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"claiming?" Polls and studies have shown that people are much more disturbed at the thought of a female president than a non-white president. There have been a lot of racial overtones, but the undercurrent of sexism has been a fucking riptide for Hillary.

Posted by Carollani | May 22, 2008 10:21 AM

She has been truly disgusting. I think she's truly lost her mind. She definitely lost her image and legacy. Time to bow out Hils.

Posted by ZWBush | May 22, 2008 10:23 AM

Blah... Clinton specifically said the press has been sexist but not overtly racist. Which is 100% true.

People talk about how Clinton is such a calculating politician, but it's Obama who has been an expert at playing the game. Clinton just can't seem to speak without saying a phrase or sentence that can be taken out of context and reported on every news show and blog in the US.

Posted by Obama supporter | May 22, 2008 10:26 AM
Polls and studies have shown that people are much more disturbed at the thought of a female president than a non-white president.

Polls on this subject aren't always reliable - are you familiar with the Bradley effect?

Besides, haven't the Clinton supporters been making the argument that the campaign proves sexism is more publicly acceptable than racism? If so, it makes sense that many people wouldn't openly tell a pollster they're disturbed by the thought of a nonwhite president.

Posted by tsm | May 22, 2008 10:27 AM

I'm sure this kind of thing is of interest to the Senator's constituents in the state of New York. Although it will be a while until she's up for re-election and they'll probably be looking at the big picture. If she's doing a good job representing the state then she should be fine.

Now if a Barack Obama or a John McCain had to explain away these kind of statements, it would be a problem for them, for sure.

Posted by elenchos | May 22, 2008 10:27 AM

@1. What polls and studies? I think it's been pretty clear that while there has been a good bit of media sexism, racism has had a greater effect on voting.

Look, there's been a lot of both in recent months, but the racism has made it down to the voters. If she had any decency, she would call that 25% out and say that race should not be a factor and they should be ashamed for making it so. Even more so now that it's clear she she has no chance of winning. She'd only be helping the democratic party.

Posted by cmaceachen | May 22, 2008 10:31 AM

Sadly but truly, If Barack Obama were a white guy, there wouldn't even be an election to be had. So don't go all "race isn't an issue" on me. There I said it.

Posted by ZWBush | May 22, 2008 10:42 AM

Why doesn't Obama reject and denounce those supporters who are motivated by gender?

Posted by I dunno | May 22, 2008 10:43 AM

Maybe I'm just missing something, but I don't remember seeing any polls, studies, or surveys that show a similar kind of result as far as gender goes.

Posted by Links Plz | May 22, 2008 10:48 AM

I think both racism and sexism have an effect on who certain segments of the population vote for (exit polls have certainly shown this). But, @3 is right -- Clinton said (and I tend to agree) that the media and general cultural environment has been much more sexist than racist.

I do think it would be nice if now, or when she bows out, Clinton would send the message that race should not be a factor in who you vote for. I wonder if it would make a difference to a racist, but, still, it would be nice...

Posted by Julie | May 22, 2008 10:57 AM

She doesn't do it because the racists would just say "F**k you, then! I'll vote republican!". Racist and sexist votes are still votes, and you can't tell someone "shame on you!" and still expect them to stick with your party.

Posted by steve | May 22, 2008 10:58 AM

Well, we have truly gone through the looking glass at this point. Clinton in Florida claiming that the state is out to disenfranchize their voters ala Zimbabwe, a gazillion Clinton supporters on-line hammering their keyboards about how the press stole the election for Obama, or he's an evil sexist, or whatever the outrage du jour is. I truly cannot believe we are going to lose this election to McCain because of this bullshit. Absolutely fucking stunning. Maybe the Dem party needs to go the way of the Whigs. I for one am sick to death of taxation without any meaningful representation, with being completely shut out of the process, which is exactly what Clinton and her supporters are about.

