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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > Are Attacks on Clinton Fair Play or Foul Tactics?

Are Attacks on Clinton Fair Play or Foul Tactics?

LatinaLista — With news today that yet another high-profile Latino politician has endorsed Clinton, there is bound to be a new wave of attacks targeting the only female presidential candidate.

(Source:nyobserver)
Candidate attacks are part of the game but when those attacks target gender rather than issues, then that’s going below the belt — so to speak.
In an op-ed written earlier this month for La Politica, I discuss this backlash against Clinton and how the men throwing the attacks are too many times backed up by women.


In a Halloween poll conducted by the Associated Press about which presidential candidate would make the scariest costume, four in 10 men chose Clinton, while one third of women did. Overall, Clinton garnered 37 percent of the vote while the runner-up, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, came in second with 14 percent. None of the other candidates exceeded 6 percent.
Why does Hillary Clinton scare so many men and women? It’s not a trivial question to contemplate, especially for Latinas.
The National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) released a study in January 2007 that found Latinas are increasingly entering the political arena. The study noted that in 1996 there were 907 Latinas in elected office; eleven years later there were 1,574.
Given the successful election of women to the presidencies of Chile and Argentina, it would stand to reason that a woman running for president would be more acceptable in a society that sees itself as the leader of the Free World.
Yet at times, it feels like Hillary inspires almost equal measures of rejection and support.
However, regardless of the poll or pollster, when it comes to Latinos the results are the same. Most Latinos would like to see Clinton win the Democratic presidential nomination.
She enjoys the support of seven Hispanic House members, four of them women. In fact, according to a June Washington Post-ABC News poll (http://www.washingtonpost.co m/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/11/AR2007061102216.html), Clinton’s 15-point poll lead over her opponents was not just attributed to her female support but to specific women her campaign strategists term as “women with needs” – low-income, lower educated.
It is a category overrepresented with Latinas.
To top it off, it’s even acknowledged by the Clinton campaign, pollsters and political analysts that if Clinton wins the Democratic nomination it will be because of the power of the female voter.
Yet, if Clinton really has all this female support, how come women, Latinas or non-Latinas, are not lining up to support her against the petty insults on her wardrobe, accusations of “pulling the gender card” and critics who seem to think the phrase “female presidential candidate” is an oxymoron?
As the presidential debates continue, all are witnessing the “good ol’ boy network” in action. Unfortunately, women are supporting it. For example, after the Philadelphia debate in which Clinton observed how her opponents seemed to delight in “piling on” her by excessively attacking/questioning her stand on issues, Obama accused her of pulling the gender card to deflect political criticism.
His attempt to reduce her remarks to whining that she wasn’t treated fairly carried over to the press where female columnists were just as severe in criticizing Clinton’s performance.
In one column, titled “The pants vs. the pantsuit,” columnist Kathleen Parker stated, “Sorry, but when girls insist on playing hardball with the boys, they don’t get to cry foul…”
Why not? Male candidates do it all the time and there are no second thoughts about it. Why should a female presidential candidate have to be taken to task for it?
“We tend to hold other women to higher standards and scrutiny than we do men. One big way to help change (the behavior) is to NOT do this,” said political scientist Georgia Duerst-Lahti during a State Department sponsored webchat.
It’s obvious that a woman infiltrating the topmost-tier of political influence is unsettling, not just for her opponents but for a society that prides itself on claiming it’s the land of gender equality and on the other hand routinely sees successful females in a lesser light.
The negative reaction to Hillary Clinton on the basis of gender is a flashing yellow light to the many Latinas on the threshold of entering the political arena in greater numbers.
As of now, NALEO notes that Latinas hold a greater share of elected positions in higher offices in the United States when compared to the level of representation for all female officeholders.
The Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University found that while women hold 21.5 percent of the nation’s State Senate seats and 24.2 percent of the State lower house seats, Latinas comprise 33.3 percent of the Latino State Senators and 25.4 percent of the Latino State lower house members.
It’s appalling that women candidates must continue to be distracted from the real issues at hand in order to defend themselves because of ethnicity or gender or both.
It is offensive, outmoded and discourages aspiring Latina candidates from running for office.
Isn’t it time we mujeres had each other’s back?

