Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hillary News & Views 3.17: Hillary's Historic Victories Do Not Shield Her From Misogyny


Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with an update on the delegate race.

Here’s the latest count from The Green Papers, which has Clinton +325 in pledged delegates:
The state of the presidential nominating process on the Democratic Party side is now pretty much established: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rocked Senator Bernie Sanders' world this past Tuesday, sweeping all five Presidential Primaries held that day and- despite the "scare" the Sanders campaign might well have put in Mrs. Clinton's supporters (however much they might deny it now) via Senator Sanders' upset victory in Michigan the week before- Secretary Clinton seems well on her way to the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination.
This does not, of course, mean that Senator Sanders is now going to go away (nor should he! As I have written often enough before on this website [and I have said this about both Democratic and Republican presidential contenders over the now 5 Presidential Election cycles The Green Papers has been online]: if you want to run for President of the United States- even against overwhelming odds against your own success- in order to put forth the public policy options in which you most fervently believe and can still manage to have enough campaign funding to do so, then- by all means- this is America and you should just do it! Whenever I am asked whether or not this presidential contender, or that one, should now drop out of the nomination race [more usually the person doing the asking is someone who supports a different presidential contender doing better in the race], my initial response is always "Why?"). Senator Sanders has every right to continue to fight on, should he (and his own supporters) wish him to- certainly so long as he has not been mathematically eliminated from winning his Party's presidential nomination, if not beyond (so as to, perhaps, present his own political agenda before the Convention in Philadelphia)...
but the sheer reality of the delegate count, at this point, most strongly suggests that Mrs. Clinton will- over the course of the Democratic Party delegate selection events yet to come- be doing to Mr. Sanders what, eight years ago, now-President Obama once did to Mrs. Clinton. From now on, it's delegate math "Death by a Thousand Cuts": Senator Sanders can be even more successful in future, but the combination of proportionality at all levels of the Democrats' delegate selection procedures and those pesky "superdelegates" seemingly, right now, dooms any real chance of Senator Sanders being nominated for President by the Democrats in place of Hillary Clinton.
There are still many pledged delegates unassigned from Tuesday’s elections: Florida (40), Illinois (53), and Ohio (5).  Also, as vote counts are finalized, the allotments of assigned pledged delegates can change, so keep an eye on Missouri and North Carolina, too.

But one thing the delegate numbers have already established is that Clinton is the de facto nominee.

Now seems a good time to take into account just how historic her victories have been, especially in light of the unrelenting misogyny and well-funded character attacks she has been subjected to since entering public life.

Melissa McEwan at Shakesville reports:
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton swept the night, winning all five: Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio. A really extraordinary result.
And a historic one! In 227 years, there has never been a woman who's accomplished what Clinton has. Not that you'd know it from the coverage of her win. Most news outlets haven't even bothered to mention she's the first woman ever to win these primaries. And on a night where she swept five states, they were still peddling the "no enthusiasm" narrative.
Because how else to delegitimize such a commanding win, except by saying that millions and millions of voters only begrudgingly support her?
McEwan has noted Clinton’s historic wins before, and I’ve decided to do today what the mainstream media feels isn’t worth doing: make a list of all of the states that Clinton was the first woman to win a primary in.

Before 2008, the only woman to win a presidential primary state for the Democratic nomination was Shirley Chisholm, who won New Jersey in 1972.

