experienced this particular form of discrimination YET: they are not yet at that point in their careers.

I'm not saying nothing has changed, a great deal has changed. But we haven't arrived yet, on any of these fronts of ending discrimination.

Jun. 09 2008 12:01 PM
richard from Texas

So AB, you didn't notice the part under, "Leave a Comment", that says be civil.

Jun. 09 2008 12:00 PM
Mike from NYC

Paulo [#90]: Thank you for taking the time to more fully articulate your position.

Jun. 09 2008 12:00 PM
marie moore from bronx

This was the first time I have heard the generally unquestioned assumption that the category "women" belonged to Clinton analyzed and unpacked.

As an older white working woman, an activist, reader of Nation, and listener to this show (often at 1am), I found among the women in my family, friends, aquaintances and colleagues about a 7 - 3 preference for Obama. Perhaps this says more about the circles I move in than any objective measure, but I found the comments of Patricia Williams and Katha Politt refreshinglly speaking for the missing elements in the reporting (both from sides of the divide).

Thank you for a fair and revelatory segment.

Jun. 09 2008 11:59 AM
Daphna from NYC

Wow! What a pile on. I didn't expect to hear yet another round of Hillary bashing from the BL Show. Maybe you could "accidently" put together a panel of Clinton supporters to talk about her exit speech.

Jun. 09 2008 11:58 AM
hjs from 11211

mc
i think BHO got the 'internet thing.' his campaign was the first 21st campaign
that won. dean tried it but BHO was the first to get the nomination. we'll see what happens in November

Jun. 09 2008 11:57 AM
Nick from Austin, TX

Mike: I totally agree, not to get into politics beyond Hillary and Obama - he hasn't taken many concrete stances but as with all candidates - flexible promises are key once you get in the white house (eg "no new taxes") ... but even Obama promised no new taxes for middle class (HA!) So you take what you can get I guess!

Jun. 09 2008 11:56 AM
mc from Brooklyn

See #67, confirms my point. Not emotional enough. Others say too emotional. There is no way for her to win because the definition of a "right" woman is so narrow.

Jun. 09 2008 11:55 AM
Mike from NYC

To add to #88, I am an Obama supporter, only because of his vague promise to talk to our 'enemies' whereas Clinton seems to blindly support whatever actions the current Israeli government decides to take. (These actions may not even be in Israel's best long-term interests, just the result of fear-driven politics in Israel.) Isn't it a shame how we don't really know what we're getting before we vote?

Jun. 09 2008 11:54 AM
Tony from Brooklyn

I think if we get over our disappointment and emotional investment in our respective candidates, we'll come to a realization. Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton by running a better campaign. Hillary Clinton had a huge network inherited from her husband's time as president. She had a huge fund raising advantage. She had more money and a bigger mailing list to begin. She had a 22 point lead in the polls...
Then Barack Obama built an organization from the bottom up. He raised more money. He had more people on the ground. He dug himself out of a tremendous deficit with a targeted strategic plan and that's why he won. The complaints that "Hillary came close even though Obama had more money" are absurd. It's as if the implication was that Hillary was feeding the homeless with her money and Barack was doing frivolous things with his like running political ads. One thing that every single person ELECTED to the presidency(the Bush nomination by the SC aside) has in common is that they won their party's primary. The way that Obama won this primary speaks eloquently for his chances in the general election and also lend valuable insights into how he will govern.

Jun. 09 2008 11:54 AM
reg from brooklyn

As usual i agree with Patricia Williams about almost everything i've heard her say.

that said, i don't necessarily fault clinton for not being the "feminist" candidate anymore than i fault obama for not being the "black" candidate. as a early edwards supporter, who moved to obama after iowa (like lots of other black people), i fault clinton and credit obama for being the "change" candidate. he embodies change even beyond his rhetoric and she refused to do so, even though her body could have signaled change as easily as his (pantsuits notwithstanding). she clung to the establishment: the DLC, the clinton machine, her husband. could she have disavowed all that? probably not, but obama never completely disavowed it either. what he didn't do was "wed" himself to it.

Jun. 09 2008 11:53 AM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey

Mike #82: That language was being used before the primaries have even started, so yes, I'm going to go ahead and say that people should've been insulted by calls of everyone but Hillary dropping out in December.

That said, while I WANTED her to drop out in February or March, I'm not saying she absolutely should've. Nor am I saying that her supporters should've just accepted that.

What I AM saying is that framing it as a sexist issue is disengenuous I think. If the numbers were completely reversed, people would've been telling Obama that it was over and he should drop out. And accusing those people of racism would've been just as unfair. It's just that simple. It wasn't because she was a woman. It was because people were anxious about the idea of the Republicans getting four to five additional months to make McCain look Presidential while the Dems battled to death.

