Gender and the Clinton Campaign

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Recently a good friend and longtime feminist told me that she didn't vote for Sen. Hillary Clinton in our state's primary a few weeks ago. Somewhat surprised, I asked her why. She explained that while she wanted to see a woman as president very badly, she believed it had to be the right woman — and that for her, it was not Hillary Clinton. I asked her if she felt like a "traitor." She said no, because she believed that part of being a feminist was that you didn't have to vote for a woman based on her gender alone.

The issue of gender and the Democratic presidential primary has gotten pretty heated in the past few weeks. Many Clinton supporters believe that their candidate has not been given a fair shake from the mainstream media - that they treat and speak about her differently than they do Sen. Barack Obama.

And when a prominent women's group endorses Obama, like NARAL did recently, it almost leads to internecine warfare. For instance, the president of Emily's List, which helps elect female candidates who favor abortion rights, called the endorsement "a betrayal." And today, The Boston Globe reports that 50 prominent Massachusetts politicians have called on NARAL president Nancy Keenan to withdraw the endorsement of Obama. The Massachusetts group says Clinton has a better pro-abortion rights record than her Democrat rival.

For her part, Keenan didn't budge, saying that Obama needed the help of organizations like NARAL, to "help close the identification gap with key voting constituencies before the fall campaign begins in earnest and people's opinions are already formed about the two candidates."

On today's show, we'll talk with representatives from both NARAL and Emily's List about this issue.

But what do you think? Does gender matter to you? If you consider yourself a feminist, do you think you have a "duty" to vote for the first woman to have a realistic chance of becoming president? If not, why?

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I've been an active feminist for decades.
It is difficult to describe the visceral reaction I have to being told over and over that it's over for Hillary. I usually turn off the radio or tv. I'm taking it very personally. I'm not supporting Hillary because she is a woman, but because I am.
It will take years to get another woman to this stage. I'm devastated!
I can't just transfer loyalty to Obama and I can't stand the idea of McCain as president.

Sent by Lois Requist | 2:33 PM | 5-21-2008

Endorsements are tacky and gauche. I will never support NARAL again.

Sent by NOGO | 2:33 PM | 5-21-2008

Can someone help me understand how not voting for Obama if he wins, and voting for McCain instead is going to make statement about gender issues in politics? That feels like sour grapes to me.

Sent by Colin Ware | 2:33 PM | 5-21-2008

Though I am a pro-life,registered republican woman in my late 40s, I support Obama. I am thrilled that finally we have candidates that represent a broader spectrum of society. I do believe that all the candidates could a good president as they are all acomplished, sincere individuals. I believe that as a nation we need a president who will champion and represent all members of society and will inspire an electorate that has been alienated by both parties for far too long. Finally we need a president that will communicate with leaders all over the world and that represents more of the melting pot that the U.S. truely is.

Sent by Jane Blumer | 2:34 PM | 5-21-2008

I'm a 30 year-old female and have taught Government to high school seniors in a well-educated and affluent area for several years. In trying to understand why I felt such a draw towards voting for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama, I realized that part much of my support was based on the lack of women in politics. I wanted for my female students (who have more than once heard the comments that they'll never be president) and for myself a chance to study, discuss and analyze a female leader.

Sent by Molly | 2:34 PM | 5-21-2008

I am a feminist 23 year old daughter of a feminist 57 year old mother and the two of us have had wonderful conversations about gender and politics over the course of this election. At the onset of this primary process, we were both undecided, but as time passed I became increasingly convinced that Barack Obama was the candidate for me. Ultimately, my mother also decided to support Obama. When she came back from the polls she said, "It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, to vote against a woman like Hillary, but I just kept thinking of how excited you are about your candidate and I couldn't take that away from you."

Sent by Vanessa | 2:35 PM | 5-21-2008

Is it true that Sen. Obama voted "present" on many key women's rights issues?
Also, there is some speculation on the blogs that there will be some kind of action at either the convention or against MSNBC regarding the sexist and biast campaign against Sen. Clinton.

Also, it is obvious to me from many of his comments and actions (the "sweetie" comment and offering to trade a kiss for a vote at a factory)that Sen. Obama doesn't get it. Neither do most men, frankly, including Ken Rudin for his reference to Hillary and the Glen Close character.
We have come 30+ years and we've gone nowhere, evidently. What do we do?

Sent by Gloria Geiser, Gresham Or | 2:36 PM | 5-21-2008

Is change another word for pandering to the now? I feel like so much of this current Democratic primary is about catering to the moment, catering to the young or the inexperienced or the previously uninvolved. I've even heard parents say they voted not according to their own choice but rather according to what their children wanted. Is this the change we are hoping for as a party?

Sent by Miranda | 2:37 PM | 5-21-2008

I think this primary has been a good one for both candidates. What concerns me is whether the November election will be fair. What's being done to make sure it will be fair? All we have to do is look at what happened in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004.

Sent by Karen Turner | 2:38 PM | 5-21-2008

I think NARAL and most of these folks that are getting onboard with Obama are ridiculous and naive. I've been a lifelong democrat and I will not be voting for Barack Obama. Not because I hate him but because I don't think he's qualified. Two years in the Senate is not enough to be leader of the free world and no passionate, idealistic rhetoric is going to change that. But, we're democrats, and we're good at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Sent by Lori Hirons | 2:38 PM | 5-21-2008

I think of myself as a feminist-kept my own name in the 70's, read Ms. cover to cover, but Hillary Clinton is not the woman candidate that I could vote for-she voted for the war among other things and she does not represent the ideals and values that I feel a woman should bring to the presidency

Sent by Pam Pastoret | 2:38 PM | 5-21-2008

I have a suggestion for the difficult situation between Obama and Clinton. If Obama wins the election, why not nominate Hillary for the Supreme Court? She's a hard worker, correct on the issues, could give Scalia et al a run for their money - its a lifetime appointment, which will give her a chance to impact this country in a significant way - It would be a historical nomination, and it would free her to be the serious, passionate advocate that she is.

Sent by amy davidson | 2:39 PM | 5-21-2008

It has been interesting to see the conversation this primary season fall along racial and gender lines. As a woman, I identify more strongly with my gender than my race. If I vote according to my gender, I vote on behalf of every other person on the planet and not just for a minority group.

Sent by Mira | 2:39 PM | 5-21-2008

From the beginning, Hillary Clinton was running, not as "the first woman presidential candidate" but as Bill Clinton's wife. Her muchly touted experience is the experience of a First Lady. Right now, she has been able to lend her campaign millions which Bill Clinton earned! So she is not exactly running as an independent woman and hence I feel this is a contaminated candidate. Indeed, when we look at the fabled "experience," there's no there there except the failed healthcare plan!! A devastating mistake that set healthcare back by years. If Hillary were the candidate, I would vote for McCain in protest. Obama is a brilliant, wonderful candidate.

Sent by Marjorie Perloff | 2:40 PM | 5-21-2008

I live in Iowa and am very active in Democratic Party politics ... chaired my precinct caucus in January. I support Sen. Clinton - and am so distressed that Sen. O'Bama has gotten a total PASS on his Illinois legislative record in which he did NOT have a pro-choice voting record. He ducked the votes by recording simply a "present" vote on issues of reproductive choice. How can NARAL's leaders say he is totally pro-choice in light of his state legislative record? Why omit that part of the record when every piece of Senator Clinton's record gets complete scrutiny.

Sent by Phyllis Peters | 2:40 PM | 5-21-2008

Even if you think the media has been against Clinton, is that a reason to punish Obama? Even if they are treating Clinton poorly, you should vote for the best candidate, not because the way the media treats them. I think people are using this excuse as an alternative reason to not vote for Obama.

Sent by Michael Washington | 2:40 PM | 5-21-2008

Hi,

I am the curator for an online exhibition called Women, Power and Politics. We discussing this exact question of "should women support women" at our website: www.imow.org

We have a lot of people around the world who are watching our elections and weighing in. One thing I wanted to share is that women in developing countries seem to be emphasizing the importance of voting of women, except for those who are blantantly anti-feminist. In the developing world, women seem to feel more empowered to vote for the most gender sensitive candidate: male or female. Putting our situation into an international context makes me agree with the sentiments that we privileged to even have this choice.

I'm worried though, about how identity politics are dividing Democrats in this country. As a young woman of color, I'm appalled that this has become about identity. I'm not going to choose between one aspect on my identity over another - I'm going to vote based on whose vision inspires me and who I believe can be the kind of leader America needs - and I still don't know who that is yet!

Sent by Masum Momaya | 2:41 PM | 5-21-2008

I am angry Hillary has not been treated fairly. I will be staying home if obama gets the nomination.
Hillary is winning the big states and all these people who are voting for Obama are making a huge mistake he does not stand a chance they are going to be a laughing stock when he loses to mcclain

Sent by nelly | 2:41 PM | 5-21-2008

One caller stated she will not vote for Senator Obama because of the unfair treatment Senator Clinton received. But, she didn't blame Senator Obama -- she blamed the media.

Can she connect the treatment by the media to Senator Obama? If not, she is, in effect, trying to punish Obama for a fault of the media. How does he justify this?

Sent by James, Rochester, Minnesota | 2:42 PM | 5-21-2008

Sen. Clinton has hurt Sen. Obama's chances of winning a general election in November which will ultimately hurt women. As the father of two daughters, I would love for them to see a U.S. President who happens to be a women. But not Hillary Clinton. I don't see sexism in the treatment of Sen. Clinton (but I'm a man). I think her treatment is the result of her character. Ms. Shipps stated reasons for endorsing Sen. Obama should be repeated so that women who want to punish the Senator for the press' treatment of Clinton can understand: This election will result in more than just a president, it will shape the Supreme Court for generations to come.

Sent by Sean Bryant | 2:42 PM | 5-21-2008

I think NARAL's chief and other women who have made the decision to vote for Obama and not for a feminist who has been fighting for her entire career on behalf of women, women's interests, and children--that is, Hillary Clinton--are kidding themselves. I agree, as a long time feminist, that the primary issue within the feminist paradigm is choice. But I also am not deluded by the belief that any man will be able to better represent women than a woman. To say so is to undermine the right of women to hold the office of President when it is now closer than at any point in history for this to be possible. Saying that as a feminist one can vote for Obama as the better candidate is indeed naive. I wonder how many of these women are of the elite classes--highly educated--and who have opted out, as it's called, choosing to "let my husband support me" because it is the better decision "for the fammily," or for any other reason. Those of us who have to work to support our families as the primary breadwinner are more likely, I believe, to vote for the clear candidate who will fight against the on-going discrimination against women in the workplace. As an academic (with a Ph.D. from a top Ivy League university, Yale), I face discrimination in all manner of structural forms in the academia, despite the illusion that the academia is THE bastion of liberal thinking--implying that we have transcended sexism. No way. As I come up for tenure, I have too many stories to tell of how I continue to be silenced by men--of color as well as white men--if I am to get the prize (tenure).

I think the level of sexism in this country is so much more powerful than the level of racism, as has been proven in this election. How naive of these "feminists" to say that a vote for Obama does not ignore this blatant sexism. Sorry, gals, I think you're the elite class that consistently continue to let women of the working classes and of color down by finding the excuse to not step up to the real plate to take a strike at doing what is right by women and by this country's egalitarian ideals.

Sent by Mimy | 2:43 PM | 5-21-2008

The assumption is that Clinton and Obama are otherwise equal in qualifications, which they are not. Sen. Clinton is much the superior in her experience and plans for what to do as President of the US. I cannot vote for Obama ever because I feel the media and a mix of gender bias and politically incorrectness (i.e. Obama gets a bye of the issues because of his race but Hillary gets bashed because of her gender) has worked hard to preent Sen. Clinto for getting her fair due and instead made it almost impossible for her to win. Worse yet, at this time I do not trust Obama.

Sent by Alina Szmant | 2:43 PM | 5-21-2008

Why take one's anger about the media's sexist attacks on Clinton out on Obama? On people like me who will vote for Obama? On Democrats who cannot bear a third Bush term?

If Clinton is not the nominee, I hope she will make a major address on this issue.

Sent by Catherine Naylor | 2:43 PM | 5-21-2008

I have been listening to your program through the web stream (from KQED San francisco). Just because Hillary trails in Primaries does not mean sexism.
I wonder if we would have raised a discussion of this magnitude on Racism if Barack Obama had trailed especially after certain comments by Hillary Clinton (like "hardworking white men").
Chetan
Mountain View, CA
(listening on KQED)

Sent by Chetan | 2:43 PM | 5-21-2008

I am a 40 year old Indo-American and strongly support Hilary Clinton as she is the most intelligent of the candidates.
I find Barack vapid and playing to the gallery. I will not be attending the 08 election if Barack is nominated. If America is not ready for a female president, then I wish groups like NARAL, 4 more years of BUSH in the name of MCCAin.
Its too bad they cannot support a woman and break out of the glass ceiling
that has existed all these centuries.
Black american are black first and then are male or female so there is no question as to whom they will vote

Sent by Nancy modi | 2:43 PM | 5-21-2008

i do not understand how people could not vote for senator obama because of the sexism displayed toward senator clinton. how is he responsible?

Sent by john mccoskey | 2:43 PM | 5-21-2008

When Obama felt like he was getting "beat up" during the campaign...Bill Clinton said it's a rough business if you can't stand it you shouldn't be in the race. Well, same goes for Hillary and comments about her clothing and cleavage. Hillary seems to invoke being a woman when it's convenient for her...otherwise she fights just as down in the dirt as anyone. And I'm a woman

Sent by Anne | 2:43 PM | 5-21-2008

It really upsets me to hear women refusing to vote for Obama because of media mistreatment of Clinton. I abhor the sexism and racism of this campaign and plan to contribute to NARAL for the first time in years!

Sent by Lois Fine | 2:44 PM | 5-21-2008

Sally expressed understandable female anger. What about understandable black anger? Why hasn't Clinton criticized what have clearly been racist votes in WV and KY.

Sent by Keith Hood | 2:44 PM | 5-21-2008

As a woman, I would have loved to vote in a woman president. But I was put off by the nepotistic way Senator Clinton came to office. Worldwide, if we look at women who have become president through their husbands and families (Aquino, Bhutto, and now Kirchner) they have all fared poorly. By comparison, women who made it to the political heights through their own effort (Golda Meier, Michelle Bachelet of Chile, and Angela Merkel) have all done spectacular jobs. For that reason amongst many, I chose Obama.

Sent by Anne-Marie Wills | 2:44 PM | 5-21-2008

I have supported Hillary entirely in this election....
I am strongly considering NOT voting for Obama simply because of his lack of experience...AND I am concerned that someone who sat in a church with hate filled retorick running through their mind would be meeting with foreign heads of countries.

Sent by Claudia Bianca | 2:44 PM | 5-21-2008

With a high percentage of clinton supporters saying that they will not support Obama, this race is shaping up as a three party race; Democrat, Rebublican and Independent. Could Clinton win as an independent?

Sent by Chris | 2:45 PM | 5-21-2008

Let me get this straight. A woman who professes to be a feminist won't vote for Obama because of the way the media, not Obama, have portrayed Senator Clinton. This so-called feminist would risk putting McCain in the White House?
Does she know McCain's stance on abortion, has she heard him say he'll continue to put consrvative judges on the bench? Does she really care about women's issues or her own feelings?

Sent by Melinda Reid | 2:45 PM | 5-21-2008

NARAL should have waited. Two weeks would not have made a difference to Obama, but it would have to Clinton and her supporters, like me. My donation, as an African American woman, will go to Emily's list this year instead. NARAL did betray Clinton, and that I cannot support. Obama has been the beneficiary of sexism. Whenever Clinton or her supporters made any reference to race, they were tagged as racists. He was the beneficiary of people's fear of being thought of as racist. If he were not facing McCain, I would not vote for him in the general election, were he the nominee.

Sent by Detra McGovern | 2:45 PM | 5-21-2008

just because Senator Clinton is a women, does not make her a feminist. I think that she is a women playing a game by man rules. my vote goes to obama.

Sent by miro barac | 2:46 PM | 5-21-2008

I just heard the comment of the caller who will write someone in and cannot support Obama because she is upset at the treatment Hilliary got from the "Media." I will agree that there has been dismissive treatment from "the Media" but how will electing McCain punish the media? If anything McCain is the candidate of "the Media." I couldn't look my daughter in the eye and tell her I voted for someone who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and is against affirmative action in order to stick it to Chris Matthews.

Sent by Kathryn | 2:46 PM | 5-21-2008

John McCain once told a joke:
"Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father."
Ha. Ha.
When asked how we could "beat the bitch"?
John McCain said it was a "great question".
Anyone who is going to vote for McCain because they are mad at Obama might think about that.

Sent by PHughes | 2:46 PM | 5-21-2008

Re: today's discussion, I don't understand how "the media's" treatment of anyone - specifically Clinton or Obama - may make a voter not vote for one or the other presidental candidate. Our job is to get all the facts from everywhere we can so we may make informed decisions.Yes, there is sexism and racism. Let's deal with both.

Sent by cj | 2:46 PM | 5-21-2008

If the two candidates are so similar on policy, is it not viable to vote according to gender or race? Thanks!

Sent by Miranda (Duluth, MN) | 2:47 PM | 5-21-2008

there has been such finger pointing at the media for the poresumed attacks against senator clinton as a women yet the same could be said for the attacks against senator obama questioning his patriotism or elitism senator clinton does not wear a flag pin and she too has enjoyed emormous privilege this claim of sexism is equal to the obvious racism which exists against senator obama why cant feminists deal with the issues of who is the better candidate not resort to anti female accusations

Sent by kitty glantz | 2:47 PM | 5-21-2008

Sally from Chicago expressed a sentiment, held by many Clinton supporters, that I find very disturbing. While she is justifiably upset at the media for the sexist treatment of Senator Clinton, she is wrong to take out her frustration with the media on Senator Obama, should he be the nominee. How does undermining Obama help her if she is truly a feminist? Quite frankly, the immaturity of that response takes my breath away. Why would any self-respecting Democrat rather have a president who is the polar opposite of everything Senator Clinton stands for? That's just childish and sad.

Sent by Julie | 2:47 PM | 5-21-2008

What would it take to bring Obama and Hillary onto one ticket? Can we make this the new mantra.

2 talented people unified will WIN the general election. And provide succession for 16 years of a Democratic President in power.
Can NARAL and the turned-off feminists get behind this?

Sent by William Poy Lee | 2:47 PM | 5-21-2008

I'm a pro-choice second wave feminist for Obama. I'm very proud of the Hillary's strong campaign, and I look forward with GREAT anticipation to voting for the first woman president, but it will be some other year. Obama has been my candidate since before he announced.

Sent by Linda Yanney | 2:48 PM | 5-21-2008

why do women blame Obama for the way the press has handled her. Will she ask her supporters to back obama?

Sent by Darrin | 2:48 PM | 5-21-2008

I am a 30 year old pro-choice feminist. I voted for Barack Obama, and I support NARAL's endorsement and we need women to unite behind him as the nominee. I found Ellen Malcolm's comment was "disrespectful", as a feminist. I should be able to make my own choice.

Sent by Julie | 2:48 PM | 5-21-2008

Please encourage Neal to brush up on his 20th-century political history if he thinks Neville Chamberlain was a basketball player! Chamberlain was the British prime minister between 1937 and 1940, and is closely associated with the policy of appeasement towards Nazi Germany. I don't think Wilt has a role in today's TOTN discussion!

Sent by Martha Schutz | 2:49 PM | 5-21-2008

Hillary Clinton does not promote the right message about women. Unless that message is, "Stand by your man while he public humiliates you over and over and over again in the hope that his power as President and former President will get you a Senate seat, and take you to the White House." Sorry Hillary you lack self respect and you are NO feminist! That's why you lost.

Sent by MO | 2:49 PM | 5-21-2008

"Sexism is the last acceptable form of Prejudice."

I'm sure others would disagree with that. How about ageism?

Sent by James, Rochester, Minnesota | 2:49 PM | 5-21-2008

The charge of rampant sexism in the media was not an issue when Hillary was the "inevitable" nominee. It was only when Barack Obama began to gain ground and then overtake Clinton that these charges started being made. The media's fascination with the rise of Obama is not sexism. He happens to be an incredibly gifted, charismatic candidate and politician who eclipsed a less charismatic candidate Clinton. This should not be held against him in the general election.

Sent by bill from fort wayne | 2:49 PM | 5-21-2008

I would love to here some discution on the fact, I think, that a large part of the vote that Mrs. clinton has gotten over the last several primarys has come from Republican and Independents who are allow to vote on the democratic ticket.

Sent by James Turner | 2:50 PM | 5-21-2008

As a feminist - the most concerning issue that I have taken with Hillary Clinton is the negative campaigning that she has used againist Barak Obama. I want a candidate who will rise above politics as usual. I applaud her as a woman in a difficult job at a difficult time and I ignore the media minimalizing comments. I do not, however, want a candidate who uses tactics that are exclusive and not inclusive - no matter the gender or race.

Sent by Patti Shaffner | 2:51 PM | 5-21-2008

Hilary is more concerned with her ego than the fate of the country. She is dividing the party and might end up getting the republicans elected. At this point, her vanity and ego is insane. If Obama was in her shoes, he would have dropped out by now for the good of the country.

Sent by Lisa Janoschka | 2:51 PM | 5-21-2008

As an older black woman, I am supporting Barack Obama. It was a hard choice. They both are exceptional candidates. When I point out a woman of substance to my niece, Hilary is a good example...steady..and nearly unstoppable.
I am giddy with the possibility of it all. Politics will never be the same again

Sent by Sheila | 2:51 PM | 5-21-2008

I am a woman, 60+, that agrees it is time for a woman president. However, there are women far more qualified than Hillary. She is only there because of her husband and further would not be a candidate if her husband were not a former president. Obama has done it the hard way!

Sent by Judith Adams | 2:51 PM | 5-21-2008

i'm a 43 year old woman living in california. i was sure i would support hillary for the democratic nominee. as time went on, i grew to like barak obama more. when it came time to vote in the primary here, i was luckily out of the country for a month, and was thus relieved from having to make that choice! the past few months, i've continued to support barak; i appreciate his ability to think cleary, work with people of many varying opinions. i like the change he represents. but as it seemed he was going to win, i found myself quite sad: i admire hillary's strength and intelligence and would've loved to see her in the oval office. i feel we might have lost our first- an perhaps only in the the forseeable future- real female potential candidate for president. so, altho i support barak, i am still torn.

michelle

Sent by michelle | 2:52 PM | 5-21-2008

I don't feel a duty to support Clinton; I think she is the best person for the job. I am concerned that Barack Obama, a man, surrounded by 3 women in his family, decided to promote himself and make his wife and daughters wait AGAIN to see history made. That choice of his confirmed my decision to vote for Clinton... however, I am also a good Democrat... he is my second choice, no if, ands, or buts.

Sent by Carolee Moore | 2:52 PM | 5-21-2008

The way I look at it either Clinton or Obahama are fine with me. The ideal would be a ticket with both (1 & 2 don't matter). They are both great candidates and both have endured negative press. Let's talk about how we are going to keep a Republican out of the offfice of the president.

Sent by Gayle Lamb | 2:52 PM | 5-21-2008

I agree. Sexism is the last socially acceptable form of an "ism." And it is pervasive and so subtle, it is not even noticed. And, accepted with little thought.

I am surprised by the relative lack of coverage of Obama's slip of communication of his genuine feelings as he called on the female reporter to "just a minute, Sweety." His pseudo apology of "I need to do better about getting out of the habit of calling women "sweety." and the omission of the media of covering this is a prime example.

How would the media and others reacted had some public figure noted that they really need to "get out of the habit of calling others the "n" word," with the same brush off. And, oops, sorry. Not good enough.

Sent by Quay Kester | 2:52 PM | 5-21-2008

I am outraged at NARAL's announcement. Surely the smart people at NARAL could have thought of a way to get out their message on voting pro-choice without disrespecting Hillary Clinton and her supporters. Why not just attack McCain's position on choice and endorse the Democratic candidate when that is decided? NARAL's endorsement will not change any votes -- pro choice voters will not vote for McCain. But this jump-on-the-bandwagon endorsement may cause some to think twice before making contributions to NARAL in the future.

Sent by Amy | 2:52 PM | 5-21-2008

Let me just say as I Republican that one of the few things in the current election cycle that amuses me to no end is how shocked, SHOCKED!! a fair percentage of the Democratic electorate is that the media tends to pick favorites and gives them better coverage .

Sent by Dan Hohmann (long "o", second "h" is silent | 2:53 PM | 5-21-2008

I am torn seeing sen. Hillary Clinton railroaded by the media, and Sen Obama standing on the sideline and letting that happen. he should not forget that his wife, mother, and daughters are all female, and he will not stand if the media did the same to any of them. I feel if you look away and to say anything you become part of the problem and not the solution.I know Sen Obama is calling for change, but I refuse to be short changed.

Sent by Sandhya Bihani | 2:53 PM | 5-21-2008

I keep hearing the guests referring to women as if they are a united group with one opinion. What gives the guest the right to speak for all women. Isn't that stereo-typing?

Sent by John Brandon | 2:54 PM | 5-21-2008

I think NARAL and the media pundits are reading this Primary wrong. There is a wide and deep support for the first excellent woman candidate who has a chance to win. She has won big in large states. This is a strategic election, too tricky with new forms, like Super Delegates, for sure. Women constitute the majority of consistent voters in every election in modern times. Watch out for the backlash here, DNC.

Sent by Carlotta Tyler | 2:54 PM | 5-21-2008

One of the problems an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama ticket would have is neither has any military experience. This may not sound important to liberals, but would be a strong issue for conservative Republicans and other conservative groups.

Sent by Mark Golembiowski | 2:55 PM | 5-21-2008

PLEASE!! gIVE ME A BREAK!! Hillary Clinton's alleged sexist issues have much more to do with Hillary Clinton is an unlikable person, than with her breasts or her plumbing.

There are many of us, myself included, who don't like the woman, not to mention the horse she rode in on, A/K/A the wandering penis. The term despise comes to mind. Our issues, however, have much to do with her as Hillary Clinton, not her as a woman, in a generic sense. If you can't stand the heat of what gets thrown at you in a political campaign, get out of the kitchen. Barack gets an equal amount of racism, but tends to overcome it because he is likable, read charismatic.

Sent by J. C. Jepson | 2:56 PM | 5-21-2008

I agree with the Massachusetts representatives who have decided that NARAL should withdraw their endorsement of Obama. After listening this morning to the chief of NARAL on TOTN explaining her position, I was nearly sickened. NARAL seems to have done the proper market analysis to decide finally on Obama. When a caller stated her strong feelings of supporting Clinton esp after all the media sexism displayed against her, the head of NARAL responded in an insensitive manner by citing a laundry list of
"characteristics" that voters need to consider, listing gender along with suit style. How degrading and sexist this comment is in itself!
She later took it upon herself to speak on behalf of Obama--I can't believe the hubris of such a position.
I am withdrawing my funding to NARAL until this particular president steps down and we get someone in who is more politically and socially sensitive to women's issues and the rampant problem of sexism in this country.

Sent by Mimy | 2:57 PM | 5-21-2008

It's amazing to me how many women voters will, or say they will, vote for Hillary simply because she is a women. I wonder, would it be acceptable for me, as a male, to say I'm going to vote for Obama based solely on his gender.

Sent by Jim | 2:58 PM | 5-21-2008

I have a hard time with Senator Clinton crying sexism when she herself makes comments about working harder because it takes her longer to get ready. She needs to decide if she's going to use the gender card or not and live with the consequences.

I am offended by any idea that I should vote for her because we're both female. I make my decision based on what the candidate has to say, not gender or color. To vote for a woman simply because you're a woman is the most sexist thing in this race.

Sent by Jennifer McClellan Sanders | 2:59 PM | 5-21-2008

With a great deal of respect for the devoted supporters of Senator Clinton, if they feel that the media has been unfair to Senator Clinton, can you suggest a more positive and effective action that they can take rather than withhold support from a good candidate who was not their first choice? Thanks in advance for a reply, and if none is forthcoming, thanks for the show anyway (which is itself making people more sensitive to these issues).

Sent by Hugh Briggs | 2:59 PM | 5-21-2008

Please add a woman to your political junkie weekly discussion. Ken Rudin doesn't get it. After "Fatal Attraction" (note he did not really apologize; he was trying to be funny and "light"?), now, he says, surely everyone agrees Hillary Clinton is a "different" female candidate. Margaret Thatcher was "different," too. I don't remember the British press pointing it out by slamming her womanhood. Your program suffers.

Sent by Jane Ahlin | 3:00 PM | 5-21-2008

Here is a special NPR/PBS thing - those of us who get news almost exclusively from Public apparently have not been exposed to the serious sexism of the media that is being referred to on todays show. The fact is that I can hardly make myself listen to, much less watch, the offending media outlets. Thus I have probably been perceiving the problem sa less than it really is.

Sent by Steve Brennan | 3:01 PM | 5-21-2008

I understand and am sympathetic to the concerns of sexism during the campaign. However, I have noticed a double standard that permeates Senator Clinton's campaign. Isn't it also sexist to suggest that women should support her just because she is a woman? Also, President Clinton has remarked on how tough campaigning is, and Senator Clinton has echoed his sentiment ("If you can't stand the heat, etc?") when the Obama campaign complained about unfair treatment; yet Senator Clinton seems to vacillate between complaining about tough questions and poor treatment, and acting tough ("Obliterate Iran")--isn't she trying to have it both ways? I'm still suspicious that if the situation were reversed and Senator Clinton had the mathematical lock, but Senator Obama weren't withdrawing, she and her husband and supporters would be complaining loudly and to everyone about the divisive effects of such actions. It's not that I'm against a woman president, I'm just against this woman.

Sent by Chris Groner | 3:01 PM | 5-21-2008

If a voter is willing to abandon the democratic party because of Senator Clinton's loss then they obviously do not fundamentally support her issues. Clinton and Obama are so similar in major issues and if one refuses to support him but supports Clinton then they are not supporting her for her issues but because of her sex, which is sexism itself. To switch from Clinton to McCain is a blurry paradigm of beliefs.

Sent by Savanah | 3:01 PM | 5-21-2008

I do not have the words to express of depth of my rage over the way Senator Clinton has been treated because she is a woman. that anger extends to the Democratic Party and the DNC. While these men were quick to run to Senator Obama's defense over a perceived criticism from President Bush in Israel, they were nowhere to be seen or heard while Tucker Carlson "crossed his legs," Chris Matthews dissected her "cackle" and commented that he wasn't sure of her as a mother, and the parade of men making sexist, demeaning, and misogynistic comments filled the air waves and news print 24 hours a day. Likely, it would have only taken someone like Senator Obama, Senator Kerry, Senator Kennedy, and even President Bush to stand up for all women and say "this is not acceptable," "this is not how Americans treat women. " Silence, silence, silence.

The Democratic Party should not expect these wounds to heal for a long, long time. Maybe, at some point they'll get the fact that the way the have treated Hillary Clinton tells me that they think that I and my daughters are deserving that treatment.

Sent by D J Lynch | 3:02 PM | 5-21-2008

I don't have a question but a comment rather. I am young woman and as Barak Obama supporter, I would not have voted for Hillary Clinton in the fall had she gotten the nomination. I think I would either abstain or maybe vote for a 3rd party candidate. I personally think that just because Hillary Clinton is woman does not mean she deserves votes from women. We need to be voting on the issues, and personally believe Barak Obama has the best handle on the issue I care about like healthcare, foreign policy, and the economy.

Sent by Leslie | 3:05 PM | 5-21-2008

Not a "duty" , you fools, to vote for Hillary Clinton is a privilege. This primary process been such a disappointment. I and all my female friends are writing in Hillary.
The DNC set Obama up by having him, not Hillary, as keynote @ the 2005 Dem. Convention in Boston.