The way she "comes out ahead" in the popular vote is by NOT COUNTING the votes of 4 caucus states, including Washington. So she is LITERALLY DISENFRANCHISING MY VOTE so she can seal the nomination. All this nonsense about her fighting for the people is just a transparent lie. And she simply won't answer, or even respond to, any questions about her Iraq war vote, which is specifically why so many people can't stand her. Anyone who questions her just gets taken right out of the equation. I am truly sick to death of this woman and her God-awful supporters. Sweet Mary & Joe.

Posted by Jason E | May 22, 2008 11:03 AM

I think a distinction needs to be drawn between media treatment, which generally has been more openly sexist than racist, and actual voter preference, which seems to be more racist than sexist. The factors that influence what people do in the privacy of a voting booth are not necessarily things that they'll tell a pollster.

Posted by flamingbanjo | May 22, 2008 11:09 AM

#9, it's in the same exit poll.

"Was Gender of Candidate Important to You"

16% said yes
82% said no

Of those who said yes:

79% voted for Clinton
19% voted for Obama

Of women who said yes, 84% voted for Clinton.

#8, in this case, shouldn't it *again* be Clinton rejecting and denouncing *her* supporters who are motivated by gender?

Posted by w7ngman | May 22, 2008 11:14 AM

Obama got over 90% of black votes so his race didn't have anything to do with him getting those votes? In DC last year the mayor (who's blk) got a lot of flack fr. the blk communities because he appointed a white female police chief. Was it b/c she was not qualified ? No because she is NOT black! The local press there has been so afraid to talk about that. Everyone has his/her own prejudice regardless ethnicity.

Posted by doreme | May 22, 2008 11:16 AM

@12. Don't worry, this stuff won't even be a factor. We'll lose the election because in October Bush will declare war on Iran, either ensuring McCain's win or giving Bush cause to declare marshal law and stay in office indefinitely.

Posted by cmaceachen | May 22, 2008 11:17 AM

I wish @16 was joking.

I really do.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 22, 2008 11:20 AM

@8 -- As other people have commented, voters have indicated in exit polls that race is a stronger reason to vote against a candidate than gender.

Some Democrats who support Sen. Obama might personally dislike Sen. Clinton, but that is different from not wanting a woman to take the presidency (I know many Obama supporters from Arizona to Wyoming, and they all express a desire to see a woman in the chief executive role). His support for women and women's rights in the campaign has been strong.

In contrast, Hillary has embraced the support of a small but significant constituency who, exit polls from Ohio to Kentucky indicate, chose her based on her gender. This is the idea that she should address.

Posted by V | May 22, 2008 11:24 AM

@16 & @17 I'm being pedantic. Bush will declare Martial Law. Not Marshal Law. My bet's on homeland terrorist attack actually.

Posted by PopTart | May 22, 2008 11:27 AM

To answer my own question, no, I don't think Clinton should denounce her female supporters voting based on gender, just like I don't feel Obama should denounce his similarly-numerous black supporters who support him based on race. Is voting *for* someone that is like you any better than voting *against* someone that isn't like you? I like to think so.

All things relatively equal on that fronts, however, we also have whites that won't vote for Obama based on race. The number of men voting for Obama based on gender was so small that they couldn't get a sample. On the other hand, the number of whites voting for Clinton based on race was 88% of 18% of all voters.

Posted by w7ngman | May 22, 2008 11:28 AM

So, #8, to answer your question:

Why doesn't Obama reject and denounce those supporters who are motivated by gender?

No, he shouldn't, because there isn't even a statistically significant amount of them, at least in Kentucky.

I'm actually sort of curious about the national numbers on "Whites voting for Clinton based on Race" vs. "Males voting for Obama based on Gender".

It would kind of put to rest the whole debate about whether sexist or racism was more important to the election, huh?

Posted by w7ngman | May 22, 2008 11:34 AM

So, if Hillary were to denounce her own supporters as racists, driving these "Reagan Democrats" to vote en masse for McCain in November, that would benefit Obama how?