Was that fear justified? Well, I think Obama and Clinton have gotten a lot more press than McCain, which is good. But it gives them less time to tack to the right ahead of the general election.

Jun. 09 2008 11:52 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Poulo,
It is interesting to try to imagine how it would have been if the race had turned out the other way. Would there have been the same calls to drop out or would they not have dared? Would the media have gotten away with more racism than they did when he looked like a winner? It all seems unknowable. I was dismayed by the pile on of Wright as though he should have been a part of the campaign. Sure, he is irritating and unpleasant but I think the pious Anderson Cooper types are fooling themselves when they congratulate themselves for the way they treat Obama while being very careless about their language vis a vis someone like Wright.

I will be watching very carefully how Michelle O is treated. I have seen and heard some really bad things already.

Jun. 09 2008 11:50 AM
Mike from NYC

Rachel agrees with Nick in Austin, who states: "I think it's kind of insulting for the guest to say that our generation buys into obama because of the marketing. I know of Obama's stance on many issues and support him in them. I really take offense to that comment."

Bravo to you Nick, but other than some vague 'we have to move beyond racism' mantra, many (most?) young people could not detail Obama's positions on any issues. This is not entirely their fault; on many issues he has still not taken any concrete position and many of the positions he has have only been taken fairly recently, meaning before most of the votes for him were cast.

Jun. 09 2008 11:49 AM
JR

Why is there all this talk about what Obama, or any of the other candidates represent? I think it's more important to figure out what the candidates will actually take a concrete position on, rather than what they "represent" to people. Candidate image and marketing all all about fluff. Make them take real positions instead of feeding us spin.

Jun. 09 2008 11:49 AM
Jesse Califano from NYC/ TPA/

WHEN- Oh WHEN--> is American going to elect the FIRST non-caucasian, female Lacrosse Player!?
So what does the American Right Wing have against LACROSSE- huh?!

Jun. 09 2008 11:47 AM
laura from brooklyn

Can Patricia Williams and your other guests unpack the Obama girl video? What do they think of that?

Jun. 09 2008 11:47 AM
Calvin Tomkins from Bronx

I can't get over how even Hilary supporters can't help but criticize her.

She has made history.
She has raised the bar for women. Period.
She ran an incredible campaign and she deserves praise, not amiable criticism, from all of us so-called non-sexist supporters.

Calvin Tomkins
Bronx, NY

Jun. 09 2008 11:46 AM
mc from Brooklyn

What a depressing thought that this just came down to stuff and merchandising.

Jun. 09 2008 11:46 AM
Mike from NYC

Paulo states: "People definitely took the calls for her to get out in the wrong way. It was framed as the Boys' Club trying to push out the woman, but I think it would've been just as true if Obama had been lagging behind in delegates and she'd been ahead. I mean, considering that two months earlier Hillary's nomination was considered inevitable and was even described as a "coronation" it should seem fairly clear that she was not always the underdog."

Paulo: At the time that the nomination was described as Hillary's coronation, would anyone who disagreed with calls for Obama to drop out have been "taking it the wrong way?" Even at this point, Obama only has enough delegates to win when counting super delegates any of whom can change their minds at any time before the convention in Denver is over. Arguably, Clinton has still not lost.

Jun. 09 2008 11:44 AM
Robert from NYC

Bravo Max. We always have to teach them.

Jun. 09 2008 11:43 AM
Rachel from Brooklyn

I'm a little offended by the talk of the "branding" of Obama and the younger generation reacting to his "product." I think that he appeals to us because we came of age during the reign of W, and he seems to represent transparency, honesty, and hope where we're used to secrecy, lies, and despair.

Jun. 09 2008 11:43 AM
Nick from Austin, TX

I think it's kind of insulting for the guest to say that our generation buys into obama because of the marketing. I know of Obama's stance on many issues and support him in them. I really take offense to that comment.

Jun. 09 2008 11:43 AM
eastvillage from nyc

One reason HC lost the youth vote: Chelsea Clinton works for a hedge fund. She's not doing community work or non-profit work. She's not a progressive. Their family now reeks of money making.

Jun. 09 2008 11:43 AM
Carol Wielk from Westchester

I think it is outrageous that you put on three women Obama supporters to "discuss" Hillary's historic campaign. The last comment from one of the Obama supporters that women who support Hillary are not of the "progressive" wing of the party is ridiculous. I consider myself a liberal Democrat and I support Hillary and other progressive women for public office. Wait until these so-called young women come up against the discrimination they will face when their sexual appeal is not as evident. Shame on you, Brian, for using Obama surrogates to dissect Hillary and her supporters. What makes you different from the rest of the male media?

Jun. 09 2008 11:42 AM
Stan from New Jersey

It is tragic that so many people in the media diverted the attention of the public from relevant issues to divisive sound bites.

