How You See Hillary

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I see a vision in yellow.

I see a vision in yellow. Source: AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Sen. Hillary Clinton is an incredibly polarizing figure... when I was helping cover the campaigns on the road earlier this month, I heard basically the same thing from two cabbies, one in Des Moines and one in Manchester: "I'm ready for a woman president, just not that woman." When I asked why, they responded mostly with gut reactions instead of facts from her platform — much more "I just don't like her" than "I don't like her stance on X." That said, I also covered her caucus/election night events in both cities, and though I was working, I overheard, of course, nothing but praise for her for her strength and her passion. When she won in New Hampshire, some members of the crowd were literally shedding tears of joy and jumping up and down as she approached the podium. While I won't get into how I feel about her as a candidate, I will admit I too am guilty of judging her on qualities other than her ability to lead and her platform: when I saw her (on TV) at the debate in South Carolina in this outfit (love that orange collar) and then in the yellow blazer yesterday, I thought to myself, "Wow, she's really been making some exciting apparel choices lately..." It seems like everyone's got a slightly different take on the candidate, what's yours? Especially women: Do you find yourself thinking more about Hillary than the other candidates? How do you see Hillary Clinton?



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Hillary Clinton has been pitting men against women, and white women and Latinos/as against African Americans. This is a politics of division whose only aim is to get a Clinton back in the White House. I have no idea what it has to do with feminism. It has everything to do with the dirty politics of tokenism.

Sent by Jamie | 3:06 PM | 1-24-2008

I was excited to have both Hillary and Barack running initially. Both great candidates and tough to choose. But her recent ad saying that Obama supports Republican ideas is a blatant falsehood, and I could no longer support Hillary or any candidate who would engage in that. I never expected to see a Democrat swiftboat another Democrat.

Sent by Bill Jameson | 3:08 PM | 1-24-2008

The Information Technology Professionals Association of America (ITPAA), an advocacy group based in Wilmington, Delaware representing professionals in the high-tech field has handed out its first Weasel Award of 2005 to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D - NY). The organization, representing over 1,200 IT professionals nationwide, presents this award to business and political leaders that it believes betrays the trust of the American people.

Scott Kirwin, founder of the organization, states, "We are tired of Democrats pretending they care about the problems facing average Americans. Senator Clinton's actions prove they clearly do not."

Sent by baffled | 3:17 PM | 1-24-2008

all the niceties aside about what one "thinks" about Hillary Clinton her negative rating in polling is the bottom line...and it has nothing to do with her gender

Sent by Tom O'Connor | 3:24 PM | 1-24-2008

I saw a Public Broadcasting show about all the women senators that was great. I became convinced that Hillary or any of the women who are US senators would make a great president, and would turn the old boy network upside down. I think that's what people are so afraid of. She would make real change and they don't really want real change.

Sent by cathleen | 3:27 PM | 1-24-2008

I am a 70's feminist and I want to be as enthusiastic about Hillary as I was about Geraldine Ferraro. For some reason, I am not. I will probably vote for her but I am very confused about my reluctance.

Sent by Karen Schafer | 3:29 PM | 1-24-2008

I hear a lot of people saying they want to vote for Hillary because she is a woman. I would hope that we as a nation would have more criteria for electing our president. While it would be nice to see a woman in office, I think it would be a mistake to elect her based strictly on her sex. I caution voters to base their votes qualifications and drive to lead the nation, rather than on their sex or skin tone. Let's make sure that we elect the right LEADER.

Sent by Alysa Loring | 3:29 PM | 1-24-2008

I would love to see a female President, however I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton. She is a very smart woman, but we need a new face in the White House. Sometimes, I feel as though Bill Clinton is just trying to get back into the White House and she is the ploy. I have had enough of the Clintons.

Sent by ardis | 3:29 PM | 1-24-2008

I am the same age as Hillary and I can relate to what it was like when I was working my way up the corporate ladder in the 1970's. It was SOOOO important to show that you were strong and as good as a man. I learned to "stuff" my feelings because otherwise, they would say "see women can't handle the pressure." Younger women may not come across as so tough but we led the way so that they can now show their soft side. Give her a break! Jan Wilen, South Bend, IN

Sent by Jan Wilen | 3:31 PM | 1-24-2008

Doesn't anyone find it strange how just before her "crying" episode, Hillary's campaign decided they needed to make her more "personal"? That's quite calculating.

Sent by genevieve | 3:33 PM | 1-24-2008

I enjoyed the Clinton presidency but enough is enough. Hillary is capable and smart, but we don't owe her the presidency because she is a woman. She is the establishment candidate and her campaign has gotten nasty now that she has competition. I will vote for Obama. (I am a white baby boomer woman.) Lets vote on character and leadership, please.

Sent by Mardi McKellips | 3:34 PM | 1-24-2008

This conversation is infuriating. Whether this woman "stood by" her cheating husband is of NO concern to the outcome of our future and who we should select as president. I am strongly feminist but will not vote for her in the primary because of her POLICY stands, not her personal likability or any other ridiculous measure.

Sent by Joanne | 3:35 PM | 1-24-2008

I am voting for Ms. Clinton. I believe that she is the best qualified candidate, and I also like the fact that she is a woman. It offends me that she is referred to as "The Clintons" so often. I consider her to be a separate person form Bill. I hope that women turn out in droves to support her. We are a more powerful voting block that the Evangelicals.

Sent by Linda | 3:35 PM | 1-24-2008

I love Hillary but then I love Martha Stewart too. I don't feel anyone needs to wear their feeling on there sleeve to prove they have them. I work in a male dominated field, engineering and it's never been good to show too much emotion, but that doesn't mean we all have them! There's a time and a place for everything.

Sent by Denise | 3:36 PM | 1-24-2008

If I were to vote for a woman for prez, it would be BECAUSE she is a more compassionate, more peaceful, more flexible, a thoughtful and fair-minded communicator, and a nurturer and supporter of life everywhere on earth. Such a woman (or man!) could make amazing strides toward a more peaceful world.

I'm not convinced that Clinton is that woman. I'm uncomfortable with my sense that she tries so hard to function like a man so that she will meet the expectations of the electorate. If that's what is required to be a woman president, shame on us!