Sent by Carlotta Tyler | 3:05 PM | 5-21-2008

How dare NARAL support anyone who isn't a woman? They don't seem to have read any history! I am outraged, and will not vote for Obama!!!Thanks a lot,girls.

Sent by P. Abney | 3:06 PM | 5-21-2008

I read an interesting idea recently that rung true:
Barack Obama's foreign policy is actually more feminist than Senator Clinton's. His willingness to engage in diplomacy and hear from all sides of the political spetrum resonates more with the ideals of feminism than does Clinton's use of hostile and uncalled for language towards Iran, and her AUMF and Kyl-Lieberman votes.
As a woman I feel no obligation to vote for Clinton because of her gender. I am proudly supporting Obama. Also, I feel that the emphasis on sexism (which no doubt has impacted this campaign) also ignores the fact that Obama has simply run a better campaign. I believe he connects with the mood of the nation. We're tired of the fear-mongering, aggressive policies and language that have pervaded the last 8 years, and Clinton is not offering a clean break from that.

Sent by Emily Richard | 3:06 PM | 5-21-2008

I have observed a backlash in the media that I would attribute much more to feelings against her husband and his administration than to issues specific to her.I feel this was true when Bill Clinton was in the white house as well.So much of our ideas of Hilary Clinton were painted by people other than Hilary Clinton.I always saw a women who worked hard,was more prepared than anyone else when it came to issues she committed to,and was willing to engage with others to get bills written and passed.I base this on her senate record,the views of other senators she worked with,and the annunciated support she has earned in the state of New York.

Sent by maureen reilly meagher | 3:06 PM | 5-21-2008

Hilary Clinton hasn't been the only victim of bigoted media coverage. What about Obama and Rev. Wright? Anyone with a head on their shoulders -- and uses it -- would be disgusted by mainstream media's "horserace" coverage of the election from any number of viewpoints. You won't find the defining issues ever portrayed on the commercial channels.

The woman who called in to declare that she will in no case vote for Obama misses the point: she is is the calculated victim of commerical media's deliberate ploy. The whole idea is to manipulate people's emotions and alienate concientious people from voting and becoming involved in the political process altogether.

You don't make money from an informed and discriminating audience; you have to dumb them down, dumb them down, dumb them down. That is the business of the media. There is no "liberal" media. That is another such illusion: the media is solidly in the hands of the corporate plutocracy: of the rich and powerful, by the rich and powerful, for the rich and powerful. And it has no other purpose thsan to consolidate more money and power for its rich and powerful sponsors.

Sent by Irvin | 3:06 PM | 5-21-2008

Thank you for airing this story. An interesting point made on air by one of the guests was when she said that sexism is the last acceptable form of prejudice in the country. I could not agree more. Last weekend a young African American man was wearing a T-shirt with cartoon faces of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and below them were the words: "Bros before Hoes." Men who saw the shirt laughed and gave high fives while most women put their heads down and kept their disapproval to themselves for fear of being seen as weak or even racist. Had that shirt said something racist no one would have approved. I voted for Obama yet as a woman I was horrified by this display of the pervasive culture of sexism in this country. I thank Hillary for being brave enough to be the individual to shed light on the hidden issue of 'acceptable sexism' in the U.S.

Sent by Lucy Edes Ohara | 3:07 PM | 5-21-2008

While I would like to see a woman as POTUS, my feeling is that HRC is not the right woman. Generally I do not vote based on single issue (abortion, gun control, gender) and look at the overall package. I agree with Obama on most of the issues and I like him better as well. I also think he's in a better position to effect real change at many levels. Most important, I think his election would be a strong message to the world that the US is sincere in trying to fix the problems caused by the current regime, and move into a new future.

Sent by Cynthia Walker | 3:10 PM | 5-21-2008

Do the female Hillary supporters who passionately declare that against their own self interest they will vote for McCain in protest if Obama is the Democratic candidate realize they are playing directly to the misogynistic argument that women are too illogical and emotional to be trusted with the presidency?

Sent by Michael Ritter | 3:10 PM | 5-21-2008

Food for thought... I agree that the media has been rough on Sen. Clinton, however, please consider that the media and the right wing are counting on women staying home if Sen Obama is running. This is part of the rights plan... If you stay home... if you vote for "JOE BLOW" then you are voting for the same politics that have been in the White House since 2000. If you want change it will be important to let go of your anger and frustration over the treatment that FOX, MSNBC, ect have given Sen. Clinton and vote for the Democratic Candidate. If you are a woman in this country you have experienced prejudice, if you are a person of color in this country you have experienced prejudice, if you are poor in the country you have experienced prejudice. Staying home in November is giving the Right Wing exactly what they want.... I would ask you to please reconsider your anger over what is unfair and find your courage to vote for Change... If the nominee is Clinton...VOTE for her... If the nominee is Obama VOTE for him..... Be brave and not angry....

Sent by Diane Wiese | 3:10 PM | 5-21-2008

I appreciate the fact that Sen. Clinton has exhibited and shown ambitious qualities, but I feel no obligation to vote for her just because she's a woman. I heard one woman recently on NPR who said why can't we have a female president, if not her, then who, if not now, then when. What happened to voting for the best candidate, regardless of race or gender? I think Sen. Clinton represents old Washington and old ideas, and frankly, I wouldn't vote for anyone, male or female who has used the tactics she has used to run her campaign. Too, I wouldn't vote for someone who didn't have enough intelligence or insight to NOT vote for the mess in Iran. If I could figure it out sitting in my living room, she surely should have been able to.

Sent by Sylvia Mattson | 3:11 PM | 5-21-2008

I refuse to vote for a woman, just cause shes a woman. I refuse to vote for a black guy, just cause hes black.

Thats just stupid, and I dont care if you call me a racist woman hater.

Its truely a shame that everyone hates the white guy.

All I do is go to work, and earn money for my family.

I dont wanna have tea and biscuts with Amadinejad. He has nothing to tell me that he hasnt already said.

Only a third of 300,000,000 people in America pay taxes. I dont wanna pay everyone elses heath care, too. My family will starve.

Sent by Evil White Guy | 3:12 PM | 5-21-2008

I am a man, and hillary clinton had my support up until about a year ago. I began drifting away from her because of some statements she made. Since then, she just kept eroding the support i had for her, one step after the next. As a democrat, I am offended by this notion of 'womens frustration' and 'betrayal' by high placed democrats like ted kennedy....like somehow as a democrat, its my DUTY to vote a woman into office because they've got a shot for the first time in 200 years. My own opinions, my preference, my beliefs should be subordinated to it because 'she (and all women) deserve it.' Sorry, but I dont want to replace an 'old boys network' with an 'old girls network.' They need to win the nomination based on merit. And sex is not a merit. As far as her supporters who won't vote if they don't see hillary in as nominee, I have a 3 year old at home that thinks the same way. Brilliant; to register your distaste for the way the media is portraying her, you'll pout and vote another version of Bush into office and keep us walking down the same road. Classic.

Sent by Sean | 3:12 PM | 5-21-2008

I agree with your friend. To me, the idea that I'm supposed to vote for Hillary because I'm female is insulting. If you can defend your decision based on policy, then vote for her. If you're only voting because of her ovaries, you're wasting the right that a lot of women fought for us to have.

Sent by Kate | 3:12 PM | 5-21-2008

I am not a woman, but as the father of two grown daughters, I am committed to the advancement of women's rights. I hope that qualifies me to participate in this conversation.

What I heard in the last hour scares the crap out of me. Elizabeth Shipp's casual dismissiveness of the concerns of Hillary Clinton supporters reflects a purist mindset as dense as that of Ralph Nader's voters in 2000.

Not only her words but her tone radiated a condescension toward the Clinton supporter who said that she would write in a candidate rether than vote for Barack Obama. The same tone came through when she responded to the Repubican woman who also said that she would not vote for Obama because the way Obama's supporters had treated Clinton.

Not paying serious attention to these real concerns of real people is the kind of behavior that could put John McCain into the White House. I, for one, would never forget or forgive if that happened.

Sent by Robert Benjamin | 3:16 PM | 5-21-2008

To the caller who says she will write in Hillary Clinton rather than vote for Obama b/c of how the media has treated Clinton: How is Obama responsible for the media's treatment of Clinton? I sensed that this caller blamed Sen. Obama for Sen. Clinton's treatment and therefore will not vote for any Democrat who isn't Clinton. I'm not sure how this furthers the cause of women's rights. I'm a 35-year old feminist and agree that some members of the media have shown their age and bias loud and clear in this campaign coverage. But I am also uneasy about the fact that the first viable woman candidate for president had to marry well to get her foot in the political door. She has less elected political experience than Obama (who served as a state senator for many years prior to being elected to the national senate) and yet she clearly refers to her experience as Bill Clinton's wife as part of her resume. Is this still how women are supposed to get ahead? By hitching their wagon to a star? I am not saying Sen. Clinton is not an intelligent and capable person with something very valuable to offer this country and the state of New York but the unspoken assumption that simply being the wife of the president is as good as one's own personal work experience is extremely disturbing to anyone who proudly calls herself a feminist.

Sent by MKG, Reno Nevada | 3:17 PM | 5-21-2008

Senator Clinton should take a lesson from did-it-themselves women such as Condoleeezza Rice or Margaret Thatcher-real leaders who did not have to hitch their wagons to an alley-cat of a husband to get their posts. Americans may be a little stupid, but not that stupid.

Sent by Sue S. | 3:19 PM | 5-21-2008

I believe Naral simply took advantage of their sister candidate Hillary to mark attention to their own cause. Using her like the media has over the past months is saddening, especially since Senator Clinton is a woman of intelligence who has demonstrated her support of many important causes and ideas. There is no reason that Naral abandoned her except for "feminist stubborness" and self agrandizing. Obama doesn't need anyone as much as the women of this country needs the strength and intelligence of Senator Clinton.

Sent by Jim | 3:23 PM | 5-21-2008

The problem with Naral's endorsement was the timing which was blatantly designed to divert the attention from Hillary's blowout of Obama in WV. Why did it have to be done on the next day? They waited this long why not let the primaries run their course. It is also insulting to Hillary and the women who fought for women's rights to be thrown under the bus, so they can build a new base of young supporters. Naral made a grave error by this action and their patronizing quotes and feeble attempts to rationalize their actions are even more insulting. Check the blog if you want to see how the FORMER supporters feel.