If the emphasis had been more on selecting the best candidates than on character assassinations, then perhaps there might been more constructive responses to contemporary challenges.

The "President's Initiative On Race"


when on June 14, 1997, President Clinton announced "One America in the 21st Century" with details at

http://clinton5.nara.gov/Initiatives/OneAmerica/america_onrace.html

is an overlooked example.

NPR should be saluted for media responsibility.

Thank you.

Jun. 09 2008 11:41 AM
FLJ from Brooklyn

As to the generation gap - I'm a 56-year-old woman. I don't have the time left to see a women in the White House, that a 23 - 30-yr-old does. Many of us felt this was a kind of "last chance" in our political lives to see our dreams realized. I attended the NOW conference at which Geraldine Ferraro spoke as the first woman VP candidate and remember the intense (and unrealistic) sense of hope and power that shook that room. I despair of ever feeling that optimistic again.

Jun. 09 2008 11:41 AM
mike from manhattan

Gee, maybe Obama is just more charismatic than Hillary. These attempts to reason it out much further sound very weak.

Jun. 09 2008 11:41 AM
Patricia Watwood from Brooklyn

I am only 36, and a progressive-- and I support(ed) Hillary. I am actually very disappointed in the women of my generation for not being more fired up as feminists. The glass ceilings at the top of the business and political remain, and I'm saddened that younger women seem to think that we've come far enough.

I also don't see why it's considered fair game in public and the media (blogs etc), to be so very hateful toward her. We would never tolerate this kind of speach against a black man, for example. Women just chuckle and take the lumps.

Jun. 09 2008 11:41 AM
johnjohn from New York

Could Hillary have won if she became overtly feminist earlier?

This must be the worst political analysis I have ever heard. One of the core bases of her support were white, blue-collar working men and women. They were in Appalachia and mid-west Scranton. Do you really think these blocs would have voted so heavily for Clinton if she had done more of the “I am no Tammie Wynette baking cookies routine,” that she did in the beginning of the 1992 campaign. It is precisely because she toned down the feminist rhetoric that helped her reach the 17 million votes mark. Let’s not forget Obama lost the white working-class is because of obvious racism

Jun. 09 2008 11:41 AM
Tony Davis from Brooklyn, New York


“Let Bartlet be Bartlet”

Clinton’s speech reminded of this turning point in “The West Wing.” Not only was her speech clear about equal rights and privileges for women, but she said the words “gay rights” and “union organizing --- twice each!!!

Jun. 09 2008 11:40 AM
ab

#55

No, only those who make idiotic comments.
Do you?

Jun. 09 2008 11:40 AM
mc from Brooklyn

kevin #38,
You are missing my point. I have not problem with the idea that she was the wrong candidate. A case can be made against either of them. Also Condi. What I am saying is that when someone is predisposed not to prefer a candidate or any public figure, that the rhetoric often goes into the racist/misogynist territory. I am not accusing you of this; I am not accusing Obama supporters in general of this. I just think it bears examination.

Jun. 09 2008 11:39 AM
Lilnda Garfinkel from West Caldwell, NJ

I think Hillary lost for one simple reason: Senator Obama is an incredible charismatic person.

That she came so close to him is a testament to her hard work and probably (very sadly) racism.

(Check our Bob Kerry's letter to the NY Times in the editorial section addressing this.)

Jun. 09 2008 11:38 AM
tricia from new jersey

I’m a 39-year old feminist, and I was struck by my complete lack of emotion as I watched Clinton’s speech on Saturday. Her class and race privilege seemed to be her guide--her womanhood an afterthought only brought forth after others had defined her in ways that women rightly saw as offensive and unacceptable.

Jun. 09 2008 11:38 AM
Bill from New York

A novice, maybe, but so-far-so-good, right? He ran an historic campaign ... historic not least for its beating Clinton's historic (but for different reasons) campaign. Where did experience get her? (I see, it's the media's fault.) Where has experience gotten the country? Voters are siding with change, vision, honesty, and intelligence, and the real task, which is necessary no matter who's in office, is to assemble an administration that sees the executive's ideas through. That's the process that counts. You assemble experience around you. I haven't seen anything to suggest he's bound to be less successful at that than Clinton would have been. Indeed, if their respective campaigns forecast the kind of politics they'd play in office I say enough of "experience."

Jun. 09 2008 11:38 AM
ab

#42

"well so much fir the important significance of FIRST's"

So much for...? You think you present such a convincing cogent argument that your statement deserves that statement. It comes off as juvenile...at best.

So much for firsts? Well there are a whole lot of women and african-americans and quite frankly others who don't fit those two groups for whom those firsts mean something..so so much for your "so much for"

and by the way, it isn't an either or situation. The idea that if it means something to someone that say Hillary or Obama could have been the first woman or african-american president doesn't somehow automatically mean that they are only voting for them on that basis. What an idiotic thought. Both can be true. The suggestion otherwise is just right-wing mainstream media bs.