Sent by Peg Marson | 3:38 PM | 1-24-2008

Yes, I agree. She strikes me as cold and calculating, just like her husband. I am not voting for her. In 1984, I voted for Walter Mondale/Geraldine Ferraro because it was a chance to vote for a woman & it was the first election I was eligible to vote in. Now I do not feel the need to vote for Clinton just because she's female - it crossed my mind - but I can't vote for her. Maybe a different female would sway me more. I have a sister though who says she's voting for Clinton because she's female. Interestingly, she's a married stay-at-home mom with 5 children.

Sent by Laura Driscoll | 3:41 PM | 1-24-2008

As a male democrat from Nevada I voted for Barack Obama. I see him as a uniter, not as someone so polarizing. As for her 'emotional episode' before the New Hampshire primary, I saw that as something scripted. She has never been genuine, but has always been consistently manipulative. I think that is why people either like her or dislike her. There never seems to be a happy median when she is the topic, and I know many of my male friends that would rather vote republican in the general election to vote against her if she won the democratic party.

Sent by Steven Thalacker | 3:41 PM | 1-24-2008

My issue with Hillary is about her failure to do her homework when faced with approving the Iraqui invasion. She was praised loudly about doing her homework as a Senator. There was plenty of info by the intelligence community refuting Bush's claim about WMDs in Iraq.

Sent by Trudy Miller | 3:41 PM | 1-24-2008

I am a 32 year old woman with an undergraduate degree in Women's Studies. I am working toward my Master of Arts in Education. I am also a stay at home mother of two children ages 5 and 3. My sisters, my friends and I have had many conversations about who to vote for. Most conversations ultimately end at charisma as a sticking point. We all seem to agree that Obama's message is more inspirational and we all wonder whether it is really important to stick behind a woman who fails to inspire. Additionally, I personally wrote Barack Obama an e-mail following the 2004 convention pledging my support for a presidential run, so I am torn by my previous pledge of loyality.

Sent by Katie Klomps | 3:41 PM | 1-24-2008

I am 35 and have called myself a feminist for years, but Hillary is my last choice now because of the ISSUES of all things! I didn't like how she voted on the bankruptcy bill, for example, though I'm glad she at least regrets that vote now. Also, there's too many people who will NEVER vote for her in the general election.

Sent by Julie | 3:41 PM | 1-24-2008

Although I'll definitely vote for Hillary if she ends up the democratic nominee, I worry about the fact that she represents the liberal branch of the cultural war. She's essentially a war hero. A race between Hillary and John McCain could more deeply entrench the anger growing between the liberals and conservatives in this country. Meanwhile, Barak who stands outside the Boomer generation, could help us transcend the cold war going on amongst us all.

Sent by Melodie Edwards | 3:43 PM | 1-24-2008

My decision about Hillary will not, in any way, be based on her being female. I am a woman who has served as Mayor of a small town in the past. I know other women mayors, governors, legislators who are perfectly capable, and perhaps at times more empathetic to constituents. And yes, i understand the bias and prejudice from both sexes. One has to be "in control" and sometimes appear "cold and calculating". One also must be assertive and confident to be heard, which can be looked at by some as "too aggressive" for a woman.
My concerns about Hillary are the same as with others running, and that is with strong connections to large corporations who may not be looking out for the best interests of the public.

Sent by j moore | 3:44 PM | 1-24-2008

One of the guests on the show said that Hillary is accused of being cold, mechanical, and calculating and that we don't talk bout the male candidates that way. She cited Giulliani as an example. What that ignores is that those were exactly the terms used to describe (in a negative way) Al Gore during the last election.

Sent by Steve Telleen | 3:44 PM | 1-24-2008

I am a woman in my 40's and have spent most of my career in manufacturing. I struggled with similar issues in Corporate America. Men can be strong, aloof, intimidating, etc., and are called driven. The same qualities in a woman will label her as a "B----". Much of the advice I received from mentors cautioned me to be "assertive, but compassionate". In my 30's, I became a Plant Manager, and had to navigate all those contradictions. I suppose I was successful, since I often encounter past employees who loved the way I managed; they tell me I was tough, but always took the time to listen. I hope our country can get over all this nonsense and afford Senator Clinton the chance to show that she can be tough and sensitive at the same time!

Sent by Teri from Michigan | 3:44 PM | 1-24-2008

It seems to me that women still live in a catch-22 society. Although, black males have had difficult lives more so than white males as a previous caller so adeptly pointed out...women did not have the rights that males have had...such as the right to own property/voting/nor having the ability to have custodial rights for children far longer than any male for a longer period of time. Hilary Clinton is in a dichotomous situation...she is to behave like a man but she is not to behave like a man. I still have not decided who I will vote for but the more people polarize her the more my heart and vote will go out to her.

Sent by Nancy | 3:44 PM | 1-24-2008

This a great topic, thank you for exploring this fascinating question. In my opinion women in positions of power have to assume a certain degree of "masculine image" in order to just get to a position of power. I call this the "man in a dress" syndrome. I know that in business I feel pressure to dress and act like men in order to be taken seriously. While this persona may make a female candidate acceptable to men, it alienates my feminine sensibilities because here we are, still battling acceptance as women - mothers, daughters, sisters, and all that means, into the twenty-first century.

Sent by Marjorie Grunin | 3:45 PM | 1-24-2008

Sex,personality and experience aside, what bothers me about Hillary Clinton's candidacy is the "dynasty factor." We need someone in the White House who isn't a Clinton or a Bush. Bush-Clinton-Bush is bad enough. Let's not add another Clinton to the list. We need either an Edwards or Obama.

Sent by Joan | 3:46 PM | 1-24-2008

I was favorably inclined to H. Clinton until (1) I thought about how the Clintons did not at all help Kerry in 2004 - they seem to care more about themselves than the nation/ the world; and (2) in that same vein, B. Clinton reneged on a promise to fund one hundred million dollars to the UN - Millenium Promise African aid program because he wanted his name on the program . . . for his "legacy."

Sent by Margo | 3:47 PM | 1-24-2008

As a woman voter, I am saddened that I cannot support Hillary. Her use of lies, misquotes and distortions of Barack Obama's words is "politics as usual" and I can't tolerate it. I am looking for honesty and integrity in a candidate and Hillary is not showing either of these traits.

