What is Hillary implying about Mississippi?

By Jennifer Parker

Oct 23, 2007 1:27pm

Check out this new column by David Yepsen in the Des Moines Register.

In it, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, suggests that one of the reasons she’s not doing as well in Iowa as she is nationally or in other states is because she’s a woman and Iowa has "never elected a woman governor, senator or member of Congress."

She says that’s the case with Mississippi, too.

But then she seems to imply she’s not surprised that’s the case down South, but given the "quality," "openness" and "communitarianism" of Iowa she is surprised that’s the case in Iowa.

Hard not to read that as a slam on Mississippi.

"I was shocked when I learned Iowa and Mississippi have never elected a woman governor, senator or member of Congress," she said. "There has got to be something at work here…

"I think not only do I have to bring people to me, I have to maybe reassure people here maybe more than I do in New Hampshire, which has had a woman governor…

"I think Iowa poses a special burden, or a special obstacle to me because when you look at the numbers, how can Iowa be ranked with Mississippi? That’s not what I see. That’s not the quality. That’s not the communitarianism, that’s not the openness I see in Iowa."

Doesn’t that sound like she’s saying she expects Mississippi to be backward but not Iowa?

I asked Clinton campaign spokesman Phil Singer about this. His response: "Clearly, she was referring to the historical fact that a woman has never been elected Governor or to the House or Senate from those states."

Uh…right.

What do you think?

- jpt

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