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Comment(33)

  • Avatar
    laura
    November 26, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Dear Marisa,
    no es bastante ser mujer.
    I am totally against Hillary. Because she betrayed and continues to betray the causes most important to me: peace and justice.
    Two recent examples: she voted to give Pres. Bush tacit approval to attack Iran (the Kyl-Lieberman amendment). And in the most recent debate she eventually came out against giving my undocumented friends a chance to obtain s driver’s license (after much back and forth).
    Among the Democratic candidates, she is the most bought-and paid-for by huge corporations.
    I will support a woman when a woman supports me, and the things I believe in.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    November 27, 2007 at 12:32 am

    An electable woman candidate has to be competent and acceptable to the voter, but Hillary fails in both respects. Polls show that half of all voters would never vote for here. That leaves those who might, and those who would, making her the favorite of the Republican party.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    November 27, 2007 at 7:57 am

    Any candidate who supports giving illegal aliens a drivers license does not respect the laws of this country and therefore is “toast” to me.

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    November 27, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Being female is her weakness when set against the Islamic leadership she will be dealing with. She, in their eyes, is below them in every way based on the Islamic religion. This will cause many problems in a diplomatic solution to the war and as for Irans mad man, forget about it.
    Hitlery will also create more social services and more free crap to pacify her underling voter base at the expense of the working middle class. Can you say Hello Socialism?

  • Avatar
    adriana
    November 27, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    I don’t dislike her because of her gender. Actually, it is great to see a woman in the race. I don’t see why she dignifies questions regarding whether she prefers diamonds or peals with a response though. Let’s face it… the men would never get asked such a silly question.
    I have more of a problem with 24 potential years of Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton. I don’t think that a lack of change is good for our country in general. What is wrong with giving someone else a chance? This is supposed to be a democracy, not some sort of monarchy. It is bad enough that we have senators and congress people so entrenched in their districts that they don’t leave until retirement.
    Latinas who are seeking office shouldn’t be discouraged by the outcome of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. We need to think about how we can arrive at the political table without riding her coattails.
    And Frank, if you have been paying attention, Hillary Clinton has said that she doesn’t want to give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    November 27, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    Our country is not ready for a woman or a minority President. Needless to say, there are too many crazies out there with sharp shooting abilities that would bring their Presidency to a tragic end. The drivers license issue was her flip-flop from agreeing to disagreeing after the people of New York pitched a fuss and the whole idea was dropped. The wording of “illegals would be given drivers licenses” does not sound too good. If I recall correctly, to get my license, I had to take a written test (in English) and a behind the wheel test. The license was not given to me, I had to earn it.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    November 27, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    I’m ambivalent: I agree with Marisa’s points, but also with Adriana’s and Laura’s. I’d prefer Clinton not get the nomination because of her foreign policy, but she’s actually been among the best of the candidates on immigration, driver’s licenses and border wall aside (going to show how dismal the Democrats are on the issue). I hope Obama wins the nomination, but I’ll support Clinton if she wins.
    And the reason her negatives are so high is because of the campaign to trash her image that’s been relentlessly waged by the right for the past 15 years. 90% of what they’ve said are baseless lies (she’s a commie socialist, lesbian, killed Vince Foster–new lies come out almost every day). There’s a hard core of ideologues who will never believe otherwise, but to people responsive to evidence and rational arguments–i.e. the majority–these stories are less than convincing in the cold light of day. I have a hard time believing she wouldn’t demolish any GOP candidate she ran against.
    Being female is her weakness when set against the Islamic leadership she will be dealing with. She, in their eyes, is below them in every way based on the Islamic religion. This will cause many problems in a diplomatic solution to the war and as for Irans mad man, forget about it.
    Wrong on so many levels–so all-encompassing in its wrongness, I’m left dumbfounded. You must have temporarily forgotten this isn’t LGF where people lap that foolishness up without question.
    Hitlery will also create more social services and more free crap to pacify her underling voter base at the expense of the working middle class. Can you say Hello Socialism?
    But wait, how can “Hitlery” be simultaneously fascist and socialist? The two political movements were diametrically opposed! I guess since she’s also the antichrist, she can pull it off. We’ll know the shit is about to go down when she signs a nuclear disarmament treaty, assumes leadership of the UN, and monopolizes the world’s food supply, a la “Left Behind.”
    Your assumptions about Clinton just go to show how staggeringly misinformed you are about her politics. Since you’ve been staggeringly misinformed about just about everything you’ve weighed in on here, I’d say this is par for the course.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    November 27, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Our country is not ready for a woman or a minority President. Needless to say, there are too many crazies out there with sharp shooting abilities that would bring their Presidency to a tragic end.
    jesus mother of mary, did I just read what I thought I did? Needless to say, the blogosphere is not ready for wackness on the level you bring to the table. But please, don’t stop–it’s hard to get entertainment like this outside of the Onion.