Sent by Shari | 3:48 PM | 1-24-2008

I cannot understand when people say she Hilary Clinton is "cold". How do people want her to behave? None of us know her on a personal level. Really, which serious person wants to see another serious person's dirty laundry in public? Specially if that someone might run our country. OF COURSE she is human! Of course she has struggles like any other human being. Try to be a respected woman in a men's political world. I, like millions of other "people", think she is more than qualified to run this country. As for having a new face in the White House, how about the face of a strong, smart and yes, a "human" woman. I AM voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Sent by Glaucia Sogaard | 3:49 PM | 1-24-2008

Historically, women candidates cannot count on the support of women voters. If a woman speaks intelligently, she is arrogant, if she cries, she is weak, if she is tough, we consider her cold. We are the only majority that allows itself to be treated as a minority. If we cannot stand behind an intelligent woman, who has worked for civil rights, supported her husband, and raised her daughter, maybe we deserve the kind of leaders we end up with.

Sent by Mary Mooney | 3:50 PM | 1-24-2008

I think there is a huge difference between women voting for her by our ages. If you're young you tend to hold the Bill Monicagate issue against her. If you're older (I'm 46), you have lived a longer life and the sense is "who cares, each person's marriage is their own." I like Hillary because she is very smart, savvy and considered. I paid to hear her once and was so impressed I wanted to name my unborn child after her.

Sent by Lisa | 3:52 PM | 1-24-2008

oh that woman is ridiculous saying that Hillary isn't trusted because she changes her fashion style. Fashion is change. I would hope she has changed her style with the times. And the woman talking to Neal is saying that Jackie O would not have stopped wearing her hats? Is she crazy? Jackie O did NOT continue wearing the hats. The writer is crazy.

Sent by cathleen | 3:52 PM | 1-24-2008

I'm perfectly ready for a woman president, but I won't ever vote for Hillary. It isn't because she's a woman, it's because of her flip flopping on Iraq - after being for it for years, she suddenly wants troop withdrawal? It must be coincidental, to come after the anti-war candidates were all elected in 2006 (NOT!). She hasn't been all that constant on other things, either. So I don't know how she actually feels - she says whatever she thinks we want to hear.

Sent by Dolly Frank | 3:53 PM | 1-24-2008

I work for a local news station in Cincinnati. I am dis-heartened by my co-workers. During the Dem debate Monday four of my co-worker engaged in a loud discussion about Hillary's behind. They called her frumpy, they said she lacked the kind of femininity that Laura Bush has. And when she went on the attack they said she was on PMS. I have also heard co-workers say "If Hillary wins the election lets just hope she's already been through menopause."
As a young women I am heart broken by these comments, when you speak about Hillary using such offensive language you speak of every woman in this country. This language is abusive, ignorant and should not be tolerated in the work place.

I would like to add that I would vote for any of three them Dem's and Rep's are lashing out at Hillary in a childish way because they feel very threatened right now.

Sent by selena reder | 3:56 PM | 1-24-2008

This conversation on air right now disgusts me. WHY ARE WE DISCUSSING WHAT HILLARY CLINTON WEARS? This is relevant to the election how? Why? Please, grow up already.

Sent by Deanna | 3:56 PM | 1-24-2008

While I clearly appreciate Hillary Clinton's brilliance, determination and competence, I must admit that the attack ads against Obama have left me more than disappointed - NOT BECAUSE OF HER GENDER - but because after nearly 8 years of Rove-style politics, I have no stomach for the politics of misrepresentation. While I have never voted or agreed with Republican ideals over the past 20 years, the electoral revolution that heralded Reagan and Gingrich clearly indicate that the Republicans DID have ideas that a great deal of the populace agreed with. Clinton should stop her own version of what "is is," and get on with the critical debate of defining - positively - why she's the better candidate. I am a woman in my early 40s, have long been a fan of Hillary Clinton, yet remain an undecided voter for the first time in my life!

Sent by Andrea Girman, MD | 3:57 PM | 1-24-2008

Women are always doing each other in. They are over critical of all women. It is sad that we can't support the gains that Hillary will make and has made in her lifetime. She is very capable smart talented woman, who would make a great president.

Sent by cathleen | 3:57 PM | 1-24-2008

As a professional woman working in a man's world I wanted to like Hillary. I would cheerfully vote for a woman candidate. Frankly, I am just tired of boomers-- they're run things long enough.

Sent by Sarah Scott | 3:57 PM | 1-24-2008

One of the Worst TOTN Shows I have ever listened to.

1. The tone of a presidential candidates speech profoundly impacts how we relate to the candidate, irrespective of what is (was) being said. Remember the cold, endlessly speaking (never a sound bite) John Kerry?

2. To suggest that women got the vote fifty years after blacks is one of the most misleading comments I have ever read or heard. Did we need a voting rights act in the 1960s to allow women to register to vote and cast a ballot?
Did the Republican Party target women in Ohio as part of their voter suppression efforts?

3. I am waiting to vote for a great woman President but that does not mean that I want to vote of Hillary Clinton.
Exchange her for Teresa Heinz-Kerry and I would join the campaign in a moment.

4. We do not need another Karl Rove in the White House whoever it is that is acting as political strategist for Hillary.

Sent by Jamie | 3:57 PM | 1-24-2008

I have found this conversation insulting to women. We should not be making decisions on the clothes Hilary wears but on whether she can do the job!

Are we going to have a discussion on the style of Obama's suits and ties??

Sent by Linda | 3:59 PM | 1-24-2008

When Hilliary ran for Senate, it was constantly stated that it was a stepping stone to the presidency. I really have no problem with anyone seeking the presidency - their sex or color doesn't matter to me. HOWEVER, I have crossed Hilliary off my list when she voted to give Bush the power to invade Iraq. When Kerry admitted his mistake, I supported him. She refuses to admit that she made a mistake. Instead, she said, "If I knew then what I know now, I would have not supported it." Well...she should have DONE her homework, and read the classified NIE report. BUSH didn't read the NIE either, and BUSH hasn't apologized either. DO we really need another BUSH? Now, she even has an attack dog like BUSH.

