Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Obama Dropped the Ball

Barack Obama's non-reaction to Hillary Clinton's very public surge of emotion is turning into a political fumble. He missed a chance to be more than "classy" by not looking like a pig. It would have been a good moment to extend a gesture of sympathy to a worthy opponent.

But he missed the chance. Anything he says now will be received as too little, too late. A spontaneous immediate positive response would have been like money in the bank...but he missed it. Too bad. With the New Hampshire primary less than a day away, the timing could not have been worse. It didn't take long for feminists to interpret his silence.

Tom Watson puts it together better than me. Go read his post. I was starting to feel good about Barack Obama. In fact, I still do. But this faux pas was so in-your-face it's hard for me to imagine he missed it. Hell, it doesn't matter if he's a closet pig...but as a political professional sometimes you have to be quicker on the uptake than that. He should have seen this one coming.

Obama has benefited mightily from sexism in this campaign, and has remained silent. And that sexism is starting to be noticed, and commented on - even in places you don't expect it. John Cole, to say the least, is no Hillary Clinton fan but the gender-based attacks have gotten to him:

Quite frankly, I hate to say this, but I think what we are actually seeing is a double-standard here, and the feminists may be right. This is all about Hillary being a woman. John Edwards has been 150 times as angry the whole campaign, and has built his entire campaign around it. Howard Dean was angry, and people lapped it up. Here, Hillary isn’t really angry, just matter-of-fact and frustrated, and people are giving her shit.

I don’t want Hillary as President, but it sure looks to me like she isn’t getting a fair shake and is being subjected to a double standard. It’s bullshit.

If you don't think Obama's non-response hit a nerve, take a look at the comment thread. No one expecting to be called a Democrat can let misogyny pass without mentioning it.

Later, in another post, Tom Watson summarized examples of how pundits exhibit blatant sexism. Chris Matthews illustrates the point well. I love this litle snip from Digby (who has her own collection of offenders):

I wonder if Chris Matthews realizes that every time he or one of his fellow gasbags blithely reveal their sexist lizard brains like this, another little feminist gets her (or his) wings.

No comments: