I’m pleasantly surprised that these Hillary Clinton stories are getting so many comments. It seems that we still have such strong feelings for and about her! Now that I’m ten months removed from Hillary’s election loss, I find that I can write about her without needing to stop to cry too. I can enjoy her as she is: Hillary, Unbound. Hillary, Not Running For Anything Ever Again. Hillary, Talking Sh-t About White Women. Many of Wednesday’s headlines about Hillary’s book tour revolved around her placement of blame on James Comey. Which I still agree with? Is this really a fight? James Comey f–ked her over and changed the outcome of the election. End of. But here’s something you might have missed – Hillary trying to figure out why 53% of white women voted for Grab ‘Em By The P-ssy Trump.
She believes James Comey’s October announcement that the FBI would further investigate the handling of her emails while she was secretary of state especially hurt her with women, she told Vox’s Ezra Klein in an interview Tuesday morning. After Comey’s announcement, men could turn to their wives or girlfriends and say, “I told you, she’s going to be in jail. You don’t wanna waste your vote.” And women voters who might have been on the fence decided not to vote for Clinton. “Instead of saying, ‘I’m taking a chance, I’m going to vote,’ it didn’t work,” Clinton said.
“I believe absent Comey, I might’ve picked up 1 or 2 points among white women,” she said. She carried the women’s vote overall, she noted. But white women, she said, tend to base their politics on their understanding of their own security — maybe the idea of voting for a candidate who was about to be “locked up” (in Donald Trump’s words) made some white women voters feel insecure about her. However, Clinton noted that white people in general “have been fleeing the Democratic Party ever since Lyndon Johnson predicted they would,” and that women aren’t necessarily predisposed to vote for a woman candidate. “Gender is not the motivating factor that race was for President Obama,” she said.
She also cited something Sheryl Sandberg told her before the campaign: When a woman advocates for others, she tends to be well-liked. The moment she starts advocating for herself, people tend to turn against her. (She said something similar in an interview with Klein last year, arguing that “when I have a job, I have really high approval ratings,” but when she starts angling for a new job, that goodwill evaporates. She chalked it up to a negative media environment, but others have seen sexism at work in the peaks and valleys of her popularity.)
Hillary also said something similar to NPR, saying that younger white women weren’t voting on gender grounds: “I think it’s much more difficult to unpack all of this, and with respect specifically to young women, I do think that for a lot of young women, gender is just not the motivating force that maybe it will be in the future. But then it wasn’t.” Gloria Steinem said something similar in the middle of the election last year, that there’s a generation of women who were told they could do anything, be anything, that they could wait around for the “perfect female candidate” and they would get another shot at voting for a woman and so they didn’t have to vote for Hillary now. Steinem said that those girls will learn the hard way that this is still a really difficult time to be a woman in this world.
Hillary also talked more about what she learned from Sheryl Sandberg, saying: “And Sheryl ended this really sobering conversation by saying that women will have no empathy for you, because they will be under tremendous pressure — and I’m talking principally about white women — they will be under tremendous pressure from fathers and husbands and boyfriends and male employers not to vote for ‘the girl.’” I don’t know about that, but who knows?
Photos courtesy of WENN.
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