Sent by Francis Burns | 3:59 PM | 1-24-2008

why this hatred toward this woman? is she responsible for genocide, bankrupting a country? how truly "corrupt" is she to garner such punishment for her ambitions in life, to simply lead us? here we have a woman, extremely educated and experienced in politics, and all we can do is crybaby about the fact that she's "calculating and cold". we'll gee, if i judged everybody like that, I couldn't vote at all and i'd have no friends...

i'm not voting with my feelings. i'm voting with my brain and conscious. i will vote for hillary because she is experienced, she has the political cloat, whether we like her womanizing husband or not, and we, as man or woman, may finally find out what it's like to have a strong woman for a president.
i hope she wins!

Sent by isis | 4:00 PM | 1-24-2008

I don't support Hilary Clinton because I don't trust her to uphold her declared principles or follow through on promised policies when she's under political pressure. In this, she's very much like Bill Clinton, so the problem has nothing to do with her being a woman or being cold.

Sent by Joanne Barkan | 4:02 PM | 1-24-2008

I think it i s important to emphasize that this is an American Woman problem or phenomenon. England, Israel, Pakistan. We need to look inside our puritan routes even if we personally, individually aren't descended from Puritans.

Sent by Andrea Kern | 4:03 PM | 1-24-2008

Hi, Please remember the tears of Pat Schroeder- a very qualified women who had served on the house arm services committee and her tears disqualified her from running for President. Who ever asked Golda Myer or Margaret Thatcher to cry or be emotion? Let's be real if we have McCain to campaign against we have to be tough-not sweet. The vote in this country always comes down to being commander in chief.

Sent by rita robillard | 4:03 PM | 1-24-2008

I keep hearing what Hillary Clinton has accomplished, but I don't hear what these accomplishments have been. She has been a senator (as has Barak Obama and John Edwards), but what else has she done? Please enlighten me.

Sent by ardis | 4:05 PM | 1-24-2008

All this talk about emotionalism vs. hardness, and fashion! We need to talk about issues and the fundamental problems in our culture. Who cares what she wears? Did anyone scrutinize Benazir Bhutto's sari? Besides the fundamentalists who objected to seeing her face?

Hillary is a competent woman, whose response after the Fed interest rate drop was the most wonkish response of any of the candidates. She knows which committees to convene, how the government works, and wants it to. That's a big change from our current leadership.

I'm undecided about who to vote for--she had been my 3rd choice, but I'm looking to November and the real fight. The issue of style will seem shallow when we get to the big leagues.

Sent by Jenny | 4:06 PM | 1-24-2008

I was disappointed that the guest more than once generalized by saying "us babyboomers" (by the way it should be "we babyboomers)admire, agree with, etc Hillary. I am not voting for Hillary, and I am a babyboomer. I would have considered voting for her until Bill got so involved. It makes me wonder how independent her decisions would be. Is she really thinking for herself?

Sent by Elaine | 4:11 PM | 1-24-2008

I am a black female, registered Democrat. I will vote for Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Clinton not withstanding. I could care less about his indiscretions. As far as I know, Mrs. Clinton has not had any. She is not the first and will not be the last woman, who continued in her marriage, after discovering the infidelities of her husband. I think she is a strong woman, and a strong candidate. The very things that make her strong would be applauded in an man(presidential candidate or executive), but only serve to disparage her as a woman. I have no qualms about voting for her instead of Obama. After all the rooster crown....but the hen lays the egg.

Sent by Awashington | 4:13 PM | 1-24-2008

Concerning ambition: I don't trust many people whose ambition drives them to the top while they throw others aside. Her character is what drives in the opposite direction, not her gender. A person's character is not revealed by whether or not they reached the top, but rather on what happened on their path there.

Sent by jonbolt | 4:14 PM | 1-24-2008

As a Democrat and a woman, I am not voting for any candidate on the basis of race or gender. I am voting on issues. Because the Clinton administration (for which she takes credit) supported NAFTA, because she supported the Iraq War, and because she has the support of too many lobbyists, I will not be voting for Hillary! Moreover, I am not in favor of dynasties! I would actually prefer one-term presidents who might serve the country rather than the people who will help them to get re-elected.

Sent by Shirley | 4:14 PM | 1-24-2008

Gee, how could I ever vote for an able, forceful, strong, accomplished woman for president? If she doesn't have a cheerio in her hair, how could I relate to her? I think I'll scream....why on earth are we dissecting her fashion, her getting choked up occasionally, and other tremendously irrelevant aspects of a person running for president? Are American women really this vapid and myopic? I caucused for HC in Iowa, and I'll vote for her in the general election if she's the democratic candidate. I WANT a serious, accomplished, strong person in the White god, you'd think women would have learned after enduring 7 years of the gosh-and-golly-let's-have-a-beer-with-the-guy current white house occupant. I don't think HC is perfect, nor do I agree with all her positions--but she's a fine candidate--who happens to be a woman--which makes her my choice. By the way, I saw a clip of HC from her first days as senator...she looks pretty much like she does why the "always changing fashion" comments? My guess is that BO,JE,JMc,MR,MH, etc all have modified their campaign outfits too as the years have rolled on. Could we all move on to some actual "presidential" considerations about HC?

Sent by Jennifer Cantine | 4:16 PM | 1-24-2008

HRC is an excellent technocrat, but that does not qualify her to be the inspirational leader of the free world.

I don't want the sturm & drang of the Clinton's in the White House. She can't or won't control Bill, and he's hurting the Democratic party. He had no coattails. What we need are winners in the Congressional races.

Sent by Susan Zenier | 4:19 PM | 1-24-2008

It is so good this topic has finally received some coverage. I believe that historically, the biggest story to come out of this election will be the sexist manner in which Hillary Clinton's candidacy was treated.

I do find it discouraging this discussion has devolved into a critique of Sen. Clinton's fashion choices. It's rather telling that even on a program about this very subject she is trivialized like this.

Sent by Susan H. | 4:22 PM | 1-24-2008

Why is there so much more scrutiny of what Hillary does, says, and wears than of the male candidates? She definitely is being held to a greater standard than the male politicians. I do not understand why women criticize her more than men. Some of these comments are so bias. Give her a chance, she has done a good job in the senate. It is about time this country had a women president and Hillary is a legitimate candidate regardless of her sex. The statement about the "Clinton dynasty" is not reason enough to discount Hillary as a viable candidate. If this is of some concern, why didn't we hear this when Bush was running 8 years ago.