Here’s some background on that win from Wikipedia:
Chisholm skipped the initial March 7 New Hampshire contest, instead focusing on the March 14 Florida primary, which she thought would be receptive due to its "blacks, youth and a strong women's movement".[2] But due to organizational difficulties and Congressional responsibilities, she only made two campaign swings there and ended with 3.5 percent of the vote for a seventh-place finish.[2][29] Chisholm had difficulties gaining ballot access, but campaigned or received votes in primaries in fourteen states.[2]
Her largest number of votes came in the June 6 California primary, where she received 157,435 votes for 4.4 percent and a fourth-place finish, while her best percentage in a competitive primary came in the May 6 North Carolina one, where she got 7.5 percent for a third-place finish.[29] Overall, she won 28 delegates during the primaries process itself.[2][30] Chisholm's base of support was ethnically diverse and included the National Organization for Women. Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem attempted to run as Chisholm delegates in New York.[2] Altogether during the primary season, she received 430,703 votes, which was 2.7 percent of the total of nearly 16 million cast and represented seventh place among the Democratic contenders.[29]
At the 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida, there were still efforts taking place by the campaign of former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey to stop the nomination of Senator George McGovern. After that failed and McGovern's nomination was assured, as a symbolic gesture, Humphrey released his black delegates to Chisholm.[31] This, combined with defections from disenchanted delegates from other candidates, as well as the delegates she had won in the primaries, gave her a total of 152 first-ballot votes for the nomination during the July 12 roll call.[2] (Her precise total was 151.95.[29]) Her largest support overall came from Ohio, with 23 delegates (slightly more than half of them white),[32] even though she had not been on the ballot in the May 2 primary there.[2][29] Her total gave her fourth place in the roll call tally, behind McGovern's winning total of 1,728 delegates.[29] Chisholm said she ran for the office "in spite of hopeless odds ... to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo."[18] Among the volunteers who were inspired by her campaign was Barbara Lee, who continued to be politically active and was elected as a congresswoman 25 years later.
It is sometimes stated that Chisholm won a primary during 1972, or won three states overall, with New Jersey, Louisiana, and Mississippi being so identified. None of these fit the usual definition of winning a plurality of the contested popular vote or delegate allocations at the time of a state primary or caucus or state convention. In the June 6 New Jersey primary, there was a complex ballot that featured both a delegate selection vote and a non-binding, non-delegate-producing "beauty contest" presidential preference vote.[33] In the delegate selection vote, Democratic front-runner Senator George McGovern defeated his main rival at that point, Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, and won the large share of available delegates.[33] Most of the Democratic candidates were not on the preference ballot, including McGovern and Humphrey; of the two that were, Chisholm and former governor of North Carolina Terry Sanford,[33] Sanford had withdrawn from the contest three weeks earlier.[34] In the actual preference ballot voting, which the Associated Press described as "meaningless",[35] Chisholm received the majority of votes:[33] 51,433, which was 66.9 percent.[29] During the actual balloting at the national convention, Chisholm received votes from only 4 of New Jersey's 109 delegates, with 89 going to McGovern.[29] In the May 13 Louisiana caucuses, there was a battle between forces of McGovern and Governor George Wallace; nearly all of the delegates chosen were those who identified as uncommitted, many of them black.[36]
Leading up to the convention, McGovern was thought to control 20 of Louisiana's 44 delegates, with most of the rest uncommitted.[37] During the actual roll call at the national convention, Louisiana passed at first, then cast 18½ of its 44 votes for Chisholm, with the next best finishers being McGovern and Senator Henry M. Jackson with 10¼ each.[29][32] As one delegate explained, "Our strategy was to give Shirley our votes for sentimental reasons on the first ballot. However, if our votes would have made the difference, we would have gone with McGovern."[32] In Mississippi, there were two rival party factions that each selected delegates at their own state conventions and caucuses: "regulars" representing the mostly white state Democratic Party and "loyalists" representing many blacks and white liberals.[37][38] Each slate professed to be largely uncommitted, but the regulars were thought to favor Wallace and the loyalists McGovern.[38] By the time of the national convention, the loyalists were seated following a credentials challenge, and their delegates were characterized as mostly supporting McGovern, with some support for Humphrey.[37] During the convention, some McGovern delegates became angry about what they saw as statements from McGovern that backed away from his commitment to end U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia, and cast protest votes for Chisholm as a result.[39] During the actual balloting, Mississippi went in the first half of the roll call, and cast 12 of its 25 votes for Chisholm, with McGovern coming next with 10 votes.[29]
No more history lessons necessary, as there wasn’t another woman to win a presidential primary or caucus until 2008, when one woman became the first to win a binding primary or caucus with her victory in New Hampshire, the first of 21 victories.  That same woman has won 19 of them this year.