Sent by SAMM | 3:24 PM | 5-21-2008

1)I have called and emailed NARAL to take me off their lists. They backed an upstart against an experienced, tried-and-true defender of women's rights. NARAL will never get any more support from me.
2)Obama's campaign made good use of, and even started the "race" card, with help from the national media, even twisting Pres. Clinton's words around to make him sound like a racist when he and Hillary have done much during their careers to work for Arican American rights and welfare.
3)Obama, with help of the adoring national media, has done a great job of portraying himself as the non-politician, but he is in fact every bit the politician and wheeler-dealer as the people he states he is different from. His dealings with Rezko as recently as this January were basically ignored by the press. His voting record when he was in the IL Senate was not outstanding, and he has not done anything serious in his two years in the US Senate. None of this was looked into in any detail by the national press because they were so busy Clinton-bashing.

Obama is not experienced enough to be the President of the US. I will vote for Sen. Clinton one way or another, as a write-in if necessary. If she does not get the nomination, we will have missed yet another chance to have a worthy candidate for president on the Democratic ticket, and we will deserve whatever we get (including McCain in the Whitehouse).

Sent by Alina Szmant | 3:29 PM | 5-21-2008

I'm a woman, thrilled to think I'll see a woman or a black man as the next president. I'm a Ken Rudin fan, too, but did I hear Ken suggest that Hillary isn't the right woman because she isn't the "perfect" woman to run for the office? Ken: if we wait for perfect, we'll never get there. I wish we could say we've only elected "perfect" men. I concede that the current one seems to be the "perfect" storm for messing things up. Can't wait for November...

Sent by Nora Esthimer | 3:29 PM | 5-21-2008

I resent the fact that as usual feminists are associated with being liberal, pro-choice women. I consider myself a feminist but I am pro-life and pro-family. If you study the original feminists, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, etc. they were very pro-family. My personal opinion is that the term "feminism" has been skewed to fit the current liberal agenda of our time.

I think NPR should invite other feminists to join in on the discussion. Check out www.feministsforlife.org for more information on pro-life feminists. Pro-choice women do not speak for all feminists! If NPR wants to continue to attract all types of listeners they should present both sides of every topic. As a conservative women I am often turned off by NPR and their bias views.

Sent by Sarah | 3:30 PM | 5-21-2008

I enjoyed the discussion you had today and wanted to add a point that was not made. I think there may be an unintended benefit of Senator Clinton's continuous fight for the nomination. As a 63 year old feminist who has supported Senator Obama from the start, I think Senator Clinton has shattered the perception that women are not "tough" enough to be President of the USA. Had she folded weeks ago without this fight we never would have seen the qualities that women have, which men don't always think we have, i.e. toughness, tenaciousness,willingness to fight for what we believe, etc. Both candidates have shattered stereotypes with their performances and I hope this race will be remembered for that.

Sent by Sue McCauley | 3:30 PM | 5-21-2008

I am both shocked and saddened by the attitude expressed by those who say they will not support Senator Obama, if he is the nominee, because of the press's treatment of Senator Clinton. What these voters seem to forget is that one of the most important issues in this election is the composition of the Supreme Court. Do they really want to let a President McCain name more justices of the likes of Alito, Thomas, and Scalia? This will do immense damage to all women, and also to those of us who are the typical Democratic supporters.

I am a strong, committed feminist, and will vote for the Democratic nominee, whoever he or she may be, regardless of whether that person is my personal preference or not.

So my question to all who wish to cast a "spite" vote -- Do you really want the Republicans in charge of the country for four more years?

Sent by Publia | 3:44 PM | 5-21-2008

Oh please! I just finished listening to this discussion and some of the women who called in saying that, because of the discrimination of Hillary Clinton that they perceived, they are going to vote for John McCain. How wrong thinking is that!? If John McCain wins they will have voted for turning the clock back on women's rights about 75 years! Let's show a little intellegence here! We're not voting for genitalia, we're voting for the person who can turn this country around 180 degrees and change from politics as usual. As one of the women who called in said, she really struggled with whether to vote for Clinton or Obama. I did the same initially, but seeing the "politics as usual" campaign that Clinton has run, I'm more convinced than ever that Obama was, and will be the right choice. Clinton can give it as good as she gets it, so let's not feel too sorry for her. Ladies, let's vote for the right reasons and not the emotional reasons!

A 58 year old female

Sent by Marian Hay | 3:52 PM | 5-21-2008

I listened to your program today when Elizabeth Shipp, president of NRAL was giving her reasons for the organization supporting Obama.. She stated the fact that he was Pro Choice, well so is Senator Clinton and probably was when Obama was in diapers. I think the organizatio cruelly betrayed Senator Clinton who has worked for women's rights for a long time and was instrumental in getting NRAL started. This is just one more act of treachery toward Senator Clinton. Like one of the callers, I cannot bring myself to vote for Obama who is arrogant and condescending. However, I could never vote for John McCain. I think most of the so Super delegates have deserted Senator Clinton for the bandwagon effect, not because Obama is a better candidate.

Sent by Marlene Shulkin | 3:58 PM | 5-21-2008

I have been a Democrat all through my adult life, and am proud of the part of me. I have no doubt that Mr. Obama is knowledgeable, intelligent, and inspirational. However, he will NEVER receive my vote in November. One thing he said on the campaign will never be forgotten in my mind; "Clinton's experience as the first lady is NOTHING." In my view, any life experience, as a student, traveler, radio listener, reader, or God forbid stay-at-home mom, is a humbling, learning experience.
In this regard, I do not agree with Mr. Obama.

One more thing. I am terribly disturbed by the mean-spirited, vicious attack displayed by Obama's supporters as well as the media on Hillarly. OMG, she is a human being, too!! Although I have supported Hillarly from the very beginning, I have never even attempted or even imagined about booing Mr. Obama. Yet, do you recall at one of the Democratic debates, Hillarry was the only candidate booed off the stage? I have NO problem people disagreeing, or supporting different candidates or ideas. None. It's beautiful. Mr. Obama never seemed to be troubled by his supporterrs' UNpatriotic, uncivilized behaviors. I AM glad that he has never been booed as a candidate throughout this campaign by fellow Democrats/Americans, as far as I know. That's the way it should be.

I will vote for Mr. Obama under no circumstance, the person who expressed nothing but disdain and disgust for Washington, although I believe he is an outstanding politician. After all, he sits on top of the most impressive whirling money machine Washington has ever witnessed in history. He plays Washington like a pro!

Sincerely,

Sent by Yuri Silver | 4:00 PM | 5-21-2008

I am a 53 year old women and consider my self a feminist. I am having a hard time understanding why so many pundits want Hillary to drop out. This is how the process is supposed to work and it is working.

I am very proud to be a Democrat -have been all my life. My party was the first to have a women vice presidential candidate and it is the first to have a contest between a woman and an African-American man.

I voted for Hillary in the primary and want more than anything to vote for her in November - She is one of the most intelligent politicians ever and she has a strong record for women and children. I want her for my, my sisters, my nieces, for all the women I know.

It looks like she will not be the candidate and I am so very sad about it because I don't think Obama is the right person for the job. He may be in a few years but not yet.

However I can't vote for a Republican. I don't know what I will do...probably vote for Obama anyway.

Sent by Debbie | 4:15 PM | 5-21-2008

Why would you have allegance to someone who obviously was putting on a election season show to get votes. Someone who played the part of a dirty politican in spreading salacious rumors about her opponent. The fact you probably had Hilary . I want a woman with uncompromisable character not just another product of washington.

Sent by Tina Yonas | 4:38 PM | 5-21-2008

I find it rather ironic that both women and the press continue to support Hillary Clinton's lack of qualifications. She Claims to have a 35-year history of qualifications. To date, there has been no proof of this assertion. There has been ample proof AGAINST this claim ( release 1st lady documents, syniper fire-gate, Irish peace treaty, etc.). Due to fear of being accused of sexism, the press refuses to call her a liar.

Her only qualification appears to be a previous wife of a Governor and a previous wife of a President.

This is the person women want their daugthers to look up to? A woman running on he husbands's qualifications? American women should be ashamed of their continual support for Hillary Clinton.
They should be supporting women like the 1st female speaker of the U.S. who worked her way up to her current position based on HER resume not her husband's.
Hillary Clinton is an embarrassment to women and feminist. She is an opportunist using women just as the Republicans use the Religious Right, for politican gain.
I am additionally so dissapointed in the Democratic party for allowing her to run a campaign based on race. It's one thing for the media to use things like gender and racial sterotypes, it's another for a leading candidate for the Democratic party to based her campaign solely on racial sterotype.

Hillary Clinton's primary stance is that although she has been beaten due to her lack of "real" experience, poor judgement, bad decisions, and entitlement, she should be handed the position because Barack Obama is Black.
So he earns an A and she earns an F but she is trying to tell the teacher that a Black person should NOT get a higher grade then her. Simply because of the color of his/her skin. Hillary should pass because she is White. I thought that we were in the year 2008 but it appears that it's really 1920.

On the other side of the coin, just like George Bush, she is incapable of taking responsiblity for running a poor campaign and is now crying sexism. So if she is incapable of winning a simple primary, what happens when she looses the general election. Should McCain also just hand it to her because she is a woman?
As a president, are our enemies going to all give up and let her win because she is a woman.

So run for President using your husband's resume, get the primary after loosing, become president by crying sexism?
Again, it's really sad and shameful that women think that Hillary Clinton is the role-model for their daughters.

Sent by Abby Kent | 4:44 PM | 5-21-2008

I am a 51 year old female. I do not determine who to vote for by either race or gender. I was and in some measure still am an Edwards democrat. Having now to make my choice between two relatively equally qualified candidates, it has to come down to my gut feeling. That gut feeling is that Senator Obama will be the better president. Not because he's a man but because he is inspiring the country. This country certainly needs that type of inspiration at this time.

Sent by Katherine, Escanaba MI (Listening on WNMU FM) | 4:45 PM | 5-21-2008

the issue of sexism is not prominent because she trails in the primary, its because if you listen to the media, including papers, tv, radio etc... the are always speaking poorly of Hillary, there is never any support, and I am possitive that she has supportive people, they just never make it to the news!!! by the way... hardworking white men - is not a racist comment.
she should brush it off her shoulder like Obama did to Hillary! That would be disrespectful though, wouldn't it!

I love Hillary, she is a strong, confident, brilliant woman, and I am so proud of her.

The media has been saying she's lost this Primary for three months!!

What a shame - they should try reporting the FACTS - not OPINION!

They should call themselves a talk show instead!

Sent by Daphne Melin | 4:58 PM | 5-21-2008

I understand Hillary supports upset about sexist comments during this primary, however I can't understand blaming Obama for those comments. I have not heard him make any sexist comments. I did hear Hillary make derogatory remarks directed toward Obama. When she said, "as far as I know" regarding false claims regarding his being a Muslim I thought was appalling, among other innuendoes by her. Despite that if she is the nominee a will vote for her, I make not be a fan of her on a personal level but the issues are more important than petty personality issues.