  • Avatar
    adriana
    November 27, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    Eyes of Texas quote: “Our country is not ready for a woman or a minority President. Needless to say, there are too many crazies out there with sharp shooting abilities that would bring their Presidency to a tragic end.”
    Well, I guess being from Texas, you would probably know a lot more about presidential assassinations than the rest of us in other parts of the country.
    As long as you are going down that road of insanity… why do you think that people aren’t outraged that Iraq and Afghan wars cost about $20,000 per an American family of four and we still don’t have cheaper oil? And we aren’t any safer. I find these issues more threatening than having a woman or minority president. And don’t even get me started on the number of human casualties of this tragedy.

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    November 27, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Most Americans do support our military troops, whether they are for or against the war itself. The war must be having some effect on terrorism since we have not had another incident in this country since 9/11. The USA will never be safe until our borders are secured and every illegal in this country removed. If dollars and cents is your concern, you can also add a burden of between 4 billion and 6 billion dollars a year to subsidize illegal aliens at tax payer expense.
    War is hell, but I’d rather have it over there than in my backyard. And don’t forget, we still have Iran to deal with unless you want to sit back in your ideological lala land and wait for them to drop a nuke on us.

  • Avatar
    miguel
    November 27, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    EYES OF TEXAS wrote:The USA will never be safe until our borders are secured and every illegal in this country removed.
    So far all the attacks on this country have either been home grown or persons here legally with papers issued by the US.

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    November 27, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    You’re right, so now we should skip along our merry way believing that out of the millions here illegally, none of them may be another terror cell waiting for the opportunity to make another attack. Ignore the fact that Middle-Easterners have already been detained at our southern border and ignore the fact that the southern border is an open invitation for anyone wanting to enter the US undetected. We are not fighting a war against people, we are fighting a war against a religion that is driven to convert the entire world to Islam.

  • Avatar
    miguel
    November 27, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    EOT…Get to know the people around you and you learn who has your back. Being paranoid with blanket distrust muddles the water. When you were on the boats, you had to know what others did in the compartment you were in. You had to have faith that others would make every effort to cover your job as you covered theirs.
    Same thing here. Know your enemy by your reasoning not what others tell you.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    November 27, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    I find this argument about how the 9/11 terrorists got here and any home grown terrorists acts that were committed as an argument for not worrying about our southern border, ludicrous. So if something happened one way it will always happen that way? There was a story in the news just this week about some drug smugglers who smuggled in some terrorist groups through our southern border and their plot to attack one of our military bases in one of our southern states. What say you now, miguel?

  • Avatar
    miguel
    November 27, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    frank, if you knew about it, it must have been stopped. Did you report it?
    Drug cartels are in concert with terrorist groups. That are the groups we should be going after. Deal with the market here to deal with the cartels there. They will lose interest when the market goes dry here.
    Is this in reference to the discovery in May? Sounds like the same thing.