State/Territory Year
Hillary Clinton is the First Woman to Win a Binding Presidential Primary or Caucus In...
1. New Hampshire 2008
2. Nevada 2008, 2016
3. American Samoa 2008, 2016
4. Arizona 2008
5. Arkansas 2008, 2016
6. California 2008
7. Massachusetts 2008, 2016
8. New Jersey 2008
9. New Mexico 2008
10. New York 2008
11. Oklahoma 2008
12. Tennessee 2008, 2016
13. Ohio 2008, 2016
14. Rhode Island 2008
15. Texas 2008, 2016
16. Pennsylvania 2008
17. Indiana 2008
18. West Virginia 2008
19. Kentucky 2008
20. Puerto Rico 2008
21. South Dakota 2008
22. Iowa 2016
23. South Carolina 2016
24. Alabama 2016
25. Georgia 2016
26. Virginia 2016
27. Louisiana 2016
28. Mississippi 2016
29. Florida 2016
30. Illinois 2016
31. Missouri 2016
32. North Carolina 2016

Also note that while their primaries weren’t binding in 2008, Clinton did win Florida and Michigan that year. Also, Clinton won by six points in Nevada in 2008, but President Obama edged her in pledged delegates from that state.

Melissa McEwan contributed to this Blue Nation Review piece from Peter Daou:
In 2008, when Hillary bowed out of the presidential race, many dreams were put on hold. When Barack Obama won the White House, many beautiful dreams were realized. There was disappointment and there was glory in that election, pain and elation. Many of us remember it vividly. I held my baby daughter on my shoulders and cried tears of joy when Obama won.
Eight years later, Hillary is positioned to win the Democratic nomination, itself a historic accomplishment. The dreams of 2008 have blossomed again and the idea that America will elect its first woman president 8 years after electing its first black president is one that inspires and energizes.
When the 2016 campaign began, the conventional wisdom was that Hillary had all the advantages. She had name recognition, connections, the support of the party, the upper hand in fundraising. All of these things were true, and they were invoked on a loop to suggest that securing the Democratic nomination would be a walk in the park.
But what the “inevitable” narrative ignored was Hillary’s four-decade deficit of harshly negative messaging and a 227-year shutout of women from the office she is seeking. The narrative suggested that her winning was no big deal, because of all her advantages, when the truth is that she has fought her way through an unfathomably mountainous heap of personal attacks and institutional gender bias stretching back to the nation’s very foundations.
One example of that institutional gender bias that surfaced on Tuesday night, while Clinton was sweeping that evening’s primaries, was courtesy of male television pundits.

Vox reports:
After Hillary Clinton posted major primary wins on Tuesday night, some male pundits seemed more concerned about her voice and appearance than anything else.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough in particular got a lot of blowback for telling Hillary to "smile."
To the many women who deal with street harassment and the everyday double standards of how women "should" talk or present themselves, it was a tone-deaf comment to make about the first female candidate with a good chance of winning the presidency.
The whole kerfuffle illustrated a bigger problem: Some people either refuse to take women's experiences with sexism seriously or get too busy defending themselves against "accusations of sexism" to engage with the critique.
Various male pundits who complained that Hillary was "shouting" insisted that it didn't mean they were being sexist, without acknowledging why people might be frustrated.
Scarborough tried to argue that he is tough on both candidates, and that Hillary is "tough" enough to take that criticism.
But the people who called out his and others' remarks weren't saying Clinton is weak or needs to be coddled. They were saying she deserves to be treated with respect, and that comments like these play into disrespectful sexist stereotypes that don't deserve public airtime.
Emma Gray writes for The Huffington Post:
Demeanor is not something that has ever been off the table for critique and discussion when it comes to politicians. But when powerful men tell a powerful woman to "smile" or "be conversational," there's a reason that it strikes a nerve beyond the political sphere.
Women experience the policing of their voices, their tones and their facial expressions on a near-daily basis -- inside the office, online, and even walking down the street.
We are forced to navigate a professional atmosphere that demands we be aggressive but personable, tough but soft, and steadfast but nurturing in order to get ahead. We are expected to smile while up against the gender pay gap, a working world that does not guarantee paid maternity leave or family leave or child care, and a society that tells us our greatest value still lies in the way we look and our ability to attract heterosexual male attention. It's enough to make you want to shout -- or cry -- but as a working woman, you know that neither response will get you very far.
When you tell a woman to smile, it sends a very particular message: Her face is for public consumption. Her face should be pleasing to you, for your benefit.
When powerful men tell a woman who might just become the most powerful in the world to smile, it reminds the rest of us that no matter how well we play the game, it is ultimately rigged against us. Because even becoming the Democratic frontrunner for president of the United States doesn't exempt you from the bullshit any woman with a body and a face has to deal with.
Clinton herself is cognizant of the increased scrutiny she faces over her tone as a woman.
"When women talk, some people think we're shouting," she said at the Democratic National Committee's Women's Leadership Forum in October. The comment, to no one's surprise, drew huge applause -- and some screams. Afterwards, Clinton smiled.
Paige Lavender writes for The Huffington Post:
But what if Clinton listened to those who say she needs to stop "shouting angrily" and have "a more conversational tone?"
Here's what people might say:
"She really needs to project more."