Sent by nancy frazier | 5:02 PM | 5-21-2008

I feel that NARAL could have waited for a couple of weeks until all the states
had voiced their votes. It is a betrayal and disrespectful. I would not vote for Obama as I believe he is buying the election and is not as qualified as Clinton. We need a woman's perspective and it is time for a woman to lead as president and Clinton is more than qualified. I resent Obama insinuating Clinton, should sit down and be quiet. I wonder what he promised NARAL to get their endorsement?

Sent by Evelyn Ingoglia | 5:03 PM | 5-21-2008

I am a middle aged woman who is a supporter of women's rights. I voted for a woman in my home state and she is now in office. I feel Hillary is not a very good representative of women in general because of her negativity during the campaign. This IS NOT what feminism is supposed to represent! Barack Obama is not sexist and he strongly supports women. Those women that dislike him and that will not vote for him in the general election are only hurting themselves and the cause we are fighting for in America. Of course that is their choice. How many women didn't vote for Kerry simply because they were waiting for Hillary to run in 2008? Now that she's running and is likely to not be the nominee, these women may again cost us this election due to a seperate agenda they have! These women are not for feminism or advancement of women, they are for a seperate agenda - to see Hillary in office at any cost and to sabotage Obama's chances at becoming president by not voting for him (even though he is more for women's rights than McCain). This reflects insanity not clear reasonable thinking.

Sent by Darla Billings | 5:06 PM | 5-21-2008

I listened to the show today and could not believe the number of people calling saying they would not vote for Senator Obama if he got the nomination because of the way the media has treated Senator Clinton. That makes no sense to me at all and leads to believe there is another reason but these people don't have the courage to say it publically. I also believe unfair attacks are not gender specific. Senator Obama has received his share of demeaning comments from the media as well. I think attackers use what ammo they can find and in the case of Senators Clinton and Obama, they have the added ammo of gender and race.

Sent by Pat Coleman | 5:06 PM | 5-21-2008

I am a white female pediatrician from Massachussets and I did not vote for Hillary Clinton. Although she is a very smart, determined candidate she does not exhibit the Stateswomen like qualities I would want in the next President. Her votes in the Senate and her responses are always political rather than wise: e.g. her vote for the Iraq war, the silly "Flag vote", the gas tax, the "obliterate Iran" comment to name a few examples. Obama wisely takes the long view of these problems and exhibits the intelligence and wisdom that we need in the next President.

Sent by Lorna Bratton M.D. | 5:11 PM | 5-21-2008

Obama hasn't done anything, not ran acity or a state. How in the world does the Dem. Party thinks he could win against Mc cain. We need a woman, with Hillary we have it all

Sent by Norma Jean Fernhaber | 5:20 PM | 5-21-2008

I hope that all the women who say they will not vote for Obama because the media is sexist, etc. will step back a minute and think about what this country will look like for women under Republican rule. McCain has said he will be appointing judges in the mold of Scalia and Alito to the bench - this is the end of the right to choose. And don't forget the court ruling on sex discrimination in employment that this court issued this year. Things will only get worse under McCain. I am a sixty year old white woman, but I will not throw away my daughter's and granddaughters' future because I am unhappy with the Democrats' choice. Vote the party, people. Otherwise we will have more death, destruction and women will be worse off than they are now.

Sent by carolyn | 5:21 PM | 5-21-2008

Calling MSNBC "sexist" is ridiculous. I think some female supporters of Hillary Clinton are sexist because they are threatening to not vote for Obama in the Fall simply because he is not Hillary Clinton. I think these women need to grow up. NPR needs to grow up too because their radio staff were clearly biased toward Hillary right from the start of her campaign. All I would hear is positive things about Hillary and negative things about Barack on the radio. I got so sick of it that I turned on the tv and began watching the news networks. I liked NPR up until I found out how biased the staff was toward Hillary. Maybe I'll listen to NPR again if their prejudice goes away. One example of NPR's biased reporting/commentary is when they ran a story about Obama campaign locations in West Virginia being vandalized. Immediately they added that the Clinton camp was suffering from sexist type comments (as if this is equal to damaging property and threatening remarks of a racial nature). Oh well, maybe NPR will at least be mature enough to allow my comment to post without censoring it.

Sent by Courtney Swanson | 5:30 PM | 5-21-2008

Absolutely not! In Montana we have groups called "Feminists for Obama." Feminists are not mindless zombies following a candidate just because she is a woman. Obama is the most exciting candidate this country has witnessed in my generation. If Hillary had not used manipulative, old-school political tactics (which she continues to use), I might have supported her. Frankly, I don't want an insider back in office. She is beholden to too many donors and special interests.

Sent by Katherine Chapman | 5:53 PM | 5-21-2008

I used to like the Clintons until Hillary began her negative campaigning against Barack. In the end that (and her lack of connection with change) is what costed her the nomination, nothing more, nothing less. She managed to keep many of her female supporters, but this is not enough.
The media made it look as if only blacks supported Barack. This was an outright lie from the start. Barack won the white majority in more states than one. Case and point: Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oregon, etc. Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Oregon were all blue states won by Kerry in 2004. Iowa was very narrowly won by Bush in 2004, Bush = 50% Kerry = 49%. So called "experts" are calling Minnesota a "swing state". I strongly disagree. Minnesota has voted republican for governor quite a few times but it usually always votes democratic in the presidential elections. The only thing that may cause Obama to lose the general election is the democrat people that do not vote for him out of hatred because their candidate (Hillary) was not the nominee. This of course would depend on how many such people there are out there like this (assuming there are quite a few). One way Obama could make up for the loss of these "grudge holders" is to reach out to more people on the republican side of the fence. He may have to give in to a few republican ideals, but in the long run it could save the democrat party and give us the opportunity to have a democrat in office.

Sent by Jo Ann Reed | 6:13 PM | 5-21-2008

It's more difficult to stand on your own two feet and think independently than to jump on the bandwagon. NARAL should have waited to endorse, there is plenty of time to address McCain's shortcomings in the weeks to come in support of the democratic candidate. I voted for Hillary in our primary because she is the most qualified and by far the best prepared. Obama looks like a blank slate, opinions and policies not formed, no clear idea of what this magnificent change looks like or how he will bring it about. He speaks well and can inspire, but speaks little substance. Hillary is well versed on the issues and has definite ideas and plans. She also takes the time to articulate her ideas in a way that all can understand.

I believe that Hillary is the only candidate that can defeat McCain in November. But as often happens in politics, it looks like the best candidate will not be running in November. I think instead of chiding the two women who called in and said they would not be voting for Obama in Nov., maybe NARAL (and others) need to look twice at the decision to endorse Obama. Maybe you and others like you are the ones who will be responsible for setting back women's rights in this country when your candidate gets defeated in November.

I urge the 'super delegates' to stand on their own two feet and think independently. Look beyond the hype and the speeding train and if this leads you to support or even switch your support to Hillary...DO IT! PLEASE!

Sent by Mary Poe | 6:58 PM | 5-21-2008

For those women who voted for Obama and now tell us that if we don't vote for him over McCain, that we're traitors to the party. Excuse me! I think the traitors are the women who deserted the one experienced person running for the Democratic nomination! You should have thought about that before you voted!

Sent by PJ Davidson | 7:03 PM | 5-21-2008

The press has been horrible in it's treatment of Senator Clinton but I think it's even more frightening to hear people blaming Obama for the way the press has acted and then refusing to vote for him on this basis. That sounds so very childish and may actually result in a win for McCain which effectively means another 4 years of devastating policy for the entire globe. There are probably other undisclosed (racist perhaps?) reasons why those folks are not willing to voting for Obama. The press argument gives them a convenient excuse that they can now publicly express, i.e: the press. What on earth does that have to do with Obama besides that obvious fact that his campaign may naturally benefit from it ? Fellow women seem to be taking this too personally and are blaming Obama for this? That is quite ridiculous really !

Sent by Ashley | 8:32 PM | 5-21-2008

How many people out there thought gender or race would not raise it's ugly head in these races? How many? If you thought they wouldn't, then may I suggest you get your head out of the sand and remember you live in the United States of America.

If Hillary is complaining about the bias based on gender, then I refuse to vote for her. You SHOULD have factored in that gender bias would be part and parcle of running instead now that you dont have enough deligates, you want to, excuse the phrase "bitch" about it.

Obama certainly knew that race would be a factor, but like all black people in America, you carry on with your message and ignore the haters. I can bet you had that been a black woman - she would have already facted in gender (never mind race) and stuck to her message whether she was losing or not.

You can not change peoples bias' Hillary.

By the way Obama choose the wrong party. If he had been the Rupublican presumptive nominee, the race thing would have been quashed a long time ago, and everyone would be rallying behind Obama.

By the way I am a naturalized American citizen and refused to join the democratic party because a majority of then are closested racists. Mr and Mrs Clinton proved it in this election, when things are not going well for them then your vote means nothing but he was quick to embrace the first black president nosense.

Sent by Thandi | 9:02 PM | 5-21-2008

If this is the level of discussion we can engage in, then when Mccain wins, we deserve everything we get. And I mean everything

Sent by Thandi | 10:13 PM | 5-21-2008

When it was time for my state, Nevada, to caucus I couldn't make up my mind between Clinton and Obama. I decided not to. I've come to greatly regret this. I'm a pro-choice feminist and if I knew then what I know now about how Clinton decided to run her race later on in the campaign I would have voted for Obama! I'm disgusted by the comments about her gender, but that does NOT mean I should feel obligated to vote for her. I have right and the sense to vote for who I would think is best. People who do the same because they believe the same of her, good. Voting for someone first because of their race or gender is foolish.

Sent by Vanity | 11:36 PM | 5-21-2008

The sexism portrayed by the media is not a surprise or an issue to me in this election. The sexism portrayed by Senator Obama is. How can we vote for a person who calls a reporter asking a legitimate question "sweetie"? This spontaneous response is demeaning, degrading and clearly shows his true feelings toward women.