Jun. 09 2008 11:37 AM
chestinee

think of the funny, beautiful and talented Nelly Mckay's lyrics:

"feminists don't have a sense of humor..."

Jun. 09 2008 11:37 AM
Ellen from Brooklyn

I don't think we should support a candidate simply based on gender or race, but I do think we need to stand up. The argument that young women don't experience sexism is wrong. Yeah, I can get a job in a law firm as a young woman, but that doesn't make "iron my shirt" any less offensive to me. I think there needed to be more outrage in the media about that comment and others. I think we can still be outraged by some of Hillary's treatment and support women without necessarily voting for one.

Jun. 09 2008 11:37 AM
Third Wave from Brooklyn

Listening to these "experts" is very frustrating b/c they are contradictory. In one breath they are saying that Hillary didn't bring up the feminist point but then they criticize her for being too "old school" feminist. Then they go on to say "life is really complicated." When was life not complicated? Jesus. Give me a break.

The way I see it, is simply this. How many female leaders can you name versus how many black leaders? I think people (especially our generation) can relate to Obama b/c he is like a brand, an icon, a memory of what they grew up on to become the progressives they are (Malcolm X, Che, MLK, etc.). I can't think of any major feminist or women leaders (mostly secondary--Angela Davis, Haydee Santamaria?) that were pivotal to my political awakening.

I believe in short, it is "cooler" to vote for a man who happens to bring us hope for a "new" beginning than an older white woman. People are not that sophisticated here. Sad.

Jun. 09 2008 11:37 AM
CORINA from Miami

WE WILL NEVER BE EQUAL WITH MEN UNTIL WE KNOW HOW TO BE EQUAL AMONG OURSELVES!!! sEE THE INNEQUALITY BETWEEN MARRIED AND UNMARRIED WOMEN, YOUNG AND ONL, WITH CHILDREN ANS WITHOUT CHILDREN.... UNTIL WE LEARN HOW TO BE EQUAL AMONG OURSELVES... NO EQUALITY OF QUALITY WOULD BE IN EFFECT.

Jun. 09 2008 11:37 AM
mark from Washington Heights

You're a feminist. I'm a masculinist. Pish posh. The same fate is waiting for all of us.

Jun. 09 2008 11:37 AM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey


mc #46: I also agree. People definitely took the calls for her to get out in the wrong way. It was framed as the Boys' Club trying to push out the woman, but I think it would've been just as true if Obama had been lagging behind in delegates and she'd been ahead. I mean, considering that two months earlier Hillary's nomination was considered inevitable and was even described as a "coronation" it should seem fairly clear that she was not always the underdog.

If McCain had faced a longer nominating process (for whatever reason) then perhaps the calls for the Democratic race to end probably wouldn't have been so strong.

And I do think you're right that the Dems didn't call out the media on their sexism when it happened. Both sides should've done it in the same way that both sides should've called out the instances of racism. I think that in such a race, both candidates have a vested interest in defending the other from unfair, bigoted attacks. Neither of them really did this to my satisfaction.

Jun. 09 2008 11:36 AM
Christopher Deignan from Middle Village, Queens

I applaud Hillary's campaign and I was truly impressed with her concession speech on Saturday. However, I continue to be shocked and amazed at the notion that some of her supporters will actually vote for McCain in November. It staggers the mind on issue after issue to think that in a fit of umbrage women, supposedly progressive women would vote for a candidate who is quietly in the process of selling out to the religious right on a whole range of issues - supreme courts appointments to name just one. Should such women be responsible for McCain capturing the White House, they should truly hang their hangs in eternal shame.

Jun. 09 2008 11:34 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

To 2nd the last comments - yes, let's start talking about this again -- for weeks and months.

Jun. 09 2008 11:34 AM
Mark VIctor from Queens

It's easier in our society to dismiss a feminist than a mixed-gender minority.

Feminism has been around a long time and too many people think that the conversation is over or that it is getting "old". We hear from both genders phrases like "THAT feminist" in dismissing a woman who wants equal rights.

But don't try to dis- a civil rights advocate. The memory of radical racism is still quite fresh in our minds, and racism is still alive today — whether the object be black, gay, latino, oriental, or whatever.

Jun. 09 2008 11:33 AM
Anne Fernald from Jersey City

Great segment: thoughtful and interesting. It's wonderful to hear Patricia Williams--I'm a huge fan--and I'm grateful to hear her articulate the missed opportunity of linking HRC's first wave feminism with broader feminist issues faced by women across race and class.

Perhaps Obama will pick this up? I hope that we and others pressure him there.

Thank you.