  • Avatar
    miguel
    November 27, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Frank…”But the attack never occurred and was the result of bad information, said Manuel Johnson, an FBI spokesman based in Phoenix.
    “A thorough investigation was conducted and there is no evidence showing that the threat was credible,” he said.”
    The fact the FBI says it was not real DOES make me worry. I just don’t trust them in this.

  • Avatar
    osmeza
    November 27, 2007 at 7:37 pm

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  • Avatar
    Frank
    November 27, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    miguel, I stand corrected. It was a plot to smuggle terrorists in here through our southern border but it was discovered before it happened. How could I stop it? I had no knowledge of it before the news story broke.
    You are pretty naive if you don’t think this plot was real or that terrorists haven’t already entered our southern border along with those “hard working illegal immgigrants looking for work.”
    The FBI Director already admitted to hundreds of thousands of OTM’s that have come in that way and disappeared into our country.

  • Avatar
    miguel
    November 27, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    frank wrote: You are pretty naive if you don’t think this plot was real or that terrorists haven’t already entered our southern border along with those “hard working illegal immgigrants looking for work.”
    You have called me naive a few times before in these forums. I know the threat is real but since we seem to ignore who needs to be profiled as the terroist YOU are hung up on “hard working illegal immgigrants looking for work.”
    Frank as naive as I am to you, I have a handle on who the terrorist might be and they are NOT Mexicans.
    Brown skin tripping you up again Frank?

  • Avatar
    Frank
    November 28, 2007 at 8:32 am

    miguel, the terrorists are slipping right in with the drug dealers and those looking for work because we haven’t secured the border. If we secured the border by any means possible, it would cut back the chances of them slipping through immensely. What do suggest we do, when any illegal is stopped at the border? Ask them if they are a terrorist or looking for work? Neither one has the right to enter our country anyway. It has been reported that many of these middle-easteners can pass for Mexicans because of some similar physical characteristics and they have even learned to speak Spanish.
    I have NEVER stated that Mexicans looking for work are terrorists. Why the mention of skin color? Pulling the race card again? I don’t care what an illegal’s skin color is, they need to be stopped from entering our country and those already here booted out.

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    November 28, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    Until one of their sanctuary cities is devastated by an attack by terrorists the open borders advocates will never see the correlation between illegal aliens and terrorists. It’s not that they are one in the same, but that they entered across the same border. The border fence may not stop all illegals from entering, but even a 50% slow down would be well worth the expense of build the thing. Every terrorist in the world is laughing in his boots at how easy it would be to simply walk into the US across a few miles of desert.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    November 28, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Mexi-centric Americans will learn what closed borders really mean when terrorists who’ve crossed our borders under guise of illegal immigrants actually carry out their tasks. Mexi-centrists will then re-think the wisdom of supporting open borders and illegal immigration. Illegal aliens will then find it impossible to return through Mexico except under deportation orders, when Americans finally put our military on the border in effective numbers. Be careful what you wish for, advocates for illegal aliens. Americans will have deep resentment of the Hispanic community for their interference in our sovereign right to control our borders, and putting our nation at risk.

  • Avatar
    miguel
    November 29, 2007 at 7:35 am

    Horace wrote: Americans will have deep resentment of the Hispanic community for their interference in our sovereign right to control our borders, and putting our nation at risk.
    Horace you have chosen to vilify the whole Hispanic community in the United States without concern that they could be Americans just like you with the exception of their ethnic roots.
    What next, “yellow armbands” so when your military has managed to secure your country and you have to be able to identify who is on your shit list?
    Slippery slope thinking Horace.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    November 29, 2007 at 9:45 am

    Not really miguel. It has been my experience that a good majority of Hispanic citizens support the illegals in this country just because they are mostly ethnically like themselves and most non-Hispanics in this country are aware of this also. They are the ones handcuffing our attempts to secure the border with their screams of racism,etc. As Horace says, if that attack occurs and it comes thru our unsecured southern border, don’t be surprise if all Hispanics in this country get a dirty look. I am aware that there are some Hispanics that are loyal Americans and don’t think in ethnocentric terms but far too many do.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    November 29, 2007 at 11:01 am