Do you people have any interest whatsoever in winning the election, or just shaming HRC (from your own position of absolute moral purity, of course)?

Posted by David | May 22, 2008 11:38 AM

This is a question that doesn't need answering. Of course Clinton is strategically cultivating racial fears for her supposed benefit, but mainly to her party's detriment.

The real question is why reporters continue to naively ask why Clinton isn't speaking up about racism, or ask if the election might be racist, rather than whether Clinton's campaign strategy is racist, which it obviously is.

Posted by Trevor | May 22, 2008 11:43 AM

"The number of men voting for Obama based on gender was so small that they couldn't get a sample."
Because most men consciously or subconsciously don't care for a female as leader and I wonder who many would admit that.

Posted by davinci | May 22, 2008 11:45 AM

I want the people who keep equivocating black people voting for Obama based on his race and white people refusing to vote for Obama based on his race to explain their conclusions.

The black community always votes in a Democratic bloc because they have firsthand experience of the erosion of civil rights, the economic downturn, the failure of public and social programs, and the hierarchy of American society. They rarely have the luxury of voting for a black candidate-- one who shares their experiences, having lived as a black man in America. He is their candidate, just as Clinton is the candidate of white women without it being sexist, because he represents them well.

While it may be ignorant to vote for Obama based on his race, it is not the same as refusal to vote for him based on his race-- which is what we've seen so far out of a small group of Hillary voters. News clips of a woman saying she won't vote for a black man because it's their race against ours. People (Democrats!) wary of his "patriotism".

Posted by V | May 22, 2008 11:47 AM


And thus, there is no possible state of affairs where Hillary is not the victim of sexism. Either the the polls say men or sexist, or men lie. We have an unfalsifiable belief, and no power on earth can change it.

Posted by elenchos | May 22, 2008 11:51 AM

#22, she wouldn't denounce *all* of her supporters, and she wouldn't call them racists. Ideally, she would simply ask those who were motivated by race to think about why it was such an important factor and remind them nicely that what they've done is taboo.

Left to their own devices, they would probably vote for McCain anyway. The true racists certainly will. It's the more moderate people with simple prejudices that might just feel "icky" at the thought of a black president. If anything, reminding those people that what they've done is not socially acceptable would cause them to reevaluate the presidency of a man who, aside from the color of his skin, would represent their interests far better than McCain.

Clinton accepting the support of these people without so much as asking them to support her on her merits rather than her race is shameful enough without us having to do anything.

Posted by w7ngman | May 22, 2008 11:53 AM

W7ngman ftw!

Posted by Mr. Poe | May 22, 2008 12:22 PM

Ummmm so remind me WHY we are still talking about Clinton???

The bitch has lost her mind. What a douche bag she has become. I have zero respect for any remaining "supporters" that show up to her rallies.

They either have zero self esteem or zero intellect to not get that she is so completely finished.

Hillary is given way too much respect in the Democratic party. It is time for party leaders if they exist to step up and act like a leader and force her to the side.

Enough already.

Posted by Reality Check | May 22, 2008 12:38 PM

Because she is unscrupulous, and will do anything at all to try to win -- anything deplorable, exploitative, deceitful, discriminatory, offensive, demagogic, misleading, revisionist, censorist, divisive, hypocritical, or manipulative.

Barack has to answer for Rev Wright's support -- one man -- but HRC does not have to answer for the support of thousands of xenophobic prejudiced supporters.

Posted by K | May 22, 2008 12:49 PM

@7: Haha. And if HRC had been a white guy, the same could be said, but in the other direction. So, PKB.

Posted by K | May 22, 2008 12:52 PM

OBAMA has not reached the magic number no matter how behind Hilary is so she has every right to stay in the frigging race. For all the fuckers who want her out there will be the same amount of dejected supporters who won't vote for Obama in November. Gee if Obama has so much more support than Clinton he and the party leaders would have forced her to quit already. Sheesh.