Jun. 09 2008 11:33 AM
richard from Texas

AB, do you just come into these forums to criticize others?

Jun. 09 2008 11:33 AM
Mike from NYC

MichaelB on the UWS opines: "Too bad for women who are invested in this that the first viable female candidate was Hillary. Her own blinmding, personal ambition trumped everything. And don't reply by saying that this would not trump a man. It would. The public has little use for politicians on the national stage who are only "in it" for themselves."

Exactly what was Hillary getting out of this? Certainly not the monetary gains Republicans sought which embroiled so many of them in scandal. If you attribute an interanl desire to be in charge to her, on what basis? She could have a more financially reqarding career elsewhere. You might not agree with her politics, but to simply say that she's 'power hungry' is only to avoid aguing against her points of view and perhaps to project your own motives on to her.

Jun. 09 2008 11:32 AM
Keith from New York

An insightful observation by the guest, I thought, about Michelle Obama re. the deluge of petty and undue criticism about her. Where, I ask, is the feminist outcry about that, the way Michelle O. is being treated by pundits and the press? Ain't she a woman?

Jun. 09 2008 11:32 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

This conversation is crazy! Now we're blaming Hillary for not representive anything related to women. The first thing she had to do was prove that she could be "commander in chief" not everyone's Mommy. Her failing seems to be that she crafted her campaign to run against white men -- and wasn't able to re shape her message and tactics when an equally ground-breaking candidate became her main opponent. With a better organization -- that must be said. But if she'd focused on her representing women -- the media would have chewed her out for that as well.

Jun. 09 2008 11:32 AM
alicia kershaw from NY NY

Why does Obama say so little to or about women? he speaks about his daughters, but that is about it.

Jun. 09 2008 11:31 AM
Sandy from Soho

Please the first American female to be president is Janet Jagan in Guyana South America.

Jun. 09 2008 11:31 AM
Dallas from NYC

Mike, I don't know the answer to this but it becomes profiling IF the security routinely let others go by without a hassle.

Jun. 09 2008 11:31 AM
mw from brooklyn

Thanks for addressing this issue. I think your guest who was speaking about the intersection of racism and sexism is so important. It has been something that has been so divisive in the history of feminism since it has become a movement in the US. Women who have in the 1970s and advocated for this position have turned around and made it about who is the worst victim (ie Robin Morgan). how does this help anyone? or get us anywhere? as a younger feminist i think this attitude has always been very damaging to the movement, and has certainly made it difficult for some to identify as feminist.

Jun. 09 2008 11:31 AM
Tony from Brooklyn

What has gone largely overlooked in this discussion here and in the media at large is the spouse issue. Listing or implying that "being the wife of..." is a qualification is the complete opposite of feminism! Can you imagine President Laura Bush? Vice President Nancy Reagan?
Except for ducking occasional sniper fire in Bosnia, the responsibilities of a first lady are minimal. She had no security clearance. Her major policy issue was health care. The failure of that viable plan was largely due to the hubris and arrogance that later doomed her presidential campaign.
Otherwise what she brought to the primary starting line was HER HUSBAND'S fund raising network and HER HUSBAND'S name recognition.
I don't think that a feminist candidate need make women's issues(choice, work place discrimination, etc.) a primary part of her platform. And had Hillary not run such a poor campaign and actually won, we wouldn't see her play the feminism card even now.

Jun. 09 2008 11:31 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Poulo #29,
I agree completely. I really do not think that she lost because of this. I do think that the Democratic Party has lost something because they and their supporters in the media spoke out when racisim came into the campaign but they just stood by or shrugged when sexism came out. Additionally the calls for her to drop out which came as early as Feb. really hit a lot of people the wrong way. They were very tone deaf on that. I don't think that Obama has the main responsibility here, I think the Dem Party does. I do not feel very good about the party anymore. He needs to address it in order to bring marginalized feeling women on board; this does NOT mean he has to have Hillary anywhere in his administration. But I am listening for him to reach out in that way, and I will support him in the fall. Meanwhile the Dems have really blown this one.

Jun. 09 2008 11:30 AM
chestinee

Sandy would you have preferred to deny all the following primary states' voters their chane to say something? And you're right, teh CBC would have presented facts - and the facts are that she brought in voters the Dems cannot afford to sniff at!

Jun. 09 2008 11:29 AM
Protagoras from Tribeca

The case can be made that Obama's win is more of a breakthrough than Clinton's would have been.

Many countries, developed and not, have had women leaders by now, the UK, Germany, Indonesia, Pakistan, Israel, some Latin American ... many countries.

But no other "First World" developed rich country has yet had anything like the son of an African immigrant or any person of non-European minority ethnicity elected to President or Prime Minister.

Obama's win is groundbreaking in a way that is unique.

