“Being the first woman president would be quite a change from the presidents we’ve had, including President Obama.”
That was Hillary Clinton herself at the very first Democrat presidential debate of the season on CNN on the Oct. 13, 2015, in response to a question about how her presidency would not be like a third term of the Obama administration, saying, “Well, I think that’s pretty obvious.”
From day one, Clinton has absolutely been playing the so-called “woman card,” a term that was coined, not by Donald Trump this week — who told reporters at Trump Tower on April 26, “Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the woman’s card,” — but by the Huffington Post in its coverage of that Oct. 2015 debate.
In a video of the exchange, the headline reads, “Hillary Clinton plays the woman card during the debate.”
It wouldn’t be the last time.
At the Feb. 4 debate at the University of New Hampshire, she said, “Senator Sanders is the only person who I think would characterize me, a woman running to be the first woman president, as exemplifying the establishment. And I’ve got to tell you that it is… really quite amusing to me.”
That, despite the fact that as a former First Lady, senator and Secretary of State, she has been in power in the federal government for over 20 years. Not a part of the establishment? She is the establishment.
In a Feb. 2016 Vogue interview with Clinton titled, “Will Clinton make history?” Jonathan Van Meter asked “If New York City still isn’t ready for its first female mayor, is the United States ready for its first female president? Why is this still such a hurdle for women in our country?”
To which Clinton replied, “You know, I really don’t know. I think it’s gotten better. But I think there still is a very deep set of concerns that people have, which very often they’re not even aware of or they couldn’t articulate. There’s nothing overt about it in most instances. People are very convinced they want to vote for the right person. And then… you know, you get little hints that maybe they’re not as comfortable with a woman being in an executive position. Especially in a big, rough-and-tumble setting like New York City or the United States of America.”
Got it? If you don’t support Clinton, it might be because, according to Clinton, “there still is a very deep set of concerns that people have, which very often they’re not even aware of or they couldn’t articulate… that maybe they’re not as comfortable with a woman being in an executive position.”
On her own campaign website, Clinton has a piece from actress Lena Dunham, “On the road for Hillary: a travelogue,” in which Dunham writes, “Our first female president would send a message that we are here. We are ready to lead.”
It’s really worse than all that. Trump supporter Jim Kent on Youtube has put together a fairly comprehensive montage of excerpts of Clinton explicitly touting her gender throughout the campaign so far:
So, who’s playing the woman card? Hillary Clinton, that’s who.
And she’s not the only one.
Just Google “Clinton” and “first female president” and it turns up 260,000 results.
Among them, a March 2014 poll from Gallup, “Clinton’s top selling point in 2016: First female president,” in which Gallup’s Frank Newport writes, “Americans say the best or most positive thing about a possible Hillary Clinton presidency — if she were to run and be elected in 2016 — would be her serving as the first female president in the nation’s history.”
The “first female president” positive attribute scored the highest plurality at 18 percent, far higher than “best choice” at 5 percent. Only 1 percent thought “open, honest government” would be the most positive outcome of a Clinton presidency.
Commenting on the Gallup poll in the Washington Post, Chris Cilizza wrote, “Newport’s point is critical and gets to what we believe was the single biggest mistake that Clinton and her team made during the 2008 presidential bid. Faced with the historic candidacy of then Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, Clinton could have matched history for history. But, she didn’t.”
Cillizza added, “The question is whether Clinton has learned the lesson of that first, unsuccessful campaign. Whether she — and the team she has built/is building/will build — understand that her gender, far from being a negative, is actually the strong argument in her favor in the eyes of voters.”
We thought gender was not supposed to matter. The office of president represents every American, women and men alike.
Now we know that as a matter of deliberate campaign strategy, and in practice, Clinton is touting her gender and the historic achievement of the first female president as a top reason to vote for her.
For the first female presumptive party nominee to so cynically play that card — as a matter of design — and then to attack her opponent for pointing out what is a pretty obvious strategy is laughable.
And it is insulting to the intelligence of not just female voters, but to all Americans. What a joke.