Opinion: Hillary Clinton gives her take on sexism and the ‘08 campaign

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Hillary Clinton stalwart Geraldine Ferraro got the week off to a rousing start by declaring to the New York Times that Barack Obama is ‘terribly sexist.’

She elaborated this morning on the ‘Today’ show, describing as ‘dismissive’ Obama’s crack, during the heat of the Pennsylvania primary campaign, that Clinton was ‘talking like Annie Oakley’ as she sought the support of hunters.

Clinton herself did not mention Obama in a story in today’s Washington Post based on an interview during which, the paper says, she ‘for the first time addressed what women have been talking about for months, what she refers to as the ‘sexist’ treatment she has endured at the hands of the pundits, media and others.’

That would include, reporter Lois Romano writes, ‘The lewd T-shirts. The man who shouted ‘Iron my shirt’ at a campaign event. The references to her cleavage and her cackle.’

All of this, Clinton says, has been ‘deeply offensive to millions of women.’

(The piece does not note that the brief cleavage controversy of last summer was ignited by the paper’s own fashion writer, Robin Givhan. The Clinton camp made its outrage known at the time; in fact, Givhan’s article became the basis of a fundraising appeal.)


The Clinton comment gaining the most attention came when, Romero writes, she was asked ‘if she thinks this campaign has been racist [and] she says she does not.’

Instead, Clinton said:

‘The manifestation of some of the sexism that has gone on in this campaign is somehow more respectable, or at least more accepted, and . . . there should be equal rejection of the sexism and the racism when it raises its ugly head. It does seem as though the press at least is not as bothered by the incredible vitriol that has been engendered by the comments by people who are nothing but misogynists.’

The entire Post story can be read here.