Just when the lame excuses couldn’t get any worse, the NY Times’ Jill Filipovic, in ‘The Men who cost Clinton the Election’ thinks that Clinton lost because of the male journalists (recently fired for claims of sexual harassment) were too tough on her and too easy on Trump. We are 12 months on from the election and despite the 10,000 excuses we’ve heard as to why she lost, this one is truly grasping at straws.
“Many of the male journalists who stand accused of sexual harassment were on the forefront of covering the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Matt Lauer interviewed Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump in an official “commander-in-chief forum” for NBC. He notoriously peppered and interrupted Mrs. Clinton with cold, aggressive, condescending questions hyper-focused on her emails, only to pitch softballs at Mr. Trump and treat him with gentle collegiality…Mr. Charlie Rose, after the election, took a tone similar to Mr. Lauer’s with Mrs. Clinton — talking down to her, interrupting her, portraying her as untrustworthy. Mr. Halperin was a harsh critic of Mrs. Clinton, painting her as ruthless and corrupt, while going surprisingly easy on Mr. Trump.”
So Matt Lauer went for the jugular? Isn’t that the point of these debates or commander-in-chief forums – to make the politician squeam under pressure? So her deleting and bleaching 30,000 emails was not a relevant topic?
Mr Halperin painted her as a ruthless and corrupt candidate, when her foundation was exposed for pay to play, the hiring of Debbie Wassermann-Schulz as her campaign director after she brazenly knifed Bernie Sanders during the DNC run-off or receiving the debate questions in advance from Donna Brazile?
Indeed, it is hard to see how Charlie Rose had an impact on the 2016 election when he was tough on her post the event.
Still one can’t escape the fact that for however horrible Trump might have been as a inarticulate, vulgar and bullying GOP candidate, all the more reason she should have smashed it. Had she not taken the election as a coronation, actually visited the areas most in hardship instead of sticking to the $1,000 plate dinner fund raisers in the hubs of NY, LA and San Francisco maybe she would have learnt that it wasn’t a formality. Instead she stuck to identity politics and in the end lost to a candidate who openly stared down the barrel of a camera lens to tens of millions after the ‘grab the p*ssy’ episode and said “no one respects women more than I do” in debate two. Even women saw this and still voted for him.
What Filipovic fails to realize is that gender is an irrelevant benchmark for politics. All that matters is ability in the eyes of the electorate. For Michelle Obama to shame women who voted for Trump is part of the problem. Whether ability is delivered is another question but for millions of struggling Americans not living the dream they took a risk to vote for someone that wasn’t intertwined in the political machine that had failed to get them out of financial squalor. They may not have money but a vote is a great equalizer. Sure, Trump’s complete lack of political experience is telling with the constant cabinet reshuffles and both parties trying to distance themselves from his firebrand style of politics.
So indeed had Lauer been exposed as a sexual harasser before the event then would the outcome of Clinton’s 2016 campaign really have changed? Unlikely as Hillary Clinton was carrying so much baggage that even blind Freddie could have seen through the fact that for as horrible Trump was, she was even worse on so many levels.
Indeed if Filipovic wants to indirectly promote the idea that it was time for a ‘woman’ president, at least give we mere males (and females) some faith that you have a deeper bench than Hillary Clinton. Does a cake store put anything less than its best and delicious looking product in the shop windows on the grand opening day? No. As much as you may wish to point the fingers at a misogynist, sexist bro culture as the blame for her loss, make no mistake that most men (and women) will happily endorse competence over gender because it is in their rational best interests for the long term to do so. So instead of blaming men, perhaps look inside at what women exist in US politics (or any country for that matter) that can carry the torch of freedom on merits alone.
On a final point, while the feminists are at it, where was the outrage at the gushing over the hunky Canadian PM Justin Trudeau when he won his election? How many tweets and messages of teenage crush were seen which focused on his physical characteristics rather than his political acumen (which sadly are missing since being in office). It is a great pity that the Conservative Party in Canada didn’t elect Rona Ambrose over Andrew Scheer as leader. Go on YouTube and watch her decimate Justin Trudeau in every debate. If I was Canadian I would have voted for her given she had raw ability, intelligence and unwavering strength. She just happens to be a woman too.