Sent by Johnna | 4:23 PM | 1-24-2008

The accomplishments of Hillary Clinton are outstanding and it seems very clear to me that she has the ability to successfully run the United States as President. Beyond that, the fact that she is a woman makes my choice for her an absolute no-brainer. I think the expectations that all people have of women are unreasonable, but even given those expectations women seem to live up to them. Hillary Clinton is very intelligent, savvy, experienced, and aims to get our country back on track. I find it so hard to believe that any women would give up a chance to support her. I caucused for Clinton in 08!!!

Sent by Jane Day | 4:25 PM | 1-24-2008

I'm 70, and I've always worked for women's rights, including mine. I'm voting for Obama. Clinton isn't the PERSON I want in that office, for many reasons. Perhaps she could have arrived at this point on her own, but she didn't -- and Presidential spouse as experience for President doesn't work for me. After much study beyond that, for me it's no for Clinton, yes for Obama. Way back when, I always supported women having the strength and confidence not to be angry at and oppose men just because they were born men. I certainly think fair consideration applies when choosing our next President.

Sent by Marilyn | 4:30 PM | 1-24-2008

As a middle-aged black male feminist I found my feelings fairly well summed up by Lorrie Moore, a contributor to "30 Ways of Looking at Hillary: Reflections by Women Writers" in her N.Y. Times op-ed piece ( January 13th, excerpting here:

"The time to capture the imagination of middle-class white girls, the group Hillary Clinton represents, was long ago. Such girls have now managed on their own (given that in this economy only the rich are doing well). They have their teachers and many other professionals to admire, as well as a fierce 67-year-old babe as speaker of the House, several governors and a Supreme Court justice. The landscape is not bare.

Boys are faring worse -- and the time for symbols and leaders they can connect with beneficially should be now and should be theirs."

Sent by Virgil Hill | 4:39 PM | 1-24-2008

As an 'old white guy' and, ultimately, a strong supporter to-be of either Obama, Clinton or Edwards, I am sorry to see some of the over-the-top criticism of Senator Clinton (including the foolish speculation that her 'emotional moment' was staged). Yes, she is political, yes she hard-nosed, yes she is calculating. Please tell me the last president we've had who was not all these things. Ms. Clinton is also very intelligent, and unlike our current president, actually is able to be articulate on complex policy matters. I DO regret that TOTN chose to include the cleavage-obsessed fashion editor, Robin Givhan, as a guest.

Sent by Vernon Threlkeld | 4:42 PM | 1-24-2008

Hillary is polarizing. It is not gender, age, or race. She spends too much time destroying others and not enough as a leader building bridges. Washington reached out to Tories, Lincoln to the South, and King to Whites. No hating.

Sent by Elizabeth Allen Woodside | 5:21 PM | 1-24-2008

I am a woman, a dedicated Democrat, and a devoted enthusiastic Hillary supporter!

She has been so unfairly attacked in virtually every way from virtually every direction for so long.

It is so scary that the Republican attack campaigns of the 1990's tainted her in the public eye as much as they did.

She doesn't deserve it at all. And people judge her so much more harshly than they do any men.

And it made me feel sick that you spent so much of the time talking about her fashion. Fashion is superficial. I would rather have a female leader who does not care much about fashion. Many of the problems in this country are caused by our emphasis on all things superficial, and not on all things truly substantial.

We all remake and remodel ourselves through the years. That is America. Everyone does it.

She gets criticized that she changes, she get criticized that she doesn't.

Where is the real truth and justice in this country?

We should be proud of her; she is a remarkable woman. But she will never be able to meet everyone's impossible standards of non-human exacting perfection.

The way it's been she's been damned if she does, damned if she doesn't, damned virtually no matter what she does.

People don't even look at the truth or the bigger picture - the true dynamic complexity of politics.

And she is incredibly intelligent and competent.

It is a gross and unjust travesty that she gets treated the way she does.

Sent by Lauren | 5:27 PM | 1-24-2008

Come on! I am supposed to vote for Hillary because Gloria said so? I would like to think we have evolved in our thinking to the point that as a woman I can think for myself. I don't like Hillary because she is self serving, calculating, and mean. Funny, these are the same reasons I don't like Bill. How about that? I hold them both to the SAME standards.

I am supporting a woman this year and her name is Michelle Obama.

Sent by kathleen | 5:30 PM | 1-24-2008

Neal, You should be ashamed for promoting these propaganda authors. Why is Hillary subjected to this kind of scrutiny when others(males)are not?Talking about what she wears, questioning her motives, etc is so unfair. Women against women is why we have never had a women president and if this continues other women will not step up to the challenge because women are so much more under the microscope. Will their next book be "Thirty Ways of Looking at Barack Obama"? Even your assistant editor, Sarah Handel's comments about her yellow suit are not appropriate.

Sent by J ramer | 5:47 PM | 1-24-2008

I am a single mother of 3. I dress in blue jeans, a sweat shirt & ball cap with my hair in a pony tail. I wear sneakers. No make up. I drive a SUV. I act like a kid. I am fun.
I am also a business owner. I dress in suits and dress pants and tops, comfortable shoes. I look and act very professional. Conservative hair, nails and make up. I also drive a Lexus. I am the boss.
I am in a relationship. I wear flattering but sexy clothes. I show cleavage. Let down my hair, push my breasts up! Wear 3-4" high heels. I let the man drive. I am a lover.
I am the daughter of elderly parents. I get angry at their insurance companies, their doctors, the pharmaceutical companies, and the lack of respect given to senior citizens. Sometimes I cry.
I am also the money maker, the bill payer, the book keeper, the taxi driver, the cook, the maid, the peace keeper, the negotiator, the delegator. Sometimes I have to be cold, hard and calculating, sometimes sweet, gentle and understanding. Sometimes I even cry. I do not and should not have to explain my emotions to anyone. I am a "WOMAN".
Hillary Clinton reminds me of myself. She reminds me of most good, strong, hard working mothers and wives.
If a male candidate were to be serious, stern, cold and hard, we would say that "He is tough and strong". Yet Hillary would be a cold, heartless bitch. When Hillary got emotional and shed a tear, we felt like she was sweet and human. If Obama cried, we would call him " an emotional wimp, a sissy. At least we would put him in the "Male" category first, before we considered his race. People are much more prejudiced against her because she's a woman.
What if we put all of the candidates, Democrat, Republican and Independent behind a black curtain and completely distorted their voices and asked them questions based only on the issues? That would be incredibly interesting. I think Hillary would come out on top. By the way, I am registered Independent but I vote on the person not the party. I have voted more Republican than Democrat but this time, Hillary has my vote.