Sent by jean marconett | 12:29 AM | 5-22-2008

I have never made a comment on NPR but I am making a point of it today. I am from the Iowa City, IA area and had the privilege of having dinner with Madeline Albright. I was seated across the head of the table from her and newly elected Congressman, Dave Loebsach, to my right. I sat in awe listening to her speak and converse with Dave about politics. At the time I had not decided who I would caucus for but intently listened to a woman with much experience and intelligence. After the dinner, I came away with a much clearer understanding.
Obama will make a great president some day but not at this time in history. Our country has more problems to hand over to a new president than ever before in history. As Dave Loebsack admitted, it takes awhile for a new kid on the block to get familiar with "Washington" and it takes awhile to be effective. Madeline recalled the many years and presidents that she had observed handling the different branches of the government. In her years she never recalled large holes where people have either been replaced or have left. She of course is a Hillary supporter and stands by her for her strength, wisdom, tenacity, intelligence, hard work, and the ability to tackle any job large or small. These are the true qualities of a President. And of course she has a very supportive and experienced spouse which no one else has. That accounts for a lot. Basically you get two for the price of one.
If Hillary can forgive Bill for the total humility she had to endure, I am also forgiving. I am able to learn and move on like Hillary.
The movement of people to get on the popular Obama bandwagon reminds me of the same bandwagon to go to war or the badmouthing of the Dixie Chicks. Many others have criticized Bush but have not received death threats for it. I am not being "popular" in supporting Obama at this time in history. I am supporting Hillary as I would trust a experienced person over one learning the ropes. Our country cannot afford to have a President in training. Look what George Bush has done in training.
I found it odd one day to read on a Starbuck's coffee cup a quote from Madeline. "There is a special place in hell for women who do not support women." As for NARAl, next time you call me for donations, forget it you just shot yourself in the foot!
I am not going to replace the "old" with the "new" like so many people do these days. I have always been taught to respect your elders for their knowledge and life experience.
If Obama has been such a good Senator from Il, why are there so many families from the Chicago area moving to Iowa? If he is not able to help those families, how can he say he is able to help this country?

Sent by Cathy Woodiwiss | 12:32 AM | 5-22-2008

I am a 50 year old white woman and life-long Democrat who is tired of the Clintons. They blew an opportunity to make real change in Washington with their arrogance and willingness to sacrifice friendships for power. I find all the talk about sexism especially grating because they have been blatantly racist during this campaign, dismissing Senator Obama's victories in states with large African-American populations, and creating and pushing the view that he can't win the votes of "hard-working, white Americans." If the shoes were reversed, Senator Clinton would be wondering why Senator Obama was still in the race. Remember how the media questioned Mike Huckabee's grasp of math when he hadn't conceded his run for the Republican nomination? This is what happens when you argue that the popular vote should be overturned because you are the more electable. Senator Clinton should know better than to believe Karl Rove when he says she is the stronger candidate: Rove would love to see a Clinton-McCain match-up because he knows his guy would win.

Sent by Debbie Creemers | 1:05 AM | 5-22-2008

It's sad to see that so many self-proclaimed anti-sexism (and presumably misandrist) women support Hillary Clinton merely because she's a woman and not primarily because they believe that she is, objectively, the best candidate.

Many women wrongly feel that women have had the short end of the stick in our society and that by god they definitely want to have a woman president regardless of her merits. In reality, women are not drafted into the military, women are not subject to involuntary and legal genital mutilation (like men are), women rarely have their children and incomes stolen from them by the courts in divorce, women are not subject to false accusations of rape and paternity fraud, women do not make up the majority of homeless people, women enjoy having more federal money spent on them for women-specific health issues, women can marry up and enjoy being financially supported by men, and women live longer. If an outspoken, organized, coherent, and intelligent men's movement ever comes into existence in this country, women will be in for shocking eye-openers about the real truth of the status of the sexes in our society (where in reality males are the disposable and less valuable sex).

Sent by Ralph | 8:40 AM | 5-22-2008

Doesn't NPR know there are pro-life feminists too? I am so disgusted at the blatant bias of having two pro-choice women speaking for all women voters.

Why not have 2 guests, one from Emily's List and one from Susan B Anthony List?

NPR should REALLY apologize!

Sent by Colbe | 9:27 AM | 5-22-2008

This is the strangest discussion, Senator Clinton has been mistreated? I have been following this campaign very close and I have heard Obama compared to Osama, I have heard that he was only able to do what he has done because he is black (I'm still scratching my head on that one), I have heard him called elites, I have heard that he only did well in South Carolina because he was black (you know like Jesse), and how could I forget Rev. Wright and a lot of this has come out of the Clinton camp. But Clinton voters won't vote for him because of the mistreatment of her? This is very confusing to me and disappointing. Being racist is ok along as you call me Senator first I guess is the message the representative from Emily's List wanted to make sure we understood. We are in a war both in Iraq and in our neighborhoods that are stealing from us our youth. They say that the national average for gas is $3.75 well in Chicago it is more like $4.15, people can't feed their families, the US dollar is pocket change and we are hated around the world and with all that at stake you would not vote or vote for someone that thinks being in Iraq a 100 more years is good business and admits that the economy is not his strong point just because somebody somewhere forgot to say Senator Clinton???? That kind of backward thinking is why our country is in such a mess and will continue until we grow up.

Sent by Yvonne Armstrong | 9:37 AM | 5-22-2008

If you people feel so strongly about Hillary (over Obama), why don't you write-in Hillary when you vote?

If you want YOUR choice known, write-in the candidate YOU want!

Sent by Harold | 11:42 AM | 5-22-2008

Listening to this on NPR, I'm a bit offended that these leaders are referring to women voters as being pro-choice. Not all of us are. I'm a 29-year-old Pro-lifer, and I'm having a really hard time on this election. I want to support Obama because I agree with him on everything except abortion, but if abortion is pressed as an issue during this election, I'll be forced to support McCain! The pro-choicers should probably think about what a divisive issue this is before they press it as an issue that makes people think they should support a democrat. For many of us, it's the only reason why we can't.

Sent by Laurie | 12:31 PM | 5-22-2008

Is Nancy Pelosi an anti-feminist?
Yesterday during the show a caller made a comment that I was hearing for the second time in the past few months. The caller pointed out how the press will frequently refer to the candidates as Senator Obama and Hillary Clinton, apparently showing less deference to Clinton than Obama.

However, while reading a news article this morning I found this quote from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "I think, though, that Hillary Clinton and Sen. Obama, both having a good chance to win the nomination..."

I don't mean to be glib here, but I have a hard time seeing Nancy Pelosi as a sexist. Remarks have been made against Senator Clinton that can only be construed as sexist: the cleavage remarks, the audience member shouting "iron my shirts" and many other examples which create a clearly black and white picture of how ugly people can be. But perhaps now that Senator Clinton's chances of winning are diminishing some of her more frustrated supporters are searching for reasons why things have turned out as they have. "Who were the detractors who made this happen?" To those people, should Nancy Pelosi be included on that list?

Sent by Austin | 12:53 PM | 5-22-2008

Hi, I hear comments such as, I am a woman and I am voting for Hillary because of it. I don't think that you have to be a woman to support her and if you are a man and don't support her it is because you don't support women. I am a brand new father of a baby girl and I love her to death and when we were expecting her I told my wife and relatives that when they asked if she'll be my little Princess, that no, she'll be President! I am still not firmly committed on a candidate, but am leaning toward Obama but that does not mean I won't support Hillary just because Obama wasn't chosen or that I won't support her because she's a woman. Yet I hear a lot of Hillary supporters say that won't support Obama if he wins. I think they are shortchanging him and themselves. Yet as is evident from these posts and other discussions, people are prepared to be offended if others hold different views. I for one will be someone who supports women and their issues regardless of who the nominee is.

Sent by Jeremy E. Waymire | 12:56 PM | 5-22-2008

I'm a 60+ year old white woman living in a red state and began to support Obama because of my male co-workers' (all Republican) intense dislike of Clinton. I believe every President deserves a honeymoon period. Then when she and Bill began campaigning in such a divisive manner, I turned completely against her. I will vote for her in November if she somehow manages to trip Obama up but I will spend no money or time on her behalf. If Obama is defeated by McCain in November, I believe Clintons' campaign will be a major factor in that defeat.

Sent by Julie | 1:20 PM | 5-22-2008

I feel Democratic party poorly managed the campain and treated Hilary unfairly. Now the presidential campaign is back to all men's game. I will join Republican party after Democrats officially dump Hilary.

Sent by Natalie | 2:01 PM | 5-22-2008

It is truly amazing how Hilary Clinton has been hurt by remarks made by her and also Bill but very few remarks made by Barak Obama are used to hurt him or come so late in the game; they will not hurt him.

Hilary started being hurt in SC with its huge black population and the remarks she made about blacks; failed to have a strategy in the event she didnt have a clear victory on Super Tuesday; the fact that we have alot of states who are open primaries or caucuses where non Democrats can inflate the vote and she didnt take that into consideration; among other issues.

Why we wont vote for Obama is he is a fad; he has little experience in dealing with many issues that this country is facing; he mesmorizes his supporters who are just looking for any talk of change after the nearly 8 years of Bush (and dont care about substance on issues); the media hasnt actually tested and veted him to the extent they have done to Hilary or McCain and alot of other reasons.

We dont like Hilary though and dont feel we should vote for her just because we are also a female but we have a choice of Barak Obama or Mccain if Hilary doesnt get the nominee. Not much of a choice really. Its pretty sad in this country right now as politics is determined by how much money you have to spend on a race by and large except maybe on a very local level.

We will vote for no one for President which we know doesnt make sense since we dont feel McCain or Obama will be a good choice since we feel we are helpless right now and no one is going to be any good for this country!!!

Sent by jm | 3:41 PM | 5-22-2008

These issues of gender bias against Senator Clinton is a joke! At every step Senator Clinton has used her gender to try and ignite her campaign after Iowa and February 5 when this was supposed to be over. She has an air of entitlement and it is her desire to not see Senator Obama win that keeps her running. It is the worst form of hubris I have ever seen.

Sent by Gary Anderson | 4:08 PM | 5-22-2008

I am a Hillary Clinton supporter mainly because she is a woman. As a professional woman in my 30's, I constantly encounter sexism and it impacts me directly. I've spoken with other women who are not professionals to understand their experiences and it turns out to be the same. It's universal. Women earn approximately 75cents on the dollar compared with men. I've worked at several companies across the country - women always have to work harder for a smaller piece of the pie, compared with their male counterparts. I've even lived in parts of the US where women are quite obviously second class citizens, both in and out of the workplace. My vote for Clinton is a vote for ME and the other women out there. In office, Clinton would have the same impact on American women that Obama would have on African-Americans.

If Obama were a significantly different candidate that might give me pause, but he's not. I find the policy differences between Clinton and Obama to be small. I love the idea of 'change', but I find it unrealistic. Bill Clinton had that visionary zeal when he started - he may not have called it change but I feel it was the same sentiment. Once he got into office he found it to be a sausage factory and much much more difficult to effect change. As the President, you're only CEO of part of the sausage factory. If you study history (esp. LBJ) or even just look at the recent history of Bill Clinton, the best way to effect change in Washington is to really understand the innerworkings and relationships and play them off of each other. Clinton has seen the sausage factory up close and personal as the First Lady, and I think that is definitely helpful. And so what if she got there on her husband's coattails? There are so many powerful women out there who came to be because of coattails. Not to mention so many more men. The realm of politics used to be open only to the elite. While I commend Obama for his success without a brand name, I absolutely do not fault Clinton for hers. Perhaps given our sexist society, that's what it takes for a woman to get to that position.

