Friday, November 6, 2015

Hillary News & Views 11.6: Jimmy Kimmel, Climbing Polls, and the Insidious Nature of Sexism

Today's Hillary News & Views begins with some quotes from Clinton's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.  

USA Today reports:
Host Jimmy Kimmel asked Hillary Clinton who would win in a race between her and Bill.
“I think he is a terrific campaigner,” Clinton said. “It would be fascinating if he were eligible to run again. The Constitution says he’s not.”
Kimmel then pointed out that it is customarily the first lady who selects the new China pattern.
“While you’re actually in China, would he be selecting it?” Kimmel asked. Clinton was quick to turn the joke into a reminder of what a political asset Bill Clinton is.
“Really I more imagine asking him what’s the best way to create jobs really quickly and get wages up,” Clinton said. “Because he did a really good job.”
Clinton did show some fire when asked why so many Republicans deny people are driving climate change, which she called an existential crisis.
“I think some are doing it because they have strong supporters, people who maybe are from the fossil fuel industry, for example, and they don’t want to cross them so they adopt that position,” she said.
“Whether they really believe it or it’s just political opportunism I can’t tell.”
CBS reports:
Clinton said watching the Republicans debate left her "being appalled and being amused."
"I disagree with a lot of what they are saying," she said. "I wish they would actually address the problems America is trying to face."
WAPT reports:
Clinton, who is also fundraising in California, expressed a touch of remorse for Bush who is struggling in polls.
"You know what, he's a very accomplished man and he is out there making his case," she said. "Running for president is really hard. Let me break that to you: it's really hard and you know some days are better than other days. I know that from personal experience."
Asked if she is quietly laughing at his recent campaign reset and slogan "Jeb Can Fix It," Clinton grew visibly amused.
"It's really hard to do this and people's campaigns change," she said with a smile. "You start with something, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll stick with it all the way."
Kimmel remarked that his new slogan makes it sound like Bush is "running a handyman business."
Clinton added, "If I were to advise him, I'd say, 'You know, there's a lot you can do about trying to fix things,' and maybe they should put a number on the side of the bus."
Deadline reports:
“I know you’ve done all the late-night shows — I want to thank you for doing us last,” Jimmy Kimmel told guest Hillary Clinton tonight on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live.
It showed the extent to which the center of gravity has been so yanked toward the Republicans in this presidential race, that Kimmel asked the Democratic hopeful so many questions about GOP candidates, leaving Clinton to shoehorn her position statements on Bush, Ben Carson and Donald Trump. But then, the Republicans have been so entertaining this election cycle.
Carson “came out of nowhere, and he’s made a number of controversial statements,” Kimmel noted, ticking off some: pyramids were built by Joseph to store grain, Obamacare is like slavery and so on. And yet, Kimmel reminded, a recent poll indicated “he would beat you by 10%.”
“We’ll just have to wait” and see, Clinton answered carefully.
“Maybe you have to start saying some crazy stuff,” Kimmel advised.
“It matters what you say when you’re president. People all over the world pay attention to what the president says,” Clinton said, in re Carson, but she acknowledged we are in that part of the campaign season “where people are saying all kinds of stuff – some of which they believe.”
It seems like the polls are arriving in waves now. Here are the most recent national and state numbers.

Ipsos/Reuters (National, 10/31-11/4):
57 Hillary Clinton 28 Bernie Sanders 6 Martin O'Malley
Fox News (National, 11/1-11/3):
56 Hillary Clinton 31 Bernie Sanders 2 Martin O'Malley
Elon University (North Carolina, 10/29-11/2):
57 Hillary Clinton 24 Bernie Sanders 3 Martin O'Malley
"Sanders has gone negative" appears to be the new narrative surrounding his candidacy, which is getting in the way of his stated desire to keep the focus on the issues.  

The Washington Post reports:
The Sanders campaign has made a big show of promising not to go “negative” in this campaign. Yet in the Wall Street Journal interview, Sanders stated that Clinton’s inconsistency on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other issues “does speak to the character of a person.” Raising questions about Clinton’s character is going negative. To be clear, that’s also legitimate: asking whether Clinton’s changes in position should make us question her commitment to her current stances is fair game. But let’s not pretend raising questions about her character isn’t going negative.
Politico reports:
He also talked up his vote against authorizing the war in Iraq in 2002, remarking that “[i]t is important to see which candidates have the courage to cast tough votes, to take on very, very powerful interests."
On Wall Street, Sanders pointed to his record and support for breaking up large financial institutions and of reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act. “I have been walking the walk, not just talking the talk,” he declared, remarking that people should be "suspect" of candidates "who receive large sums of money from Wall Street and then go out and say, ‘Trust me, I’m going to really regulate Wall Street.'"
The Clinton campaign has responded.