Sent by Penny dabestani | 5:47 PM | 1-24-2008

I would love to see a list of 3 top priorities of each candidate and clear plans of what they will do about them. Put them in columns and don't show who the candidate is. Then have a vote to see who would win if we couldn't see who we're voting for.

Sent by Penny Dabestani | 6:09 PM | 1-24-2008

She's damned if she does, damned if she doesn't. All I have to say is that when she was in the White House before, the economy was the best it has ever been and we were not in "Wars". The U.S. was respected globally. And don't say "but she wasn't President". We all know who really runs any house!

Sent by Penny Dabestani | 6:17 PM | 1-24-2008

I don't care if Hillary cries or laughs, stands by her man or bakes cookies, but I don't see why Democrats should nominate a person who voted for the war, who votes twice for the USA Patriot Act, and who voted for Kyle/Lieberman. There's already one Republican party; who needs a second one?

Sent by Michael Ossar | 6:34 PM | 1-24-2008

It's interesting that when we consider voting for a woman we look for someone who is perfect. Too bad we haven't done that for the male candidates. Strength and commitment are more important to me than charisma. I'm not looking for a friend or pal--I want someone who can competently run this country and redeem our reputation in the rest of the world.

Sent by Chris | 7:02 PM | 1-24-2008

I would like to see more discussion of the issue of "role model" which some commentators have dismissed. I see 3 parts to it as it relates to Hillary Clinton: 1) a young woman can aspire to be President; 2) the way to get power as a woman is to marry a powerful man and stay with him despite abuse and humiliation; 3) being a role model has absolutely nothing to do with being President. I think all 3 have some validity in looking at Hillary's candidacy, but part 3 is the most relevant. By the way, I am voting for Obama, for many reasons, but also would welcome a woman candidate who I could support (she does not come close).

Sent by Charles Goldman | 12:20 AM | 1-25-2008

I wonder if Hillary or Obama are going to do anything for seniors? The only people excluded from the incentive package are seniors, unless they paid $4000.00 in taxes which they made from their investments! People on social security are off the worst in this economy, with the interest rates falling and the increase in social security (supposedly covering inflation) a big 2.3%. It's a coke. The older generation is treated as if they do not exist.

Sent by I. Mihm | 1:21 AM | 1-25-2008

I am still an undecided voter, but I am in a tug of war with Obama and Clinton. I want to see a woman president but I dont want to make that my template of my decision to cast my vote. On the other hand, I see Obama and I see a fresh face and a fresh start, but I ask myself how will Washington treat him? What I would really want to see is both Obama and Clinton working out together instead of bickering with each other because if they continue that then they would drive voters out of the poles. We have seen that negative agendas of constant attack dont work.

Sent by Karina Macias | 1:38 AM | 1-25-2008

I love Hillary Clinton and to assert that she pits people against each other is complete ignorance. The funny thing about Hillary is, aside from the recent attacks on Baracks record, she mainly sticks to the subject. Watching her on the debates and the various tv shows she's appeared on, she always seems so self assured and non-judgmental. I think she is a sensitive and powerful women and I believe that scares people. The fact that she cares, I believe scares people. Especially the other male candidates. She's a true contender and is passionate and loving. I thinks it's time that America had a person who understands all sides of the human spectrum and I believe Hillary does that. She's shown us, more than the other candidates, who she is. Not just the smoke and mirrors, pardon me the cliche. She is genuine. I don't believe she's out for power or to make a name for herself, she believes she can make good things happen for this country. America needs someone who will light a fire under there behinds and who understands all the things that need to be done.

Sent by Brieanna | 2:25 AM | 1-25-2008

This discussion is curious, because Hillary Clinton is leading all over the place.

I'm not a Clinton supporter, but I was disgusted by the TOTN show last night. It was like listening to Mean Girls talking about the dorky class president.

And Clinton is obviously not just held to a double standard, but some kind of bizarre "must be perfect or I hate her" standard.

There is not a huge amount of difference in policy and voting records between Clinton and Obama. There is not a huge amount of actual senatorial experience between Clinton and Obama.

And has the media completely forgotten about Edwards, who is delivering a compelling message about the people at the bottom of the ladder?

Once again, we are letting the media dictate which candidates we can choose from later this year. They are pushing for a McCain vs. Clinton election, and then they can slaughter the Clintons all over again.

Sent by Maureen | 8:40 AM | 1-25-2008

I am totally behind Hillary for president. It seems to me that most folks in general want to see a woman fail. That is precisely why when she is stern and direct she is portrayed as cold and calculating. Give me a break. I work in an industry that is predominantly male. I live in an area of the country that is somewhat less progressive than where I grew up. In my career and my area, men want to see me fail, people want to see me fail. People want to see Hillary fail and it is a very sad state. Hillary has experience and know how and everything that it takes to lead this country. i also like Obama and Edwards but I think when it comes to experience Hillary is the most qualified.

Sent by Tessa | 10:13 AM | 1-25-2008

How is woman voting for Senator Clinton because she is female any less sexist and incorrect than a man voting against her because she is a female candidate?

Sent by Chris O'Connor | 10:48 AM | 1-25-2008

The beauty of a woman is that she can both be strong and sentimental. Women like Hillary embrace the perfect idea of change because not only is Hillary a leader but Hillary has focused her career on doing the right thing rather than focusing on what benefits her politically

Sent by Mario | 11:02 AM | 1-25-2008

I was just listening to the program and was really disappointed to find that half of the comments regarding Hillary had to do with fashion! We are looking for a leader to stop wars, stabilize our economy, and make decisions regarding running our country. I am amazed that we are spending time "as women" talking about what she is wearing! I stay away from water coolers so I do not have to listen to this conversation. I do not want to hear it on NPR or in the Washington Post. Can't we leave that for Entertainment Weekly?

Sent by Maggie | 11:15 AM | 1-25-2008

I am somewhat annoyed by the fact that a fashion editor gets called in to review Sen. Clinton's previous fashion choices as if that somehow has bearing on who should become the next commander-in-chief. (By the way, I'm undecided.)