Jun. 09 2008 11:29 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

None of this conversation changes the fact that Obama is a novice!

Jun. 09 2008 11:27 AM
Jesse Califano from NYC/ TPA/

OK- so what 'FIRSTs' are left (no disrespect to 'the left'-)

Let's see:
The First Gay President-
(So then do we get the 'Second Man' or the Second Woman')
And then, how about the First Trans-sexual President-
And then- how about the First Bi-sexual President-
and how about the First Midget. . . er- I mean 'Little Person' President-
And let's not leave out the First Autistic and Downs Syndrome' President. . .
Oh Yes- 'FIRSTs' definitely have their place in American Politics. . .

Well- so much for the important significance of 'FIRSTs' !!

Jun. 09 2008 11:27 AM
FlatFoot Fete from Brooklyn

The desire to create a story and "construct" an image of hero, underdog or foil in an era where tabloid journalism has been mainstreamed is a reason that I've shunned most domestic political coverage of this election. As an African American woman, I have recoiled upon the divisiveness that has unfurled primarily through media spin within the last six months of this campaign.

Call me optimistic to hope that an intelligent and civil debate of issues that does not debase and continue to create hostility emerges through a clearly self-interested American media.

Jun. 09 2008 11:27 AM
MichaelB from UWS of Manhattan

Too bad for women who are invested in this that the first viable female candidate was Hillary. Her own blinmding, personal ambition trumped everything. And don't reply by saying that this would not trump a man. It would. The public has little use for politicians on the national stage who are only "in it" for themselves.

There is too much of Lady Macbeth in Lady Clinton and people see that.

Obama doesn't speak of himself as the "black candidate" because he wants to be elected for much broader reasons.

In the end, Hillary disclosed her own sense of entitlement.

Jun. 09 2008 11:26 AM
Mike from NYC

The speaker misspoke to the point of distortion. Cynthia McKinney wasnot 'profiled' during her 'kurfuffle'. She failed to wear the badge identifying her as a member of congress when she attempted to walk past security without in any way identifying herself. These are the kinds of distortions that only provide talking points for the oppostion.

Jun. 09 2008 11:25 AM
kevin from park slope

to mc- I can't believe you don't understand what it means that she wasn't the right woman. To many women wanted her just because she is a woman and the fact is she hasn't demonstrated a whold lot of character. Personally I find it insulting how embarassing the way she played roles and pandered. Like when she was belting brewskis with the boys in Pa or when she was running as senator in New York and suddenly was wearing a Yankees cap. I had no problem with her being a carpet bagger I just felt she was insulting my intelligence with her transparent attempts to be all things to all people in her craven pursuit of power. ANd then there was the blatant distortion of her landing in Bosnia. So that's why she is the wrong woman. And yes I do think that Condolezza Rice would also be the wrong woman. remeber she was asleep at the wheel when it was suggested tht the WTC might be a target for terrorists. I find it discomforting that women ignore the character flaws just to achieve the aim of having a woman make it to the White House.

Jun. 09 2008 11:25 AM
mike from manhattan

Cynthia Mckinney was not "profiled". She walked past the metal detector without wearing her indentifying lapel pin. When she was confronted by the security officer, she struck him in the chest.

Jun. 09 2008 11:25 AM
Melody Anderson from Manhatta

Why has no one commented on the arrogant, hubristic display of Hilary's "The Exit Spectacular"? This over-wrought, media-honed event should be an embarrassment to any feminist as she left hundreds to stand in exhaustive heat for 40 minutes while the diva took her time to show up. Even the Queen of England arrives on time.

Jun. 09 2008 11:24 AM
ab

#26
I have to say I agree, she essentially lost in february. The media fueled this bs "battle"

Jun. 09 2008 11:24 AM
Bill from New York

Thank you, Sandy

Jesse, there are no hyphens in his name. What buttons are you trying to push spelling it that way and why?

Jun. 09 2008 11:23 AM
Bob B from Monsey, NY

I don't believe that your producers did not ask the first question Brian asked and therefore selected three Obama supporters to discuss Hillary Clinton. Is that balanced?

Jun. 09 2008 11:23 AM
Lee Moore from New Jersey

I am a 59 year old white woman. I have been a Hillary supporter since her first days on the national scene. I respected and was excited by her smart, outspokeness. She always lived her life as a PERSON who could accomplish whatever she wanted. I think in the 21st century "feminism" is a very 60's concept and we should be pushing ahead based on ability not sex or color. Hopefully now we can move into that phase of history.
It was disappointing that Hillary ran such a disappointing campaign. That more than anything raises my concerns about her.

Jun. 09 2008 11:22 AM
Dallas from NYC

I would say the problem Hillary had with the feminist issue was the conflation of how people acted towards or treated this one woman, with ALL women. As a die hard feminist I was angered to be told that not liking this one woman made me a sexist.

