Election 2008

R.I.P. Hillary Clinton's Presidential Campaign

Editor's note: See the open thread on sexism and Hillary Clinton's defeat.

Today on the show we put together an audio obituary of Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, in which we recapped some of the more memorable moments from the last 16 months. Here it is, in case you missed it:

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SHAME SHAME SHAME on YOU! AND ESPECIALLY THE WOMEN at your station for putting down a woman for fighting and standing up for what she believes. The MASS MYSOGYNY displayed here is disgraceful, Rachel Martin. Guess you never stood up for anything that you believed in? Really? Were you told to shut up and sit down? How amazing that you all have no problem living off the coat tails of the women's movement, and at the same time, denouncing the women who paved the way for you to get where you are today.

If Obama had not won, would you have written him a similar scathing obituary? NO, I don't think so - and why? Because no matter what you would have said, it would have sounded racist.

Guess misogyny will never go out of style.

Sent by Kelly Cockrell | 11:39 PM | 6-4-2008

@Dan, I knew that only a fellow Cub fan could right a genius requiem like that. Bravo, sir.

Sent by Matthew Scallon | 2:47 AM | 6-5-2008

I thought this piece was excellent. It wasn't even particularly critical of Clinton let alone her entire gender. Fans of sonorous tones and dead straight reporting have the BBC. I like that the BPP makes me laugh.

Sent by Dave Wiley | 8:26 AM | 6-5-2008

hey Kelly -
i appreciate your comments and i'm glad you took the time to write in. but i respectfully disagree.

it is most certainly not lost on me that women like Hillary Clinton have bashed their head into all kinds of glass ceilings so that younger women like myself would have all the opportunities we enjoy today.

I'm sorry you found offense in our campaign obit. We tried (and I think succeeded) in giving an informative and fun retrospective on a campaign with enormous historic significance.

And yes, for the record - we would have done the same for Barack Obama if he had come up short in the race for delegates.

But that's not what happened.

Sent by Rachel, NPR | 12:33 PM | 6-5-2008

Maybe I missed the memo, but at what point did Hillary Clinton start carrying the entirety of her gender on her shoulders? Is it not possible that those of us who preferred Barack Obama as our nominee did so not because we're misogynistic sexists, but because we genuinely preferred him as a candidate?

As recently as three months ago, I was saying that I wouldn't mind if Clinton took the nomination, and I meant it. But as she and her advisors took one misguided position after another, culminating in their cynical use of race-baiting code language and finally in Clinton's repeated use of the phrase "hard-working white Americans" in the Appalachian states and her absolutely shocking casual implication that she was staying in the race just in case Obama is assassinated between now and November, I grew more and more disenchanted. I remain convinced that the voters of America (and Clinton's campaign can use all the fuzzy math they want to proclaim that she "won" the popular vote, but the facts don't bear that out) made the right decision.

The fact that I no longer care for Hillary Clinton as a politician -- and frankly, her husband is Dead To Me -- does not make me a misogynist. Disliking ONE woman does not mean I dislike ALL women. As a matter of fact, one of the main people I'd like to see on the VP shortlist, alongside Wes Clark, is Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius, and one of the main reasons why I don't want to see Bill Richardson on the ticket is that I used to live in New Mexico and I've heard many stories over the years that he's notoriously handsy. I feel about Hillary Clinton the same way I would feel about any politician I used to admire but who I feel threw away his or her core beliefs in the pursuit of power: mostly a combination of feeling cheated and used.

Sent by Stewart | 2:38 PM | 6-5-2008

@ Stewart, I could not agree with your more. In fact, some of my "best friends" are women (i.e., wife, daugthers, sisters, etc.). I love all of them! Just do not like Hillary's politics...

Sent by Victor | 7:15 PM | 6-5-2008

Stewart - you're right- disliking Hillary Clinton does not make you a mysoginist, nor anybody there at BPP. What made BPP's obituary mysoginistic was the denigrating patronizing contextualized sound bite spin mixed with frat-boy commentary created in attempt to render this woman powerless and foolish. Phyllis Schlafly could not have done a better job!

I don't care if you disagree with her politics or her delivery ( I most definitely do from time-to-time). But god almighty, can you give the woman some credit? She's done what no other woman has done before, Rachel! Does this not warrant at least a 2 minute synopse of what she HAS accomplished? Have you guys ever given her positive airplay?

Why does her resilience annoy people? Don't you think that Susan B. Anthony, Mary Wolstencraft, and Gloria Steinem PISSED off a few people along the way?