Sen. Clinton (to give her her proper title, not just using her first name) seems to me to be a woman who doesn't find clothes that interesting, or worth much time worrying about. I think we spend much too much time judging women on their appearance and not enough just listening to them.

"XXX has a pot belly." "xxxx's ties are too boring, they don't really tell us what he's thinking." "XXXX's hair cut is a disaster." "XXXX should think about dermabrasion to hide signs of aging." "I really wish candidate xxx had worn a 3 button suit instead." "Did you see the lapels on xxxx?"

It's really irritating to me that Sen. Clinton is being judged on what she's chosen to wear. My best guess is that it is a very low priority for her. If she showed up in what most of the male candidates wore, she would be chewed up and spit out by every media outlet in the world.

Keep in mind that there are some very firm, non-spoken rules for males in the arena of political dress, and actually very little choice. In the world of female fashion, there are many more choices. At the end of the day, what matters most?

I'd also like to draw attention to the dichotomy in using Sen. Clinton's first name frequently in the media, whereas virtually all coverage of male candidates uses their first & last names or just their last names.

Sent by Karen | 3:10 PM | 1-25-2008

Is candidate Clinton a woman? Is candidate Obama a black? In their own minds, I don'think that their answer in the "real" political sense would be "yes". I feel that a majority of Americans at this historical moment have actually pushed the critical mass to the side which sees an individual on their merits. The "minority" opinion has recently become that of those who argue from viewpoints that divide up society into racial and gender groups rather than dealing with people as viable individuals. That is exciting politics. That is progress for humanity.

Sent by Andrea Swanson | 3:53 AM | 1-26-2008

In Hilary Clinton, I see a determined, ambitious woman. I also see many qualities that could make her an outstanding president. However, at the same time, I see a human being with frailties and ego, the same as the other candidates that are running. Reviewing her service and decisions and support over the years in her public life, I see a person who will act with considered thought, though she is sometimes, hesitant about her gut decisions. My particular concern is the financial supporters she surrounds herself with. The current administration is one of patronage and good ol boy infrastructure. I do not know whether she has the stomach to do some of the really tough changes the country needs to survive. (Restructuring Fed Debt, restructuring farm/agri business, reexamining and restructing the tax basis for corporate America, health care, elder care, bank regulation, Armed forces spending/responsibility..the list goes on and on..)

Sent by therri bortzfield | 8:36 AM | 1-26-2008

It will take 20 or so more YEARS for another woman to be as close to where Hillary is right now in her career. She is smarter and savvier that our current president and the best candidate for the next president of the United States right NOW. Oh, and, yeah, lastly, which shouldn't be important, she is a woman too.

Sent by Maria S McIntyre | 11:40 AM | 1-26-2008

I do not support Hillary Clinton first and foremost because she recklessly
voted to give the likes of George W. Bush the authority to launch an unjustified war that has cost us over a trillion dollars; has resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands innocent lives; and has contributed to the deterioration of our own infrastructure here at home. Her experience as a leader did not prevent her from making this disastrous decision, and she should not be rewarded for her poor judgment by receiving the nomination. Barack Obama opposed the war from the beginning, and that is why he has my support. As a feminist, my desire to see a woman elected as president does not lead me to simplemindedly give Hillary Clinton a pass on her terrible politically expedient exercise of judgment, just because she is a woman. How would that contribute to the cause for equality? There are many reasons a woman can give for not supporting Hillary Clinton that should not give rise to conjectural observations such as those posited by Morrison and others that such a woman may somehow be psychologically unable to accept a successful woman. I think that we best support each other as woman by refraining from making such generalization about each other. Unfortunately, I have found that many Hillary Clinton supporters just cannot refrain from making these simpleminded assumptions. In my view, this only hurts our cause for equality.

Sent by Linda Gehron , Esq. | 6:09 PM | 1-26-2008

I too am a conflicted feminist. I see Hillary as a superb candidate, but when I envision her in the Oval Office, she shrinks and looks less confident, even uncomfortable (the current occupant never fit that desk as well as Bill did either). And unfortunately, world leaders may not have the same kind of respect they do for a male, so I wonder how she will play the international scene. We may be ready for a woman president, but is the rest of the world?

Sent by Jane | 8:44 AM | 1-28-2008

The problem with Hillary was not that she "stood by her man" .. the problem was that she actually LED the task force that actively sought to destroy the reputations of all six of the women who were involved with her husband (and Nancy Tripp's status as an active Democrat provided her no protection). Hillary's politics of demonizing and destroying one's percieved opponents rather than honestly engaging and combating them is something that the Democrats may finally be waking up to .. something the rest of us were painfully aware of throughout the Clinton administration.

Sent by Marti | 9:18 AM | 1-28-2008

The good news is that - no matter who wins the White House - America's global and domestic stature improve overnight.

More good news: We have more than one worthy, capable candidate from which to choose! In a way, I think we all will win next November.

Each of us has earned the privilege to pull the lever. Mine will honor Hillary Clinton. (And I totally respect yours!)

Sent by Chuck D | 12:48 PM | 1-28-2008

I am a resident of Queens Clinton has not done anything for the state except make a few speeches after Chuck Schumer spoke up first To me her only goal seems to be to have power at any cost She is using Bill to divide black people and vote for her because he allegedly appeals to blacks and gee he'll be in the White House! Instead of trying to denigrate Barack Obama why hasn't she talked about the veto against the SChip program? Why doesn't she support drivers licenses for immigrants in the most culturally diverse state in this country? I cannot support her in any way because she does not represent me in the Senate nor would she in the White House

Sent by Colette Carr | 2:02 PM | 1-28-2008

After listening to your segment featuring woman voters and Hillary Clinton, I was left with a profound feeling of despair for our country's political system. I listened attentively throughout the entire half-hour to your exploration of the many perspectives by which women are thought to consider Clinton as a candidate, and I did not hear any mention - let alone a relevant discussion - of her policies or of the serious issues that loom in America's near future. I had no idea that the female portion of the electorate was so detached from the concerns of geopolitics and the domestic economy that they would en masse squander their votes via the various vapid criteria of: coiffure and fashion; vague social symbolism; and pedantic Freudian psychology. By the end of the program I was certain that this self-indulgent frivolity on the part of such a large and potentially powerful demographic marked the imminent doom of the Republic.