    Hispanic advocacy groups have given the impression, perhaps falsely so, that Hispanics are united in their goal to gain amnesty for illegal aliens. I do not advocate violence, and I hope that it never comes to that, but as a minimum, this issue is giving the Hispanic community a bad reputation for contempt of established law, perhaps undeservedly so. Those who object to illegl immigration and amnesty would help by disavowing their support of it.

  • Avatar
    miguel
    November 29, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    frank wrote:Not really miguel. It has been my experience that a good majority of Hispanic citizens support the illegals in this country just because they are mostly ethnically like themselves
    frank, by your own admission you have stated you do not speak to Hispanics, so your experience has to be what you ‘google’, not collected by you.
    Horace wrote: Hispanic advocacy groups have given the impression, perhaps falsely so, that Hispanics are united in their goal to gain amnesty for illegal aliens.
    Since I am not aligned with any group and only post my words, I would have to think your impression is by discussion with Hispanics and again I hope not like frank and his “google’ education.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    November 29, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    miguel, when did I ever say I don’t speak to Hispanics? I worked with many at one time and they were pretty open about their feelings about illegal aliens.
    I haven’t googled anything about Hispanics. My experiences with them are first hand.

  • Avatar
    miguel
    November 29, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    frank wrote:I have talked to some Hispanic-Americans about illegal immigration, they all talk like you do. “You are a hater, a racist, a xenophobe.” That usually puts an end to the conversation for me.
    frank, I would think that a conversation would bring out more points than you being identified as the above. Could not have been much of a conversation.
    ok.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    November 30, 2007 at 6:04 am

    Miguel wrote: “Horace you have chosen to vilify the whole Hispanic community in the United States without concern that they could be Americans just like you with the exception of their ethnic roots.”
    I villify no one, but if one ethnic group appears to insist upon the rest of us jumping off a cliff for its own gain, you can guarantee that many Americans are going to be unhappy with them. It’s called promoting divisiveness.

  • Avatar
    miguel
    November 30, 2007 at 7:11 am

    Horace wrote:I villify no one, but if one ethnic group appears to insist upon the rest of us jumping off a cliff for its own gain, you can guarantee that many Americans are going to be unhappy with them. It’s called promoting divisiveness.
    Many Americans are free to form their own opinion of issues. The division comes from groups leading people astray for their own personal gain. Scare tactics on both sides of an issue will lead the uneducated over that cliff in front of you.
    Both of us are free to see the good and the bad around us and make our own bed then lay in it.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    November 30, 2007 at 8:15 am

    miguel, those were the Hispanic’s remarks when we talked about illegal immigration. That wasn’t the only topic I have discussed with them. I just found that illegal immigration is one issue you don’t want to bring up because they become hostile and defensive over it.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    November 30, 2007 at 8:27 am

    miguel, I quote you, “the division comes from groups
    leading people astray for their own personal gain”. Isn’t that what the pro-illegal sympathizers are doing? That was Horace’s point.
    The personal gain is either by using cheap illegal labor for monetary gain or political power due to unnatural demographic change.

  • Avatar
    miguel
    November 30, 2007 at 8:41 am

    Frank wrote miguel, I quote you, “the division comes from groups
    leading people astray for their own personal gain”. Isn’t that what the pro-illegal sympathizers are doing? That was Horace’s point.
    The personal gain is either by using cheap illegal labor for monetary gain or political power due to unnatural demographic change.
    Frank: pro-illegals and hate groups. Difference? Your terms are those used by people like you to give you the jollies. You are confusing those who would like to stop the exploitation of the immigrants by the second group you identified, American businesses that hold the dollar as their most holy belief above human suffering. Yes frank, immigrants are still human no matter how much you chose to deny that fact.

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