Jun. 09 2008 11:22 AM
Max from Manhattan

In her book "Feminism is for Everybody," Bell Hooks wrote, "Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression."

This is the definition that we should all keep in mind when discussing feminism.

Jun. 09 2008 11:21 AM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey


I supported Obama through this primary, but at the same time, I think she's done a great thing for women. I think she's enabled a woman President in another election cycle or two (depending on who wins this election in November).

While I would agree that there has definitely been childishness and anti-woman comments made in the media, I would not say it "DOMINATED" the media to quote one guest. Was it far too frequent? Absolutely. But I wouldn't say that it dominated the coverage.

I do think all candidates need to spend more time addressing women's issues. The majority of the world's poor are women. Women are treated deplorably around the world, and women are treated unfairly even in those countries where they have legal equal rights.

I think Barack, in order to partly bridge the gap with Clinton's supporters, needs to take on some of these issues.

Jun. 09 2008 11:21 AM
Laurance Splitter from Long Island City

I was more than a little surprised to hear one of your guests lament the fact that Clinton chose to run an oppositional campaign against Obama. As a non-American who has lived here for 7 years, one of the most mysterious things (and there are many!) about this country is its political process; specifically, the way that same-party candidates are forced to bash each other prior to the nomination, only to miraculously pledge their full support in order to fight the candidate from the other party. How could she NOT be oppositional? And how does this system leave people with any confidence at all as to what the candidates REALLY believe and value??

Jun. 09 2008 11:20 AM
Mike from NYC

Leigh in Brooklyn states: "Hillary couldn't have spoken so directly about equality for women during her campaign because, sadly, it would have alienated too many people and caused controversy. I believe she had to wait until her final speech to make a statement like this."

Hopefully, she did not speak directly about this during her campaign because it wasn't the reason she was running, which is the impression she would have made if she spoke about it.

Jun. 09 2008 11:20 AM
Sandy from Soho

What?? The media WAS/IS sloppy!!!!!!! Hillary lost this election in February and the media fueled by Clinton tenacity kept this thing running for way too long.

If this were the CBC the FACTS would have cleared this up the day she really lost. Nothing angers me more than the media defending itself for shameful "news."

Jun. 09 2008 11:20 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Would Don Imus hve been fired if he had just said "ho's" and not "nappy headed?"

Jun. 09 2008 11:20 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Shirley Chisholm also said repeatedly that she faced more obstacles because she was a woman than because she was black.

Jun. 09 2008 11:19 AM
Michael Chayes

Defining the accomplishments of the campaign for women is great. However, Hilary was verging on promoting a "cult of personality" in which she put herself too front-and-center probably in the service of personal political power heading toward the convention.

Jun. 09 2008 11:18 AM
chestinee

I am sure that Hillary's run will have a large impact on future politics.

I agree "unbelievably childish fratboy sexist media"

I am still not sure about Obama, do feel HRC is the more qualified.

Arianna Huffington has a fortune she inherited from a man and id not a big supporter of women.

Don't you think teh media had to do with polarization of women vs blacks

Jun. 09 2008 11:18 AM
Jesse Califano from NYC/ TPA/

If Mr. O-Ba-Ma selects 'Billary' for his running mate- he had better hire a food-taster- maybe two!

And if that happens- 'Billary' should NEVER go into a ladies restroom when Ms. O-Ba-Ma is there!

At last 'Catty-ness' comes to American Politics!!

Jun. 09 2008 11:18 AM
Marco from Manhattan

For all her shortcomings as a presidential candidate, her feminist credentials were undermined by the unalterable fact that her professional and political careers were the result of her marriage to Bill Clinton.

Jun. 09 2008 11:18 AM
Sandy from Soho

Correction:

Randi Rhodes did not get fired from Air America for calling Hillary a whore. She left because of contract negotiations.

Hillary certainly didn't lose big here, she moved mountains. Obama however moved a continent.

Jun. 09 2008 11:18 AM
Paula Robb from Morristown, NJ

Once again, Hillary was pandering to the audience. Notice that her "hick-speak" from two weeks ago was gone?

Jun. 09 2008 11:17 AM
Jane from Cold Spring (Putnam County)

a.I am and was a Hillary Clinton Supporter. People just didn't like her for what-ever reason. But it is time to move on to support Barack Obama. It is now time for the sports community to discuss the winner of the horse race, not the Brown Beauty. The same in tennis, the discussion is about the man who didn't win!
b.People, including many woman, have bashed Hillary for so long it is boring now. She is a wonderful smart person who cares more about the world than she does about fashion (ETC), yet even feminists have bashed Hillary...
thanks, Jane

Jun. 09 2008 11:16 AM
Jimmy G from NYC

Viable woman is the wrong term. Shirley Chisolm was viable, even Carol Moseley Braun was viable. It is that the country is now changed enough that the question of whether a woman can be viable candidate is now embarrassingly trite.