Which brings me to my next point... the media is a reflection of our society. It's very easy for us to blame the media, and it's a convenient topic for a 15-minute radio discussion. I think where the TOTN broadcast failed is by not pointing out where the media is getting its bias. Just looking at the comments on this board from men... it looks like 95% of them have the same view. Doesn't that say something? I blame society for holding and perpetuation sexist views, and I blame the media for not being objective enough to edit their own bias. To be fair, perspectives on gender are formed at such a young age, and are so deep-rooted that they are difficult to tease out. I would've liked to see TOTN start the 'national conversation on gender' (...still hoping we'll have one...) with something simpler, like language. Perhaps have someone like Kathleen Hall Jamieson (I don't remember her exact name) from the Bill Moyers Journal talk about language differences pertaining to gender in this campaign. Language is concrete and hopefully easier to discuss in a short segment, and doesn't require people to try and put themselves in a woman's shoes.

Finally my last point... I was going to switch my vote from Clinton to Obama in the general election. I have to say though, after hearing the TOTN segment, I'm considering writing in Clinton. To all those people on the board who are astonished by this action, all I can say is politics is emotional. My guess is most Obama supporters are behind him as an emotional response to the idea of change or to his charisma. (How many Obama supporters can actually speak to his policies?) I feel people have a strong negative reaction to Clinton once again for emotional reasons. Politics is emotional. The more Clinton is bashed unfairly and strongarmed to get out of the race, the stronger my emotional support for her grows. I think the DNC/Obama needs to earn the vote of Clinton supporters and not expect them by default.

As an aside to TOTN... I'd like to see more coverage of gender in the campaign, and I really would like to see a 'national conversation on gender' to parallel the months-long one we've had on race. In particular I'd like to know how young women in their teens and 20's feel about the gender gap. And assuming Obama does get elected, I'd like to see a report card 6 months out and a year out, on 'Change' to understand what kind of change is possible in Washington. Thanks for reading this.

Sent by Reba Ro | 4:01 AM | 5-23-2008

Oh yeah, one more thing.... My biggest takeway from this campaign so far is that the issue of gender in our country is still HUGE, and that I need to be more actively involved to make my own 'CHANGE'. As a result I'm looking to participate in a few womens-rights groups. And NARAL will definitely not be one of them!

Sent by Reba Ro | 4:05 AM | 5-23-2008

This was initially a struggle for me because I was for Obama but I did not think the country had shed enough of its racist reflexes to make him a viable candidate. Hillary clearly had the advantage because of her Washington establishment ties. I would have supported Hillary even though I was starving for a someone who was not such a bi-product of the Washington political elite. Just prior to South Carolina, however, I had made up my mind to go with my heart and head instead of my calculated fears. I'm so glad that I made that choice even before seeing the shameful depths to which Hillary was and is willing to stoop to become President. She insults my intelligence.

As for the sexist media, as others has stated, it's childish to withhold a vote for Obama because you don't like the media. It's also ignorant not to recognize that the media has always been racist and sexist. It's a continuous war, but Hillary is hardly the helpless damsel, nor is Barack the wounded wimp.

Feminism is not a cult. Let's be responsible about all of this and perhaps a little less emotional. Look at the big picture and what is at stake here.

Incidentally I'm a grown woman, and I'll vote for whom I want. And if you're truly a feminist you'll support that right and also realize that not voting is not an option and neither is voting for McCain.

Sent by MarsnVenus | 10:07 AM | 5-23-2008

I've read a lot of comments from people who are outraged, with a capital "rage" that Obama made the "sweetie" comment to a reporter. I do think he erred in his word choice, but I do not believe he is sexist, and definitely not anti-women issues. As the father of a 4 month old girl, I cannot imagine not wanting the best for her and also know that she will face challenges in life because of her race and sex and I feel that Obama probably feels that way himself from what I've seen of his family.

I only hope those who are angry now, take a moment to reflect. I was and am an Edwards supporter and I know I had to take a moment to reevaluate and am still reviewing my decision to make sure that I vote for the person who, in my opinion, and that's all it is, my opinion (and, in my opinion, the best best opinion :) ) Vote for the person I feel will do the most good for the country.

Sent by Jeremy E. Waymire | 12:18 PM | 5-23-2008

I voted for Obama in the primary because I'd heard him talk while stumping for Claire McCaskill's senate race. His message of rejecting divisive politics and his call to Americans to take on the responsibility of making America a better place brought tears to my eyes.

I didn't vote for Clinton because she voted for that damn war in Iraq. When we needed our legislators to put on the brakes on the Bush Admin's war train; to stop, take a breath and call for reason, as Sen. Byrd did, Sen. Clinton failed.

Sent by Nora | 12:47 PM | 5-23-2008

I started out supporting Joe Biden because I think he has the most foreign policy experience and he sponsored the violence against Women Act back in the 70's or 80's, When he dropped out I considered Edwards until he made that crack about her not being strong enough after she supposedly 'cried'. Then I took a hard look at what was left and she is clearly head and shoulders above the rest. I wouldn't vote for her just because she's a woman any more than I would vote for him just because he's black. Or, conversely, not voted for him because he's black. In my day, I have worked my tail off for affirmative action, Deval Patrick, and a lot of black causes. It infuriates me to be told I am a racist, and by my own daughters, yet. Where do they think they got their Liberal roots? I was thinking the other day, we older gals should all vote for McCain and let them overturn Roe v. Wade. Why shoud we care? We're not in the childbearing years. Let the little darlings fight for abortion rights all over again for themselves. Then I got a hold of myself and thought about all the other issues that are so important and decided against it. But I have to wonder how many super delegates are from states like my state, Massachusetts, where the state went for Clinton and the leaders are backing Obama.

Sent by Phyllis Leonard | 2:20 PM | 5-23-2008

I'm a feminist and I don't like Hillary Clinton-- there I said it. I was listening to NPR and I don't remember the woman's name but she was talking about her disappointment that Hillary wasn't winning and that it was hurting her daughters, etc.. What about all of the African American folks who could have the first Black President? I am reminded of how ignorant many white women feminists are of race issues. You can't blame the fact that Hillary is loosing soley because she is a woman. She voted for the war-- she is not a symbol of the working class. I feel very angry at how this gets twisted. I am sick of the Clinton's but would welcome her as VP.

Sent by Snoopy | 7:02 PM | 5-23-2008

I will definitely not vote for Sen. Obama. I think he is paternalistic and his remark that Sen. Clinton would be an inspiration to his daughters was especially bad. Does he expect women to wait that much longer for a woman President. We should not blame just the media. Sen. Kennedy, Rep. Peolosi, Howard Dean, none of the elders of the Democratic party have spoken out against the sexist remarks of the media. If the remarks had been racial in content the entire Democratic hierarchy would have been up in arms and rightly so. I think all women should leave the Democratic party. It is true we would lose some of the gains we have achieved working through the Democratic party. There comes a time, however, when the party must also show respect for the voters who have supported them.

Sent by Brenda Abell | 7:50 PM | 5-23-2008

It's time for a Change slogan is right! We've have men running this country for over 200 years, it's time for a woman and Hillary Clinton is the most capable. Just because "Barry" aka Barack Obama is a man does not mean he's more capable of being Commander and Chief than Hillary. I'm a republican and I'll cross over to vote for Hillary, but if BO gets the nomination, then I'm campaigning and voting for John McCain.

Sent by Georgia Maxwell | 10:42 PM | 5-23-2008

I am convinced that Hillary is the best prepared to take office as President at this time in this country. She has the most relevant experience, knowledge, track record, and plan. She already has demonstrated her ability to stand up, with unflagging ability, to the intense pressure and scrutiny of this primary season. Questions about gender, age, or race cannot touch the facts.

Sent by Carol H | 12:15 PM | 5-27-2008

I will not vote for Obama, he used the sexism in the media to his advantage and sat silent as did this party. He painted Senator Clinton as a racist, worst of all he sent out a press release to all the media twisting her comments to make it appear she wished him harm. That was the most heinous thing I've ever seen a politician do. All the while he claims he is all about hope and a new kind of politics. If his dirty campaign is any indication of the change women can expect, he can keep it.

Furthermore I've done a lot of research and I do not believe this party ever intended for Senator Clinton to be the nominee. Pre loading certain caucus states with far, far more delegates. Punishing some states while not giving others who also moved up their primaries even a slap on the wrist. Brazile saying in 2004 she would make Obama the nominee and telling certain votes to "stay home" and "that train has left, catch it" so blatantly letting everyone know that only those voting Obama mattered to this party,.

Senator Clinton was held to ten times the standard Obama was. I find women who say "Just not THIS woman" to be full of it. How high a standard would you like the first woman president to meet?? All the while giving the male with almost zero qualifications a completely free pass. He treated Alice Palmer like she was nothing and for that alone I can't see how ANY self respecting woman can vote for him.

I won't. We are marching on Denver. Come to Hillary Clinton Forum to find out how we are working with many, many other groups to hold the DNC accountable for rigging caucus states, not investigating rampant cheating at caucuses because Obama won mostly caucuses. Well, there are NO caucuses in the G.E. They would never investigate all these dirty dealings we kept reporting but, they let the Obama campaign get away with the most underhanded and illegal campaign activities.

When it was earlier in this election they said it was all about who had the most votes but, when that didn't work well for Obama they switched to the delegate mantra. Brazile said she would quit the party if the delegates decided it but, now she's adamant that they do decide.

Also, Obama is NOT THE NOMINEE! He is the PRESUMPTIVE nominee till we go to the convention. I've never seen anyone swift boated out like what they are attempting to do to Senator Clinton. Usually it takes up to four months to give a suspension speech and she was roundly criticized for not doing it withing FOUR DAYS. Kennedy took it to the floor of the convention while he was six hundred delegates down!!

Well, Senator Clinton has MORE VOTES and stayed neck and neck this whole time despite being totally destroyed daily on t.v. While Obama got nothing but, a free commercial on ever station. NO ONE HAS MORE RIGHT TO GO TO THE FLOOR OF THE CONVENTION THAN SHE DOES.

You tell me how someone gets more votes than any presidential candidate and they are not the nominee. There is so much b.s this party has pulled here and we are not going to leave quietly and get in line with the chosen one. To hell with that!!

I am a far left activist liberal democrat but, I"m out of this party as of now. They have ignored the voters and decided to crown kings and queens. If you go along with this then your vote is the next to not matter. We will just ask them each year who they cherry picked to be the nominee and not vote at all.

Naral, I'm not forgetting and Emily's list your off my list too. Did you get big donor lists or what?? None of you have any guts to stand up to this b.s. when you KNOW it was b.s. and the fix was in way back to 2004.

Take it to Denver with us. We're NOT DONE WITH THIS INJUSTICE!

Sent by Ruth | 1:42 AM | 6-11-2008

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