The “Double Standard” Hillary Clinton Is Talking About

Apr 8, 2008 8:47pm

I’ve never argued with the notion that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, gets tougher media coverage than either Sens. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, or John McCain, R-Ariz.

There are a lot of reasons for it, starting with some (fair or unfair) Clinton fatigue among members of the media. But I do think, sometimes, there is sexism at play. (I’m not talking about at ABC News, I’m talking in general.)

Tonight on NPR’s All Things Considered, Clinton herself alluded to a "double standard," telling Michelle Norris — as ABC News’ Teddy Davis reported earlier – "there has been, throughout this campaign, something of a double standard. I accept it; I live with it."

Clinton was not necessarily talking about a sexist double standard in that interview, but it is a common complaint of hers — whether after an MSNBC reporter referred to Chelsea Clinton being "pimped out," or after Obama-backing Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vermont, said the delegate math wasn’t there for her and she should drop out and, according to the New York Times, she complained privately  that "big boys" were trying to bully a woman out of the race.

Some Clinton supporters made a Youtube video illustrating what Clinton and her supporters are often talking about when they gripe about media coverage. (Hat tip to Ann Althouse.)

What do you think of that video?


Whatever you think, I can’t say I think there was a "double standard" in the same NPR interview. (Listen to it HERE)

Michelle Norris, hardly a leader purveyor of sexist thought, asked Clinton what she thought when people pointed out that the delegate math worked against her, and the only way she could win is by destroying Obama, making him unelectable, winning "ugly."

"I don’t know what it means because there is no way for Senator Obama to win unless he also obtains a significant number of superdelegates," Clinton said.

That’s when Clinton complained about a double standard.

Norris asked her what the double standard is.

"Well, I think that it’s pretty obvious to anybody who has followed it," said Clinton.

Norris tried again.

"No, but you know – for example, why is the question directed at me?" Clinton responded. "I mean, neither of us has the number of delegates to win. It is a problem for both of us."

I can’t speak for Norris, or for anyone else. I think there has been sexism.

But I think the question is being asked because Clinton is trailing in delegates and the Democrats’ proportionally-allocated delegate system means the math is tough for her.

Numbers aren’t sexist.

- jpt

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