Hillary’s Electability & Sexism

A question that has been weighing on me and that I’ve been meaning to raise here for a while is – what value should we, as liberals, place on electability in determining whether to support Hillary for President when we know one factor that adversely affects her electability is sexism?

In recent days, I’ve been hearing the drumbeats again that we should not support Hillary Clinton for President because she is just not as electable as, say, John Edwards.  Part of Hillary’s problem is that there are people who will not vote for a woman for President, period.  There are others who rationalize their sexism by targeting it against Democratic women.

Given that I feel such sexism is immoral, I ask myself why should I let those voices affect my thinking as to who is the best Presidential candidate.

On the other hand, we know the damage that is done when we don’t compromise our ideals to some degree to get any Democrat elected because they are, at the end of the day, better than any Republican running for President.

Any thoughts?

To further stir the pot, let me turn your attention to a new PEW Research poll that touches on some issues of gender regarding Hillary and Rudy.  Oddly, the poll doesn’t ask whether the polled could or would ever vote for a woman for President.

5 Responses to “Hillary’s Electability & Sexism”

  1. I was a Dean supporter. So “electability” arguments are particular sensitive to me. I think that, in most cases, it is virtually impossible to determine ahead of time who is “electable”. Just remember that back in 2000 a lot of Democrats were drooling at the prospect of running against Bush (and in 1980 a lot of Dems were drolling about running against Reagan).

    It is not an entirely illegitimate question. But it should be pretty low on the evaluation sheet.

  2. Mick Arran says:

    they are, at the end of the day, better than any Republican running for President.

    Maybe H is the exception that proves the rule. Around here, the people who don’t want her are Dems who don’t see any legitimate difference between her and Bush. OTOH, conservatives who would normally be against a woman just because she’s a woman don’t seem to have a problem with her gender, just her association with her husband. A couple of them even told me that if Rudy is the GOP nominee, they’d vote for H in protest. They think she’s the closest Dem to Bush on Iraq and “national security”. Makes me wonder if a vote for H is really any better than a vote for Mitt. They’re liable to be the same kind of disaster and for pretty much the same reasons – expediency rules every decision.

    Pretty sad when you find you have to equate a Dem with the likes of Mitt Romney.

    IAC, informal polling (mine) suggests there are as many people who will vote for her because she’s a woman (for a lot of my female neighbors particularly, that’s the deciding factor) as will vote against her for that reason. Maybe it’s a wash.

  3. eRobin says:

    You can ask the same question of Obama’s candidacy.

    I think it’s a legitimate question but agree with Chris that electability issues can be overcome in the short time someone is running for office – but they have to run an excellent campaign. Obama clearly is incapable of doing that. HRC clearly can – if by excellent we mean cautious and running to the right every chance she gets.

    Also, consider that the people who won’t vote for HRC or Obama b/c of their appearance won’t vote for them anyway. Plus, you have to figure in the people who will vote for them b/c of their appearance. Dean, for example, didn’t have that advantage.

    All that said, I can’t stand either Obama or HRC and hope like hell that someone else gets the nomination. I’m supporting Chris Dodd but I’ll take Edwards as well.

  4. I agree with you eRobin, Dodd, Edwards or Biden are my choices but I think we are on the outside looking in.

  5. Todd Offenbacker says:

    I love Hillary’s strength and courage. And I despise any sexist who would vote against her. I have to say that Hillary thrills me. I would like to make love to her.

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