None of us realizes this now, but 10 years from now, we will look back on this woman's presence in this campaign and see what an incredibly positive impact she made, not only for women, but for democracy itself.

Sent by Kelly Cockrell | 11:44 PM | 6-5-2008

Kelly: What pisses me off about Hillary Clinton is that I think she foolishly squandered her chance to do great things for the nation by following bad, misguided advice. Again, it has nothing to do with her being a woman: her candidacy failed because of her faults as a CANDIDATE, not because she was a woman. Her gender was irrelevant to that failure, and if you think about it, that alone is pretty cool. She didn't fail to get the nomination because she was a woman, she failed to get the nomination because she ran a misguided campaign.

In my view, she lost her chance to become president when she voted to approve the Iraq war. The thing is, she could easily have come back from that mistake by admitting, "Hey, we were lied to, I voted to authorize this war under false pretenses, and I realize now that was a mistake which I will work to rectify." Americans love it when people say they're sorry. (Bill Clinton, of all people, should know that.) I would have forgiven her her Iraq vote if she had shown contrition for it the way that John Edwards did. But on the advice of people like Wolfson and Penn, she never did that, apparently because it would have looked like "weakness" on her part. That was a major tactical and political mistake (one of many this campaign made), but more importantly, I think it was a moral mistake: I've had enough in the last eight years of the Bush administration of this ridiculous inability to admit mistakes. I can't handle more of that.

Yes, Hillary Clinton has done great things in the past, and I think it's true that she's made it easier for future female candidates. I have no doubt that there's going to be a female president in my lifetime. But again, she ran an ill-conceived campaign filled with tactical and strategic errors, one that would have doomed a less resilient and forceful candidate far sooner than it eventually did. She made it as far as she did because of her strengths, but the mistakes her campaign made early on, coupled with the downright nasty tone her campaign took after February (how'd that "kitchen sink" approach work out for you, Mark Penn?), doomed her.

Sent by Stewart | 11:53 AM | 6-6-2008

Why the hatred of spelling conventions among Hillary Clinton supporters? I am now confused as to the spelling of the "M" word... Is it "mysogyny"? "Misogyny"? "Mysoginy"? "Ms.-ogeny"? One might think that after using that word so very, very, very freely, they would come to some agreement on how it should be spelled.

Sent by Marc Naimark | 6:57 PM | 6-6-2008

@Kelly: sorry to mock you there... but here's something more serious. You write: "Don't you think that Susan B. Anthony, Mary Wolstencraft, and Gloria Steinem PISSED off a few people along the way?" Why did you only choose women as your examples? That's what I find sexist. And I have found very many supports of Mrs Clinton extraordinarily sexist, while screaming accusations of misogyny and sexism at anyone who dares not support their candidate. I find you far more sexist, because you seem incapable of viewing Mrs Clinton as anything other than a woman. I don't care if she's a woman, other than the fact that her strong candidacy opens the door to other women without her particular, and rather curious, advantages. I considered her as a candidate, not as a woman, and found her wanting. And not because she "pissed me off"...

Sent by Marc Naimark | 7:05 PM | 6-6-2008

Excuse me, but when did I ever say that I supported Ms. Clinton? You see, you two (Marc and Stewart) are going off task.

Let's go over this again: BPP produced an incredibly disrespectful retrospective on Hillary Clinton's campaign. I took offense to it because, historically speaking, women have always been, one way or another,

silenced

and subsequently and (not to mention) passive-aggressively, stripped of their power for standing up for what they believed.

And YES - so have African Americans, and so have Hispanics, and so have American Indians, Chinese Americans, Polish Americans, et. al. - you name it, the white man has lynched, murdered, dragged, beaten, bullied, oppressed, tortured, and intricately and oh-so-gingerly changed history and millions of lives with a concoction of audio tape, a rusty razor blade, and a pack of cigarettes.

And yes Marc, said pisser-offers embody more than just women warriors, but, one group of sufferers of injustice at a time, shall we?

Believe me, I truly am an equal opportunity defender, so don't get me started.

But for the record Stewart, Senator Clinton lost my vote when she released the gas tax "antidote". Okay? But THAT's NOT WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT!

Fnally, perhaps WE might think her campaign was misguided, but over 17 million people would probably say otherwise, right about now.

Sent by Kelly Cockrell | 1:23 AM | 6-7-2008

It's what I was talking about.

Sent by Stewart | 2:04 PM | 6-7-2008