...but wait: I remembered that on a daily basis I discuss politics with the women in my life, and each of them has always focused laser-like on the issues. Hillary Clinton and other candidates figure in these discussions on the basis of their stand on pressing issues - petty personality attributions and wishful self-projection never seem to come up.

Perhaps in retrospect it is NPR - following suit with the rest of the mainstream media - that is being self-indulgent here, and not the totality of American women voters. After all, filling air-time with mushy discussions involving one's imaginary personal relationships with celebrity candidates is a lot easier than doing policy homework, and holding politicians accountable for their claims and promises.

Sent by Ken Duerksen | 7:40 PM | 1-28-2008

Hillary Clinton is intelligent, competent, and fully capable of leading our country. The negativity I have read about her seems petty, superficial, and from the "feminists", quite elitist.

Sent by Marie Riley | 9:42 PM | 1-30-2008

This is in response to Dahlia Lithwick's interview. I was disturbed by her assumption Hillary's ability to have cheerio-free hair turns women off Her comments didn't seem particularly feminist or "young" Lithwick fear of HIllary's "perfection" seemed very American. Americans trust mediocrity. Americans voted for George Bush because they could go for a beer with him. Apparently, Lithwick believes women would feel too insecure around Hillary to vote for her! Personally, I want my president, male or female, to be more organized, and smarter than me. I want him or her to have done better in school than me. I don't want him/her to be fret over weight when there are more pressing issues at hand. If they can juggle kids and work effortlessly, then perhaps it means they can juggle the responsibilities of the oval office.

I'm not endorsing Clinton but I hope people vote or don't vote for her for the right reasons. We aren't voting for the prom queen.

Sent by Mary Ann Racin | 11:46 AM | 2-2-2008

I would have hoped we are at a day in age where voting based on gender is no longer a qualification. I have often thought the best and only way to run a campaign and truly know whether someone is speaking to the public on real terms is to do so with the candidates behind curtains and their voices masked. Try to do that with all the candidates you see today before pledging allegiance based on gender. To do so would be to see Hillary as she truly is: hawkish and elitist. A politicans politician. I challenge the women throwing their support behind her to say why they are supporting her other than because she is a woman.

Sent by Sally C | 1:19 PM | 2-2-2008

I agree that she is intelligent and passionate and driven. Unfortunately, when you add manipulative and deceiving to those qualities, you get the potential for disaster. I am voting for Obama, who is a sincere, passionate, intelligent candidate that I TRUST and RESPECT.

Sent by Linda | 1:56 PM | 2-2-2008

While listening to this program it was almost a relief to hear people talking about the same issues I have been wrestling with. I want to support Hillary. The feminist inside me who remembers making ERA posters on the floor of my mother's living room screams at me to get out and campaign for her, and yet I find myself torn.

I feel especially conflicted when I hear talk about this recent "crying episode." Has everyone forgotten what happened to Pat Schroeder when she announced she was not seeking her parties nomination? I certainly remember. I actually yelled at the TV. I was so angry. She was crying on national television, and as I recall I was not the only one. Now twenty years later we are listening to a new verse of the same song. Sen. Clinton, for what ever reason, had a moment when she was not her composed political persona. People are judging her for it; calling her calculating, manipulative, or at best not cold.

Where is the progress? Why do we continue to be victimized by our own gender identification? I find myself looking at what Hillary wears to the debates, and thinking things like "where was her image consultant?" "Why didn't anyone tell her the winner never wears green?" Now I do have these same kinds of thoughts about the other candidates, but they just pass and I have no guilt about them. I don't feel like I am letting anyone down when I focus on McCain's crooked tie, or Edwards's immobile hair.

I also get angry when people judge Sen. Clinton for what she has done in her marriage. Having now been married myself for nearly 15 years, I know that people outside have know idea what is going on in a marriage. Marriage is hard, sometimes it's ugly, but if you take the contract seriously you keep fighting for it. You keep working on it. This should be a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness or victimization. Now I'm not saying if you get punched keep standing still and take it, I am saying stand up for yourself. Take control of your half of the relationship, and I think in her case this is just what Hillary has done.

Yes I want to support her, I want to vote for her based on her record. I want to see the value of the political stances she has taken. I want to see a women president; to do that though I need to see her as a politician and not as my personal torch barer. After all if you get too close to a torch, your going to get burned.

Sent by Marta Olson-Rangitsch | 2:08 PM | 2-2-2008

As a male I believe from the bottom of my heart that I am as willing to vote for a Black Male as I am willing to vote for a White Female, however I just cannot fathom making a choice based on solely on race or sex exclusively. I cannot blatantly discriminate based on race or sex alone and feel totally content with myself and my choice; voting is as much a powerful action as it is a measure of one's complete understanding of our decision. Instead I am choosing to look at the candidates character, ambitions, and the people surrounding them. After a long and careful review on two admirable Democratic candidates, my vote will be going to Obama. I think one of the great challenges that Hillary has is that she is married to Bill Clinton, deep in the pit of my stomach I feel like the main reason for her running is that they want to make history for themselves: the first "Presidential Couple" and this goes against the basic principles of our Democracy. I felt that it was as much a mistake to vote for a second Bush, as it is to vote for a second Clinton admittedly that is why I also catch myself saying "I'M READY FOR A FEMALE PRESIDENT, HOWEVER JUST NOT HILLARY." I sincerely hope that Feminists all over this great country examine there choice carefully and look deep into their hearts and souls and ask themselves why they will vote for Hillary, is it a vote to advance the democratic structure of our country or the civil cause of feminism.

Sent by Enrique Ruiz | 2:25 PM | 2-2-2008

As a woman of color, I am not always convinced of the inclusiveness of the "feminist movement." When this book/program speaks of women, is it white women who are the reference or is the reference to ALL women?
That being said, I do not favor Hillary as my president because I do feel it will more of the same.

Sent by Lynda Caine-Barrett | 2:03 PM | 2-4-2008

Two things I really despise about her. One she tried to push national health care plan when she was not elected or in office. (Get in office and feel free to do this) and worse this line "I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president." What a arrogant statement. According to her own words then she can't run because of term limits.

I voted for Obama.

Sent by Bram Sinclair | 8:35 AM | 2-13-2008

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