"She sounds weak."

"I don't trust her."
"That's how she's going to face down America's enemies?"
"She sounds too nice."

"She's a pushover!"

"Imagine her trying to make a point in a room of world leaders."
"She's too timid."
"How are we supposed to trust her as our commander in chief if she talks like that?"

"She needs to be more assertive."

"She sounds mousy."
"I feel like I'm in a library."
"A strong country needs a strong voice."

"Is she about to cry?"

"Maybe she lost her voice nagging her husband all the time."
"I want a leader, not a lullaby!"
"She's too soft-spoken to lead."

"Why is she afraid to speak up?"

"It's like she's scared of the job. She needs to show she can handle it. It's tough to be leader of the free world."
"Maybe she's gotten a little too used to being a grandma."
"She's super low-energy."

"She sounds tired."

"Does she have the confidence to do this job?"
"Maybe she's too old for this."
"How will she stand up to Putin if no one can hear her?"

"Speak up, sweetie."

"She sounds like someone told her not to yell."
When you're a woman with a voice, you can't really win.
Meanwhile, in totally unrelated news, Clinton's campaign is the only one that has a majority of women working for it. (And even that news plays second fiddle to the staffing of her male primary opponent.)

The Huffington Post reports:
Joanna Rothkopf, a Jezebel staff writer, crunched the numbers from year-end reports which included payroll information obtained from the Federal Election Commission from October to December 2015. She then broke down the salaries of campaign staffers who had received at least four paychecks with a "projected annual salary" of at least $24,000. She calculated both the average salaries for men and women, and the salaries of the top 10 best-paid staffers on each campaign.
Based on her calculations....
  • The top 10 highest-paid staffers on Bernie Sanders' campaign are ALL men. However, looking at the campaign as a whole, women's average salaries are a little under $1,000 more than the men's salaries.
  • The biggest pay gap surfaced in Ted Cruz's campaign, where men earn more than $20,000 more than women do on average.
  • Hillary Clinton's campaign was described as "fairly equitable, with male and female staffers making essentially the same amount of money." Though, unsurprisingly, her campaign was also the only one where women outnumbered men. (Of her 10 highest-paid staffers, however, six are men and four are women.)
  • Marco Rubio, who just ended his presidential campaign, took the lead when it came to women's pay. According to Jezebel's numbers, women on average made more than $5,000 more than men on Rubio's campaign. 
To close on a fun note, Clinton’s guest appearance on Broad City aired last night.

Los Angeles Times reports:
A formidable campaign staffer (played by Cynthia Nixon) clearly laid out the answers to the questions most frequently asked by voters:  "No, Hillary does not cry at the office. Yes, Hillary can read a map. No, Hillary will not enforce male birth control or male pregnancy as that is not a thing. And no, Hillary is not a witch."
Everything seemed to be going well until Ilana learned the "job" was actually a volunteer position. As she bid a bittersweet farewell to the campaign office, she was joined by best friend Abbi. When Clinton suddenly appeared, a major freak-out and much squealing ensued.
Rendered incoherent, Abbi was only able to muster a nonsensical "Hello. Proud Demo. Crat. College. Aquarius. I pegged" as she shook Clinton's hand.
Ilana fared slightly better, promising the former Secretary of State that she'd tweet once a week: "Vote for Hillary: yas, yas, yas!'"
And with that, Clinton offered her own suggestion for drumming up excitement: an inflatable air dancer just like the one Ilana had installed at her former workplace. "I thought this would be really good for office morale," Clinton said. "Isn't she great?"
"Of course, we assumed it was a he," said Ilana.
"Oh no, it's a she," Clinton replied.
Here’s a clip provided by Comedy Central:


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