The Wall Street Journal reports:
The Clinton campaign had no comment on Wednesday but on Thursday, spokesman Josh Schwerin pushed back. “This has and will remain a campaign about issues for Hillary Clinton, and that’s what she’ll continue to talk about on the trail,” he said in an email.
“It’s disappointing Sen. Sanders and his campaign strategists have chosen to change direction and engage in the type of personal attacks that they previously said he wouldn’t do.”
The historical nature of Clinton's candidacy has provoked a lot of interesting (and necessary) discussion on sexism and gender bias in our society, including on the progressive end of our political spectrum. Here are some of the stronger thought pieces that were recently published.

Quartz asks, "Why do Americans think that Bernie Sanders is more progressive than Hillary Clinton?"
Sanders’ easy acquisition of the “progressive alternative” tag is disheartening and a little suspect. While Sanders does have a more left-leaning economic record than Clinton, she has a record he can’t match on gender equality.
While Sanders shares her views on gender equality, Clinton has been a leader on the issue. Plus, there is obvious symbolic power in choosing a female candidate. In 2008, casting a vote for Barack Obama was seen as a symbolic chance to oppose racism. Clinton’s candidacy marks a similar opportunity to address sexism.
Feminism is supposedly part of the progressive agenda—so much so that a Suffragette movie trailer was the first commercial aired during the recent Democratic debate. So why doesn’t Clinton generate the same level of emotional outpouring and fervent support as Obama in 2008 and Sanders today? One uncomfortable answer is that insidious sexism leaves even self-described progressives reluctant to champion Clinton and the fight for gender equality.
Vox published: "Was Bernie Sanders sexist toward Hillary Clinton? That’s asking the wrong question."
"I've been told to stop, and, I quote, 'shouting about gun violence,'" Clinton said at the Democratic National Committee Women's Leadership Forum. "Well, first of all, I'm not shouting. It's just when women talk, some people think we're shouting."
The line was an instant hit with women who know how it feels to be judged for their tone instead of what they have to say, and who are tired of the double standard that encourages men to be aggressive but punishes women for it.
There's a reason so many women instantly identified with her remark. It's because across the board, people tend to mentally turn up the volume when women speak — and research proves it. Even though women are interrupted more often and talk less than men, people still think women talk more. People get annoyed by verbal tics like "vocal fry" and "upspeak" when women use them, but often don't even notice it when men do.
The same mental amplification process makes people see an assertive woman as "aggressive," which gets in the way of women's personal and professional advancement. Women are much more likely to be perceived as "abrasive" and get negative performance reviews as a result — which puts them in a double bind when they try to "lean in" and assertively negotiate salaries. These kinds of implicit biases are sexist, but having them doesn't make someone "a sexist" — or if it does, it makes all of us sexists. It doesn't matter how smart you are or whether you are a man or a woman; everyone has some implicit biases against women.
From Hillary Men:
We are long-time Bernie admirers and certainly do not believe he is sexist or racist. Neither does Hillary Clinton. Contrary to the media’s attempts to stoke Democratic conflict and despite the protestations of some of Bernie’s supporters, Hillary is not accusing him of being sexist or racist. She is doing something much more targeted and much more significant: pointing out unspoken and uncomfortable blind spots among white males on the left.
The point is this: we have to speak about (and accept the existence of) difficult realities about gender and race if we intend to make true progress. Denying the gender gap on the left doesn’t help the progressive movement. It hurts it. And pretending that white male progressives are automatically immune from deeply-ingrained institutional and cultural biases hinders our progress on the path to true fairness and justice.
Hillary is hitting sore spots, thus the reaction from some of Bernie’s supporters. But those sore spots are weak links in the progressive chain that must be addressed. We can only hope that speaking hard truths doesn’t expose Hillary to ugly Republican-style attacks from other Democrats. If the Democratic primary devolves into that kind of acrimony and crass politics, everyone loses.
And once again, Melissa McEwan at Shakesville nails it:
The thing is, it's because Hillary is a woman that she is better prepared to be president of the United States than anyone else ever.
I just said in comments on Tuesday: "The one glaring exception [to all of the other candidates in this election who are running for head of government but not head of state] is Hillary Clinton, whose extraordinary competence in diplomacy only highlights the deficiency in the other candidates. By virtue of having been First Lady, a senator, and Secretary of State, she is already a statesperson. It usually takes being president to elevate someone to that status (e.g. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton), but she's already achieved it. She's frankly overqualified for the position. Which underscores just what it really takes for a woman to even be considered for the presidency. To be fucking overqualified for arguably the most demanding job on the planet."
Dolly Parton once sang, "My mistakes are no worse than yours just because I'm a woman":

So it's only fitting that Clinton shared a rare photo yesterday that had her dressed up as Parton for her birthday back in 1995:
Perhaps we'll get to the point where the impossible double standard that Parton sings about and Clinton (and all women) are subjected to will no longer be of note.

 It doesn't appear that we'll get there during this campaign cycle.

1 comment:

  1. I have not as yet seen any Fox News Polls re head to heads (Clinton/Sanders vs. Republicans) released since yesterday. I find that odd.