Jun. 09 2008 11:16 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

This is the first I’ve heard Senator Clinton’s speech, and, at best, I find it repugnant.
The “18million cracks” comment implies that anyone who was not one of the 18 million was voting against a woman, not voting against the widely disliked former first lady of a president the right dislikes who is now the Senator of the third most populous state.
I think Senator Clinton (whom I deliberately call Senator Clinton, and not Hillary (the woman) as all of her campaign literature says) misses the point that a large number of people who could potentially support her (Democrats) chose someone else. I’ve heard very little opposition to her as a woman amongst middle class Democratic Americans. The Senator, her surrogates, and her advocates are the ones that made her race one based on gender.
Making Senator Obama’s win out to be a win for misogamy is deplorable.

Jun. 09 2008 11:15 AM
mc from Brooklyn

One of the charges I have heard is that she was not the "right" woman to be the first. What does that mean?

Women have to be the "right" women.

Blacks have the same dilemma. Wright was not toeing the party line and thus was the "wrong" black man.

I suppose most people think Condeleezza is the "wrong" woman.

I do not think this is why she lost. He won fair and square.

Jun. 09 2008 11:15 AM
Marco from Manhattan

I agree with Jesse...the DNC and sadly many Democrats feel that identity politics trump experience and competence.

Jun. 09 2008 11:15 AM
mc from Brooklyn

chestinee #5 Yes they get there because we don't pay enough attention.

Jun. 09 2008 11:13 AM
Alley from Ridgewood

I’m a huge Obama supporter and understand a lot of people think he should not choose Hillary for VP. He is “new politics,” Hillary is "old politics". She also went negative on him during the campaign which cost a lot of money and setbacks.

My position on this is different I think picking someone with differing views (reaching out) on things is actually NEW politics. I think it's moving foward.

Jun. 09 2008 11:13 AM
Leigh from Brooklyn

Hillary couldn't have spoken so directly about equality for women during her campaign because, sadly, it would have alienated too many people and caused controversy. I believe she had to wait until her final speech to make a statement like this.

Jun. 09 2008 11:12 AM
ab

#1

Wow..you really missed the point, didn't you?

Jun. 09 2008 11:11 AM
Chris O from New York City

Just as Obama did not want to be the "Black" candidate, Hillary did not want to be the "woman" candidate. They needed to establish themselves as candidates to be President, without any ethnic or gender identity.

Now that it is over, it makes sense for her to play this up; just as it made sense to play it down during the campaign.

Jun. 09 2008 11:10 AM
mc from Brooklyn

I think this is not about the feminism of Hillary Clinton but more about us. It is easy to be not racist/sexist when confronted by someone who is attractive, not so easy when the individual rubs us the wrong way. Our distaste is magnified by the person's gender/race and our discussions stray into that nasty territory.

Jun. 09 2008 11:10 AM
Jesse Califano from NYC/ TPA/

'Isn't that special...' to paraphrase the SNL's 'Church Lady'!

2½-minutes too long...

Jun. 09 2008 11:09 AM
chestinee

Jesse and mc you must be young enough not to remember earlier times when power (incl respect) was kept from all but white males and usually you could add protestant to that - and of English or German ancestry. And I agree there are probably a good many hacks on both sides of the aisle but there are also sincere and qualified legislators. Do the hacks get there because we don't pay enough attention?

Jun. 09 2008 11:08 AM
Chris O from New York City

Can we blast a 51st woman into space? (just kidding, I think hillary is great when she is not being a politician at least)

Jun. 09 2008 11:08 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Jesse C
To answer your question: absolutely nothing.

I submit that there is mostly fluff on both sides of the aisle.

Jun. 09 2008 10:10 AM
cynthia from Plymouth, Vt.

I'm a 54 year old white woman who supported Obama.
However, if Hillary had been the nominee I would have whole heartedly supported her. Her campaign made me realize that we will have a woman president in my lifetime -- I just didn't believe she was the right woman.
Given that, I listened to her speech with my 16 year old son on Saturday with tears in my eyes.
I was so proud of her and so proud of our country.
I told my son he was living at a great time --
How far we have come!!

Jun. 09 2008 10:09 AM
Jesse Califano from NYC/ TPA/

WHAT- has being 'female'... got to do with being an effective presidential administrator?!

WHAT- has being a 'non-Caucasian'... got to do with being an effective presidential administrator?!

This is just MORE of the 'reasons' made up by the Democrat National Party to obscure the fact that BOTH of their potential nominees are just nonsensical pieces of 'fluff'!

What a shame. . .

Jun. 09 2008 10:07 AM

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