Posted by shera | May 22, 2008 12:52 PM

The irony/hypocrisy in Clinton's position is that she decries sexism while not-so-subtly implying that she is more electable because she is white. But I'm not at all convinced that her assertion is correct. The media has obsessed over two questions: 1) Will Obama primary voters vote for HRC if she gets the nomination? 2)Will HRC primary voters vote for Obama if he gets the nomination? No one has asked this question: Will the OH, PA, WV and KY primary voters who voted for HRC in the primary vote for her if she gets the nomination? Think through this:
- There is a general conclusion that many of those primary voters made their decision based on race.
- Racism & sexism often go hand-in-hand.
- Voters in those Democratic primaries had the choice between a white woman and a black man. A WHITE MAN wasn't an option! Will those hard-working whites notorious for voting against their interests still vote for HRC when there is a white man one box down on the ballot?
It is speculative to conclude that HRC gets the same general election votes that she got in the primary, and therefore speculative to conclude that she is more electable based on these primaries.

Posted by Mary F | May 22, 2008 1:06 PM

W7ngman @27, to put the most charitable spin on it, you perhaps have more faith in humanity than I do. The thought of recalcitrant voters suddenly understanding their own racism, and penitently accepting Obama into their hearts, sounds like an epic South Park episode to me ("Wow, I learned something today").

I think people are, unfortunately, more likely to (over)react EXTREMELY defensively when accused, however "nicely", of anything even remotely resembling racism -- or to discuss white racism perfectly seriously and sensitively without ever once believing themselves to be implicated in it, or changing their own actions in any way.

As for your deep thoughts on HRC's shame, well, if a tree fell in the forest.... Sometimes people seem rather more interested in the shaming than the shame, don't you know.

But going back to the scenario you envision, assuming I'm wrong and such a "teaching moment" would be possible here, three quick thoughts:

1) I'm not sure HRC is a good enough speaker (or maybe just not the right kind of speaker) to bring that off.

2) Whether she brought it off or not, "Clinton calls her supporters racists" IS how the media would spin it....that WOULD become the prevailing media shorthand for her remarks.

3) "Socially acceptable" (or "taboo") is a rather...problematic concept, don't you think? (Are we talking about what people *claim* to do/accept, or what they *actually* do/accept others doing? Was racism OK back when it was "socially acceptable"? You know, WAY back when...)

Posted by David | May 22, 2008 2:02 PM
Why Doesn’t Clinton Reject and Denounce Her Racially-Motivated Supporters?

I thank you all for your support, and while I think I would have been the better candidate, Senator Obama is a great man and will be a fine president. We Democrats need to pull together and insure we don't have four more years of Bush's failed policies.

Oh, except those of you who voted for me just because I'm white, YOU ARE SCUM, JUST EAT SHIT AND DIE OK? (if you could die BEFORE you vote for McCain that would really help us out, kthnxbi)

Posted by Epimetheus | May 22, 2008 2:36 PM

If Hillary Clinton were a white guy, not only wouldn't she be in the running, but Bill would have a lot of explaining to do.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | May 22, 2008 3:00 PM

Why doesn't Senator Obama renounce the overwhelmingly racist black vote which supports him with over 90% of its votes?

Posted by Phil | May 22, 2008 3:49 PM

Thanks, Pop Tart. It is "martial law", but I've given up on correcting the people who say "marshall law" - today on the Washington Post at least ten posters used the incorrect version, so it's not worth correcting.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 22, 2008 4:17 PM

Phil: See 25.
Obama has death-penalty reform, civil-rights law, inner-city organizing, and voter registration drives in south Chicago on his record. He is the candidate of the black community because of what he does, not the color of his skin.

Posted by V | May 22, 2008 7:51 PM

Watch this video if you don't think there are a good number of racists out there voting for Hillary.

hint: "I'm not racist, but I won't vote for a black man" means you are, in fact, racist. Seriously.

Posted by Ted | May 22, 2008 9:14 PM

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